2016 NSW Training Awards Winners

Meet the Award category winners of 2016.

Individual Awards Category

2016 Apprentice of the Year

Courtney Harrison

Trade: Automotive Mechanical Technology (Light Vehicle) Certificate III
Trained by: TAFE NSW - New England Institute
Employed by: Dieselequip

The Certificate III Light Vehicle Mechanical Technician apprenticeship combined with her work at Deiselequip, has resulted in Courtney having a full understanding of safe and reliable work. “You have the lives of the vehicle owner, their families and other road users in your hands.”

She is recognised by her employer as “an essential part of our team”. She approaches every aspect of her work diligently and cheerfully.
Courtney has flourished in a traditionally male-dominated workplace. “I had to meet a lot of challenges in pursuing my career, but with the right attitude, work ethic, patience, instructors and family support, I am so close to achieving one of my major goals.”

Courtney also looks forward to giving back to community through teaching at a high school or training organisation.

2016 Trainee of the Year

Daniel Kelty

Vocation: Telecommunications - Network Engineering Certificate IV
Trained by: Ramsden Telecommunications Training Pty Ltd
Employed by: Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd
Hosted by: Telstra

Over the last few years, Daniel has courageously changed the direction of his life. After reaching the finals of TV’s MasterChef he started a traineeship with Telstra, and within two years successfully obtained Certificates III and IV in Telecommunications – Network Engineering.

Daniel’s attention to detail and dedication to “getting it right the first time” has proved invaluable in the installation and maintenance of data and wireless networks. One of his traineeship assignments was installing 4G mobile telephone services to rural communities in northern NSW.

Being a mature-age trainee has the advantage of rich life skills, allowing him to mentor his fellow trainees and encouraging them to perform at the highest standards. He is an enthusiastic and dedicated learner, and an ideal employee with definite leadership potential.

2016 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Leteah Mitchell

Vocation: Community Services Work Certificate IV
Trained by: TAFE NSW - North Coast Institute

Leteah has embraced her studies in Community Services Work Certificate IV and brought to life her passion to help people in the community, particularly those who are disadvantaged.

An example of Leteah’s commitment was her role in establishing a drop-in centre for youth at the Taree PCYC as part of her work placement. The centre provides a safe space to allow important “time-out” for young people who are having difficulty with the school system.

Leteah has chosen this career path because “as a social worker I want to support people to where they want to be and reach their goals, even if they’ve lost their way.”

An advocate for continuing education, she has successfully encouraged three of her family to enrol in certificate and diploma courses.

2016 School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

Tyrone Pynor

Trade: Business Services - Business Certificate II
Trained by: Australian College of Commerce & Management Pty Ltd
Employed by: Aboriginal Employment Strategy Ltd
Hosted by: National Australia Bank
School: Pendle Hill High School

Tyrone sees his school-based traineeship with the National Australia Bank as “an opportunity to gain the skills to make real decisions about my choice of career path.”

As part of the team at NAB’s Merrylands branch, he excelled in all aspects of banking services, including customer assistance and gaining an understanding of all the financial products and services offered.

His supervisors commented on Tyrone’s attention to detail, approachability to customers and staff, and commitment to excellence. Developing time management skills was critical to ensuring all school assignments were completed punctually.
Looking ahead Tyrone declared, “my future has never looked brighter”.

2016 Vocational Student of the Year

Francine Ikirezi

Vocation: Business Administration Diploma
Trained by: TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute

Francine is from Rwanda, and grew up in refugee camps before immigrating to Australia. Employed at an aged care facility, she wanted to explore the possibilities of joining their administration team, and started travelling from Goulburn to Bankstown each week to complete her Diploma in Business Administration.
Francine did not let her lack of previous education and literacy skills stop her from achieving success, putting in many hours at the library to gain the skills and knowledge needed to complete her work, as she did not have a computer at home.
Her teacher remarked “Francine has developed from a shy immigrant who knew no-one and was not sure where or what could be possible for her in her new country, to being independent and self-confident.”

Francine’s goal is to one day set up an aged care facility in Rwanda.

2016 VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year

Donna Colombini

Employed by: TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute

Throughout her sixteen years of teaching hairdressing, Donna has encouraged each student to gain not only core salon skills, but also an understanding of the latest trends and techniques.

She is always looking for opportunities to expose her students to innovation and exceptional quality, and it is not unusual for leading models to be seen in Donna’s classroom, along with top fashion photographers.

Donna recently organised an Italian study tour, providing a rich and memorable insight into their industry for the students.

Donna has achieved “Right Way” certification from Service Skills Australia. She has developed a work place assessment model for new apprentices, leading to an increase in student enrolments.

2016 VET in Schools Student of the Year

Erin Gray

Vocation: Live Production and Services Certificate III
Trained by: Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Parramatta
School: St Andrew's College

Achieving her Live Production and Services Certificate III provided an added bonus for Erin. “It provided me with a balanced and structured lifestyle, and forced me to manage my time.”

Erin has demonstrated outstanding proficiency in all aspects of stage production, including lighting design, sound systems and artist management. She always keeps up to date with the latest equipment: “Kinetic lighting, as used in the Vivid Festival of Light, gives events a wondrous nature.”

Erin has excelled in all academic and creative elements of her course, approaching every stage with enthusiasm. Her skills are generously shared with other students through a willingness to mentor. “It is essential that all work is well presented, with my work adding meaning to the piece.”

Organisation Awards Category

2016 Industry Collaboration Award

TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute, Lendlease Barangaroo South & Lendlease Darling Harbour

Collaboration: The Skills Exchange - Barangaroo and Darling Harbour - Creating the Legacy!
Sponsored by NRL
The Skills Exchanges at Barangaroo and Darling Harbour have changed the way the workforce development needs of employers are met, and how workers engage with training.

Operating as one-stop shops for learning, the Skills Exchanges incorporate agile, solutions based, just-in-time approaches which efficiently skill workers within these major construction sites. The needs of hundreds of small and large contractors are aggregated, and training is sourced from various TAFE Institutes and private providers on a competitive ‘best of breed’ approach.

Both Skills Exchanges are industry collaborations between Lendlease and TAFE NSW. These ‘pop-up’ colleges target vulnerable workers by providing foundation skills to improve literacy and numeracy, apprentice mentoring to retain apprentices, training for high risk licenses, trades skilling and safety leadership development.

2016 Large Employer of the Year

House with No Steps

Sponsored by Apprenticeship Support Australia

For more than 50 years, House with No Steps has been supporting people with a disability to live a good life as valued members of their community. With services and businesses across NSW, Queensland and the ACT, they are one of Australia’s largest disability organisations. House with No Steps currently employs over 2,500 staff, supporting people with a disability, or who work in their Australian Disability Enterprises.

The House with No Steps has a long history of delivering quality training to both their staff, including employees with a disability, and the wider community. Being at the forefront of disability support ensures that their courses are highly practical and relevant to current industry legislation and standards. With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) organisations need to have an available workforce, and House with No Steps has recognised the importance of quality training in order to achieve that goal.

2016 Medium Employer of the Year

Maritime Employees Training Limited

Sponsored by The Daily Telegraph

Maritime Employees Training Limited (METL) is a not-for-profit group training organisation and Registered Training Organisation formed by industry and governed by employers and representatives of the Maritime Union of Australia.
METL was established to address the forecast labour shortage for skilled seafarers in the Australian coastal shipping and hydrocarbon industries.

Based in Sydney, METL operates a national training scheme. Activities include recruiting, employing and facilitating registered traineeships that deliver highly skilled employees to a diverse range of clients. With a stringent selection process, a genuine focus on equity and welfare, plus comprehensive mentoring, METL boasts a 91% traineeship completion rate, far exceeding industry averages.
METL pride themselves on the partnerships they have developed to provide real career opportunities for all Australians as well as productivity gains for the maritime sector.

2016 Large Training Provider of the Year

TAFE NSW - Open Training & Education Network

Supported by Training Services NSW

TAFE NSW’s Open Training and Education Network (OTEN) is a unique and progressive distance and online VET provider which expertly services local, national and global markets.

OTEN continues to refine and adapt its training delivery to meet the changing needs of learners through the provision of adaptive technologies, virtual classrooms, online learning communities and flexible blended delivery options.
Learners benefit from the opportunity to sample training materials and assess suitability to individual needs prior to enrolment.

OTEN’s 106 year history began as a paper based correspondence school delivering training to 17 students. OTEN has now over 107,000 enrolments and offers more than 250 courses, a testament to the successful transformation of OTEN to becoming the leading provider of online and distance education in Australia.

2016 Small Training Provider of the Year

Enterprise & Training Company Limited

Supported by Training Services NSW

Enterprise & Training Company Limited (ETC) is a Registered Training Organisation that specialises in helping disadvantaged learners to up-skill in order to increase their employability.

A not-for-profit organisation, ETC has been operating for 27 years with offices located along the East Coast of Australia between Tuncurry in the south and Gold Coast in the north.

Training is delivered in the workplace, classroom and online by experienced trainers who have worked in the industry. The major program delivery model “Work It” was introduced in 2015 to enable students to “learn by doing” in small groups in the industry, whilst being supported by their trainer.
Services provided by ETC’s training team are complemented by the company’s employment and business services.

Special Industry Awards Category

2016 Excellence in Trade Skills

Philip Brown

Sponsored by Unions NSW
Trade: Aeroskills (Mechanical) Certificate IV
Trained by: TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute
Employed by: Turbomeca Australasia Pty Ltd

Since joining the Australian Air Force Cadets Philip became passionate about the aviation industry. This led him to volunteer at the Sydney Recreational Flying Club where he gained an insight into aircraft maintenance whilst obtaining his pilot’s license.

After finishing high school he had to make a choice between becoming a pilot or an aircraft mechanic. Philip chose to become an aircraft mechanic and has since completed an apprenticeship in Aeroskills (Mechanical) Certificate IV at Turbomeca.

Philip has undertaken in-house training modules to allow him to work on aircraft engines and gas turbine helicopters. Demonstrating his ability to work at the highest standard, he travelled to France to study electrical harness repairs. Upon his return Philip was responsible for training other staff on these repair protocols.

Philip’s aspirations include taking management roles, and the desire to complete further studies to enhance his aviation knowledge.

2016 Excellence in Signage

Taryn Kearney

Sponsored by Visual Connections
Trade: Signcraft - Signage Certificate III
Trained by: TAFE NSW - Illawarra Institute
Employed by: Khan Signs

Taryn’s dual enthusiasm for design and computers has come to life through her Signcraft - Signage Certificate III. She has proven to be a fast learner, and with her positive attitude and acute attention to detail, Taryn’s course results have been exceptional.

Taryn has outstanding skills and knowledge in computer aided design, vehicle wrapping, sign manufacturing, sign installation, digital printing and spray painting. Taryn’s work demonstrates her task planning and problem solving abilities. She gladly accepts all the challenges presented at Kahn Signs, and takes great pleasure in the feedback from appreciative customers.

Like all industries, technology in the signage industry is constantly changing, and Taryn ensures she and her team are always aware of these trends.
Taryn has a bright future. Having won the Illawarra WorldSkills signage competition in 2013 and 2015, she will be representing Illawarra in the October 2016 National WorldSkills in Melbourne.

2016 Phil Darby Memorial Award - Encouragement Award for an Apprentice or Trainee

Lubabalo Macikama

Sponsored by Australian Industry Group
Hopsitality - Commercial Cookery Certificate III
Trained by: TAFE NSW - New England Institute
Employed by: Safari Club Bar and Grill

Lubabalo is a mature age apprentice in the hospitality industry. He started as a kitchen hand, and through hard work and a willingness to learn has slowly but surely advanced to more responsible positions.

An unexpected opportunity to start cooking meals was quickly embraced, and he decided to commence an apprenticeship in Hospitality - Commercial Cookery Certificate III. “Immediately my work improved, along with my communication skills. Most people aren’t aware that communication is the key ingredient in a kitchen!”

Being responsible for a young family, Lubabalo approached his learning and work with a great attitude. His trainer remarked how “he finished his work to the highest standard and to the best of his ability”. An additional challenge for Lubabalo was mastering the English language.

2016 Top Apprentice in the Vehicle Trades

Aaron Fogarty

Sponsored by Motor Traders' Association of NSW
Automotive Mechanical Technology (Heavy Vehicle Mobile Equipment) - Certificate III
Trained by: TAFE NSW - Hunter Institute
Employed by: Liddell Colleries Pty Ltd

Aaron’s passion for tinkering with all things mechanical started in his Dad’s shed in Singleton. The machinery operating in the nearby mines also fascinated him.
His interest in the automotive industry is showcased in his studies, completing an apprenticeship in Automotive Mechanical Technology (Heavy Vehicle Mobile Equipment) Certificate III while undertaking two additional courses in Automotive Electrical Technology and Mobile Plant Technology.

Excellent academic results and exceptional trade skills are testimony to his efforts in the classroom and at work. He is an enthusiastic employee, with strong leadership and communication skills. These efforts have been recognised through many awards, including a “best in trade” winner in his Mobile Plant Technology course. Aaron says, "Being featured as Colaface Magazine's 'Student of the Month' in April this year was definitely a career highlight".

2016 Special Award for a Woman in a Non-Traditional Trade or Vocation

Nicole Otte

Sponsored by Ministry of Health - Women NSW
Trade: Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (Avionics) - Aeroskills (Avionics) Certificate IV
Trained by: Royal Australian Air Force
Employed by: Department of Defence, Navy

After a career in customer service and management, Nicole decided to join the Navy and has never regretted her life-changing decision.
Nicole took on the challenge of commencing an Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (Avionics) - Aeroskills (Avionics) Certificate IV at the age of 43. Her Navy supervisor remarked “she is an asset to the squadron and is highly regarded by her team mates. She has a positive work ethic, high standards, fantastic attitude and endless enthusiasm.”

Working in a trade where she is one of only four females amongst over 100 staff, Nicole commented: “One thing I have learned over the years is to never close your mind off to learning new skills and embrace any changes within your workplace, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone. I believe I have shown that I am a great role model for the Navy and also for women, which I hope will inspire them to follow in my footsteps.”

2016 Excellence in Electrotechnology

Nicholas Peers

Sponsored by NECA Group Training
Electrotechnology - Electrician Certificate III
Trained by: Hunter Valley Training Co Pty Ltd
Employed by: Hunter Valley Training Co Pty Ltd
Hosted by: Centennial Coal

For Nicholas, successfully undertaking an Electrotechnology -Electrician Certificate III apprenticeship has launched his career as an electrician on the Hunter Valley coal mines.

Employed by HVTC, he has responsibility for the safe operation of electrical machinery used across the mine site. Through his strong work ethic and diligence he has gained the respect of his peers, supervisors and management. Despite the irregular hours of shift work, Nicholas attained high marks throughout his apprenticeship, with a mature approach to time management.

Nicholas plans to undertake further study to continue to develop his knowledge and build his skill levels to achieve the goal of becoming an electrical engineer in the mining industry. "I have a good understanding of the apprenticeship pathway, and believe you can achieve anything if you have passion, commitment and drive to succeed".


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