2018 NSW Training Awards Winners

Meet the Award category winners of 2018.

Individual Awards Category

2018 Apprentice of the Year

Michael Edwards

Qualification: Certificate III in Electrotechnology – Electrician
Trained by:TAFE NSW - Riverina RTO
Employed by:Snowy Hydro Ltd

After 15 years as a motor mechanic, mature-age apprentice Michael was given the opportunity by his employer, Snowy Hydro Limited, to take on a second trade. He completed a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician with acclaim, taking out the TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga Campus apprentice of the year in 2017.

Michael displays exemplary commitment as a mature-age apprentice with a young family, and is described as an ‘extremely valuable’ employee due to his double qualification. Snowy Hydro is now looking to help qualify him further for his work with a Certificate IV in Industrial Automation and Diploma in Electrical Engineering.

2018 Trainee of the Year

Tara Proberts-Roberts

Qualification: Certificate II in Civil Construction
Trained by: TAFE NSW - Western Sydney RTO
Employed by: CPB Dragados Samsung Joint Venture

Early on, Tara’s supervisors on the WestConnex New M5 project recognised her potential and ability to excel when challenged. The Sydney-based civil construction trainee, who had worked previously in banking and childcare, continues to impress with her hunger to learn.

She’s complemented her Certificate II in Civil Construction studies with extra tickets and plant training, and plans to continue her education through VET.

A proud Aboriginal woman, Tara is a role model for her family and community, and thrilled with her life’s direction. “I will tell anyone to get a job in construction—it has changed the way I look at myself, my confidence and self-worth.”

2018 School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

Lucy Allen

Qualification: Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
Trained by: TAFE NSW - Hunter RTO
Employed by: Hunter New England Local Health District
School: Maitland Grossman High School

‘Nursing is an industry where I go home knowing I have made some sort of difference in someone’s life,’ says 18-year-old Lucy, who is undertaking a school-based traineeship for a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance through TAFE NSW Hunter RTO.

Employed by Hunter New England Local Health District, the Maitland Grossman High School student is, ‘often mistaken for a registered nurse due to her knowledge and maturity level’, says manager Martin Losurdo. Lucy, too, feels she has found her calling and is excited for future opportunities through VET. ‘A traineeship is the most perfect way to incorporate school, work and working towards a qualification.’

2018 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Tarnisha Winsor

Qualificaiton: Certificate II in Business
Trained by: Public Schools NSW, Tamworth
Employed by: Upper Hunter Shire Council
Hosted by: Merriwa Central School

Running the 2017 NAIDOC celebrations for the Upper Hunter Shire Council has been the pinnacle of Merriwa Central School Year 12 student Tarnisha’s blossoming career so far.

The 17-year-old school captain and SRC president was also the recipient of the Peter Hilder Memorial Award for an Indigenous VET student, and the Upper Hunter Shire Young Citizen of the Year 2018.

She credits her opportunities, accolades and growing confidence to her school-based traineeship with the council and Certificate II in Business through Tamworth Public Schools. ‘I feel overwhelmed by the community’s faith in me and the encouragement I’ve received.’

2018 Vocational Student of the Year

Katayoon Karimodini

Vocation: Diploma of Community Services
Trained by: TAFE NSW - Hunter RTO

Katayoon (Kathy) finished her Diploma in Community Services through TAFE NSW in 2017 with outstanding results. Described as reliable and caring with a great sense of humour, Kathy, an Iranian immigrant now living on the Central Coast, works part-time as a multicultural social support coordinator and volunteers at Northern Women’s Health Centre and Wesley Mission.

Her qualification taught her that self-care when dealing with the problems of others is critical. “I learnt that I should recognise my strengths and weaknesses, identify my needs, set a target, make a plan, ask for help and find out all the options,” she says. “Then just keep going and never give up.”

2018 VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year

Belinda Maudson

Employed by: TAFE NSW – Sydney RTO
Field of Study: Entertainment Design

From supervising students until 2am to make the opening deadline for VIVID Sydney, to developing customised courses to meet skills gaps in the entertainment industry, and organising an intimate Q&A session with the production designer of acclaimed television series Games of Thrones, Belinda’s dedication, initiative and creativity as a teacher shines through.

For 13 years, Sydney-based Belinda has nurtured students undertaking Illustration and Production Design qualifications at TAFE NSW’s Design Centre Enmore, leveraging her professional relationships within the film, television, theatre and events industry – and her ‘never say no’ attitude – to deliver the skills, support and opportunities students need to achieve and succeed.

2018 VET in Schools Student of the Year

Kieran Sullivan

Qualification: Certificate II in Agriculture
Trained by: Public Schools NSW, Tamworth
School: Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

Kieran has not only shone in his studies for Certificates II and III in Agriculture, the 18-year-old Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School boarding school prefect is now confident enough to help others learn. In 2017, Kieran won the Arthur Heath Memorial Scholarship for outstanding results in agriculture and scored a University of New England industry placement scholarship with a veterinary research company. This year he was an associate judge at Armidale Cattle Show.

Kieran says what has impacted him most from his study is the necessity for sustainability in agriculture, and to understand the effects of chemical use on the environment.

Organisation Awards Category

2018 Industry Collaboration Award

Central Coast Area Health District & TAFE NSW

Collaboration: TAFE NSW & Central Coast Area Health District - Working together 'Caring for the Coast'

When the Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) wanted to offer a school-based trainee program to create priority employment opportunities for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it chose TAFE NSW as its partner.

TAFE NSW’s scale, scope of courses, and ability to understand CCLHD’s context and complexity made it an ideal collaborator. The resulting program has attracted school-aged students into the health industry, provided workplace training that keeps them engaged in the health system and keen to learn more practical skills, and enabled long-term employment for its participants.

The program now also encourages non-Aboriginal participants to apply and offers extra courses for employees, while retaining its core purpose.

2018 Large Employer of the Year

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney)

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) is Australia’s premier integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment venue, underlining Sydney's position as one of the world's most desirable meeting and event destinations.

ICC Sydney provides quality, choice and flexibility to help the world’s leaders and thinkers meet and collaborate. It comprises four fully-integrated facilities that can be used in combination or separately to cater for the needs of small, medium, large or mega events.

Since opening in December 2016, ICC Sydney has delivered 1100 events and welcomed two million delegates and attendees. ICC Sydney is managed by AEG Ogden, Asia Pacific’s largest venue management corporation.

2018 Medium Employer of the Year

North Construction and Building Pty Ltd

Founded in 1987, North Construction and Building has become one of the most trusted construction companies throughout the Central Coast, Hunter Valley and Newcastle.

North’s consistent delivery of quality underpinned by robust safety and environmental systems has led to its engagement on some of the region’s largest projects across the health, aged care, education and commercial sectors. It has won several construction awards including Newcastle MBA’s Commercial builder of the year in 2011, 2016 and 2017.

North’s commitment to staff development and training is providing long-term careers. It includes investing in trade apprenticeships and cadetships which contributes to the pool of future North employees and strengthens the overall industry.

2018 Large Training Provider of the Year

TAFE NSW - Sydney RTO, Design Centre Enmore

TAFE NSW’s Design Centre Enmore is a centre of excellence in design education, offering more than 60 courses from career-entry level to bachelor degrees. Established in 1994, the award-winning facilities include exhibition spaces, classroom studios, jewellery, prop and set construction workshops, a film studio, a 3D printing studio and specialist library.

The centre was conceived in the Bauhaus design education tradition, which combines studio-based and applied learning. The team maintains strong industry engagement resulting in projects and collaborations which include internships, sponsorships and industry-identified skills-gap training.

Teachers are active in their professional fields, winning awards as teachers and practitioners, and holding leadership positions in professional and industry associations.

2018 Small Training Provider of the Year

Vantage Automotive Pty Ltd

Vantage Automotive is a major provider of government-funded vocational learning and development services to automotive manufacturers, with an extensive national client list.

Established as an RTO in 2004, Vantage Automotive consistently succeeds by delivering valued training to its students. Its team of highly qualified trainers and assessors aims to identify, develop and deliver targeted solutions to support the needs of students and apprentices.

Vantage Automotive delivers training packages with a focus on AUR30616—Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology and provides apprentice-training programs for a number of prestige automotive clients, including Jaguar Land Rover Australia, Volkswagen Group Australia, Audi Australia, and Volvo Car Australia.

Special Industry Awards Category

2018 Phil Darby Memorial Award - Encouragement Award for an Apprentice or Trainee

Michelle Brown

Vocation: Diploma of Visual Arts
Trained by: TAFE NSW - South West Sydney RTO

Sydney-based Michelle has used her experience living with multiple sclerosis to fuel her artistic creativity. During her Diploma in Visual Arts, she experimented with light boxes, printed aluminium and paintings on the interior mindscape of the brain to illustrate her deteriorating condition, which brought her to a wheelchair during her course.

Formerly a full-time teacher, Michelle now works for Ability Links NSW. ‘She not only overcame physical obstacles caused by her illness, but outranked the other students through hard
work and skill development’, says TAFE NSW Campbelltown teacher Lorna Grear. Michelle
was also selected for two professional art exhibitions while studying.

2018 Special Award for a Woman in a Non-Traditional Trade or Vocation

Tayla Constable

Vocation: Diploma of Agriculture
Trained by: TAFE NSW - New England RTO

Passion, determination and a commitment to ongoing learning have all helped Tayla build a successful rural contracting business in the Central West. The Coolah-based founder of TC Rural has completed a Certificate II in Beef Cattle Production, and Certificates III, IV and a Diploma in Agriculture at TAFE NSW. She is now enrolled in an Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management.

Being a woman in a male-dominated industry, Tayla has encountered resistance from ‘traditionally-minded’ clients, but, ‘being able to walk the walk’ has helped convert them into regulars. She is also a competitive campdrafter, volunteers on the local rodeo committee and raises money for the Black Dog Institute.


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