Tropical North’s best training talent announced

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

A Cairns social enterprise café has been selected as a Tropical North regional winner in the 60th annual Queensland Training Awards.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer today announced the individuals and organisations in the Tropical North who have been recognised for their achievements in the training system 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 announce that Mission Australia is the regional winner of the Community Training Initiative category for the Café One project.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy congratulated Mission Australia on its win.

“Mission Australia supports homeless Queenslanders to move into stable long-term sustainable housing and created the café to deliver vocational training and work experience to those in need,” Mr Healy said.

“In 2020, the Café One program supported four participants to complete a Certificate I in Hospitality with all securing employment or moving on to further training opportunities.

“They play such an important role in our community and I am delighted they have been recognised for it in the Queensland Training Awards.

“I also want to congratulate Jadzia Dalamaras for winning the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year, Cairns company GMH Electrical Contracting who were named as Small Employer of the Year, and all of the other winners.”

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said he was proud that a Woree State High School student had been named as School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year.

“Well done to Mataya Vikionkorpi-Bin-Garape! What a fantastic achievement,” Mr Pitt said.

“I know that Woree High is doing some amazing things with training and apprentices and this is testament to the hard work of the school and of course Mataya.”

The other regional winners include Western Cape College student, Siobhan Hogan from Weipa, who was named the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year for Tropical North.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said Siobhan had obtained her Certificate II in Engineering working with Rio Tinto’s Weipa Operations.

“Siobhan got this qualification after securing a diesel fitting traineeship to follow her interest in mechanics, and gain knowledge through hands-on learning,” Ms Lui said.

“Siobhan is proud to be working as a First Nations woman in a non-traditional field and hopes that her experience will help her to advocate for more girls to pursue similar pathways. Her goal now is to complete Year 12 and continue her training with an apprenticeship.

“A special congratulations to her, and to Helen Millen who is training in Mareeba and was named Vocational Student of the Year.”

Minister Farmer said Tropical North Queensland’s winner in the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year category is Harvey Phillips from Mourilyan near Innisfail.

“Harvey completed a heavy machinery apprenticeship, obtaining a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical, at Hastings Deering in Cairns, where he is employed as a field service fitter,” Minister Farmer said.

“Harvey’s apprenticeship has equipped him with new skills and provided him with a qualification that he believes will take him anywhere in the world.”

Minister Farmer said it was extremely important that the hard work of our outstanding apprentices, trainees, students, employers, teachers and training projects was recognised.

“The local businesses that featured in the list of regional winners include Robinson Civil Group based at Wondecla on the Atherton Tablelands which was named as the region’s Medium Employer of the Year,” Minister Farmer said.

“They have been selected for their commitment to training and for establishing trades and tertiary pathways for their employees, apprentices and trainees.

“Congratulations to the regional winners who have put in the hard work and commitment to get this award: the future of Queensland is certainly bright with these stars leading the way.”

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

Full list of Tropical North Queensland QTA regional winners below and images of winners available here:

  • Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year: Harvey Phillips
  • Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year: Jadzia Dalamaras
  • Vocational Student of the Year: Helen Millen
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Siobhan Hogan
  • School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year: Mataya Vikionkorpi-Bin-Garape
  • Equity VET Student of the Year: Delaney Allen
  • VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year: Lawrence Grant
  • Community Training Initiative of the Year: Mission Australia
  • Medium Employer of the Year: Robinson Civil Group (RCG)
  • Small Employer of the Year: GMH Electrical Contracting

To learn more about the Queensland Training Awards visit

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