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Skills Tasmania

2021 Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2021 Award winners!

Individual Awards

1Apprentice of the Year - Sophie Russell

Certificate III in Carpentry

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Employer: VEC Civil Engineering

After commencing a Carpentry apprenticeship as a school leaver, Sophie knew this was the profession for her. The fact that she is now a qualified tradesperson, working for the company she completed her carpentry apprenticeship through speaks volumes to the passion she has for this industry. Being based out of a regional centre on the North West Coast meant work opportunities were hard to come by however Sophie managed to complete her apprenticeship early and was offered an ongoing job with VEC. Sophie says, “Whether I am working in the pre-cast facility in Ulverstone, or in the snow on the west coast of Tasmania, the training I received from TAFE Tasmania has put me in an excellent position to succeed.” Sophie will represent Tasmania at the Australian Training Awards in Perth, in November.

2Trainee of the Year - Ashling Cannell

Certificate III in Education Support

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Employer: Work & Training at host employer John Paul II Primary School

Ashling was successful in gaining a place in the Certificate III in Education Support through Work and Training. The position was at John Paul II Catholic Primary School in Rokeby working and learning alongside the leadership team, teachers and teacher assistants. Ashling knew from her past experience in sports coaching, Edmund Rice Camps and youth residential that she wanted to work with children. Ashling also knew that on-the-job training would be the perfect job allowing her to work and study at the same time. Ashling will represent Tasmania at the Australian Training Awards in Perth, in November.

3Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year - David Lowery

Certificate IV in Forest Operations

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Employer: Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation

David chose to study Certificate IV in Forest Operations when he was working in the forest industry as a supervisor. Training helped him understand more about his position and the way he could improve the way he worked in all aspects of the industry from safety to management of workers. Further study helped David gain more skills to move to a new position as Land Management Co-ordinator for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, where he can connect more with his people, culture and country. David will represent Tasmania at the Australian Training Awards in Perth, in November.

4Vocational Student of the Year - Gypsy Rose Blackberry

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Employer: Toddle Inn Child Care Centre

Initially Gypsy Rose was driven to become an Early Childhood Educator because of her upbringing in a large family. Gypsy Rose loved taking care of her younger siblings, contributing to their happiness and learning. While at college Gypsy Rose studied Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and did work placement at the Toddle Inn Childcare Centre. On completion she obtained casual employment at the Centre and realised early childhood education was her career and decided to undertake the Diploma, which she completed in July. Gypsy Rose will represent Tasmania at the Australian Training Awards in Perth, in November.

5School-based Trainee of the Year - Sophie Furphy

Certificate III in Individual Support

Smithton High School

Training Provider: Australian Employment and Training Solutions

Employer: Emmerton Park

Sophie’s long-term goal is to be a Registered Nurse. Instead of choosing a purely academic pathway to university Sophie thought the school-based traineeship would provide her with an insight into working in the health industry as well as valuable practical experience. Whilst Sophie is based in an aged-care facility her School-based Traineeship allows her to work with a range of people: aged, young, disabled, or people affected by disease such as Dementia. Sophie also sees the role as an opportunity to give back to her community by supporting these people who have grown up and helped shape Circular Head. Sophie will represent Tasmania at the Australian Training Awards in Perth, in November.

6VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year - Roy Leurs

Australian Institute of Education and Training at Huonville High School/Huon Valley Trade Training Centre

Since 2012, when he created the Huonville High School Cookery program, Roy has been working in VET through the Huon Valley Trade Training Centre to improve the opportunities for students in the food and hospitality sector. From the initial small group of adult learners Roy has grown the capacity for the High School to offer quality hospitality training to the Huon Valley region. Roy will represent Tasmania at the Australian Training Awards in Perth, in November.

7VET in Schools Student of the Year - Seth Harper

Certificate II in Hospitality

Rosny College

Training Provider: TSC RTO

Seth has had a passion for the hospitality industry since his early years in high school. In order to develop his skills for future work Seth completed a Certificate II in Kitchen Operations in 2020, and achieved the College award for most outstanding student in the course. This year Seth is studying Certificate II in Hospitality, as well as working towards completing pre-tertiary subjects. Seth’s career plan is to continue his vocational studies in 2022 as an apprentice chef, with a long term view of studying hospitality business management.

8VET in Schools Student of the Year - Amelia Hill-Mundy

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Guilford Young College

Amelia chose to enrol in the Certificate III qualification because of her great passion for and genuine interest in children, and taking care of them. Amelia recognises that in the childcare sector you can be part of a support network and a positive influence in the early stages of children’s lives. In March and November 2020 Amelia undertook work placement at Brighton Childcare and Early Learning Centre. After the November placement Amelia was offered casual employment at the Centre, which is ongoing. As well as her academic and VET studies, Amelia was elected 2021 College Captain of Guilford Young College Glenorchy Campus.

9Equity Vocational Student of the Year - Claire Draayers

Certificate II in General Education for Adults

Training provider: TasTAFE

Following setbacks over many years Claire decided it was time to take control of her future and gain the equivalent of high school completion. She completed Certificate II in General Education for Adults at TasTAFE and found the support through her learning journey invaluable. Claire’s teachers were encouraging and understanding of Claire’s circumstances and always ready to help in any way. Claire found their assistance, support and faith in her enabled her to achieve more than she ever thought she was capable of.

10Equity Apprentice of the Year - Michael Taylor

Certificate III in Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Technology

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Employer: FRM Materials Handling

Becoming a heavy vehicle mechanic was something Michael always wanted to do since he was 10 years old. Despite having severe visual impairment Michael successfully completed his Certificate III in Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Technology in March. Michael credits the disability support team at TasTAFE and the wonderful team at FRM Materials Handling for helping him achieve his dream. Always ready to help him, Michael was confident in his abilities. He now has a qualification and job security and a future in the heavy vehicle industry.

11Equity Trainee of the Year - Frances Daisy Walsh

Certificate I in Hospitality

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Employer: Work & Training at host employer RACV Hotel

While a student at St Michael’s Collegiate it was evident that Frances loved cooking. She was given the opportunity to work at CafĂ© Hamlet close to the college and was then offered a school-based traineeship with Work & Training at RACV Hotel which she completed in December at TasTAFE. Frances says the opportunity to complete the qualification would not have been possible without the amazing support, care and guidance from TasTAFE, Work & Training and the RACV. Keen to continue her training, Frances has now begun studying for her Certificate II in Hospitality.

Business Awards

12Small Employer of the Year - Trimboli's Restaurant

Trimboli’s Restaurant in St Helens has been in operation for 19 years and throughout that time owner Kawajit Kaur has encouraged her staff to undertake numerous qualifications.  Since she began training employees in her business Kawajit has supported 23 employees to commence traineeships and apprenticeships. Currently there are three staff members completing traineeships and apprenticeships including Certificate II in Hospitality and Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.

For nine years Kawajit has engaged Workforce Development to deliver training and has been fortunate to negotiate workplace-based training and assessment with the organisation. This has been particularly beneficial because the restaurant’s east coast location.

In addition to being a business owner and restauranteur Kawajit is a qualified educator (school teacher), workplace trainer and assessor, and commercial chef. She places a high value on training her staff, especially helping young people to learn. Whilst teaching at St Helens District High School Kawajit has worked closely with the Trade Training Centre to identify year 11 and 12 students who would benefit from the opportunity of a School-based Apprenticeship, including some of her own staff.

13Employer of the Year - BioMar Pty Ltd

BioMar are a global aquafeed manufacturer with a goal to innovate aquaculture across the world.  After serving the Australian aquaculture industry for many years from our international sites, BioMar took a decision in 2017 to build an aquaculture feed mill in Wesley Vale – rejuvenating the industrial site that was once a particle board and veneer mill.  Since then, the company has directly employed over 60 people in Tasmania, constructed a world-class aquafeed mill and begun servicing the Australian and New Zealand aquaculture markets.  Starting a new business, recruiting, and developing a new team, building a brand, and becoming a supplier of choice has all been made possible by a significant investment in training and development of new staff. BioMar in Australia are proud of their achievements to date and to be able to offer a significant investment into Tasmania and its people.

Photo: Victoria Alers, Evan Thompson, David Whyte, Drew McGowan, Andrew Reid.

14Industry Collaboration Award - National Disability Services with Avidity Training & Development

NDS and Avidity Training and Development collaborated to deliver the ‘Upskilling the Disability Sector with Traineeships’ program. The traineeship project, for existing workers in the disability sector, encouraged disability support providers to upskill their support workers through traineeships – a pathway that had been underutilised by the sector in the past. The target outcomes of the project were:

  • Address the barriers to traineeship uptake in
    the disability sector and increase employer
    engagement with the apprenticeship and
    traineeship system.
  • Promote the use of traineeships as a flexible pathway to skill support workers in the disability sector and increase awareness of the traineeship model to meet workforce needs.

The existing relationship and mutual respect that exists between NDS and Avidity has been crucial to the strong success and industry engagement that this project has seen. With the goals of the project funding being achieved, and the project outcomes being met and exceeded, this collaboration has been rewarding and beneficial to all involved.

Photo: Carmen Gumley - Avidity Training and Development, Alice Flockhart - NDS

15Training Provider of the Year - St Michaels Training

St Michaels Training is a specialist Tasmanian Registered Training Organisation (RTO), which operates exclusively in the Disability Sector. We are a not-for-profit organisation delivering highly contextualised and supportive training for people with a disability and for those either seeking to or are working in the disability sector.

Our vision is to achieve excellence in Vocational Education and Training by supporting diversity for people with disability and those working in the Disability Sector. Our programs are highly contextualised to meet the requirements of the employer and to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

We pride ourselves on providing quality training programs to our learners, we work very closely with employers to understand their needs, assessing their workforce development plans and preparing creative and effective solutions.

We are committed to ongoing professional development for our staff, this creates a positive workplace culture and provides staff with the skills and knowledge to maximise learner and employer outcomes.

Photo: Lindy Crack, Liz Meek, John Gilpin, Kim Dean, Mick Brodie, Sophie Guy, Molly Colvin

Special Awards

16The Trevor Leo Medal - John Gilpin

The Trevor Leo Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding contribution to VET.

John Gilpin is the CEO of St Michaels Association. His contribution to VET epitomises the aims of the award and the legacy of Trevor Leo. John has forged a 25 year career in VET practice in Tasmania and has consistently held leadership roles that have required him to have a vision for better VET outcomes and to inspire others in VET practice in Tasmania.

Photo: John Gilpin (L), Trevor Leo (R)

17The Lance Barnard Memorial Award - James Gravina

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 excellence. It is presented by the Apprenticeship Employment Network Tasmania in recognition of contribution and service to the Group Training movement by the Honourable Lance Barnard AO, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Lance Barnard was the Founding Chair of Northern Group Training Ltd and Group Training Australia - Tasmania, and the award recognises his commitment to the development of the group training movement in Australia.

Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology

Training Provider: TasTAFE

Employer: Work & Training at host employer MacKillop Catholic College

James’ passion to obtain a job in ICT has been around for as long as he can remember. He helped his teachers at school fixing simple problems as well as friends and fellow students. He successfully applied for a Traineeship in ICT at Mackillop Catholic College in 2019 and was excited to start helping people as a professional ICT technician. James has also set up his own business, Tassie Tech Repairs, offering ICT services that deal with business social media, website design, repairing smart phones, and computers.