2014 winners

The winners of the 2014 Northern Territory Training Awards are:

Trainee of the Year

Sponsored by Group Training Association Queensland and the Northern Territory

Winner: Bradley Malby - Certificate III in Business Administration

Employer: GTNT
Host Employer: Department of Corporate and Information Services
Registered training organisation: Charles Darwin University

Bradley is already climbing the corporate ladder in his work as a Business Trainee, taking on higher duties and a heavier workload while completing his Certificate III in Business Administration studies.

His studies have a direct correlation to his work and have given him the confidence to take on new tasks. Studying components of work health and safety helped Bradley in his work updating Work Health Safety policy and procedures for the agency.

Bradley takes up opportunities for work-based training courses to enhance his skills in the human resources sector. A proud Territorian, Bradley is keen to further his career in the NT Public Service while making a contribution to the wider community.

Runner up: Gerald Pasigna - Certificate IV in Computer Systems Technology

Employer: NEC
Registered training organisation: Charles Darwin University

Austin Asche Apprentice of the Year 

Sponsored by the Gil Court Memorial Fund.

Winner: Shawn Du Venage - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

Employer: Power Water Corporation
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University

Shawn took the leap from running his own business to becoming a mature age apprentice to follow his long-held desire to work in the electrical industry. He says taking up an apprenticeship later in life was challenging with returning to school and starting again from the bottom, but ultimately rewarding. Shawn now works as operator/maintainer at Yulara Power Station, an opportunity to learn more about the operation of a power station.

Shawn says it's never too late to change careers and learn new skills. During his studies towards his Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician he says he was fortunate to learn from skilled colleagues.

Runner up: Tim Schmidt - Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade

Employer: Hastings Deering (Aust) Ltd
Registered Training Organisation: Hastings Deering Institute of Technology

Vocational Student of the Year

Sponsored by Master Builders Association NT.

Winner: Aimee Williams - Certificate III and IV in Fitness

Employer: ESS Larrakia
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University

After working in administration for two years Aimee realised she was not motivated by her work and decided to enroll as an external student in the Charles Darwin University Fitness Course. 

She resigned from her secure job to take up a placement opportunity with Defence Force PTI team and was offered a job at the YMCA.

On completing her Certificate III in Fitness she received an Outstanding Achievement Award from CDU, which encouraged her to continue her external studies in her Certificate IV in Fitness andCertificate IV in Massage Therapy.

Aimee volunteers with the Australian Naval Cadets, instructing juniors, and also with Total Recreation, working with youth and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. She works at the Howard Springs Accommodation Park as an Active Life Coach and has her own private clients she trains outside her work, study and community commitments.

Her next goal is to complete her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment so she can provide training and support to people with an interest in fitness. Aimee's motto is to never be afraid to go for what you want and know it takes commitment and determination to get there.

Runner up: Patrick Rivers - Certificate IV in Community Services Work

Employer: Department of Children and Families
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Sponsored by East Arnhem Shire Council​.

Winner: Yupunu Fiona Marika - Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management

Employer: Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation
Registered Training Organisation: Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.

Portrait image of Yupunu Fiona MarikaYupunu Fiona Marika is one of three senior Rangers and leads a team of men and women in land and sea-based management activities.

Undertaking her Certificate II Conservation and Land Management studies increased her knowledge of plants and animals and developed her literacy and numeracy skills, boosting her confidence and self-esteem. It has also developed her leadership skills and emphasised her authority in her senior ranger role.

Yupunu also works to deliver the Learning on Country program at Yirrkala school, successfully engaging students in learnings and improving school attendance. Yupunu says her studies have helped her meet her cultural obligations to pass on skills and knowledge to the next generation.

Runner up: Dawn Ivinson - Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Intervention 

Employer: Department of Children and Families
Registered Training Organisation: BCA National Training Group

VET in Schools Student of the Year 

Sponsored by ConocoPhillips​.

Winner: Lachlan Synnott - Certificate II in Transport & Distribution (Coastal Maritime Operations - Coxswain)

School: Good Shepherd Lutheran College
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University

An opportunity to combine his love of the sea with formal qualifications while still at school had immediate appeal for Lachlan Synnott.

Completing his Certificate II in Maritime Operations will enable him to legally operate vessels up to 12 metres long. This will not only benefit his future career but also helps in his other passion - fishing.

Lachlan is in Year 11 at Good Shepherd Lutheran College and wants to take up an electrical apprenticeship when he completes Year 12. He says a Certificate II in Maritime Operations will help him meet his career aim of carrying out electrical work on large boats.

He also devotes time to working with refugees and tutors young students who have English as a Second Language.

Runner up: Tayla Benn - Certificate I in Hospitality, Certificate II in Hospitality

School: Nhulunbuy High School
Registered Training Organisation: Nhulunbuy High School

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Sponsored by GTNT​​.

Winner: Liam May - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

School: Darwin High School
Registered Training Organisation: Advanced Training International
Employer: Electric NT Pty Ltd

Liam may be the youngest at his trade school but he is achieving some of the highest grades - 100 per cent in some assessments.

Liam's commitment to his school-based apprenticeship sees him attending trade school and working during school holidays. He is currently studying four subjects in Year 12, as well as undertaking his apprenticeship and working towards gaining his Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician.

Since Year 10 he has chosen subjects that will assist him in becoming an electrician. He gained a White Card and Ochre Card before starting his apprenticeship so he would be work-site ready as soon as he signed on.

His mum reckons he was born to work in the electrical industry, tinkering with things and having a fascination with lights and how they work.

Liam's long term goal is to have his own electrical contracting business in the Northern Territory.

Runner up: Kane Andrews - Certificate III in Carpentry

School: Good Shepherd Lutheran College
Registered Training Organisation: Charles Darwin University
Employer: System Homes

VET Teacher / Trainer of the Year

Sponsored by Halikos Hospitality.

Winner: Nikki Higgins - Charles Darwin University

The positive effect weights training had on her own life inspired Nikki Higgins to train others to reach their fitness goals. This has developed into a career coordinating and teaching Certificates in Fitness at Charles Portrait image of Nikki HigginsDarwin University in Darwin.

Nikki began studying for her qualifications as a fitness trainer 14 years ago, while working part time and raising seven children. She completed her Certificate IV in Fitness and began working as a personal trainer and fitness instructor before taking up the opportunity to coordinate the CDU Fitness course.

Since that time Nikki has developed her own training modules and assessment tools to deliver the course and ensure students are equipped to become professional operators in the fitness industry. In her nine years delivering fitness training in Darwin, Nikki's students have managed, staffed and run their own Personal Training businesses, gyms and fitness facilities.

She says one of her proudest moments as a lecturer was witnessing her fitness students receive the awards as winner and runner-up for the NT Training Awards Vocational Student of the Year for 2012 and 2013.

Runner up: Matt Deveraux - Taminmin College

Training Provider of the Year

Sponsored by NEC

Winner: Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

The Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) has a long proud record of providing training and education to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Group of women practising CPR on a dummy, while another woman is leaning in to assistAs an RTO, the Institute delivers vocational education and training with a strong focus on remote delivery, vocational areas aligned to remote community employment opportunities, foundation skills including work readiness and pathways to higher education. The majority of training is undertaken in collaboration with other organisations to maximise the resources available to support delivery, develop more effective engagement and learning models, improve student completion rates and ensure that there are genuine employment, further education or training pathways for participants.

The Institute's six key areas of focus are Community Services, Conservation and Land Management, Construction and Mining, Creative Industries, Health and Well Being and Foundation Skills with a focus on work readiness.

The Institute has two main campuses at the Batchelor Township and the Desert Peoples' Centre in Alice Springs and annexes at Katherine and Tenant Creek. In addition, an increased amount of training is being delivered remotely in response to community demand and to enable students to access the support services available from other service providers.

The Institute continues to access a substantially increased amount of external funding, has established improved pathways to Higher Education through the Education Support Worker and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker programs and is putting in place a vibrant remote VET in Schools program that will assist with increasing the future engagement of Aboriginal youth.

Runner up: BCA National Training Group

Training Initiative Award

Sponsored by Ichthys Project.

Winner: GTNT in collaboration with Charles Darwin University

In mid-2013 Group Training NT and Charles Darwin University joined forces to trial an innovative apprenticeship training program to help tackle increasing local workforce demands created by major new developments in the Top End.

The NT Government and GTNT Training initiative, Engineering Apprenticeship Learning Program, was designed to fast track the first year of a three to four-year apprenticeship in Certificate III in Engineering –Group image of men in PPE and a woman Fabrication Trade. The successful model catapulted project-ready apprentice boiler makers into local workplaces to provide sought after skills that are benefitting small to medium businesses in Darwin and Katherine.

The program was designed to help minimise the impact on workplace productivity caused by first year apprentices having to be trained on the job. It also significantly reduced costs for employers by allowing them to tap into a suitably skilled local worker pool instead of having to fly tradesmen in from interstate and overseas.

The Engineering Apprenticeship Learning Program is unique in being the first of this type of training model presented within the standard apprenticeship system in the Northern Territory.

The system has attracted significant industry interest from around Australia.

Runner up: Karen Sheldon Training and Development in collaboration with The Darwin Turf Club

Employer of the Year 

Sponsored by Southern Cross Television​​.

Winner: Hastings Deering (Aust) Ltd

As a recognised leader in the earthmoving field, Hastings Deering (Aust) Limited provide staff and training for mining, roads infrastructure, land development, construction, electrical and plumbing, power generation, transport and marine machinery.

In this diverse and ever-growing industry, Hastings Deering employs 150 people in the Northern Territory, including 29 full-time apprentices and two school-based apprentices. With a genuine commitment and passion to the on-going development of their employees, Hastings Deering boast more than 80 per cent retention rate of its trainees and apprentices over the last 10 years.

Group of men with in PPE standing in front of two diggersDue to the many potential dangers associated with its industry, Hastings Deering focus first and foremost on specific training known as Safety, Sustainability and Quality Management training. Ensuring their staff go home to their families in the same condition as they arrived, Hastings Deering carry out SQM training on a weekly basis and describe it as the cornerstone of their training program.

Technical training, supervisory training, sales and parts training, administration staff training, up skills training and contamination control coaching are all integral components and achievements of Hastings Deering's successful staff training and support programs.

Provided with excellent training along with hands-on experience, Hastings Deering staff can work safely to achieve at the highest level in an environment that offers the latest technology available.

Runner up: Traditional Credit Union

Small Employer of the Year 

Sponsored by NT News​​.

Winner: Arafura Tree Services

Arafura Tree Services is committed to local recruitment and the training of professional arborists.

When the company first established in Darwin there were few qualified arborists and no local training programs. Arafura Tree Services engaged an intestate arboreal RTO to provide nationally recognised training in Darwin and in 2010, 12 trainees completed a Certificate III in Arboriculture. In 2012, five staff completed their training and four in 2013. In addition, two staff completed Certificate IV in Arboriculture.

Investing in professional qualifications and training has resulted in strong staff retention, a motivated workplace culture and professional pride in the industry in the NT. Group of men in PPE standing of front of a shed and a truck

ATS developed an Indigenous Employment Strategy in 2012 and has developed a strong relationship with Indigenous employment brokers in the Darwin region. As a result of these networks and relationships, ATS has successfully recruited and retained Indigenous staff members who are great assets to the company. One employee was the first Indigenous apprentice to undertake the inaugural Certificate III in Arboriculture through Charles Darwin University.

ATS is committed to providing training at a local level and was actively involved in advocating for the delivery of the Certificate III Arboriculture training program at CDU specific to the local needs of the NT. The first intake for this course commenced in February 2014.

Runner up: Micks Ally Fab

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Last updated: 18 April 2016