The 2019 Australian Training Awards reinforced the reputation of the independent tertiary education
system for delivering students and their employers the quality outcomes they are looking for. The
awards were presented in Brisbane on 21 November 2019.
The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent
providers in the higher education, vocational education, training and skills sectors is pleased to recognise
the accomplishments of so many member training organisations.
The 2019 Trainee of the Year was Stephen Witkowski who studied a Certificate III in Aquaculture with
Seafood and Maritime Training.
Stephen has worked and studied all over Australia in the aquatic industry. While he had plenty of
theoretical knowledge going in to his role as a technical officer for Tassal, it was the Certificate III
qualification that enabled him to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the applicable.
The runner -up for the 2019 Apprentice of the Year was E llie Farrington who completed her Certificate III
in Carpentry at Blue Dog Training Pty Ltd in Queensland.
Before commencing her apprenticeship, Ellie did two semesters of an Architecture Degree and then
completed a Bachelor of Mathematics. With a desire to have a caree r in building design, Ellie felt she
would get a better understanding of the design process by getting hands on practical experience, so she
embarked on a carpentry apprenticeship to learn from the ground up how the construction industry
“We congr atulate these outstanding trainees, their employers and training organisations. The awards
were very competitive, and the winners were selected as the best from a group of top performing
trainees and apprentices,” said Mr Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Execut ive.
ITECA represents independent providers in the higher education, vocational education, training and skills
sectors. Independent providers support more than 70% of the 4.1 million students undertaking VET
program, including 58% of students undertaking a VET Diploma, 64% of students undertaking a Certificate
IV and 58% of students undertaking a Certificate III.