Congratulations to the state winners and finalists of the 2023 Queensland Training Awards.

The state final was held on Saturday 9 September 2023 at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Winner: Gabrielle Clift

Qualification: Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
Training provider: MTA Institute
Employer: Highfields Mechanical
Region: Darling Downs South West

Gabrielle Clift is a qualified light vehicle mechanic and Auto Women Mentor, helping young girls enter the industry. She completed her apprenticeship with Highfields Mechanical in Toowoomba after inheriting a love of cars from her father. During her apprenticeship, Gabrielle won several awards, including some work experience with Triple Eight Race Engineering. Gabrielle impressed so much that she was asked to join the crew at the Bathurst 1000 and is now working for Triple Eight full-time.


Kohan Hanby, Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (Boilermaking/Welding), Tropical North Queensland
Benjamin Zabel, Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, North Queensland
Caitlyn Barnes, Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, Central Queensland
Jackson McIvor, Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, North Coast
Mitchell Ayling, Certificate III in Carpentry, Metropolitan
Wayne Costain, Certificate III in Printing, South East

Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Winner: Charlotte Ross

Qualification: Certificate IV in Information Technology
Training provider: Precept Education
Employer: ONGC Systems
Region: South East

Charlotte Ross is an IT professional at ONGC Systems currently completing the Certificate IV in Information Technology through Precept Education. Despite undergoing a life-changing double heart surgery 2 months before beginning her training, Charlotte persevered and is now eager to take on more challenging roles including her work with groups such as BUSY At Work 'Busy Sisters' program, which empowers women in trades and boosts career prospects.


Emily Nancarrow, Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping, Tropical North Queensland
Jack Harris, Certificate III in Hospitality, North Queensland
Tenelle Bird, Certificate IV in Human Resources Management, Central Queensland
Chloe Chudleigh
, Certificate IV in Business, Darling Downs South West
Taylar Rameka, Certificate III in Business, North Coast
Darron Eastwell, Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking, Metropolitan

Vocational Student of the Year

Winner: Jessica Addo

Qualification: Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: PCYC Cairns West
Region: Tropical North Queensland

Jessica Addo wanted to work in education after getting involved in her daughter's learning as she started school. After completing her Certificate IV and a Diploma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education through RATEP and TAFE Queensland, Jessica now works as a PCYC outside school hours care manager and is studying for her Bachelor of Education. Jessica is aiming to work in remote schools and make a positive change wherever she can.


Declan Molloy, Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot), North Queensland
Stacey Mason, Diploma of Nursing, Central Queensland
Rachael Laurie
, Diploma of Business, Darling Downs South West
Dana Whiston, Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability), North Coast
Jarred Mobbs, Diploma of Emergency Health Care, Metropolitan
Jannah Dymnycz, Diploma of Accounting, South Ea

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Winner: Shaniqua Burke

Qualification: Certificate III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Apunipima Cape York Health Council
Region: Tropical North Queensland

Shaniqua Burke is dedicated to studying her Certificate III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care to give back to her community. She gained knowledge and skills in basic health care, screening processes, and advocating for community member rights and needs. Working with Apunipima Cape York Health Council she is excited to be supporting a social prescribing trial this year, the first ever to be led by an Aboriginal health worker in Australia.


Luke Handley, Certificate II in Construction, North Queensland
Tayah Womal, Certificate III in Business, Central Queensland
Aiden Le Rossignol
, Certificate III in Work Health and Safety, Darling Downs South West
Dana Whiston, Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability), North Coast
Jorja Ealson, Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, Metropolitan
Brianna Morrison, Certificate II in Marine Habitat Conservation and Restoration, South East

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Winner: Kyezaya Namai-Sabatino

Qualification: Certificate II in Engineering
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Group training organisation: MRAEL
Host employer: Rio Tinto Weipa
School: Western Cape College Weipa
Region: Tropical North Queensland

Kyezaya Namai-Sabatino is a Year 12 Western Cape College student completing his MRAEL school-based traineeship in diesel fitting with Rio Tinto, Weipa. Kyezaya has found working with heavy machinery fascinating, and his strong work ethic has seen him learning all the elements of his trade as well as being 2023 School Vice-Captain and Sports Captain. He is also involved in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aspirations program at school where he was a state finalist last year.


Lianna Woodsbey, Certificate III in Engineering – Fixed and Mobile Plant Mechanic, North Queensland
Abby-Rose Bowman, Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology, Central Queensland
Lucy Hutchison
, Certificate III in Business, Darling Downs South West
Temika Sturgess, Certificate III in Health Services Assistance, North Coast
Dylan Duncan, Certificate III in Plumbing, Metropolitan
Teraya Wheeler-Harwood, Certificate III in Business, South East

Equity Student of the Year

Winner: Dean Clark

Qualification: Diploma of Sport (Coaching and Sport Development)
Training provider: GeSS Education
Group training organisation: Fit Education
Employer: Titans Gold Coast
Region: South East

Dean Clark is overcoming a brain injury and completed a Diploma of Sport through GeSS Education. After a decade of limited employment and relying on a disability pension, Dean joined the Gold Coast Titans Physical Disability Rugby League. The routine and exercise improved his memory and he took on assistant coaching duties alongside his studies. He credits his success to the encouragement of his partner, his sports trainer, and the individualised learning and assessment options he received.


Htoo Khaing, Certificate I in Construction, Tropical North Queensland
Julia Hurst, Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability), North Queensland
Sharon Atkinson, Certificate III in Work Health and Safety, Central Queensland
Sabastian Fisher
, Certificate I in Workplace Skills, Darling Downs South West
Lachlan Dorrell, Certificate I in Construction, North Coast
Keiriana Dargin-Clark, Certificate II in Sports Coaching, Metropolitan

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Winner: Craig Jones

Employer: UQ Skills
Region: Darling Downs South West

Craig Jones has revolutionised the Certificate IV in Farriery for apprentices at UQ Skills. Using his 35 years of experience shoeing horses, Craig overhauled the traditional farriery program to include modern, digitised training materials. Craig spent weekends filming himself performing a series of basic to advanced farriery skills to use in structured videos and presentations. These high-quality resources now complement practical training and align to the course requirements.


Brandon Felix, Tropical North Queensland
Rye Stott, North Queensland
Trudy Berry, Central Queensland
David Bradford, North Coast
Leah Cremen, Metropolitan
Katya Holker, South East

Large Training Provider of the Year

Winner: TAFE Queensland
1300 308 233

TAFE Queensland is the state's largest training provider offering industry-relevant training for over 140 years that sees 84% of graduates finding work or pursuing further studies. New innovations include the Australian Virtual Business College—an online delivery model for business qualifications through virtual classrooms and interactive content. A focus on internal training ensures an inclusive and positive workforce culture to best serve diverse communities.


Asset College1300 731 602
CQUniversity, 13 27 86

Small Training Provider of the Year

Winner: Demi International
(07) 5309 6635

Operating for 11 years, Demi International Beauty Academy has campuses across Queensland and delivers beauty therapy and other personal services training. It partners with Sustainable Salons to recycle its training salon waste and Netball Queensland to promote VET pathways through community engagement and mentoring. It offers practical opportunities through work experience, charity work and school partnerships along with university and international accreditation pathways to support students.


Hastings Deering (Australia),
St James College, (07) 3230 8600

Community Training Initiative of the Year

Winner: Everything Suarve Inc

Program: Big Brother Programs
Region: South East

Everything Suarve's Big Brother Program, funded under Skilling Queenslanders for Work, aims to address youth crime by supporting at-risk and disengaged youth. During the 13-week program, participants complete a Certificate I in Construction, a first aid course, and learn resume and interview skills, while focusing on their holistic mental health and well-being. The program's partnerships with stakeholders, local businesses and training organisations supports good outcomes for participants.


Anglicare North Queensland, Healthy Communities Project, Tropical North Queensland
Myuma, Indigenous Employment Program, North Queensland
Emerald Neighbourhood Centre, Get Set for Work, Central Queensland
Chinchilla Community Centre
, Skilling Queenslanders for Work—Knowing Nutrition, Darling Downs South West
Teens Take Control, Career Pathways Program, North Coast
Tivoli Social Enterprises Limited, Tivoli Community and Events Centre, Metropolitan

Large Employer of the Year

Winner: White's IGA
(07) 5479 4727
Region: North Coast

White's IGA is a family-owned supermarket that has been actively involved in the Sunshine Coast for 30 years. The company owners prioritise training for their approximately 500 employees and helped develop a training platform that now supports more than 1,400 stores. It engages with local schools to attract team members and supports apprenticeships and other training pathways. By connecting local producers and customers it supports a vibrant and diverse community and economy.


HSA Group, Tropical North Queensland
Townsville City Council, North Queensland
NFR Holdings, Central Queensland
Western Downs Regional Council
, Darling Downs South West
Hungry Jack's, Metropolitan
Riviera Australia, South East

Medium Employer of the Year

Winner: All Purpose Transport
(07) 3719 2111
Region: South East

Established in 1975, All Purpose Transport has become one of Queensland's largest privately owned transport companies, employing over 100 staff and 260 owner-drivers. Its training program 'Project APT', is now in its 11th year and provides the opportunity to earn a qualification. Over 500 workers have received a certificate III or higher qualification, fostering a skilled and competitive workforce resulting in business growth, industry recognition, and improve customer satisfaction.


Tableland Veterinary Service, Tropical North Queensland
Hillery Group, North Queensland
RGM Maintenance Rockhampton, Central Queensland
JRS Skills Academy
, Darling Downs South West
ECOllaboration, North Coast
The Clarke Services Group, Metropolitan

Small Employer of the Year

Winner: McCarthy Panel Works
(07) 4957 7548
Region: Central Queensland

McCarthy Panel Works is dedicated to the training and upskilling of the next generation in the collision repair industry. Initiating 31 apprentice agreements, including successful apprenticeships for individuals with disabilities, they prioritise quality and safety. They also identify skill gaps and offer role-specific courses to technicians, bridging the gap between apprentice learning and working with new technologies and equipment.


Mark Fletcher Solid Plaster and Texture Coatings, Tropical North Queensland
R.H.D. Classic Supplies and Services, North Queensland
ParisiAnn Patisserie, Darling Downs South West
ePlants Nurseries, North Coast
AllBrand Caravan Services, Metropolitan
Hope Island 7 Day Amcal Chemist, South East

Premier's Industry Collaboration Award

Winner: National Energy Technician Training Scheme, Programmed Training Services and partners

The National Energy Technician Training Scheme is a collaboration between Shell's QGC business ConocoPhillips Australia, and Santos with Programmed Training Services, CQUniversity and the Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training. The scheme built a model to secure a skilled LNG industry workforce through apprenticeships and traineeships for Gladstone residents. It uses innovative training methods, fosters community engagement, lowers costs, and supports gender and cultural diversity.


Cairns Aviation Skills Cadetship Program, Cairns Aviation Skills Centre
Cherbourg First Nations Digital Service Centre, TAFE Queensland, Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, Fujitsu, Queensland Government

Last updated 10 September 2023

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