2017 Victorian Training Awards Winners

​'With regards to encouraging young people to take on studying a traineeship, my simple answer is to give it a go.'

A life dedicated to transforming lives through the power of education has earned Maria Peters, Chief Executive Officer, Chisholm Institute, the Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement, announced at the recent 2017 Victorian Training Awards.

The Lynne Kosky Memorial Award recognises an individual’s outstanding leadership and contribution to the training and TAFE system for more than 25 years in Victoria.

'It is such an honour to receive the Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement,' Ms Peters says.

'Lynne Kosky wasn’t only a great parliamentarian but, in her earlier career choices, she saw the benefit that education brought to transforming lives and making a difference and she took that ethos with her when she became the Minister for Education and Training.

'I would like to think that in my time in the sector that I have shared and demonstrated those values in a commitment to education excellence, a responsiveness to innovation and to making that difference.'

Awarding training excellence

Ms Peters' outstanding achievements and those of Victoria’s other top vocational education and training students, and the businesses who train them, were celebrated at the Awards.

Now in their 63rd year, the Awards generate pride and confidence in Victoria’s training and TAFE system by recognising the high quality and training being delivered through the Education State and Skills First reforms.

Other winners include Dustin Cross, a sheep shearer from Wimmera named Trainee of the Year.

With a passion for agriculture, Mr Cross learned to shear sheep at 16. Two years later, he had a mobile shearing business on weekends, catering to hobby farmers.

Mr Cross’ journey towards fulfilling his dream of one day running his own farm began when he chose to study a Certificate IV in Agriculture at Longerenong College. While studying, he undertook a traineeship with Janmac Pastoral Company.

Now 21, he works at Janmac Pastoral Company while studying an Advanced Diploma in Agribusiness Management. Upon graduating, he plans to take the next step towards his dream by seeking employment as a stock agent. 

'With regards to encouraging young people to take on studying a traineeship, my simple answer is to give it a go,' Mr Cross says.

'The training pathway I took has had great benefits, as I’ve been able to work full time and study as well.

'Susan Morris from Box Hill Institute was awarded Victorian Trainer of the Year and Bethany Simpson, who studied at Mildura Senior College, won the Victorian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award.

Ambulance Victoria was named Victoria’s Large Employer of the Year, while Geelong’s The Gordon Institute of TAFE took out the Large Training Provider of the Year award.

People’s Choice Award Winner

Members of the public again had the chance to vote in the People’s Choice Award for Apprentice of the Year, choosing apprentice Grace Jamieson, who trained at Bendigo Kangan Institute as this year’s winner.

This year’s winners will each receive $5,000 prize money and may go on to represent Victoria at the 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra held in November.

For a full list of winners and to hear their stories, see: 2017 Winners