Go Queenslanders!

Published Friday, 17 November, 2023 at 10:30 AM

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


  • The state’s top apprentices, trainees, trainers and employers from Weipa to the Gold Coast will proudly stand tall for Queensland on the national stage tonight.
  • 12 finalists will represent Queensland at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart.
  • Women are leading the Queensland contingent, with women in the running to take out the top prize in five of the seven individual award categories.


The Queensland and Australian Training Awards highlight the importance of skills and the significant role vocational education and training plays in workforce development.

Queensland has a proud track record at the Australian Training Awards including last year’s 2022 Apprentice of the Year Jennah Halley who is a role model to so many people.

The national finalists were selected after the Queensland Training Awards State Final in September. This year, state-wide nominations in the awards program increased by more than 40 per cent from 2022 – with more than 800 nominations.

The Palaszczuk Government invests more than $1.2 billion annually in training and skills and that investment is a driving force behind the Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032.

Queensland's representatives in Individual categories tonight are: 

Apprentice of the Year – Gabrielle Clift (Toowoomba)

Trainee of the Year – Charlotte Ross (Gold Coast)

Vocational Student of the Year – Jessica Addo (Cairns)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year – Shaniqua Burke (Napranum)

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year – Kyezaya Namai-Sabatino (Western Cape College, Weipa)

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year – Craig Jones (Gatton)

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award – Kelly Barron, TAFE Queensland (Toowoomba)

Business categories 

Industry Collaboration Award – National Energy Technician Training Scheme (NETTS) Queensland (Gladstone)

Large Employer of the Year Award – All Purpose Transport (Berrinba)

Innovation in VET Award – Bradford Institute of Advanced Education - Roper Gulf Cert III Project (North Lakes)

Registered Training Organisation categories 

Large Training Provider of the Year Award – TAFE Queensland (Queensland)

School Pathways to VET Award – St James College (Brisbane)


Quotes attributed to Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer:

“I can’t wait to see Queensland’s top training talent take on the nation’s best in Hobart tonight.

“Queensland’s representatives include apprentices, trainees, trainers and employers, who are helping to grow the state’s skilled workforce and are great examples of how training changes lives.

“It’s wonderful to see more Queensland women like Gabrielle and Charlotte following in Jennah’s footsteps representing the state across a number of sectors and making their mark in male-dominated industries.

“So too our Queensland Vocational Student of the Year, Jessica Addo from Cairns

“And how good is it to have Kyezaya Namai-Sabatino, shining a light on Weipa. He's a a year 12 student at Western Cape College in Weipa representing Queensland for the School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year.

“Win or lose I am proud of Queensland’s finalists, our top achievers in vocational education and training, whose efforts have been recognised by their attendance at the country’s peak awards."



Media contact – Gary Shipway - 0458 090 906