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Skills Tasmania

2019 Award Winners

Individual Awards

1Apprentice of the Year – Marek Porter

Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Training Provider: TasTAFE
Employer: NECA at host employer RBD Electrical and Instrumentation

Marek consistently strives for new challenges and opportunities, and has gained skills and qualifications through VET over a 20-year period. He decided to enrol into the Certificate III to follow a new passion in the industrial electrical industry, and through his studies was offered several opportunities for professional development working on power stations in remote areas. Marek is confident that he’s been well established through his qualification to gain a leadership or supervisory role or to diversify into a niche market. He says, “I have a real appreciation for the opportunity to study and a thirst for knowledge, so I’ve really

2Trainee of the Year – Stephen Witkowski

Certificate III in Aquaculture
Training Provider: Seafood and Maritime Training
Employer: Tassal

Stephen’s interest in the aquatic environment has seen him in roles and studies all over Australia. What he gained from his Certificate III was practical skills beyond his academic studies: “This was the versatile accreditation I needed to help utilise and further develop my knowledge of fish husbandry and to be licensed to perform the daily farm activities”. Stephen works as an Environmental Partner at Tassal and chose the salmon industry “as I genuinely believe that pursuing a vision of a world where sustainability is paramount whilst acting in a role that can elicit real change is the best way to create a lasting legacy”.

3Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year - Djuker Willis-Hart

Certificate III in Guiding
Training Provider: TasTAFE

In 2016, Djuker enrolled into the Certificate III in Guiding to formalise the knowledge and skills that he was accumulating through workshops, tour guiding and ceremonies that he was involved in for indigenous tourism. Djuker has said that the qualification: “has given me a chance to help community businesses grow by sharing what knowledge and skills I have attained” and “a chance to share and help grow the already abundant knowledge of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people about culture, lore and the country around us”. With the increased recognition of the training that he has completed, Djuker hopes to start his own cultural tour company.

4Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Certificate of Commendation - Dionne Bishop

Certificate IV in Alcohol and Drugs
Training Provider: Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation
Employer: Aboriginal Health Service

Dionne was offered the opportunity to undertake a Certificate IV in Alcohol and Drugs as a workforce development initiative, to ensure that the frontline staff in her workplace were well-equipped to work with clients who have alcohol and other drug issues. Dionne has said that the qualification has assisted her to further advance her skills as a Community Worker, including the confidence and expertise to handle intervention, assessment and counselling practices. Dionne is proud of how quickly she picked up new skills and applied them to the workplace, and says: “Achieving the Certificate IV is an example to others who want to give back, they can do it too”.

5Vocational Student of the Year – Benjamin Ling

Diploma in Leadership and Management
Training Provider: SportsReady Education
Employer: AFL Tasmania

Ben left school at 16, and has since completed a Certificate III in Business, and a Certificate IV in Sports Development, and is currently undertaking a Diploma in Leadership and Management. Ben has also gained employment as the Tasmanian State League Operations Manager with AFL Tasmania. Ben is very happy to be involved in the administration of the sport that he loves, especially after he had to stop playing AFL. He is excited that he gets to “use my knowledge from a sport development and business perspective” and can “see the benefits of the hard work I had put in”.

6School-based Apprentice of the Year – Daniel Ragg

Hobart College
Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Training Provider: TasTAFE
Employer: Rock Electrical

Daniel’s aptitude in mathematics and science subjects, as well as some casual work in trade support, set him up well for his school-based apprenticeship in electrotechnology. Daniel now enjoys the challenge and variation in working across domestic, commercial and industrial worksites, as well as balancing his school and TAFE studies. He has demonstrated a high level of dedication and enthusiasm to his studies. He says about his training, “There isn’t a day that goes past where I don’t have to think outside the box and use my initiative”.

7VET in Schools Student of the Year – Georgia Elias

Certificate III in Agriculture
Launceston College and Lilydale District School
Training Provider: Tasmanian Secondary Colleges RTO

Georgia is a fifth-generation farmer in Bishopsbourne. She enjoys working the family properties and at Lilydale District School Farm. She has been driving tractors, fencing, harvesting crops, running livestock and working with horses, in conjunction with her Certificate II and Certificate III in Agriculture. Georgia aspires to undertake the Certificate IV in Teaching and Training to be able to train farm hands to work on her family’s properties. She has said, “I aim to be a highly influence woman of agriculture” and “to teach and this will be beneficial for the future trainees on our family farm”.

8VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year – Darren Scott

TasTAFE Drysdale South

Darren has worked as a butchery specialist for over 30 years, and has been teaching for over 10 years. Darren is the head teacher of cookery and food south at TasTAFE: “I really enjoy helping students improve their technical skills and being a part of their overall career development”. Darren is also a regular Regional World Skills Australia coordinator, judge and mentor for retail butchery. He enjoys customising the learning delivery and resources for a large number of qualifications to meet the needs of students from different cultures, as well as levels of language, literacy and numeracy, and is proud of his high rates for competency and completion. He has also developed and delivered training sessions to scientists working on Antarctic expeditions.

9Equity Vocational Student of the Year – Anna Daniel

Certificate III in Individual Support
Training Provider: Work & Training
Employer: Baptcare Karingal Community

Anna showed great strength and tenacity to complete her studies. Through family circumstances Anna was drawn to pursue a career in the aged care sector and was overjoyed when accepted into the course. Anna credits her successful completion of the course to the support of her trainer at Work & Training. She is now working in the aged care sector at Baptcare Karingal Community.

Anna said “Vocational education and training has increased my self-confidence and self-belief as I have been able to successfully re-train into a new field as a valued and effective member of a work team as an Extended Care Assistant. This has made it possible to live my life purpose and encouraged me to continue with further training in end of life consultancy.”

10Equity Apprentice/Trainee of the Year – Debra Blake

Certificate III in Individual Support
Training Provider: Queen Victoria Home Inc
Employer: Queen Victoria Home

Debra says completing the course has changed her life completely.

“The training provider helped me become computer literate. They assisted me with my language literacy and numeracy skills, introduced me to new technology and I can now email, send text messages and research on the world wide web. (They) not only supported me with hard skills, but also taught me how to deal with my own issues and I have gained so much self-confidence by achieving successful outcomes.”

Debra undertook the course as a mature-age trainee while working with Queen Victoria Home Inc. and now holds a permanent part time role with them.

Business and Training Provider Awards

11Employer of the Year – Fairbrother

Matthew Scrimgeour,
Kurt Arnold, Royce Fairbrother

The Fairbrother name is synonymous with ‘excellence’ - a term which reflects the calibre of its people, the quality of its projects, and the way in which they conduct themselves in business and in the broader community.

Established in 1972 as a small, family-owned and operated business in Tasmania’s North-West, Fairbrother has steadily grown to become a recognised leader in the building and construction industry. Wholly owned by key management staff and employees, the company’s success in the Tasmanian market has enabled Fairbrother to expand into regional Victoria and also to undertake selected projects nationally.

The company’s directly employed, diverse and highly-skilled workforce provide a comprehensive range of services to their clients encompassing all facets of the building construction and maintenance process. An Employer of Choice, Fairbrother directly employs 350 people in its core business and in excess of 500 people across all business units, including its subsidiary company.

12Small Employer of the Year – Crusader Homes

Justin Derksen (2nd from left), Tarrant Derksen (2nd from right), Robert Derksen (far right) and the Crusader Homes crew.

Crusader Homes vision is to build low cost high quality homes, focusing on the Derwent Valley. While reading the paper and working in a job at the casino, Justin Derksen, the Principal Contractor and Director of Crusader Homes, decided to embark on a mature-aged apprenticeship that saw him go from a back-of-a-ute builder to the biggest builder in New Norfolk. It was his aim to give the young apprentices an enjoyable and high-achieving experience and never to have them be out of pocket for their education at TAFE.

Crusader Homes further ensures that they employ locally so that the people who live in their hometown have a greater opportunity at employment. With the Derwent Valley's unemployment rate being at around 8% and the youth unemployment being around 19%, the company strives to give young people a purpose.

13Industry collaboration Award – St.LukesHealth with TasTAFE and MEGT

Damian Peirce (MEGT),
Barbara Brown (St.LukesHealth),
Brendan Holland (TasTAFE),
Candida Davey (St.LukesHealth)

St.LukesHealth is a Tasmanian not-for-profit private health insurer that has been providing customer service to Australians since 1952, delivering health insurance products that helps our members stay healthy, get well, live better and deliver peace of mind, St.LukesHealth has been named Roy Morgan’s ‘private health insurer of the year for customer satisfaction’ for the third consecutive year, however, we are not content to rely on an award to maintain that title but desire to further equip our staff to provide consistent advice and excellent customer service.

This project undertaken through our collaboration with State-based exceptional Providers like TasTAFE and MEGT, in implementing the Certificate IV in General Insurance for our capability needs, may be considered both an industry leading initiative in our sector and we are proud of our achievements.

This program is unique in that, St.LukesHealth have developed an industry specific, fully embedded training program that will be delivered fully on-the-job by our own qualified staff with content relevant and suitable for the insurance industry in collaboration with TasTAFE and MEGT.

14Training Provider of the Year – Tasmanian Secondary Colleges RTO (TSC RTO)

Jane Allwright, John Thompson, and Gaylene Allen (TSC RTO)

The Tasmanian Secondary Colleges (TSC) Registered Training Organisation (RTO) was first registered in 2006 and provides training and assessment for VET in Schools programs across eight public senior secondary colleges in Tasmania and thirteen year 11/12 extension schools. In 2019, 47 qualifications are being delivered by 129 trainers and assessors in 147 programs to over 2600 students. The TSC RTO is responsible for the vast majority of VET delivered to Tasmanian secondary students.

The TSC RTO has a focus on developing strong partnerships with industry to address skill shortages and provide pathways into employment and further training for young Tasmanians. Over 290 local employers have endorsed the training and assessment processes for the VET in Schools programs and support sites with work placement opportunities, often with employment outcomes for students. Recognising the importance of contemporary, enthusiastic and skilled trainers and assessors the TSC RTO has a strong commitment to staff professional development to provide relevant, dynamic training to maximise student outcomes, meet industry needs and promote the value of vocational education and training.

15Equity Employer of the Year – St Vincent Industries

Matt Isles, Donna Coetzee,
Nicole Brain, Daniel Teague

St Vincent industries (SVi) is a Social Business providing employment and training to people in a supportive workplace. As an employment-focused Social Business, SVi employs people with a disability who find it difficult to work or maintain employment in the open labour market. SVi provides people with disability the skills needed to remain in paid employment. We work with each employee to build a personalised employment and training plan which reflects their goals, and then assist them to achieve those goals.

St Vincent Industries operates a clothing recycling business, where unwanted clothing that is unsuitable for resale is cut into cleaning rags and cloths using state of the art cutting machines. We are the leading manufacturer and supplier of cleaning cloths and recycled rags in Tasmania, with a varied customer base supplying over 600 businesses across the state.

Special Awards

16The Trevor Leo Medal – Lyndene Bowen

The Trevor Leo Medal is presented to an individual or organisation who has made an outstanding contribution to vocational education and training in Tasmania over a sustained period.

The 2019 recipient is Lyndene Bowen from TasTAFE. Lyndene has worked in the VET sector in Tasmanian for the past 17 years. Her current and recent roles with TasTAFE show a dedicated commitment to ensuring that quality vocational education and training is continuously delivered by Tasmania’s largest training provider.

17The Lance Barnard Memorial Award – Mitch Gregory

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 by the Apprenticeship Employment Network – Tasmania.

Certificate III in Carpentry
Training Provider: TasTAFE
Employer: Tasmanian Building Group Apprenticeship Scheme at host employer Lifetime Homes

As a teenager, Mitch used to design and construct his own furniture. Through his apprenticeship, Mitch discovered an interest in residential construction, and the opportunity that he had with Lifetime Homes to build homes for the elderly and people living with disability and injuries: “I love seeing the joy on their faces when we finish their home modification and help make their everyday tasks so much easier”. In eagerness to improve his skills and knowledge, Mitch researches new trends and techniques in the building industry, and enjoys applying them onsite. Mitch has plans for completing further studies in building and design “for a well-rounded future career in the building industry”.