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Skills Tasmania

2020 Award Winners

Individual Awards

1Apprentice of the Year - Caitlin Radford

Qualification: Certificate III in Agriculture

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Employer: SW Radford Pty Ltd

Caitlin Radford is a fifth generation farmer from Moriarty on the North West Coast of Tasmania. She grew up living on the land and has always had a huge passion for the agricultural industry. After completing other certificates and a diploma, as well as Year 12, she knew then that she wanted to live and work on the farm as a career and lifestyle. In 2018, Caitlin started her Certificate III in Agriculture through TasTAFE as a part-time apprentice and through the family farming business at Moriarty. Caitlin had completed other small certificates through TasTAFE and which enabled her to do hands-on workshops at Freer Farm in Burnie.

As a practical and hands-on learner, Caitlin knew that the apprenticeship was the best option available to her. Completing the Certificate III in Agriculture has given Caitlin the stepping stone to go on to complete further study. She intends to complete a Diploma of Agriculture and a Degree in Agribusiness at University. Caitlin will represent Tasmania at the 2020 Australian Training Awards on Friday, 20 November.

2Trainee of the Year - Madeline Wade

Qualification: Certificate IV in Business

Training Provider: Work & Training

Employer: Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority

Madeline enrolled in Certificate IV in Business while working for the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA). She had previously completed a Certificate III in Business with PAHSMA as a School-based Trainee, and the Authority gave her the opportunity to progress in to the Certificate IV. Madeline has always wanted to be a nurse, and eventually would like to work in a management position within the nursing sector. She believes having the Certificate IV will support this goal and help her to gain experience and skills in writing formal documents, expanding her vocabulary, filing documents and customer service, communication and team work. Madeline’s employer said she brought youthful energy and enthusiasm, cheerfulness, efficiency and a can-do attitude to her role, as well as good organisational skills and knowledge of social media.

Madeline enjoyed the flexible delivery of her training, which was a combination of on-the-job coaching and experience, online coursework and recognition of prior achievements. She was able to work at her own pace which allowed her to complete the qualification early.  Madeline feels she has been given an advantage with having already achieved Certificates III and IV in Business and she would highly recommend traineeships, especially to year 11 and 12 students. Madeline will represent Tasmania at the 2020 Australian Training Awards on Friday, 20 November.

3Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year - Jessica Matthews

Qualification: Diploma of Nursing

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Jessica is a young and proud Ngala Aboriginal woman, born and raised in the palawa community in Tasmania. She commenced her Diploma of Nursing in 2016 at TasTAFE and now, four-and-a-half years later, she is about to complete her training.  Although it has been a long and bumpy road, Jessica believes that she will carry the determination and resilience she has shown during these four plus years throughout her career and life. In completing the Diploma, Jessica will be able to work as an enrolled nurse, and provide a stable income for herself when she chooses to undertake further studies in the future.

To positively influence people, Jessica believes you must communicate in an open and honest manner, be positive, encouraging and non-judgemental. She likes to think about the ways that others have positively influenced her life and does her best to put this into practice. Completing this Diploma was something Jessica never thought she could achieve.  Receiving this qualification has made her feel that she can achieve anything she puts her mind to. It is her hope and long-term goal to be a great role model for her community and to inspire and encourage people to always follow their dreams. Jessica will represent Tasmania at the 2020 Australian Training Awards on Friday, 20 November.

4Vocational Student of the Year - Heetham Hekmat

Qualification: Diploma of Community Services

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Employer: The Link Youth Health Service

In December 2019, Heetham graduated with a Diploma of Community Services from TasTAFE and is currently working full-time as a community services worker The Link Youth Health Service and Headspace in Hobart. Heetham arrived in Australia through the refugee process in 2012. He’d fled his home in Iraq as a teenager and spent many years waiting for safe settlement in Syria. When Heetham eventually arrived in Hobart he had very limited English and no qualifications. Since arriving in, Heetham has completed eight certificates and a diploma and has full-time work where he provides direct support and information to marginalised young people, to protect their human rights and meet their needs.

Heetham’s love for learning, being curious about society and his willingness to challenge his values and himself led him to community services. Studying at TasTAFE suited Heetham’s learning style. He prefers courses where he can build strong relationships with teachers and classmates and have a timetable with face-to-face teaching and daily contact with the class. He enjoys extended discussions, project work and a strong teamwork environment. Heetham has excellent communication skills which will make him an excellent ambassador for vocational education and training. ET. He is equally confident and comfortable speaking at conferences of 1500 people, a meeting of professionals or a small group of primary school students. Heetham will represent Tasmania at the 2020 Australian Training Awards on Friday, 20 November.

5School-based Trainee of the Year - Arielle Abrahams

Qualification: Certificate III in Community Services

College: Rosny College

Training Provider: Avidity Training and Development

Employer: Police and Citizens Youth Club Bridgewater

Throughout her school-based traineeship with Bridgewater Police & Citizens Youth Club, Arielle demonstrated a sound understanding of the skills that the Certificate III in Community Services required. Ultimately, Arielle ended up exceeding the expectations of her supervisors and trainer. She showed understanding of the theoretical side of the qualification, she also demonstrated this understanding outside in in the field. Arielle chose this course as an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in a sector that she was already passionate about. Arielle had already been volunteering for two years at the Bridgewater PCYC The opportunity to undertake the school-based traineeship enabled Arielle to commit to a dedicated self-improvement program that matched the practical experiences she was exposed to on a daily basis. She found that the learning experiences differed from a traditional academic education and she enjoyed taking ownership for enhancing her abilities and improving her learning experience.

Arielle found herself on an accelerated pathway into a career with significant opportunities for ongoing employment once her School-based Traineeship was completed. She has obtained accreditation that she could not have achieved otherwise. Arielle has gained insight and a depth of understanding across an extremely broad sector that includes a variety of potential vocational pathways. Her Certificate III qualification has improved Arielle’s understanding of vulnerable communities and has inspired her to undertake diploma-level training which she has now commenced. Arielle will represent Tasmania at the 2020 Australian Training Awards on Friday, 20 November.

6VET in Schools Student of the Year - Henry Rheinberger

The Friends School

Qualification: Certificate IV in Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology

Training Provider: Tensegrity Training

When selecting his year 11 subjects Henry was considering a Certificate III in Fitness to support him as he pursued performing arts. However, the owner of his Pilates studio suggested he do a Certificate IV in Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology instead. This was a big step for Henry as he had been following a traditionally "academic" pathway, heavy in science and maths. Additionally, he had to overcome his personal stigma about VET to enrol.

Throughout the end of year 10 and beginning of year 11 Henry enrolled in the Certificate IV qualification, studying it alongside his TCE subjects. As a student of The Friends School, Henry was able to complete his course through an external provider: Tensegrity Training. Henry completed weekend workshops and online work/assessments in designated time at school and as private study. Towards the end of year 11, he enrolled in an Upgrade to Diploma of Professional Pilates instruction via distance education through National Pilates in Melbourne. Henry also began an online Certificate in Group Fitness Instruction (comprised of nationally recognised units) through OnFit Training College.  Whilst also working towards his ATAR Henry has been completing his courses this year. Once he completed his Certificate IV qualification Henry was offered two teaching jobs and a Pilates social media job and has been working ever since. Henry’s had so many career and further education opportunities become available and he can not wait to pursue allied health/fitness further.

7VET in Schools Student of the Year - Charli White

Hobart College

Qualification: Certificate III in Health Services Assistance

Training Provider: Tasmanian Secondary Colleges RTO

Charli always wanted to be a nurse, so when she saw the Introduction to Nursing VET course at Hobart College, through which she would gain the Certificate III in Health Services Assistance, she jumped at the chance. Through this practical course Charli completed over 75 hours of work placement, at Snug Village and Manor Gardens, during which she worked with health professionals (i.e. carers, ENs and RN) who specialised in aged care. Charli experienced firsthand infection control, privacy and confidentiality and manual handling, which are so essential today in light of COVID-19 and the impact on the elderly.

Charli has also learnt how to communicate with people throughout the aged care facilities who are from different backgrounds and who have had vastly different experiences in their lives.

Charli undertook the UTAS Understanding Dementia course and has run numerous diversional therapy activities for clients to cater for their physical, social and mental health. She has continued to extend her learning (including online) to care for people in paediatrics, youth and aged care settings, as well people suffering from acute or chronic illnesses or injuries.

Through her three VET courses (Health Services Assistance, Salon Assistance and Hospitality) Charli’s communication skills, both oral and written, and overall confidence have increased dramatically. Through the practical and team approaches, either in Hobart College’s Hospital or on Work Placement, Charli has challenged herself to try new experiences and take leadership opportunities.

8VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year - Sharon Turner

Newstead College

Tasmanian Secondary Colleges RTO

Area of expertise: Vocational Education and Training and the Hair and Beauty Industry

Sharon began her hairdressing apprenticeship at the age of 15 and went on to own the salon at age 18. Ten years later she sold the business having employed qualified hairdressers, trained five apprentices and competed extensively in competitions for both hair and beauty.

Sharon’s area of expertise is Vocational Education and Training (VET), in particular the hair and beauty industry. Sharon has over 30 years of industry experience, and is in her 6th year teaching at Newstead College. In 2019 she was asked to take on the role of Quality Manager at the College. This role requires her to have extensive knowledge and understanding of VET, including Registered Training Organisation (RTO) compliance. Sharon teaches Certificate II in Salon Assistant and Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics. She has also taught Certificate II in Retail Services.  She is enthusiastic about developing the skills of students for the twenty-first century, and in an ever changing world through VET in schools. Continuing hands-on hairdressing has allowed Sharon to keep up to date with current industry expectations and trends and she continues to develop innovative pedagogical skills through professional learning activities.

As a teacher/trainer Sharon differentiates lessons in order to support the needs of her learners. She has successfully taught a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds and specific needs, including hearing impairment, English as a Second Language students, students with learning difficulties and mental health issues. Sharon will represent Tasmania at the 2020 Australian Training Awards on Friday, 20 November.

9Equity Vocational Student of the Year - Mark Mclauchlan

Qualification: Certificate IV in Community Services

Training Provider: Avidity Training and Development

Mark’s life experience encompasses living with disabilities, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and depression. This informed his decision to study in the field of Community Services, and a desire to pass on what he has learnt. A finalist for this award in 2017, Mark is a perfect example of the benefits of vocational education and training. He has been re-educating himself to change careers since being hit by a car in 2009. In 2015, after a long recovery period, Mark moved from Western Australia to Tasmania and began what would be the first of his many qualifications.

Mark is legally blind, but says I don’t give up. I can turn anything into a positive. Everything I have learnt during my three certificates has empowered me. Everything I learnt in recovery also helps to maintain my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. The language I learnt studying was giving meaning and life to a lot of things I already knew. It made me feel I was on the right track. Not being able to drive because of my eyesight was a real and large impediment to gaining employment. The fact that someone with what I have to offer is denied employment because of a lack of a driver’s license not only annoys me it drives me. I need to make a sector that bends over backwards to give service to people with disabilities to at least extend a little bit of that mindset to employing them. Mark’s goal is to secure employment within the community services sector. In the meantime he is very pleased to have been appointed to the Ministerial Disability Consultative Group, where people with disability, and those who support them, will have the opportunity to offer feedback on disability services in Tasmania.

Mark is also an artist. During his period of study he not only achieved personal goals, such as increasing the quality of his artistic creativity, he also created a volunteer role and developed an Art Program of which he is enormously proud. He has a Facebook page for his art called Blind Ambition Creations.

Business and Training Provider Awards

10Employer of the Year - StLukesHealth

St.LukesHealth has 79 full-time employees and 26 part-time employees and has been providing member services for 68 years to Tasmanian's to support them on their health journey. The industry has undergone several challenges over recent years, however we have identified that we need to continue to grow the capability of our workforce to provide us with a competitive advantage, but more importantly, to promote a lifelong learning culture.

In recent years new employees have been engaged on a full qualification program under traineeship arrangements to further support capability development in the first year of employment. As there was no national qualification specific to private health insurance, a Certificate III in Business qualification, delivered by training company NDA, had been used as the Qualification curriculum. Approximately 10 employees per annum on an ongoing basis were engaged in this qualification. It was identified while reviewing the learning and development framework in 2017, that the Certificate III in Business was not meeting business needs, so St.LukesHealth, operating under the registered business name of Learning Health Insurance (LHI) has written a full qualification package, Certificate IV in General Insurance, which is approved for traineeship funding by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), for delivery in every state and territory in Australia. The General Insurance Qualifications project, tailored specifically to the health insurance industry has enabled a significant opportunity to recognise our existing workforce’s skills, provide a framework to upskill and build additional capability in specialist insurance sector skills and knowledge.

It goes without saying that our workforce is exceptional in customer service. Having won the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Award four years in a row, we are confident our people experience, and contribute, to a very positive culture overall, but also recognise that they are important to the business, know what their role is and how it impacts the business and our members. This aligns with our Capability Framework and Skills Gaps tools to identify areas for growth through their annual appraisal or in coaching sessions with their managers. The General Insurance Qualification Project directly reflects our organisational core values.

StLukesHealth has been shortlisted for the 2020 Australian Training Awards Medium Employer of the Year Award. Award winners will be announced on Friday, 20 November.

11Small Employer of the Year - Deloraine Amcal Pharmacy

Deloraine Amcal Pharmacy has life-long learning and training embedded into its culture and across the whole team from management, pharmacist, dispensary technician, professional and sales staff teams and is the key driver of the business’ strategy. The pharmacy has 13 full-time employees, four part-time employees and two casual employees.

As learning is embedded in our pharmacy culture and everyday work practices, we see actively daily collaboration between team members in confidentially sharing their learnings, experiences and broadening their knowledge. The learnings take place in the form of practical demonstrations, observations, workbook unit assistance, role modelling, and inter-professional collaboration. Our trainees are loving learning! Being able to learn in a workplace environment where they can apply their practical learnings significantly increases their ability to absorb and understand their work and it provides them with a practical platform on which they can practice and implement their knowledge immediately. Because of the wide range of professional and other services we provide to our customers we have a significantly wider range of training needs and resources, in addition to the structured traineeship curriculum.

Traineeships are an excellent vehicle providing a pathway to educate, train and provide skills to the workforce and in a manner that is nationally recognised and provides portability of jobs throughout Australia. Without structured traineeships, in which to build the individuals solid learnings, Deloraine Amcal Pharmacy would not have a team who are able to provide such wonderful service, preventative health solutions, professional service offering or just simply a much needed listening ear through times like a pandemic at such a consistently high standard.

Deloraine Amcal Pharmacy has been shortlisted for the 2020 Australian Training Awards Small Employer of the Year Award. Award winners will be announced on Friday, 20 November.

12Large Training Provider of the Year - TasTAFE

TasTAFE is pivotal to skilling Tasmania’s workforce and is the backbone of vocational education and training for the State. It leads the development of Tasmania’s skilled workforce by working with Government and industry to meet current and future skills needs and support economic growth. TasTAFE will play a crucial role in Tasmania’s recovery from COVID-19.

TasTAFE trains around 20,000 students, including around 5000 apprentices and has 187 nationally accredited and industry endorsed qualifications on scope, from Certificate I to Advanced Diploma, as well as skill sets. Industry areas include: Construction, Business and ICT, Early Childhood, Health and Community Services, Primary Industries and Tourism and Hospitality. TasTAFE is highly responsive to students’ training needs, focusing on job-readiness and employment outcomes. This is reflected in some of the highest student satisfaction rates of all vocational training providers in Australia. TasTAFE’s training provides real industry skills that are highly valued by employers. It helps meet skills needs in growth areas such as health and aged care, construction and emerging industries such as energy, hydrogen, water and advanced manufacturing.

In 2020 the organisation has embraced the challenges of COVID-19 with a clear plan that prioritises student learning. A quick transition to digitally supported learning, was combined with a plan to reinstate practical training as soon as it was safe to do so. TasTAFE has gained numerous benefits from this disruption, including improving the capabilities of teachers and students to use digital technology. It is now much more digitally connected and will embed the innovations gained to improve its training.

Tasmanians can access TasTAFE training no matter where they live at 16 campuses and training facilities state-wide as well as in Trade Training centres, libraries and workplaces. TasTAFE delivers training that prepares students to take up employment for the first time, gain a promotion or change careers. It gives Tasmanians the skills and qualifications for the state’s workforce, economy and community to succeed and prosper

TasTAFE has been has been shortlisted for the 2020 Australian Training Awards Large Training Provider of the Year Award. Award winners will be announced on Friday, 20 November.

13Small Training Provider of the Year - Avidity Training & Development

Avidity Training and Development is an award-winning Registered Training Organisation (RTO) operating throughout Tasmania for over 10 years - based in Launceston with offices in Hobart and Burnie. We specialise in the provision of training for the community services industry (predominately the disability sector) and the hospitality industry. We currently have 15 qualifications listed on our scope of registration currently being delivered.

Our purpose is to provide excellence in Vocational Education and Training (VET). Our vision is that every learner has access to quality VET products that are affordable, available when needed and tailored to meet their individual needs. To achieve our purpose, we provide a wide range of services, from face to face training of nationally recognised qualifications to disengaged members of our community, to developing training plans to address the identified needs of an industry or industry sector, in consultation with relevant peak bodies and employers.

In 2016 and 2017, we were awarded the Tasmanian Small Training Provider of the Year Award in recognition of our outstanding achievements in providing opportunities for disadvantaged members of Tasmanian communities. In 2017 we were also awarded the Australian Small Training Provider of the Year Award, being recognised as the best small training provider in Australia.

In addition to our RTO awards, we were awarded an Industry Collaboration Award in recognition of our commitment to supporting Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania. We employ staff with diverse skills ranging from business, hospitality, to disability and community services. Our employees are committed to sharing their skills and knowledge back to their chosen industries through the provision of quality, innovative, outcome -focussed training and assessment programs.

We are very proud of our achievements and passionate about the work we do.