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2017 Award Winners

2017 Apprentice of the Year

Ashton Brown

Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology
Training Provider: TasTAFE
Employer: Farm Machinery Tasmania, Longford

Ashton’s family has a dairy farm in the north east of the state and from childhood every spare moment was spent helping her father repair and maintain their machinery. This is clearly a passion she developed through her younger years which has now lead to study and training.  Ashton applied for a position at Farm Machinery Tasmania and was offered an apprenticeship, Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology, which she undertook at TasTAFE. Despite being told on several occasions she wouldn’t sustain a career in a male dominated industry Ashton was determined to follow her passion and pursue a career that she was already developing the skills for. She feels it is important to break the stereotype and with the skills and knowledge she has acquired throughout her training Ashton is an excellent role model for females seeking to join the industry.

Ashton will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra in November.


2017 Trainee of the Year

Emily Nixon

Certificate III in Business
Training Provider: Learning Partners
Employer: MEGT at host employer Roberts Limited, Launceston

Growing up on a farm Emily was automatically drawn to the agricultural industry. At college, pre-tertiary business studies filled Emily’s time-table, which was devoted to agricultural science, and she planned to do an agricultural business degree. The gap year she was going to take was short lived after spotting a business traineeship with an agricultural company and she knew this was something she just had to do. Through her employer MEGT, Emily started her traineeship at Roberts Limited in the livestock division, with training provided by Learning Partners. Emily gets a lot of satisfaction from beneficial challenges a traineeship provides, such as problem solving and creative thinking. Emily says why not take on such an experience in the industry she has grown up in and is very passionate about being part of.

Emily will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra in November.


2017 Aboriginal Student of the Year

Michelle Maynard

Certificate IV in Project Management Practice
Training Provider: Institute of Project Management

In 2016 the Institute of Project Management (IPM) was approached by the Nayri Niara Centre for the Arts of Healing to explore the opportunities that could support project management education and training of volunteers involved with delivering discrete projects within their Nayri Niara Good Spirit Festival. What resulted from these initial discussions was a successful Skills Fund Job-seeker application that could assist the upskilling the festival’s volunteer core crew. Michelle was accepted into the Festival Intern program and enrolled in IPM’s Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, which she successfully completed in May.  Michelle stays abreast of issues in the community where her particular interests lie around sustainable earth use and emerging practices; Indigenous health; trauma and healing practices; social justice issues; Indigenous incarceration and community connection and belonging.

Michelle will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra in November.


2017 Aboriginal Student of the Year

Certificate of Commendation

Olivia Wells

Olivia Wells and Jon Grant, TasTAFE

Certificate III in Business Administration
Training Provider: TasTAFE

Olivia is a young Aboriginal woman from the North West Coast. She and her family have always been actively involved in the Aboriginal community so it was natural for her to start work where she could help her people. Olivia worked on reception at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in Burnie for more than six years, with opportunities to assist in some of the Centre’s programs such as the Youth Groups and with the Elders. Olivia successfully completed her Certificate III in Business Administration in January at TasTAFE. Although not all smooth sailing, Olivia was determined to complete her qualification. Olivia believes we should all continue learning as much as we can as it benefits not only you but everyone around you as you pass on that knowledge. Learning gives you life skills as well as corporate and business skills.


2017 Vocational Student of the Year

Colin Curlewis

Certificate IV in Building and Construction
Training Provider: Learning Partners
Employer: Hansen Yuncken, Hobart

As a 16 year old in 2005, Colin started his lifelong dream of working in the building industry. Fast forward to 2017 and he is in his seventh year as a Site Supervisor for Hansen Yuncken (HY), currently working on the Parliament Square project in Hobart. Colin has continued with his studies as his passion and ambition for his work and career drives him to always learn more. He has successfully completed Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery and Certificate IV in Building and Construction and is currently studying for his Diploma of Project Management.  Colin believes that by increasing his knowledge and skills with further education, and gaining relevant qualifications, he will be a more effective person in his workplace. He will have the tools to produce a higher standard of work and will be ‘value adding’ for both HY and clients.

Colin will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra in November.


2017 School-based Trainee of the Year

Constance Perry

Certificate II in Retail Services
Hellyer College
Training Provider: Workforce Development
Employer: Lizzy’s This and That, Smithton

Constance is currently studying year 12 at Hellyer College and is completing her Certificate II in Retail Services as a school-based trainee. Her traineeship is at a family-owned clothing store, Lizzy’s This and That in Smithton. As well as her academic studies, Constance is also undertaking a Certificate II in Tourism.  She chose to do her school-based traineeship as an alternative year 12 course to further her skills and knowledge in her workplace so that she can apply this to any other career in future. Since beginning her traineeship Constance has been motivated to work towards her Tasmanian Certificate of Education whilst also learning valuable skills and gaining nationally recognised qualifications. Constance makes the most out of life and one of her goals is to be in a service-related career, where she is working and interacting with other people.

Constance will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra in November.


2017 VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year

Matt Eyles

Hobart College
Tasmanian Secondary Colleges RTO

Matt’s diverse career as a Registered Nurse, Science Teacher and VET Trainer, as well as working in government, community services and non-government organisations, have equipped him with a unique perspective and experience. He has many qualifications which he draws on to implement innovative approaches to preparing young people for the workplace. He is a passionate field leader in VET and makes a strong impact on program development and engagement between students and industry. His recent roles as co-ordinator for both Certificate III in Health Services Assistance and Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology have allowed Matt to develop and implement new teaching strategies and support other teachers/trainers in unrelated programs. He has developed and implemented the Hobart College ‘Introduction to Nursing’ course. In doing so he used the Certificate III in Health Services Assistance as a platform to engage students in the health sector, creating real-world links between training, industry and the community.

Matt will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra in November.


VET in Schools Student of the Year

Mikayla Rumbold

Certificates II and III in Hospitality
Certificates II and III in Tourism
Hellyer College
Tasmanian Secondary Colleges RTO

Throughout the past two years Mikayla has excelled at her academic studies and has also achieved several VET qualifications. This year she will complete four more: Certificates II and III in Hospitality and Certificates II and III in Tourism. Mikayla believes the multiple courses will help set her up with the skills and qualifications for a career, or to assist with pathways into further education. One of the many reasons Mikayla decided to continue this VET pathway was because she has enjoyed a wide variety of work placements and established excellent relationships along the way. She has embraced VET and all the advantages it has to offer, most importantly the ability to experience and understand real-life job skills. Mikayla is keen to share her experience, promoting VET wherever and whenever she can.


2017 Equity Vocational Student of the Year

Arop Majok

Certificate III in Aged Care and Certificate III in Home and Community Care
Training Provider: TasTAFE
Employer: Oak Possability, Hobart

Arop is from South Sudan and arrived in Tasmania in 2006 after spending most of his childhood in a Kenyan refugee camp, with little access to formal schooling. He began his vocational education here with TasTAFE, enrolling in Certificate I in Spoken and Written English, and has since completed six more vocational courses, most recently Certificate III in Aged Care and Certificate III in Community Care, while employed with Oak Possability in Hobart. No stranger to hardship, Arop has made the most of his opportunities here and his determination and self-belief has led to success. Last year his hard work made it possible to travel back to South Sudan to see his mother for the first time in 23 years.


2017 Industry Collaboration Award

Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania with
Avidity Training and Development

Carmen Gumley and Simon Wiggins

Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania (NHT) is the peak body for the 35 Neighbourhood Houses located across the state. As a network, the Houses form the largest community development infrastructure in Tasmania, with the most regionally diverse footprint of any non-government community service organisation.

Avidity Training and Development is an RTO with a social conscience that believes in delivering training in a responsive, flexible manner to address barriers in accessing training.

Started in 2013, Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania assesses the training needs of staff, volunteers and participants, then works with Avidity Training and Development to design training programs which address the identified needs and barriers. NHT and Avidity share a passion and commitment to make training accessible to everyone, regardless of location or circumstance.


2017 Small Employer of the Year

Crusader Homes

Crusader Homes is a growing construction company which specialises in custom homes in the Derwent Valley region. We bring new ideas and styles to the Tasmanian home market. In the last 12 months the staff have attended and passed courses both here and interstate and are applying those skills to the homes being built. Keeping up to date with current and new trends for the benefit of both the business and clients is core to our success.

In the last 12 months we have launched Adaptive Living a set of plans especially suited to disability living, showing that a home designed for a specific disability can be both functional and beautiful.  We are very proud to have the first certified stamped Liveable Home under construction and will be on display from September onwards.  These homes will be lifetime homes, having the infrastructure built in ready for the changes that occur over time.

At Crusader Homes we are always keen to give our customers great value and service and having well trained and engaged staff is key to this.


2017 Medium Employer of the Year

JBS Devonport

Tommy Wong, TCCI and David Carnegie, JBS Devonport

With an extensive presence along the Eastern seaboard of Australia including eleven 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 industry leader within the meat industry but also an employer of choice. A career with JBS is a journey with a fast paced dynamic company striving to be the best in everything we do.

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.


2017 Large Employer of the Year

South32 TEMCO

Located at Bell Bay, the Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company (known as TEMCO) is Australia’s only producer of manganese alloy and forms a major part of the state's industrial sector. Now operated by South32, TEMCO retains that status, supplying manganese alloys and essential additives to customers around the world.

TEMCO’s sustainability depends on the capabilities of our people. We aim to attract, develop and promote the best talent, and create a supportive environment in which employees can learn and develop. This has resulted in a diverse and inclusive workplace, where all employees are highly valued and seen as important contributors the organisation’s values and success. A key to our sustainability has been to ensure TEMCO consistently offers relevant and quality training and development opportunities for our employees.


2017 Small Training Provider of the Year

Avidity Training and Development

Carmen Gumley, Monica Wiggins and Simon Wiggins

At Avidity Training and Development our purpose is to help individuals, communities and organisations grow and reach their full potential. 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 improves the health and wellbeing of our students. 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.


2017 Large Training Provider of the Year

Tasmanian Secondary Colleges RTO

Jane Allwright and Gaylene Allen

Tasmanian Secondary Colleges RTO (TSC) was first registered in 2006 and provides training and assessment for Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools programs across eight colleges and ten extension year 11/12 schools.

Across those 18 sites there are presently 137 TSC RTO trainers and assessors delivering 146 VET in Schools programs for 2769 VET students. As such, the TSC RTO is responsible for the vast majority of VET delivered to Tasmanian secondary students.

The TSC RTO continues to develop strong partnerships with industry as it is a priority for the TSC RTO to have strong industry input and support for Training and Assessment Strategies. The recent Tasmanian Government 9-12 Education Review indicated: The Australian Skills Quality Authority recently renewed the registration of the TSC RTO for seven years. This endorsement from the national regulator concurs with the strong reputation held by the TSC RTO across a broad cross-section of stakeholders found in this review.


2017 Lance Barnard Memorial Award

The Lance Barnard Memorial Award was initiated in 1998 and is presented to an apprentice or trainee employed under group training arrangements.
The award is specifically given for encouragement and recognition of potential.

Bridget Fasnacht

Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
Training Provider: The Training and Business Company
Employer: Work & Training at host employer Mount Carmel College

Bridget attended Mount Carmel College from grades six to 10 and during these school years her passion for sport and leadership flourished. Bridget developed a good relationship with the sport and recreation trainee each year and believes this spurred on her interest in the traineeship program. In 2015 Bridget applied for a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation traineeship with Work & Training. She was successful and was offered a position at Mount Carmel College. Although Bridget never had a strong urge to work in the sport and recreation industry she was extremely keen to learn leadership and teaching skills which she believes will help her in her decision for a future career in either teaching or the police force.


2017 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.

Stephen Noone

Stephen Noone and Trevor Leo

In 1999 Stephen established the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) State Enterprise Training, with its head office located in Launceston, and operating offices in Hobart and Melbourne also. The RTO combined Stephen’s passions for both business and vocational education in an organisation he would steer for the next 17 years. A passionate advocate for the power vocational education has to change individual's lives, employer organisations and communities, Stephen developed a reputation for leading his organisation into ground breaking areas where he felt education could have its greatest impact.

In 2016 Stephen sold State Enterprise Training to National College Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kincare group. Stephen currently works as the State Manager for National College Australia. He is also a Director of Medecs Australia and is researching projects in demand-led micro education and training delivered by cloud based mobile technologies.