Queenslanders win big at national training awards

Published Saturday, 19 November, 2022 at 05:00 AM

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

Queensland’s top training talent has been recognised on the national stage, winning five awards at the 2022 Australian Training Awards in Adelaide last night.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer congratulated the winners on collecting the national honours and putting a spotlight on excellence in Queensland’s training and skills sector.

“It is a fantastic achievement for Jennah Halley, G8 Education, Sunshine Coast Technical Trade Training Centre Queensland Future Skills Partnership, BHP Alliance, TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity Australia and Harness Energy to be named the nation’s best, recognising their hard work, commitment and excellence,” Minister Farmer said.

“The award wins are further proof of the vital role training will play in delivering our Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032, which includes a focus on skilling Queenslanders now and in the future.

Minister Farmer congratulated the national winner of the Apprentice of the Year Jennah Halley, a Cairns-based refrigeration technician.

“Jennah Halley has had a different journey and her inspiring story makes her a role model for others wanting to forge a great career or build their workforce through training.

“As the sayings goes ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ and as a national award winner now she is not just a high achiever in her own field but also a shining example of the transformative power of skills”.

“Jennah is an absolute inspiration as a mother-of-four who returned to the workforce after eight years as a single mum after her brother, also a refrigeration technician, asked her to help out a few hours a week,” Minister Farmer said.

“From there, Jennah grew a keen interest in the industry and, with the completion of her Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration in 2021, she is believed to be the only qualified female refrigeration technician in Cairns – a statistic she's hoping to help change.

“From a few hours a week to Australia’s Apprentice of the Year, it’s been an amazing journey for Jennah who is breaking down barriers for women and First Nations peoples.

“Jennah is one of five female tradies chosen to launch an iStock and Tradeswomen Australia campaign featuring real women working in a range of skill sectors, which is another way she is supporting more women to take on an apprenticeship.”

Jennah Halley said “Winning this award is the most humbling and grounding moment of my career. It means I now have a platform to share my story to more people and hopefully encourage and inspire those second guessing their choices.” 

“This process has been inspiring and humbling. To be nominated by my TAFE teacher has helped me realise I belong here and that I am not only accepted but I'm capable,” Ms Halley said. 

“My entire work team looks up to me, celebrates me and respects me. The training process as a mature age woman was daunting but I can truly say it’s changed my life in every single way,” she said.

Minister Farmer also congratulated Harness Energy for collecting the Silver medal in the Small Training Provider category.

“Harness Energy specialises in safety and technical training and labour hire across oil and gas, transport, warehousing, construction, rail and freight, and mining industries.

“It delivers accredited courses from facilities in Brisbane, Toowoomba and Papua New Guinea, and through a Mobile Training Unit.

“Harness Energy’s innovative approach includes online learning and virtual reality to enhance student experience, which is reflected in a 97 per cent completion rate for the qualifications it delivers and is one of the many reasons it has collected the national award.”

Minister Farmer said it was a great result in the Industry Collaboration Award with Queensland Future Skills Partnership, BHP Mitsubishi Alliance with CQUniversity and TAFE Queensland – Industry Collaboration Award winning the Silver medal.

“Launched in August 2019, the Queensland Future Skills Partnership is led by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance and includes TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity Australia as its education partners.

“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 Sunshine Coast Technical Trade Training Centre’s Bronze medal in the School Pathway to VET Award was a fantastic recognition for a decade of great work.

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

“Since 2011, it has prepared over 2,000 students with the skills and knowledge needed for industry employment.

“The Sunshine Coast Technical Trade Training Centre engages between secondary schools, VET providers, community, students and industry and this collaboration enables it to continue to grow, producing highly skilled and professional graduates who are prepared to commence their careers.”

Minister Farmer acknowledged the Bronze medal won the G8 Education in the Australian Apprenticeships-Employer Award category.

“G8 Education is one of Australia’s largest early learning providers, dedicated to its purpose of creating the foundations for learning for life.

“This work extends to both the 50,000 children attending its more than 440 centres every week, as well as its 10,000 strong workforce across Australia by investing in professional development opportunities.

“G8’s sector-leading Study Pathways Program supports team members to take their profession to new heights by offering opportunities to obtain fully funded, nationally accredited qualifications while working in centre with the program currently supporting over 1200 educators in their studies.”

Minister Farmer also congratulated the runner up for the Australian School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year Matthew Siver, who is completing a traineeship with Metro North Health that will result in a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance. 

Undertaking this training pathway has ignited a passion for the health care sector for Matthew, and he plans to continue his studies in the field after he graduates from high school. Matthew's ultimate career goal is to become a paramedic. 

Minister Farmer said the state and national awards continue to highlight the significant role VET plays in workforce development and wanted to congratulate all the Queensland finalists.  

“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 the driving force behind our Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032,” she said.

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