2011 winners

The winners of the 2011 Northern Territory Training Awards are: 

Trainee of the Year

Sponsored by McArthur River Mining.

Winner: Melissa Agnew - Certificate II in Animal Studies

Employer: Crocodylus Park
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University

Thanks to her school-based apprenticeship, Melissa Agnew not only has her Year 12 certificate but a great job at Crocodylus Park. Working at one of two large, animal-based attractions in the Top End, Melissa has gained an understanding of the importance of the role zoos and wildlife parks play in public education about wildlife, their habitats and ongoing conservation. 

By completing a Certificate II in Animal Studies, she has learnt standard operating procedures at the park, including working within the crocodile production team involving the capture and movement of hundreds of crocodiles between enclosures. This work demonstrates Melissa’s ability to work within a team, to ensure the welfare and safety of crocodiles and staff. 

Melissa has been promoted to a leadership role supervising young volunteers at Crocodylus Park. She is motivated by the prospect of further education. Melissa is currently undertaking her Certificate III in Animal Studies while considering whether she will pursue a university degree.​

Runner up: Christine Spielmann - Certificate III in Business

Employer: Northern Territory Treasury
Registered Training Organisation: Dovaston Training and Assessment Centre​

Austin Asche Apprentice of the Year

Sponsored by Rio Tinto Alcan.

Winner: Rebecca Langley - Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Systems Electrician)

Employer: NT Controls and Automation
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University

Rebecca Langley pursued her electrical apprenticeship after 10 years in the hospitality industry. Despite knowing nothing about electrical work and being older than many others in her class, Rebecca completed her Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Systems Electrician). 

Becoming an electrician is her proudest achievement to date, and she is now considering further studies in this field. Rebecca is known for her enthusiasm and willingness to help new apprentices, and is passionate about encouraging others to gain qualifications in order to help grow and develop the Northern Territory’s workforce. 

She began her apprenticeship with GBS Gold, but was made redundant when the company went into liquidation. Despite this setback, Rebecca carried on and completed her apprenticeship with NT Controls and Automation. 

Rebecca is proud of what she has been able to achieve, and is currently looking into further studies. Rebecca lives in Adelaide River and spends most of her time on her parents’ cattle station.​

Runner up Jay Craig - Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology (Heavy Vehicle Mobile Equipment)

Employer: Hastings Deering
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University​

Vocational Student of the Year 

Sponsored by ConocoPhillips. ​

Winner: Carine Kapiamba - Diploma of Business Administration

Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University

Carine Kapiamba-Tshimbu came to the Northern Territory three years ago as a refugee from Congo and has overcome significant hurdles to achieve milestones in her studies, community and new country. 

The mother of four has successfully completed a Diploma of Business Administration to improve her English and business skills and is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Management at Charles Darwin University. An Australian resident, Carine aspires to pursue a career in administration and establish herself as a role model for others in the refugee and migrant community. 

She offers her services as a volunteer interpreter and helped her sister set up a small business. The 2011 recipient of the inaugural Charles See Kee Leadership Scholarship, Carine has been commended for her work in assisting refugees and other new arrivals settle into the Territory.​

Runner up: Graham Havens - Certificate IV in Building

Registered Training Organisation: The Building Institute of Training and Development​

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Sponsored by Australian Apprenticeships NT​.

Winner:Sam Wees - Certificate III in Financial Services

Employer: Traditional Credit Union
Registered Training Organisation: Chamber of Commerce NT

Now a branch supervisor, Sam Wees knew little about finance when he began working at the Warruwi Traditional Credit Union. Sam’s confidence has grown significantly over his traineeship, showing genuine commitment to share the knowledge he has gained with family and friends in his community. 

Sam’s journey shows that age, schooling level and living in a remote community is no barrier to achieving great things. Having completed a Certificate III in Financial Services, he is now helping his staff complete a Certificate II in Financial Services. 

Sam was also a driving force behind the establishment of the first football team in Warruwi in 10 years, after approaching the Credit Union for sponsorship in the Umpires carnival in Darwin. Warruwi now plays in the carnival every year. Motivated by his love of seafood, Sam recently purchased a boat to go fishing and diving in Warruwi.​

Ludwig Schebeck - Certificate II in Engineering

Employer: GTNT
Host Employer: Rio Tinto Alcan
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University​

School Based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Sponsored by GTNT​.

Winner: Connor Reid - Certificate III in Automotive Technology (Heavy)

School: Darwin High School
Employer: GTNT
Host Employer: Hastings Deering
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University

Connor Reid is a dedicated school-based apprentice who is working towards becoming a diesel mechanic. He is studying a Certificate III in Automotive Technology (Heavy) and a Certificate III in Fitness, and wishes to represent apprentices across the Northern Territory and Australia. Connor first enrolled in an Industry Placement Plan in grade nine with Hastings Deering, which led to him being offered a school-based apprenticeship with the company the following year. 

Keen to learn and hard working, Connor gets along well with his colleagues at Hastings Deering and has a good work ethic. He loves the job, the lifestyle, the people, and feels as though he is playing an important role by supporting an industry that is experiencing a skills shortage. 

Connor is also the Vice Chair of the 2011 Youth Ministers Round Table of Young Territorians.​

Runner up: Jayde Forscutt - Certificate II in Transport and Logistics (Warehousing and Storage)

School: Casuarina Senior College
Employer: Murray Malle Training Company
Host Employer: Reece Pty Ltd
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University​

 VET Teacher / Trainer of the Year 

Sponsored by Mr Richard Ryan AO and Territory Technology Solutions​.

Winner: Marlene Organ - Nhulunbuy High School Council

Marlene Organ is passionate about delivering quality outcomes for Nhulunbuy High School VET students and a wide range of stakeholders in the community. 

The school’s VET coordinator, Marlene strives to train students to the best of her ability so they feel confident to go out into the workforce with sound skills, and plays a proactive role in guiding them into employment and school-based apprenticeships. 

Marlene has been fundamental in developing the VET Skills Centre at Nhulunbuy High School, using her contacts in the community to furnish it, and accessing funding through Enterprise Grants to buy vital equipment. 

This excellent VET environment has played a major role in the successful delivery of school-based apprenticeships, certificates and courses to part-time students, training of full-time business trainees as well as the timetabled VET programs. 

Marlene also introduced the Gove Gourmet Café to Nhulunbuy High School, a training ground for hospitality students.​

Runner up: Debra Say - Traditional Credit Union​

VET in Schools Student of the Year

Sponsored by East Arnhem Shire Council​.

Winner: Kendall Nuske - Certificate III in Agriculture

School: Taminmin College

Not afraid of hard work, Kendall has always wanted to work in the horse and cattle industry. Kendall is working at the Berrimah Export Yards, where she was recently promoted to a managerial role overseeing maintenance and management of cattle. 

The Taminmin College student has been described as an outstanding performer in the agricultural field and a natural leader, and now takes a lead role in preparing the school’s cattle show team.​

Runner up: Keegan Kelly - Certificate I in Engineering

School: Nhulunbuy High School​

Training Provider of the Year

Sponsored by Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) ​.

Winner: Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services Inc. (CAAPS)

The Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services Inc. (CAAPS) is a community-based substance misuse service supporting Indigenous families experiencing alcohol and other drug issues. 

As a registered training organisation (RTO), CAAPS delivers nationally accredited courses in community services to a number of remote and urban groups and communities. Through its training, CAAPS aims to strengthen communities and improve their access to resources and support networks; increase employment opportunities and decrease the feeling of vulnerability often experienced by Aboriginal people in communities; improve opportunities for the development of children; and increase engagement with schools about employment responsibilities.

80 percent of the CAAPs workforce is Indigenous.​

Runner up: Eagle Training Services

​Industry Collaboration Award 

Sponsored by INPEX​.

Winner: Advanced Training International and Larrakia Development Corporation, INPEX and Kormilda College

In 2010, Advanced Training International entered into a strategic alliance with the Larrakia Development Corporation, Kormilda College and financial backers/joint venture partner INPEX and Total E & P Australia, to develop and construct a new, multi-million dollar Trade Training Centre. 

Opened in April 2011, the Larrakia Trade Training Centre offers Territorians the opportunity to gain new life skills, work skills and eventually, meaningful employment. One of the most important goals of the new centre is to provide skills needed in remote Aboriginal communities throughout the Northern Territory, but it will also produce a new stream of qualified tradespeople for Darwin businesses. 

The facility features state-of-the-art training equipment and modern, fully air-conditioned classrooms for technical studies. The centre has become Darwin’s largest and most advanced trade training facility, where more Indigenous and non-Indigenous trainees and apprentices are being trained than ever before.​

Runner up: Taminmin College and Groote Eylandt College​

Small Employee of the Year

Sponsored by Southern Cross Television.

Winner: Traditional Credit Union

Traditional Credit Union (TCU) was established as a Yolgnu-initiated response to the ongoing market failure and associated withdrawal of financial services by major banks from remote communities in the Northern Territory. 

TCU remains Australia’s only successful Indigenous member-owned financial institution, and has sustained the delivery of financial services to 11 remote communities over the past 15 years. 

TCU has a predominantly Indigenous workforce and has enabled major, ongoing cost savings through being able to dispense with entitlement payment by cheque, in favour of electronic payments to TCU members. 

It focuses on the social and economic wellbeing of members and communities in which it operates, and any profit earned is returned to the members in the form of education, employment, training and expanded services.

TCU’s Structured Training and Employment Program has been a great success by supporting Indigenous Australians to take up training and employment opportunities. It is also supporting the sustainable financial independence for people in remote areas of Arnhem Land.​

Runner up: Department of Health

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Last updated: 18 April 2016