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Winners and Finalists 2013

Victorian Apprentice of the Year Award


Patrick Janes
Course: Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade
Training provider: University of Ballarat
Employer: CVGT Australia
Host employer: W.R. & R.J. Hunter Pty Ltd
Growing up on a farm Patrick Janes has always been interested in how things work. At ten his father taught him to weld and he loved it straight away. He enrolled in Certificate III Engineering at The University of Ballarat and completed his formal studies in just over two years. The combination of on- and off-the-job training has allowed Patrick to build his skills in real-work situations after gaining the basic skills and theory at TAFE. He was the University of Ballarat's 2012 Apprentice of the Year. Patrick is now a fully qualified tradesman, proud to be invited to take on ownership of the business that employed him and hopefully train his own apprentices.


Caillan Keddie
Course: Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade
Training provider: The Gordon
Employer: G-Force Employment Solutions
Host employer: CSIRO Animal Health Laboratories

Tristan Krepp

Course: Certificate III in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
Training provider: South West TAFE
Employer: Westvic Staffing Solutions
Host employer: Deakin University (Warrnambool Campus)

Paul Tran
Course: Certificate III in General Construction (Carpentry – Framework/Formwork/Finishing)
Training provider: NMIT
Employer: MEGT Australia Ltd.
Host employer: Lend Lease Corporation

Victorian Koorie Student of the Year Award


Casey Atkinson
Course: Diploma of Community Services Work
Training provider: Swinburne University of Technology 
Employer: VACSAL/Bert Williams Aboriginal Youth Services

Casey Atkinson was born in Melbourne and raised in Shepparton, the eldest of four children. In 2012 he successfully completed a Diploma in Community Services Work with Swinburne University of Technology and is currently employed with the VCSAL (Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Limited) as a Koori Early School Leavers Worker. He assists disengaged students at risk of leaving school or getting caught up in the justice system to continue their education to Year 12. A passionate musician, Casey plays guitar, drums and keyboard. He also volunteers as a youth music mentor, and as a board member of the Indigital Centre assists Indigenous people to tell their stories through digital formats.


Benjamin Abbatangelo
Course: Diploma of Sport Development
Training provider: Training and Education Programs Australia (SEDA)
Employer: Cricket Victoria

Lesley Jackson
Course: Certificate III in Hospitality
Training provider: Crown Melbourne Limited
Employer: Crown Melbourne Limited

Josh Wanganeen
Course: Diploma of Community Services
Training provider: Swinburne University
EMPLOYER: Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Limited

Victorian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award


Joel Schwarz
Course: Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology: Automotive Mechanical Agriculture
Training provider: SuniTAFE
Employer: Sunrise Ag. (Wheat Ridge Pty Ltd)

Joel Schwarz grew up on a vineyard and has always been surrounded by machinery. He is currently enrolled in a Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology and undertaking a school-based apprenticeship with Sunrise Ag, an agricultural machinery company. His schooling only takes up three days of the week and his work covers a large range of machinery from combine harvesters and broad acre tractors to hoes, slashers and seeding implements. Joel’s registered training organisation is SuniTAFE. He is currently completing Year 12 VCE at Mildura Secondary College and is highly appreciative of the teachers in their desire to be flexible with his courses and timetable to cater for his apprenticeship.


Caleb de Groot
Course: Certificate III in Carpentry
Training provider: Australian National Institute
Employer: Sunraysia & Murray Group Training
Host employer: Mildura Gifford Homes, Mildura

Shanae Finning
Course: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: Victorian Occupational Training Educational Services (VOTES)
Employer: Thompson Family Funerals

Louisa Ross
Course: Certificate III in Education Support
Training provider: Victorian Occupational Training Educational Services (VOTES)
Employer: Campbell’s Creek Primary School

Victorian Trainee of the Year Award


Matthew Maud
Course: Diploma of Building & Construction
Training provider: Swinburne University of Technology
Employer: Hacer Group
Matthew Maud left school dreaming of becoming carpenter, but with no job opportunities available he took an apprenticeship in furniture polishing and enjoyed the next 17 years in the industry, until the company he worked for closed. This determined family man then found employment in the construction industry, helping a builder mate on weekends before joining the Hacer Group in 2006 as a labourer. In 2013 he completed a Diploma of Building Construction at Swinburne University of Technology. Matthew has steadily moved up the ranks to become a competent and experienced site manager of multi-million dollar projects across Melbourne, including the new $15 million Masters store at Williams Landing.


April Tatlonghari
Course: Certificate III in Hospitality
Training provider: Crown Melbourne Limited
Employer: Crown Melbourne Limited

Nicholas Trevorah
Course: Certificate IV in Drafting (Air Conditioning & Mechanical Services)
Training provider: Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association of Victoria
Employer: A. G. Coombs

Kelly Treyvaud
Courses: Diploma of Management & Diploma of Business
Training provider: Advance TAFE
Employer: Hazcon Pty. Ltd.

Victorian Vocational Student of the Year Award


Kate Cross
Course: Advanced Diploma of Agriculture
Training provider: WORKCO Ltd - Longerenong Agricultural College
Employer: Western Grazing Company, Rocklands Station
Upon completing Year 12 Kate Cross was looking for a career in the beef industry. She found that Longerenong College, a fully operational 1070 hectare farm that is used for training, was a great start for young people interested in agriculture. The training has allowed her to enter the beef industry with a sound knowledge of breeds, stock handling, nutrition and markets. Kate joined the Horsham Show Society assisting in judging the beef cattle events. She is currently employed at Rocklands Station, owned by the Western Grazing Company, and is living her dream of working on a beef cattle station before establishing her own beef cattle stud and commercial herd.


Murray Harris
Course: Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
Training provider: Melbourne City Institute of Education
Employer: Café Vinca, Frankston Private Hospital

Mathew Hill
Course: Advanced Diploma of Agriculture
Training provider: WORKCO Limited - Longerenong Agricultural College
Employer: MT & HP Hill, St Helens Plains

Iris Radovic
Course: Advanced Diploma of Sound Production
Training provider: Box Hill Institute
Employer: Living Learning

Victorian Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award


Robyn York
Robyn York’s journey with SuniTAFE began 19 years ago when she worked at Mildura Specialist School helping launch a new initiative: The Certificate I in Work Education. It is a two-year work-training program for students with a disability, for which there had been nothing similar locally. Robyn now coordinates two work education programs and teaches one full-time. She sees her importance as a teacher as being more about the engagement she gives students with community and industry through their volunteering and work placement. Robyn has worked closely with local businesses such as Target, Woolworths and McDonalds, providing employment opportunities for her students.


Melinda Eason
Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Limited/Swinburne University

Angie Zerella
Nillumbik Shire Council – Living & Learning Nillumbik

Victorian Industry Collaboration Award


VACC Auto Apprenticeships
Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), Victorian Holden Dealers Service Managers Association and Kangan Institute
In 1998, VACC Auto Apprenticeships joined forces with Kangan and Holden to address the worrying trend of falling retention rates among apprentices, and also the lack of consistency regarding apprentice training. Through this collaboration, VACC was able to facilitate both enhanced workplace support programs, and much improved apprentice training initiatives. VACC place over 60 per cent of their apprentices with Kangan and maintain around 75 apprentices in the Holden program annually. When comparing completion rates of apprentices in this program (95 per cent) to the national average (45.8 per cent), it is easy to see how this strong collaboration maximises outcomes for both apprentices and the automotive industry.


Targeted Workforce Development in Health Care
Victoria University and Western Health

The SEDA Cricket Australia Sports Development Program
Sport Education Development Australia (SEDA), Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia

Victorian VET in Schools Excellence Award


Highlands Local Learning and Employment
Network VETiS Cluster

The Highlands LLEN VETiS Cluster is a partnership between 17 senior secondary education providers encompassing Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh, Beaufort, Daylesford, Derrinallum and Maryborough. The Cluster supports schools to offer a greater range of subjects to their student’s future career pathways. The Cluster has strong ties between government, catholic and independent schools, with purpose-built facilities to assist studies in aviation, building, plumbing, equine, multimedia and music. Participation has increased from 537 enrolments in 2007 to 676 this year. The Cluster has close links with 400 local businesses, which allow for real-life projects to be utilised as assessment tools. 


Australian College of Dramatic Arts

Noble Park Secondary College

Victorian VET Client Service/Support Excellence Award


Student Engagement System
Kangan Institute

In 2012, with more than 40,000 enrolments and a reputation as one of Victoria’s leading training providers, Kangan Institute began a unique Student Engagement System. It ensures new students receive more than just the relevant information about services and procedures at Kangan. Each is individually assessed in Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) and are guided in developing an individual learning plan to assist in completing their studies. All new students attend a three-hour student engagement session and are provided with ongoing LLN support and guidance to overcome any learning difficulties. Kangan Institute is the only provider to collect data on student LLN skill results across all qualification levels on entry.


Skills Recognition and Employment Services
Kangan Institute
The College of Sound and Music Production
College of Sound and Music Production (Tech Production Network)

Victorian Small Employer of the Year Award


Vertech Hume Pty Ltd, Werribee

Vertech Hume manufacture concrete power poles for Australian energy distributors. Of its 14 employees, 9 are from Myanmar and speak English as a second language. Understanding that communication is critical to successful business operations, in 2010 Vertech Hume engaged Wyndham Community & Education Centre to provide an ongoing English program every Saturday for its workers. The program is recognised by Adult Community Education in Australia. In 2011 the company engaged Rochdale Institute to deliver Certificate III in Process Manufacturing and Certificate 4 in Competitive Manufacturing to eight of the staff, with all graduating in July 2013.


Power's Country Express, Bendigo

TS Constructions, Wonthaggi

Victorian Employer of the Year Award


Crown Melbourne Limited

Crown Melbourne, Australia’s leading integrated resort, provides employees with highly customised training, giving successful participants VET qualifications or statements of attainments in hospitality, tourism, leadership, management, and workplace training and assessment. As the RTO for the majority of the accredited training delivered, Crown ensures that the content is relevant and focuses on ensuring that all relevant employees continue to provide high standards of customer service. At any one time, approximately 900 or 13 per cent of Crown’s 6500 employees are completing nationally accredited qualifications or certificates of attainment. Programs are delivered by Crown’s 70 core trainers and approximately 35 specialist external facilitators.


John Holland

Victorian Employer Award for Apprentice Development


Laser Electrical Ballarat

Apprentice development is regarded by Laser Electrical Ballarat as an integral part and strength of its business. Locally owned and operated, Laser Electrical has a proud history of being one of Ballarat’s most highly regarded electrical contractors for the past 50 years, and currently employ 55 staff, 12 of whom are apprentices. Its dynamic Apprentice Development Program ensures each apprentice is mentored, supported and engaged after the initial induction program. The company has a strong relationship with the University of Ballarat and is committed to providing environments and opportunities for apprentices to learn and gain work and life skills.


Crown Melbourne Limited

WORKCO Limited

Victorian Small Training Provider of the Year


Australian College of Fitness and Bodywork

The Australian College of Fitness & Bodywork (ACFB) is a registered training organisation in Mitcham, providing nationally-accredited courses in fitness and massage Australia wide. Starting in 1989 as a not-for-profit organisation, it is now a state-of-the-art training facility employing 14 trainers and contractors with a genuine desire to help students. Trainers always go the extra mile with a hands-on approach, small class sizes, and flexible delivery options, allowing ACFB's training to not only teach the skills of massage and fitness, but also helps students to better cater to clients' needs and become industry-leading therapists and trainers.


FGM Consultants Pty Ltd, Warragul

Foresite Training, Sunshine

Victorian Large Training Provider of the Year


William Angliss Institute

William Angliss Institute is the government endorsed specialist education and training provider for the foods, tourism, hospitality and events industries, and the only one of its kind in Australia. The Institute offers hands-on, customer-focused programs and attract creative and enthusiastic students globally. The 25,850 enrolments in 2012 included local and international students who were based on-campus or participated in workplace training in some 55 nationally-accredited course options. It is the only institute in metropolitan Melbourne offering butchery, meat processing and food science and technology. It achieved 13 per cent growth in 2012 on 2011 figures and continues to offer a full suite of programs that support community development both nationally and internationally.


Spectra Training Pty Ltd