Queenslanders shine at nation’s top training awards

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

Queensland's finalists in the 2021 Australian Training Awards

Queensland’s top training talent has been recognised on the national stage, with an Atherton Tableland’s civil construction business and a Chinchilla trainee amongst the winners at the 2021 Australian Training Awards.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer congratulated the winners of last night’s awards – the country’s top honours for vocational education and training (VET).

“Robinson Civil Group (RCG) has taken home the Medium Employer of the Year Award for going above and beyond supporting staff in their ongoing professional development,” Minister Farmer said.

“Over the past two years, RCG has grown its training budget to provide staff with tailored training and development plans that suit their individual qualifications, experiences and career aspirations.

“They truly set the bar when it comes to supporting employees and their goals, and I’m so pleased to see that recognised on the national stage.”

Minister Farmer also congratulated individual award winner, Kasey Hardy, who took out Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year.

“Kasey’s interest in the natural gas extraction process and its impact on the environment led her to the inaugural Western Downs Indigenous Traineeship program offered by Harness Energy Services and Shell QGC,” Minister Farmer said.

“After successfully completing her traineeship, Kasey has gone on to study a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety with Shell QGC and is now a mentor for new Indigenous trainees.

“She has not only impressed her employer and colleagues with her hard work and commitment, but she is also setting an example for other trainees and is on her way to a wonderful career in an industry she is passionate about.

“The Palaszczuk Government wants to see even more trainees and apprentices succeed, which is why skills and training is an important part of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

“Our record $1 billion skills and training budget has given more than 44,000 young Queenslanders the opportunity to study at TAFE or get an apprenticeship for free, and we lead the nation in VET in Schools.”

For the second consecutive year, the awards’ ceremony was a virtual event with Queensland finalists gathering in Brisbane to hear the announcements.

Minister Farmer said there was a high representation of women among the Queensland contingent, with five of the six individual award category finalists being female.

“This included the Queensland Training Awards winner of the VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year award, Danielle Dixon who is the Executive Chef and Head of School at The Institute of Culinary Excellence,” Minister Farmer said.

“Danielle has experience working in some of Australia’s top restaurants, as well as in the MasterChef kitchen, and has excelled as a trainer.

“Our Queensland Apprentice of the Year winner, Lauren Campbell is now employed as a fully-qualified tradesperson with AG Coombs Queensland after a completing a Certificate III in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration.

“Lauren has been hooked on the refrigeration trade since doing work experience in Year 12, applying for an apprenticeship a few months after graduating and powering ahead ever since.

“All our 11 national finalists have done Queensland proud, and they too, should be very proud of their achievements.”

Queensland finalists for the 2021 Australian Training Awards

Individual award category Queensland finalists:

  • Apprentice of the Year – Lauren Campbell
  • Trainee of the Year – Mitchell Pogan
  • Vocational Student of the Year – Helen Millen
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year – Kasey Hardy
  • School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year – Bree Connell
  • VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year – Danielle Dixon.

Business award category Queensland finalists:

  • Medium Employer of the Year – Robinson Civil Group
  • Small Employer of the Year – Core Developments NQ
  • Industry Collaboration Award – Queensland Water Skills Partnership
  • Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award – Affinity Education Group (direct entrant).

Training provider category Queensland finalist:

  • Large Training Provider of the Year – TAFE Queensland.

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