The nation’s brightest vocational education and training stars have been recognised at the prestigious Australian Training Awards 2022, with three Western Australians named as winners.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery celebrated with the winners at an event in Adelaide last night and congratulated them, along with the State’s finalists, on their achievements.
WA’s Wayne Ryder, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Management WA, was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year for being a role model for others and his work to promote health and wellbeing for at-risk Aboriginal people.
Brittany-Leigh Wragg, one of the first students to study a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways, took out national Trainee of the Year after trying out a range of different job roles while undertaking work placement rotations, all while building up a network of industry contacts.
She cites unwavering support from South Metropolitan TAFE and Programmed Training Services as having helped her feel confident about her chosen career pathway in a male-dominated industry.
The WA Department of Justice won the Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award for their Raising the Bar Behind Bars program as a direct entry and were finalists in the same category in 2021.
Individual winners from the 2022 WA Training Awards progressed to the national awards, while State Organisation winners were shortlisted to determine three finalists in each category from around Australia.
The Australian Training Awards 2022 winners receive national acknowledgement as leaders in their relevant field of study, training or sector. Individual category winners also received $5,000 prize money and runner-ups received $2,500.
This year, WA had representatives in six individual categories:
- Apprentice of the Year;
- School-based Apprentice of the Year;
- Trainee of the Year;
- Vocational Student of the Year;
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year; and
- Trainer of the Year.
Three WA organisations were selected as national finalists:
- Byrnecut for the Large Employer of the Year Award;
- Taylorweir International School of Hairdressing for the Small Training Provider of the Year Award; and
- WA Department of Justice for entering their Making Tracks program in the Industry Collaboration Award.
There were also two direct entries into the awards this year: Busselton Senior High School for the School Pathways to VET Award and the WA Department of Justice for the Australian Apprenticeships Employer Award.
For the full list of award winners, visit: www.australiantrainingawards.gov.au
As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
“The Australian Training Awards are an opportunity to put our State’s best vocational education and training achievers in the national spotlight.
“The VET sector is crucial to our State’s growth and success, and these awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the range and depth of talent across our country.
“The McGowan Government has invested heavily in the sector, which is going from strength to strength.
“Congratulations to all of WA’s winners, runners-up and finalists – receiving recognition at a national level demonstrates excellence at the highest level and is to be commended.”
WA’s Australian Training Awards 2022 winners and runners-up
Australian Trainee of the Year – Winner
- Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways
- South Metropolitan TAFE
- Employed by Programmed Training Services
Being one of the first students to study a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways Program, Brittany cites the unwavering support from the team at South Metropolitan TAFE and Programmed Training Services with helping her to feel confident about her chosen career pathway in a male-dominated industry.
Brittany-Leigh has sampled different job roles while undertaking work placement rotations and gained real-life experience, all while building up a network of industry contacts. She hopes to begin an apprenticeship in defence on completion of her traineeship.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year – Winner
- Diploma of Leadership and Management
- Trained at Australian Institute of Management WA
- Employed by Palmerston Association
From school captain to captain of his football team, Wayne has paved the way for Aboriginal men walking a similar journey. One of his proudest achievements was creating the Waakal Moort Kaadadjiny Festival, a health and wellbeing festival for at-risk Aboriginal people.
Wayne began working for Palmerston Association as a Community Aboriginal Worker, supporting individuals affected by drugs and alcohol following his lived experience. He later won a scholarship to study a Diploma of Leadership and Management with the Australian Institute of Management.
WA Department of Justice
Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award (Direct-entry) – Winner
The Corrective Services division within the Department of Justice, Western Australia aims to enrich prisoners’ lives and reduce reoffending. The Department implemented the Prisoner Traineeship Program to establish a clear pathway from prison to employment, through VET.
The program has supported over 4,775 prisoners in an apprenticeship or traineeship, with a completion rate of 70 per cent. On release, apprentices and trainees who gain employment through the employment partners receive an average starting salary of $90,000 – leading to car and home ownership, often for the first time in generations.
Vocational Student of the Year – Runner-up
- Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing Studies
- Health Science Hub
- Eastern Hills Senior High School
Inspired after visiting her nanna at an aged-care facility, nine-year-old Caitlin was determined to make a positive change in the industry. Amazingly, Caitlin is still at school, completing her Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing studies through Health Science Hub and her Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) through Australian Medical Association WA.
Through her work placement with Baptistcare, Caitlin has been able to gain hands-on experience and is passionate about creating positive energy in her workplace.
Busselton Senior High School
School Pathways to VET Award (Direct-entry) – Runner-up
Busselton Senior High School (BSHS) has been a Registered Training Organisation school since 1999, implementing a unique educational model that combines traditional education methods with VET opportunities. BSHS is bridging the gap between education and training, supporting non-university bound students to complete a Certificate qualification.
By engaging with the local community, acknowledging future skill shortages and student survey data, BSHS has increased its VET offering. This year, 75 per cent of BSHS students are enrolled in a VET qualification, seeing attainment rates of above 98 per cent.