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    Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Training awards name Brisbane's best

    Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Saturday, July 28, 2018

    Training awards name Brisbane's best

    Brisbane’s best trainers, trainees and apprentices have been recognised at a stellar awards night that featured the winner of the prestigious Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year, Christopher Knight; the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year, James Barker; and Vocational Student of the Year, Patricia Arora.

    A third-generation family business with more than 100 years of boat-building history on the Brisbane River was also recognised at the Brisbane finals of the Queensland Training Awards last night.

    Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman congratulated Norman R. Wright & Sons, who took out the gong for Medium Employer of the Year.

    The company has a long history of constructing high-performance commercial and pleasure boats, including Brisbane’s CityCats.

    “They were pioneers in adopting new boat-building technologies as they became available and were a driving force behind the formal recognition of the boat building trade and the qualifications necessary to work in it,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “This recognition led to the establishment of the Certificate III in Marine Craft Construction qualification and, since 1947, the company has employed more than 280 apprentices.”

    The Minister made special mention of the company’s current owners and operators Bill and Ian Wright for their continued contribution to the boat building industry.

    “The Brisbane boat builders join ten other regional award winners, who along with the finalists, deserve recognition for their commitment to training,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “I also send a big call out to James Barker, the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year, who has shown that childhood dreams are worth pursuing as his goal of a career in hospitality is now a reality, thanks to training with the Mantra hotel group.”

    Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace represented Ms Fentiman at the finals.

    “Well done to the winners and all nominees - your hard work certainly doesn’t go unnoticed,” Ms Grace said.

    “Shining a light on each of the finalists’ stories demonstrates how Queensland’s training is setting our state on course for a strong future.

    “So many diverse training courses and businesses were highlighted last night, from construction, boat building, health and media to hospitality and community services.

    “It’s pleasing to see the Multicultural Community Centre (MCC) amongst the winners, awarded the Community Training Initiative of the Year.

    “This centre encourages new migrants to get involved in a range of Certificate II and III courses, opening many doors for employment opportunities.”

    The 11 Metropolitan Queensland winners are: 

    1. Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year: Christopher Knight from Aspley (Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology)
    2. Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year: James Barker from Herston (Certificate III in Hospitality)
    3. Vocational Student of the Year: Patricia Arora from Tamborine Mountain (Diploma of Community Services)
    4. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Lilly Graham from Bellbird Park (Certificate IV in Business)
    5. School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year: Alby Gillis from South Maclean (Certificate III in Screen and Media)
    6. Equity VET Student of the Year: Helene Heath from Cleveland (Certificate I in Business)
    7. VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year: Lou Marks from Forest Lake (Institute of Management)
    8. Community Training Initiative of the Year: Multicultural Community Centre Ltd in Newmarket
    9. Large Employer of the Year: The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in Windsor
    10. Medium Employer of the Year: Norman R. Wright & Sons (Qld) Pty Ltd in Murarrie
    11. Small Employer of the Year: Spencer Constructions

    Ms Fentiman said the 11 winners would represent Metropolitan Queensland at the Queensland Training Awards State Gala Dinner on 8 September in Brisbane.

    “Celebrating the fantastic work so many people are doing in Queensland’s training sector is important, as the state needs more skilled workers and businesses that support people to build careers in their industry,” she said.

    Thanks to the sponsors of the 2018 Metropolitan Queensland Regional Final.

    The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, New England College, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, TAFE Queensland, Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts, OSMAC (PRON OZ-MACK) Apprenticeships, All Trades Training, MEGT (PRON M.E.G.T) (Australia) Ltd, WPC (PRON W.P.C) Group, Australian Child Care Career Options, Jobs Queensland, McDonald’s Australia, Blue Dog Training, Challenge Employment and Training, BUSY At Work, Electrogroup Apprenticeships and Training, TAFE Queensland, Australian Training Company and Masters in Building Training.

    For further information on the Queensland Training Awards State Gala Dinner visit

    A full list of the Metropolitan Queensland finalists is available at:

    For further information please contact the Queensland Training Awards via:

    Media contact: Simone Smiles 0427 417 328