Apprentice of the Year – Andrew Jan
Certificate III in Plumbing, Bendigo TAFE
Andrew has had wide-ranging life experience prior to becoming a mature-aged apprentice in his 30s. He had an extensive career in the thoroughbred industry and, after 18 years as a volunteer firefighter, he has risen to the highest rank of Group Officer of the Coliban Group of the Country Fire Authority.
In choosing to study a Certificate III in Plumbing at Bendigo TAFE, Andrew was motivated to find a career that provided both stability and an environment that challenged his innate curiosity and problem-solving skills.
Felicity Barnett – Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, The Gordon TAFE
Stephanie Pemberton – Certificate III in Parks and Gardens, South West TAFE
Trainee of the Year – Samantha Brown
Diploma of Nursing, Federation University
Always intrigued by nursing, Samantha realised when she finished high school that she wasn't ready to make a career choice. She sought work experience, working for several years as a conveyancer and then in a fast-paced role managing a top hotel in Ballarat. With her interest in nursing never waning, she tested the waters through the Traineeship model, first enrolling in a Certificate III of Individual and Ageing Support. This course convinced Samantha that she wanted to pursue a vocational training pathway, and she then enrolled in a Diploma of Nursing.
- Emma Dreverman – Certificate III in Business, Squad
- Jake Seuren – Certificate IV in Agriculture, TAFE Gippsland (Warragul Campus)
Vocational Student of the Year – Samantha Daly
Certificate IV in Mental Health, Swinburne University of Technology
Determined to find a silver lining after losing her job at the onset of the global pandemic, Samantha applied to study the dual Certificate IV in Mental Health and Mental Health Peer Work. Samantha spent the seven years prior rebuilding her life and recovering from a major brain injury.
Inspired by her personal connections to mental health and using her unique lived experience of recovery, Samantha overcame initial fears and doubts about returning to study as a mature-aged student. She feels strongly about developing her theoretical knowledge and gaining practical expertise so that she can offer genuine help and meaningful support to others.
- Josh Allison – Diploma of Sport Development, Box Hill Institute
- Maria Kelly – Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design, Gordon Institute of TAFE
School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year – Laura Davidson
Certificate III in Hairdressing, Sunraysia Institute of TAFE/Mildura Senior College
Laura Davidson has had a passion for hairdressing since she was nine years old, when she told the owner of her local salon that she wanted to work there one day. She taught herself braiding and other techniques by watching YouTube videos and practising on herself and her friends.
In Year 9, she commenced a Certificate II in Salon Assistance, before beginning casual work at a boutique hair salon in Mildura.
Laura lives in the south-west NSW town of Gol Gol and travels to Mildura for her schoolwork at Mildura Senior College, her training at Sunraysia Institute of TAFE Mildura and her practical work at the salon.
- Massimo Zurzolo – Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, Kangan Institute of TAFE – ACE/Montague Continuing Education Centre
- Steven Hull – Certificate III in Agriculture, Murray Mallee Group Training/Castlemaine Secondary College
Koorie Student of the Year – Lucas Price
Certificate IV in Community Services, Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd (VACSAL)
A proud Gunditjmarra man from the Framlingham mission in Victoria's Western Districts with a deep connection to his community. Lucas was motivated to be in a position where he could use his lived experience to provide direct support to those in the community who are overrepresented in the justice system and who suffer from drug and alcohol addictions and intergenerational trauma.
- Stephen Cranage – Certificate IV in Cyber Security, GOTAFE
- Shaikhani Fewings – Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, Crown College
Teacher/Trainer of the Year – Julie Kramer
Julie tested the waters of teaching in 2011 by providing classroom support to students in a Certificate III for Aged Care qualification.
After receiving brilliant feedback from the trainers in that course, Julie pursued a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and pursued an ongoing role as a teacher and trainer. Julie has a passion for learning styles and developing distinct teaching approaches for the different needs of the many students in her courses.
- Scott Hopkins, SuniTAFE
- Michelle McNab, GOTAFE
Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement – Catherine Scarth
Catherine Scarth’s career has focussed on the design and implementation of innovative social, education, employment programs and enterprises in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has achieved this through the creation of partnerships with government, employers and the community sector to deliver programs designed to increase the economic and social participation for newly arrived migrants and refugees.
Ms Scarth is the Chief Executive Officer of AMES Australia, an organisation providing a wide range of interconnected settlement, education, vocational training and employment services in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania. Ms Scarth is a Board Member of Thrive Refugee Enterprises and Migration Council Australia.