Queensland training stars set to shine tonight

Published Friday, 18 November, 2022 at 09:00 AM

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

Queensland’s top training talent will be aiming to be recognised as the nation’s best at the 2022 Australian Training Awards tonight (Friday 18 November).

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer wished the 10 Queensland finalists good luck as they represent the state at the country’s peak awards for vocational education and training (VET) in Adelaide.

“Each finalist has a fantastic story to share about how training in Queensland leads to new opportunities and good jobs,” Minister Farmer said.

“The awards put the spotlight on the exceptional people, projects and organisations developing the skilled workers that Queensland and the nation needs.”

Minister Farmer congratulated all Queensland finalists for reaching this stage of the awards.

“They include Queensland’s Apprentice of the Year, Cairns’ refrigeration technician Jennah Halley, who returned to work after eight years as a single mum caring for four children,” Minister Farmer said.

“Jennah’s training journey started when her brother, a refrigeration technician, asked her to help out a few hours a week. She went on to complete a Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration last year.”


Minister Farmer said Jennah is one of four women selected among Queensland’s six Australian Training Award individual category finalists.


“The other female finalists include Queensland’s Vocational Student of the Year Courtney Evans from the Gold Coast, whose snowboarding accident became the catalyst for a career change from hospitality to nursing.

“After completing a Diploma of Nursing, Courtney was employed as an enrolled nurse in January this year and is now pursuing a Bachelor of Nursing with aims to become a registered nurse. 


Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student is Atahnee Simpson, a proud Wakka Wakka and Jinibarra woman from Ipswich, who completed a Certificate III in Business Administration while employed at the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning. 


“Ronelle Sheehan from Townsville is representing Queensland in the VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year category. Ronelle is a TAFE Queensland teacher specialising in health and aged care, delivering the Certificate III in Health Services Assistance and the Certificate II in Health Support Services. 


“In 2021, Ronelle was instrumental in the health and aged care industry's response to COVID-19, delivering Infection Control Skills Set training across North Queensland.” 


Minister Farmer said Logan’s Tony Karamatic is contesting the Trainee of the Year category.

“After starting with Albem Construction as a labourer more than 17 years ago Tony has built up his skills and experience, becoming a mature age trainee and completing his Diploma of Project Management to ensure he had the required skill set to manage complex civil construction projects.


“Matthew Siver from St Columban’s College at Caboolture took out Queensland’s school-based apprentice or trainee title and is a strong contender for the national title.

“Matthew commenced a school-based traineeship with Metro North Health to attain a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance, which will assist his ultimate career goal of becoming a paramedic.”


Other Queensland finalists include Harness Energy in the Small Training Provider of the Year category, Sunshine Coast Technical Trade Training Centre vying for the School Pathways to VET Award, G8 Education in the Australian Apprenticeships-Employer Award category and the Queensland Future Skills Partnership which is a finalist in the Industry Collaboration Award category.


Minister Farmer said Harness Energy is a cross-sector organisation specialising in safety and technical training and labour hire across oil and gas, transport, warehousing, construction, rail and freight, and mining industries.


“Harness Energy delivers accredited courses from facilities in Brisbane, Toowoomba and Papua New Guinea and through a Mobile Training Unit, and its innovative approach using online learning and virtual reality is reflected in a 97 per cent completion rate by students.


“The Sunshine Coast Technical Trade Training Centre is focused on trade students and their transition from school to VET study, to the workforce with industry qualifications.


“In the last 11 years, the training centre has helped more than 2000 students gain the skills and knowledge needed for industry employment.


“G8 Education is one of Australia’s largest early learning providers, dedicated to creating the foundations for learning for life. This extends to both the 50,000 children attending its 440-plus centres every week, as well as its 10,000 strong workforce across Australia by investing in professional development opportunities.


“G8’s Study Pathways Program currently supports more than 1200 educators to gain nationally accredited qualifications.


“The Queensland Future Skills Partnership is led by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance and includes TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity Australia as its education partners,” Minister Farmer said.


“The partnership is designed to fund and facilitate the fast-tracked development and delivery of accredited training in automated technology. It has led to advanced skill sets and vocational qualifications, ensuring the sustainability of open-cut mining operations in Queensland.”


Minister Farmer said the state and national awards continue to highlight the significant role VET plays in workforce development.


“Investment in skills development is as important as ever as industries across the country experience skilled worker shortages.


“That’s why we are investing $1.2 billion annually in training and skills and is the driving force behind our Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032.


For further information on the Queensland Australian Training Awards finalists:



Dropbox for images of Queensland’s Australian Training Awards finalists can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/278mnothbcmmc60/AAD7DXbBg9eJeo6QiQ_2NNfha?dl=0 


Media contact: Nicola Field

Ph: 0497 940 285