North Queensland’s best training talent announced

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

Townsville's Kailu Johnson is one of the top training talents in North Queensland, being named dual winner in the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year categories.

A Townsville leagues club with training at its heart is the North Queensland regional winner in the 60th annual Queensland Training Awards.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer named the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and 10 other North Queensland regional winners, recognising their significant contribution to training Queenslanders during 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.

“I am delighted to announced that the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys is the regional winner of the Community Training Initiative of the Year category for their Cowboys Dream, Believe, Achieve program.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said he was proud of the club’s dedication to providing meaningful training pathways to all its employees.

“Their Dream, Believe, Achieve training and employment program delivers accredited courses to unemployed and disadvantaged people living throughout North Queensland, supporting hundreds of people to gain industry-recognised qualifications and find long-term employment,” Mr Stewart said.

Townsville’s Kailu Johnson is one of the top training talents in North Queensland, being named dual winner in the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year categories.

“Kailu is a passionate advocate for trade pathways, having now completed three traineeships. He chose to undertake his latest qualification, a Certificate III in Concreting in the Townsville region,” Mr Stewart said.

“By expanding his skills and knowledge, Kailu is also providing training and economic opportunities within his local community — as a role model and with his ability to help upskill future generations of apprentices and trainees.

“He is a passionate ambassador for training pathways and the benefits of earning while you’re learning.”

Dylan Woodfield from Kirwan State High School was named the winner in the School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year category.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said Dylan is currently completing a school-based boiler making apprenticeship with employer Magnetic Steel Works, alongside four other certificate qualifications.

“Dylan has been recognised for his passion for his chosen career path and his love for designing and manufacturing complex structures,” Mr Harper said.

“Dylan knows that the training and skills he is gaining are essential to the economy, but they also allow him to explore his creative side, creating art sculptures out of scrap material.”

Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said the Equity VET student of the year Alanah Hembrow had started her Certificate III in Hospitality just a few months after beginning her employment at Hungry Jack’s in Mundingburra.

“As a home-school student, Alanah had not had the opportunity to complete a vocational pathway before and was delighted to have a chance to complete a training qualification,” Mr Walker said.

“Alanah has become such a passionate advocate for VET that she has inspired her younger brother to start the same traineeship.”

Minister Farmer said Glencore Mount Isa Mines employee, Bonnie Anderson, was named the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year for her commitment to a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician.

“After four years in real estate, Bonnie Anderson was keen to get out from behind a desk and find a more physical, hands-on career,” Minister Farmer said.

“As the daughter of a dual-tradesperson, Bonnie decided to take the leap and apply for an apprenticeship through Glencore’s Queensland Metals Apprenticeship Program ­– and in July 2020 she became a fully-qualified electrician.

“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.

Photos of winners: https://bit.ly/3xWedTk

Full list of North Queensland winners:

  • Small Employer of the Year – Core Developments NQ
  • Medium Employer of the Year – Mendi Group
  • Large Employer of the Year – Wilmar Sugar
  • Community Training Initiative of the Year – North Queensland Toyota Cowboys
  • VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year – Valerio Esposito
  • Equity VET Student of the Year – Alanah Hembrow
  • School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year – Dylan Woodfield
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year – Kailu Johnson
  • Vocational Student of the Year – Benjamin Jones
  • Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year – Kailu Johnson
  • Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year – Bonnie Anderson

To learn more about the Queensland Training Awards visit https://desbt.qld.gov.au/training/qta

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