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2016 Award Winners

Winners of the 2016 Tasmanian Training Awards were announced at a special presentation dinner on Friday, 2 September at Wrest Point Conference Centre:          

2016 Apprentice of the Year

Drew Charlton        

Certificate III in Carpentry
Training provider: TasTAFE
Employer: Cordwell Lane, Hobart        

From a very young age Drew has been interested in carpentry. As a child he would spend hours working with his father on projects. Helping with, and seeing a project completed from start to finish, was very rewarding. Drew studied woodwork from year 7 and in years 9 and 10 was given an opportunity to complete a Certificate I VET qualification. This included work placement with Hobart building firm Cordwell Lane. He was subsequently offered an apprenticeship with the company. Since then Drew has not looked back, happy with his decision to become part of this highly rewarding industry. He completed his studies at TasTAFE in November 2015. Drew credits his training for developing important life skills which now help him manage the challenges of everyday life.  

Drew will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2016 Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

2016 Trainee of the Year

David Gardiner        

Certificate III in Agriculture
Training provider: Wodonga TAFE at Agritas Trade College Smithton
Employer: West Winds Farm        

David lives in the far north-west of Tasmania. On completing year 10 he decided to pursue a career in farming and his parents took him on as a trainee at their farm. In March he completed his Certificate III in Agriculture with Wodonga TAFE at Agritas Trade College in Smithton and is now enrolled in a Diploma of Agribusiness with the same organisation. Completing the Certificate III confirmed David’s desire for a farming career and highlighted the need for continued learning. He enjoys working under his parents, gaining the advantage of their farming and life skills. Agriculture is one of the most important industries in Tasmania and without doubt the most important in his local Circular Head community.  David is an Australian representative in the field of Tetrathon, a sporting contest in which each participant competes in four events, typically riding, shooting, swimming, and running. In July David competed in an international Tetrathon event in Ireland.  

David will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2016 Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

2016 Aboriginal Student of the Year

Jarrod Edwards        

Certificates III and IV in Conservation and Land Management
Training provider: TasTAFE
Employer: Tasmania Aboriginal Centre        

Jarrod has been employed in land management since the age of 21 and working on country is one of his greatest passions. He is employed as the Land Management Supervisor at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in Burnie, managing the Preminghana site. After working in the industry for many years without a qualification Jarrod enrolled in Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management at TasTAFE. This year he enrolled in the Certificate IV course which he will complete this month. He chose this area of study because of his Aboriginal heritage, his love of nature, the outdoors and his desire to conserve the environment. Jarrod’s formal qualifications complement his University of Tasmania studies in a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in History, Geography and Environmental Studies.  

Jarrod will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2016 Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

Certificate of Commendation        

Lydia Scotney        

Certificate III in Disability
Training provider: TasTAFE        

Lydia is a proud, born and bred, Tasmanian Aboriginal woman. In 1999 she attained an Associate Degree in Aboriginal Health, specialising in Mental Health and Counselling. Lydia intended to continue her studies after a year off, however children came along and she made a decision to put study on hold. After 16 years Lydia returned to study and in December 2015 completed Certificate III in Disability, having completed Certificate III in Aged Care and Home and Community Care earlier in the year. Overcoming major barriers in her life, Lydia is embracing the opportunities presented to her through her studies at TasTAFE. She is currently studying for a Diploma of Nursing and forging a career in the health care industry with a long term goal to promote health and wellbeing to her community.        

2016 Vocational Student of the Year        

Carla Willcox        

Certificate III in Disability
Training provider: TasTAFE
Employer: Coastal Residential Services        

In 2014 and again in 2015 Carla applied for a place in TasTAFE’s aged care course but was unsuccessful. Not to be deterred she applied for, and secured a place in the Certificate III in Disability qualification which she completed in October 2015. She was hesitant to return to study but once she started the course, and could see she wasn’t on her own, she thrived! Carla was often challenged and questioned herself – however when she began practical placement she knew she had made the right decision and was soon in paid employment with Coastal Residential Services. Carla is now undertaking the Certificate IV course and wants to build her qualifications, job skills and knowledge so that she can eventually move into management within the sector and raise the bar for outcomes for people with disability.        

Carla will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2016 Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

2016 School-based Trainee of the Year

Sharnie-Lee Clark        

Certificate III in Education Support
Jordan River Learning Federation Senior School
Training provider: Work & Training
Employer: Work & Training at host employer East Derwent Primary School        

Sharnie-Lee is a year 13 student at Jordan River Learning Federation Senior School. Over the past couple of years she has successfully completed qualifications in community services and horticulture.  Sharnie-Lee believed that combining a range of VET courses, alongside her other studies at Jordan River Learning Federation Senior School, would maximise her employment opportunities. Obtaining a Certificate III in Education Support school-based traineeship with Work & Training at East Derwent Primary School, has contributed significantly in steering the direction Sharnie-Lee will take, as she now feels she is best suited to a career in child care or as a teacher assistant. Combining her academic work with her traineeship this year has been of immense value.        

Sharnie-Lee will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2016 Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

2016 VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year

Nate Welch        


Nate has been the co-ordinator of the outdoor recreation program at TasTAFE for two years and currently teaches Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation.  Before TasTAFE, Nate worked for six years as an outdoor instructor for a number of schools across Australia. He’s also been a guide, trainer and operations manager for a number of businesses in Australia and Africa.        

Nate’s teaching environment at TasTAFE is dynamic and ever-changing. One of the challenges is to be able to deliver effective training and assessment across a broad range of skill sets and ensure students are constantly engaged. Nate has re-written the program for the Outdoor Recreation course and has developed a Student Assessment Booklet that is the first of its kind in the Outdoor Recreation training sector. The booklet is a comprehensive outline of all written and practical assessment requirements and also serves as a valuable resource students can use throughout their entire career.        

Nate will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2016 Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

2016 VET in Schools Student of the Year

Harrison Davidson-Lim        

Certificate II in Hospitality
Guilford Young College        

Harrison is a year 12 student at Guilford Young College. In 2015 he achieved the qualification Certificate I in Kitchen Operations and also completed eight units in Certificate II in Kitchen Operations. This year Harrison decided to continue his Certificate II studies in order to expand his vocational knowledge base. He has enjoyed a wide range of work placements where he has worked in different types of kitchens – from banquet size to a small scale cafĂ©. Because of this Harrison has learned that no matter what size the venue, organisation is the key. He is keen to pursue a career in commercial cookery. Along with his VET course, Harrison is also successful in his academic studies which is evidenced by his receiving an award this year for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Mathematics.        

Jacob O'Beirne and Hannah Murray.        

2016 Equity Trainee of the Year two recipients

Hannah Murray        

Certificate II in Business
Claremont College
Training provider: Work & Training
Employer: Work & Training at host employer Mosaic Support Services        

Hannah is employed by Work & Training at host employer Mosaic Support Services where she has worked as an administration assistant since November 2014. She was the first Ticket to Work School-based Trainee in Tasmania, undertaking her Certificate II in Business whilst completing year 13 at Claremont College. Hannah has gained valuable skills in administration and business as well as communication and social skills within a work environment and is a valuable member of the Mosaic Support Services team. She has shown considerable growth in her personal and professional development and has a clear direction for her future career.        


Jacob O’Beirne        

Certificate II in Business
Hobart College
Training provider: Work & Training
Employer: Work & Training at host employer National Disability Insurance Agency        

Jacob was a Hobart College student undertaking his Ticket to Work Certificate II in Business School-based qualification with Work & Training, employed by them at the National Disability Insurance Agency. Since joining the organisation’s Service Delivery branch Jacob has established himself as a valued and hard-working member of the team. For Jacob, managing time constraints to perform tasks and keep focused on those tasks has been a new learning experience and he has adapted to the work environment well. It has given Jacob the motivation to look beyond school and plan for the future.        

2016 Equity Vocational Student of the Year        

Rhiannon Smith        

Certificate I in Hospitality
Guilford Young College        

Rhiannon has had some significant challenges to overcome, including being involved in a very serious car accident. In 2015 Rhiannon gained a Certificate I in Hospitality and in 2016 chose to continue her studies in the industry with the Certificate II qualification in order to expand her vocational knowledge base. Seeking assistance when necessary from teachers, family and fellow students, Rhiannon credits her successful participation in the VET program as greatly assisting her with obtaining her Certificate II in Retail School-based Traineeship with McDonald’s Australia in December last year.        

Kim Beveridge (Business & Employment), Kate Wilcock (Audrey Hair) with Roger Jaensch (Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business).        

2016 Small Employer of the Year

Audrey Hair        

Audrey Hair is a boutique hairdressing salon with two locations in Southern Tasmania, one at Lauderdale and the other in Sorell.  Our mission is to create a hairdressing experience for our guests delivering their every wish as soon as they enter our space.  We provide quality, on trend hair treatments; massage basin chairs and a complimentary refreshment menu. The success of Audrey Hair hinges on the 12 professional and friendly staff who have all been trained from the ground up. We hugely believe in the importance of professional development, for senior staff and junior staff equally, as well the prospect to grow the hair and beauty industry through training.  

Audrey Hair has been named a finalist in the Australian Small Employer of the Year Award and will compete for national recognition at the 2016 Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

Tina Munn (JBS Devonport) with Susan Parr (Chair Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).        

2016 Medium Employer of the Year

JBS Devonport        

With an extensive presence along the eastern seaboard of Australia, including 11 meat processing facilities, five feedlots and seven distribution centres, JBS Australia draws upon a wealth of knowledge and expertise to ensure that it is not only the leader within the meat industry but also an employer of choice.        

Our Devonport facility is located adjacent to the Devonport saleyards, on the banks of the Mersey River in the centre of Tasmania's fertile Mersey/Forth Valley. Our workplace is a team environment both physically and culturally.  We truly believe it’s all about the person next to you! Are they safe? Are they being treated with respect? Are they getting the quality right? Do they need help? By working together we become the best in all that we do!        

Kate Blizzard and Mike Brewster (TasWater) with Susan Parr (Chair Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).        

2016 Large Employer of the Year


TasWater is an incorporated company owned by 29 Tasmanian councils and we are the sole provider of water and sewerage services to homes and businesses throughout Tasmania. Our Vision is “To be a trusted and respected provider of essential services that is making a positive difference to Tasmania”        

We are driven by our commitment to be: customer focussed and part of the community; a unified business that acts in the best interests of Tasmania and our customers, and long term asset managers – building a legacy for our future generations.        

The delivery of our strategy for the future is not just about what we do, but also how we do it. To be successful we need empowered, accountable and committed staff and there is only one way we will achieve our goals – through our people. We are committed to continue to build a high performance culture where training will help us achieve enhanced performance levels, increased efficiency and importantly, grow our people.        

TasWater has been named a finalist in the Australian Large Employer of the Year Award and will compete for national recognition at the 2016 Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

Simon Wiggins and Monica Wiggins (Avidity) and Roger Jaensch, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business.        

2016 Small Training Provider of the Year

Avidity Training and Development        

At Avidity Training and Development our purpose is “to help individuals, communities and organisations grow and reach their full potential. We are very proud to be recognised as an Employer of Choice; as we feel it is testimony to the fact that our people genuinely do actively support our values and beliefs.        

We support each other regardless of personal beliefs. Our people continually seek to improve their own knowledge, skills and abilities to better serve our customers. We are responsible to our customers, to our employees, and the communities and organisations we engage with.        

We believe that the work we do, particularly in the equity space, demonstrates a high level of professionalism and innovation that enables us to achieve outstanding results that contribute to employment outcomes and increasing personal, social and economic capital for our students.        

Avidity Training and Development has been named a finalist in the Australian Small Training Provider of the Year Award and will compete for national recognition at the 2016 Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

Fiona Morse and Peter Burridge (Work & Training) and Roger Jaensch (Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business).        

2016 Large Training Provider of the Year

Work & Training        

Work & Training is a proudly Tasmanian not-for-profit company that has been established for over 30 years. In 2015, we incorporated the operations of Willson Training, becoming Tasmania’s largest private registered training organisation (RTO). We have an established presence in all three Tasmanian regions with offices and training facilities in Ulverstone, Launceston and Moonah. We employ approximately 50 Tasmanians who are all focused on providing and supporting pathways to employment across the state.        

In addition, we are the largest employer of apprentices and trainees in Tasmania and also provide a specialist LLN service. We work in regional locations including King Island, Queenstown, Smithton, Georgetown, Bicheno, Swansea, Nubeena, Huonville and Cygnet. Work & Training’s pivotal position as both a large employer of Tasmanians and the training provider for many of those employees, means that we are in a unique position to understand and service the workforce development needs in this state.        

Geoff Fader (Group Training Australia - Tasmania) and Jasmine Daniels.        

2016 Lance Barnard Memorial Award

The Lance Barnard Memorial Award is presented to an apprentice or trainee employed in Tasmania under group training arrangements. The award is specifically given for encouragement and recognition of potential.

Jasmine Daniels        

Jasmine enrolled in her Certificate III in Business through Work & Training at the end of 2014 after completing year 12. She was also employed by Work & Training at host employer DJ Motors. Jasmine chose to do this qualification because in year 12 she completed the Certificate II in Business at Elizabeth College and found it was a subject she thoroughly enjoyed. After a year of working at DJ Motors, and doing her traineeship, Jasmine was offered a promotion, which she gladly accepted. On a personal level Jasmine has gained huge levels of confidence though her traineeship and working alongside such a supportive group of people both at DJ Motors and Work & Training. Since completing her traineeship in May Jasmine has taken on a permanent, full-time role at DJ Motors.        

Jon Grant, Trevor Leo and David Hind.          

2016 Trevor Leo Medal

The Trevor Leo Medal was introduced in 2009 and is awarded to organisations or individuals who have made outstanding contributions to vocational education and training over a sustained period. The medal is named in honour of Trevor Leo who made an enormous contribution to Australia’s education and training sector for over 50 years. Trevor Leo was a recipient of the inaugural medal in 2009.

This year’s recipients are David Hind and Jon Grant.        

David Hind        

David was Chair of the Skills Tasmania Board from 2007 to 2013 and from 2002-2004 was a director of the Australian National Training Authority (Chair 2004-2005). He was President of the Business/Higher Education Round Table (B-HERT) from 2006 to 2009.          

While Chair of the Skills Tasmania Board David was instrumental in the development of the Skills Strategy and also developed the blueprint for the very successful Strategic Industry and Community partnerships on skills and workforce development.        

He is an Honorary Associate of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Sydney and is Director of External Relations for the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.        

Jon Grant        

Jon has a strong vocational background in management, leadership and teaching roles. Jon commenced work in 1980 with Housing Department Tasmania in a Horticulture Trade Certificate Apprenticeship, and began working in the VET sector in 1992 as a part-time Turf teacher with the Hobart Institute of TAFE.  
He is a passionate educator and is driven by meeting the needs of students.  He has maintained this passion for teaching into his leadership and management role.        

As one of the founding Senior Managers for TasTAFE he has been fundamental in setting the tone and culture of the new TAFE, such that it holds a strong reputation for quality, ethical and industry - focussed education and training.        

Currently Jon is the TasTAFE Manager Centre for Vocational Preparation and English Language state-wide under which English Language Services, Entry into TasTAFE and Vocational Preparation all sit.