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2018 Award Winners

The 2018 Tasmanian Training Awards were held at Wrest Point on Friday, 7 September. Fourteen training awards, and the Lance Barnard Memorial Award, were presented at the gala dinner with 550 guests in attendance, including the Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Training.

2018 Award Winners

2018 Apprentice of the Year – Harry Cuthbertson

(Sponsored by TasTAFE)

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
Training Provider: TasTAFE
Employer: The Chapel, Burnie

Harry was an adult apprentice at The Chapel in Burnie and recently completed his Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Drysdale TasTAFE. Over his time as an apprentice, Harry has worked at the Ginger Brown Café in Hobart and also at Palate Food + Drink in Burnie. Harry is a proud husband and father of three (soon to be four) children, he is also a senior pastor of the New Life Church in Wynyard. Harry was initially attracted to the hospitality industry because it provided him with an opportunity to connect with people, seeing food and hospitality as a great opportunity to bring people together. Harry is passionate about providing people with new and exciting experiences that encourage them to expand their personal preferences when it comes to food.

Harry will go on to compete for national recognition in the Australian Training Awards in Sydney, in November.


2018 Trainee of the Year – Elise Parker

(Sponsored by Federal Group Tasmania)

Certificate III in Business
Training Provider: Work & Training
Employer: Work & Training at host employer Department of Health and Human Services, Hobart

Elise undertook a Certificate III in Business with Work & Training and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Having previously also completed a Certificate III in Retail Operations at Subway, Elise found she enjoyed the style of learning that came with being in a work setting. She credits the support she was given by Work & Training and the DHHS throughout her traineeship, as a key component of her success. Elise has found the opportunities she has been given throughout her training as vital to securing future work. On completing her traineeship, Elise has been successful in gaining employment with the Tasmanian Government in the Department of Education.

Elise will go on to compete for national recognition in the Australian Training Awards in Sydney, in November.


2018 Aboriginal Student of the Year – Lydia Scotney

(Sponsored by TasTAFE)

Diploma of Nursing
Training Provider: TasTAFE

Lydia made the decision in 2015 to pursue a career in the health industry. She knew she wanted to work with a variety of different people across a broad spectrum of the industry. This led her to complete a Certificate III in Disability, a Certificate III in Aged Care and a Certificate III in Home and Community Care and Introduction to Nursing.  She then completed a Diploma of Enrolled Nursing at TasTAFE in February 2018.  She is currently working in the Aged Care sector employed by OneCare as an enrolled nurse at Bishop Davis Court, Kingston, a job she loves. Lydia continues to develop and consolidate her skills through TasTAFE courses for her Nursing Continuing Professional Development. Lydia’s long term goal is to promote health and well-being to her Aboriginal community.

Lydia will go on to compete for national recognition in the Australian Training Awards in Sydney, in November.


2018 Vocational Student of the Year – Cassandra Brown

(Sponsored by Rotary Club of Deloraine)

Diploma of Accounting
Training Provider: TasTAFE
Employer: The Tax Centre

Cassandra enrolled in a Certificate III in Accounting qualification with TasTAFE in 2016. Having realised this was a career pathway she wished to pursue, she has since completed a Diploma of Accounting and is now undertaking an Advanced Diploma. Cassandra originally started a successful career as an apprentice in the Automotive Vehicle Body Painting industry. Having worked in that industry for years, a car accident forced Cassandra to look into a different career path and this led her to accounting. Cassandra chose to undertake accounting through vocational education and training as she had seen the benefits of it in her earlier studies. Cassandra sees her new career as having daily relevance in the modern world and through it she continues to grasp the opportunity to develop her skills further. She has now secured full time employment with The Tax Centre, Devonport.

Cassandra will go on to compete for national recognition in the Australian Training Awards in Sydney, in November.


2018 School-based Apprentice of the Year – Bronte Richardson

(Sponsored by Consumer, Building and Occupational Services)

Certificate III in Engineering-Technical
Hellyer College
Training Provider: TasTAFE
Employer: Direct Edge Manufacturing

Bronte has always had a passion for design and production since she was a little girl and during high school started to develop her career through graphic design and production classes. While in year 10 Bronte’s design teacher told her about a school-based apprenticeship offer at Direct Edge Manufacturing and how she would great for the job. Bronte successfully applied for the position and is now undertaking Certificate III in Engineering-Technical, whilst also completing her college studies. Bronte never knew that school-based apprenticeships were really an option for her, enabling her to start her career and still attend college. Having the apprenticeship has allowed Bronte to be employed in her dream career while achieving her college and trade qualifications.

Bronte will go on to compete for national recognition at the 2018 Australian Training Awards in Sydney in November.


2018 VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year – Virginia Ennals

(Sponsored by Australian Council for Private Education and Training)


Giving students the opportunity to access an educational pathway, regardless of their background, economic status, gender or race is what motivates Gini every day. She believes that connecting students to their place of study, the courses that will be part of their future pathway, and the wider community builds a sense of belonging which is crucial to young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to achieve success. Gini currently teaches on the Young Migrant Education Program (YMEP) at TasTAFE. The program, which was established in 2011, works with around 100 students every year. Gini is very proud to be one of the teachers that recognised the need for such a program and worked hard to design, create and establish it. It is a program that gives students the foundation skills they require to continue studying and settle in Australia successfully.

Virginia will join her fellow award winners competing on the national stage at the Australian Training Awards in Sydney, in November.


VET in Schools Student of the Year – Ella De Cesare

(Sponsored by JobNet Tasmania)

Certificate IV in Fitness
The Friends’ School
Training Provider: Australian Institute of Personal Trainers

Ella is a year 12 student completing a combined program of pre-tertiary TCE subjects and a VET course. She is studying a Certificate IV in Fitness in addition to her school studies, having completed a Certificate III in Fitness in year 11. Ella’s primary reason for choosing a VET in Schools program is her interest in the Health, Fitness and Wellness industry. Completing her qualification this year is an ideal stepping stone for Ella to gain employment and obtain further qualifications. Ultimately, Ella’s aim is to pursue a career in this industry, potentially as a dietician. Gaining valuable industry-relevant work placement alongside her qualifications has allowed Ella to get a head start in a job she loves.


2018 Equity Vocational Student of the Year – Nyang Kon

(Sponsored by Work & Training)

Certificates I, II and III in Spoken and Written English
Certificate III in Employment and Training
Training Provider: TasTAFE

When Nyang arrived in Australia from Sudan he had no English language skills, very little schooling and was, and still is, the primary carer of four younger brothers. Throughout his study Nyang would often have to take time away to earn money to support his brothers. He never dreamt he would gain a TasTAFE certificate or have the chance to continue his studies at University where he is now undertaking a Bachelor of General Studies. Apart from sponsoring his mother and younger brothers to come to Tasmania, Nyang’s major goal is to become a police officer, or work in the area of criminology.


2018 Equity Apprentice/Trainee of the Year – Hadi Rezaie

Certificate III in Business
Training Provider: SportsReady Education
Employer: AFL SportsReady
Host employer: AFL Tasmania

Hadi came to Australia in 2013 as a refugee, by himself. He had not done any study since he left school in Afghanistan as a ten year old. Hadi supports his family in Afghanistan and giving up a full-time job as a courier to do a traineeship was a huge step. Hadi is very pleased that he challenged himself and successfully completed his Certificate III in Business and is now completing the Certificate IV qualification.


2018 Equity Employer of the Year – Vincent Industries

Nellie McKenna, General Manager, Vincent Industries with Angela Conway, General Manager, Skills Tasmania

Vincent Industries is an Australian Disability Enterprise, funded by the Department of Social Services and NDIS, to support people living with disability in employment and training.

The business based in Wynyard, commenced in 1976 with two ladies operating in a small shed and has developed into a business providing support in employment and training for 48 staff, of which 42 employees are people living with disability. The development has been achieved by investing in our employees through the provision of training and skills to ensure business sustainability.

Our core business is processing excess clothing, purchased from local charities into product suitable for export to Malaysia. Product not suitable for export, is cut into rags and supplied to local business as cleaning cloths. Opportunities to diversify are always being sought! Vincent Industries is committed to providing an environment that is inclusive and shaped by the six national standards for disability services.


2018 Industry Collaboration Award – TasTAFE/DXC Technology Pathways Program

(Sponsored by Swinburne University of Technology)

Kerryn Meredith-Sotiris (TasTAFE) with John Schumacher (DXC Technology Australia)

In 2015, DXC made the decision to establish a Greenfield setup to deploy its Centre of Excellence Blueprint for Service Desk functions in Hobart. To that end, the success would depend on being innovative and game-changing around staffing.  In the Service Desk Industry staff are the key differentiators for customer outcomes and experience, and DXC needed to establish a repeatable systemic approach to resourcing. Moving away from the traditional labour market via recruiters, DXC partnered with TasTAFE to create a unique work-placement program to teach the skills, behaviours and service culture within its workforce new starters via Certificate IV pathways.

The organisations worked together to create a program that would help establish a high calibre labour pipeline for DXC’s growing service desk operations. They developed a unique co-branded program, – the Certificate IV in IT Support – designed specifically to suit an IT outsourcing environment. To date, 114 students have been trained through the TasTAFE/DXC program and 81% have gone on to employment in IT at the completion of the Program.

The Collaboration has been entered into the shortlisting selection process for the Australian Training Awards.


2018 Small Employer of the Year – CAJ Hair and Beauty Studio

(Sponsored by Business & Employment)

CAJ Hair and Beauty Studio (Owner/Operator Carol Rees, centre)

The vision of Carol Rees, Owner/Operator of CAJ Hair and Beauty Studio has come to fruition.

When looking for a business name, Carol looked no further than her family, husband Anthony and son Josh. CAJ is a one stop beauty shop that delivers quality client services. The atmosphere at CAJ is one of relaxed professionalism where stylists and therapists are encouraged to express their client’s individuality.  Staff take time to engage with their clients, spend time listening, whilst offering experienced and personalised advice on latest fashions trends, best styles and treatments for their needs.

Over the course of being in business, Carol has employed a total of over 50 staff of which 16 have been apprentices.  Today CAJ, in the heart of Moonah, is a thriving, business that employs 19 staff of which 6 are apprentices.  Carol, a True Tasmanian Trailblazer, continues to put her vision into reality.

CAJ Hair and Beauty studio has been entered into the shortlisting selection process for the Australian Training Awards.


2018 Employer of the Year – Vantage Group

(Sponsored by Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry)

Sam Johnson, HR Manager Vantage Group, with Susan Parr, Chair, TCCI

Vantage Group consists of two businesses: Vantage Group Hotels and 9/11 Bottleshops. Our 425 employees range in age, gender and ability; from starting in their first job to those wanting a career in hospitality. We are proud of our culture of training and developing people which is supported at all levels of the business.

Our people play an integral part in our strategy and how we can distinguish ourselves from our competitors. All of our training and development programs are designed to create retail liquor and hospitality professionals. We aim to develop and promote the best talent and strive to provide a supportive environment in which our people can learn and develop. The key to our sustainability has been to ensure Vantage consistently offers relevant and quality training and development opportunities for our people.

Vantage Group has been entered into the shortlisting selection process for the Australian Training Awards.


Tony Kennedy, CEO Industrylink Training with Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training

Industrylink Training is an independent Registered Training Organization based in Hobart, Tasmania, which specialises in servicing the hospitality and tourism sector. For more than a decade our dedicated team has prided itself on delivering the best possible training for our students, which in turn creates an inspired workforce for our burgeoning industry here in Tasmania. That is our mission.

With the express intent of striving to be a national leader in our field, innovative and creative methods of training and assessment are an integral part of our everyday methodology. It is a very apparent to all of us at Industrylink that we are providing the best career opportunities for our students, and the skilled workforce needs of our hospitality and tourism sector in Tasmania. This is evident by the fact that of the many successful enterprises across the state, often the owner, creator, manager or the engine-room of the business, was trained by Industrylink. Mission accomplished.

Industrylink Training has been entered into the shortlisting selection process for the Australian Training Awards.


2018 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.

Kaitlin Hawkins

Leanne Wallace, General Manager, Work & Training with Kaitlin Hawkins

Certificate III in Education Support
Training Provider: Learning Partners
Employer: AFL SportsReady at host employer St Paul’s Catholic School, Bridgewater

Kaitlin has always wanted a career in education. She decided to undertake a Certificate III in Education Support through the Group Training Organisation AFL Sports Ready, who placed her with St Pauls Catholic School in Bridgewater. The Registered Training Organisation throughout her traineeship was Learning Partners. Kaitlin credits all the organisations involved with her traineeship with giving her an incredible amount of support. This support and her own drive and dedication enabled her to win the AFL Sports Ready Tasmania Trainee of the Year award in 2017.  Since completing her traineeship, Kaitlin now has a permanent position with St. Pauls Catholic School and is undertaking a Bachelor of Education (Primary) to become a qualified teacher.