Brisbane and Ipswich’s best training talent announced

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development The Honourable Di Farmer

QTA SunnyFutures participant Katra Ahmed with SunnyFutures trainer Jane Thornton

A Sunnybank high school initiative supporting Year 12 students to transition to work or study has been selected as a Metropolitan regional winner in the 60th annual Queensland Training Awards.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer named Sunnybank State High School Parent and Citizen Association and 10 other Metropolitan regional winners, recognising their significant contribution to training Queenslanders especially at such a challenging time.

“The Palaszczuk Government put investing in skills at the centre of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, and with over $1 billion in the recent state budget dedicated to training and skills, we are delivering on that commitment,” Minister Farmer said.

“The Queensland Training Awards provide a perfect opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on our top achievers in training and highlight the power of skills.”

Member for Toohey, Peter Russo, said he was delighted that Sunnybank State High School Parent and Citizen Association is the regional winner of the Community Training Initiative of the Year category for their SunnyFutures program.

“With a large community of students from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds attending the school, SunnyFutures uses a student-centred approach to support its cohort to find training pathways that build skills and provide opportunities for sustainable employment,” Mr. Russo said.

Member for Greenslopes, Joe Kelly, said the winner of the VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year category Danielle Dixon draws on her experience working in some of Australia’s top restaurants, as well as in the MasterChef kitchen.

“Danielle has excelled as a trainer at The Institute of Culinary Excellence (ICE) and was promoted to Executive Chef and Head of School in 2020,” Mr. Kelly said.

“Through Danielle’s initiative, ICE was able to transform its teaching methods through COVID, and migrate to online learning, saving countless apprenticeships and careers.”

Member for Stafford, Jimmy Sullivan, said Vocational Student of the Year regional winner, Connor Chadwick, completed his Certificate IV in Music Industry with the Queensland College of Music and is undertaking further training at the Brisbane Academy of Music. He is training while still at school to get a head start in his preferred industry.

“Connor believes choosing a training pathway has opened doors for him as a performer, as well as providing skills and practical training that will allow him to diversify throughout his career,” said Mr Sullivan.

Member for Bundamba, Lance McCallum, said it was extremely important that the hard work of the state’s outstanding apprentices, trainees, students, employers, teachers and training projects was recognised, just like Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year winner Abigail Cuddihy.

“Finding herself unmotivated by tertiary options, Abigail decided to pursue a more hands-on career path, and began a traineeship with ALS – a global laboratory testing organisation that services power stations, gas wells and other resource infrastructure,” said Mr. McCallum.

“While completing her Certificate III in Engineering (Technical), Abigail discovered a love of the resources sector and is looking forward to continuing her career in engineering as a Non-Destructive Testing Technician.”

Member for Cooper, Jonty Bush, congratulated the winner of the Large Employer of the Year category.

“CPB BAM Ghella UGL Joint Venture (otherwise known as CBGU), is delivering works that form part of the Queensland Government’s Cross River Rail project,” Ms. Bush said.

“I congratulate the CBGU training team who, through collaboration with Construction Skills Queensland, have developed an industry-first CBGU Training Employment Working Group to provide training and employment pathways for underrepresented or disadvantaged groups.

“They have been selected for their commitment to training and focus on creating and supporting quality jobs for Queenslanders through skills development and training.”

Minister Farmer said she was proud of all the winners and finalists.

“My congratulations to all the regional winners who are the skilled Queenslanders we need for our economy to continue to bounce back.”

The regional winners will now vie for the state titles, which will be announced at the State Final Event in September.

Photographs of winners available here:

Full list of Metropolitan winners:

  • Small Employer of the Year – Ambrose Homes
  • Medium Employer of the Year – Hilton Brisbane
  • Large Employer of the Year – CPB BAM Ghella UGL Joint Venture
  • Community Training Initiative of the Year – Sunnybank SHS Parent and Citizen Association, Program: SunnyFutures
  • VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year – Danielle Dixon
  • Equity VET Student of the Year – Mary Chol
  • School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year – Jasper Malthouse (Dual winner)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year – Jasper Malthouse (Dual winner)
  • Vocational Student of the Year – Connor Chadwick
  • Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year – Abigail Cuddihy
  • Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year – Lauren Campbell

To learn more about the Queensland Training Awards, visit

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