Darling Downs South West stars named in 60th Queensland Training Awards

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

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer today named 33 finalists for the Darling Downs South West region who are among 218 state-wide regional finalists who have been recognised for their achievements in the training system during a challenging time.

“It’s been a tough 18 months for businesses, trainers and employees who have had to adjust to different ways of working due to COVID-19,” Minister Farmer said.

“The Palaszczuk Government put investing in skills at the heart of our Economic Recovery Plan, and with over $1 billion in the recent state budget dedicated to training and skills we are delivering on that commitment.

“It’s extremely important to recognise the individuals and organisations that put training and development at the heart of what they do.

“The hard work of our outstanding apprentices, trainees, students, employers, teachers and training projects will be highlighted in the annual Queensland Training Awards, which have been celebrating the power of skills for 60 years.”

Oakey State High School’s Keesha Charles has been named a finalist in three categories for the Darling Downs South West region.

“Keesha is aiming to work in the healthcare industry and has been named a finalist in the awards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students, Vocational Students and School Based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year,” Minister Farmer said.

“Kasey Hardy has also been named a finalist in two categories — Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year — for her work with Harness Energy Services where she has completed her Certificate III in Workplace, Health and Safety.

“The range of people, projects and employers who have been named finalists, highlights the diversity of careers and options available across the Darling Downs South West region.

“The Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year regional finalists include Amanda Anderson who switched careers from nursing to complete a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care while working with Affinity Education Group.

“Amanda wanted to build on her experience as the mother of a child with Autism to pursue her new passion of supporting children to grow no matter their individual needs and is now working as a lead educator.

“The other regional finalists in this category are Hans van der Merwe who has followed in his father’s footsteps and recently became a qualified electrician with Oakey Beef Exports and Lane Hewett who has completed his diesel fitting apprenticeship with Hastings Deering.

“The large and medium employer of the year regional finalists come from different industries that are important to the region, with local government, farming equipment and machinery, meat processing, community services and civil construction all represented.

“These are just some of the fantastic training stories from the Darling Downs South West region this year.

“Congratulations to all the regional finalists who are the skilled Queenslanders we need for our economy to continue to bounce back better.”

The winners from Darling Downs South West region will be announced online in July with the state winners announced at a Gala Dinner which will return this year in September.

For the full list of regional finalists and further information visit https://desbt.qld.gov.au/training/qta

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