2012 winners

The winners of the 2012 Northern Territory Training Awards are:


Sponsored by the Gil Court Memorial Fund.

Winner: Luke Fleming - Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology (Heavy Vehicle Mobile Equipment)

Employer: Hastings Deering (Australia) Ltd
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

While mechanics was always an interest, 30-year-old Luke Fleming did not consider making it his career immediately. After completing year 12 in 1998, Luke went on to work in a coaching and development role for the Australian Rugby League for five years before training with the Australian Customs Service as a customs officer, where he worked for several years.

True job satisfaction did not come to Luke until 2008 when he finally decided to study for his Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology (Heavy Vehicle Mobile Equipment). Luke was worried he may have missed the chance to gain an apprenticeship, however, his employer Hastings Deering (Aust) Ltd were quick to snap him up due to his vast personal life experience, confidence and strong communication skills.

Luke was named the Hastings Deering Darwin Apprentice of the Year last year and came a close second in the National Hastings Deering Top Apprentice Challenge. Luke has completed his apprenticeship and works as a field service diesel fitter for Hastings Deering Caterpillar dealership.

He loves the satisfaction of diagnosing and solving a machine’s problem as well as the travel to different locations within the Territory to get to the machines in need of repair.

When not working, Luke spends time with his young family and has maintained an interest in rugby league as a coach to various youth representative and local club teams.

Runner up: Hanna Beere - Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (Light Fabrication)

Employer: Northern Stainless
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

Sponsored by Apprenticeships Australia.

Winner: Cameron Smith - Certificate II in Agriculture

Employer: Consolidated Pastoral Company
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

A love for the outdoors and a fascination with the beef industry proved the ideal combination for 19-year-old Cameron Smith when the opportunity came up to train on a working Territory cattle station.

Cameron thrived on the responsibility that came with being a vital part of the Consolidated Pastoral Company at Newcastle Waters Station, a magnificent 10,353 square kilometres breeding property in the West Barkly Region. With its open plains, flood country and timbered sand hills; the station carries 45,000 head of cattle including 20,000 commercial Brahman breeders.

The huge workload was evenly distributed among staff giving Cameron a strong work ethic and a steep learning curve into the beef and cattle industry.

A talented polocrosse player, Cameron gained a representative jersey for the New South Wales junior team and often travels across the country for various state and national competitions. He also learned horse riding skills while working at the Newcastle Waters Station which he showed off at the Daly Waters and Nixon Crossing rodeos, picking up awards for the station buckjump and campdraft events.

Runner up: Elle Lyon - Certificate IV in Civil Construction (Supervision)

Employer: GTNT
Host employer: Department of Construction and Infrastructure
Registered training provider: TAFE NSW - Riverina Institute

Sponsored by East Arnhem Shire Council.

Winner: Lisa Oosen - Certificate II in Business Administration

Employer: Pacific Aluminium - Gove Operations
Registered training provider: Nhulunbuy High School

By her own admission, Lisa Oosen was a naïve, young kid, fresh out of school with no confidence and no idea of her potential or the opportunities available to her beyond school life. However, after joining the Pacific Aluminium Arnhem Learning Education Regional Training (ALERT) program in 2010, the 19-year-old now says she is a determined, focused, skilled and confident young woman who knows exactly what she wants out of life.

So far, Lisa has completed a Certificate I in Resources and Infrastructure, a Certificate II in Business Administration and has now commenced a Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Warehouse and Storage) so that she can reach her goal to be a qualified warehouse operator at Pacific Aluminium’s Gove Operations.

A self-confessed ‘people person’, Lisa loves to swim, fish and go camping with family and friends. She is also aware that her young Aboriginal nieces, nephews and cousins need positive role models, so she spends time reading to them and encouraging them to attend school and continue with their own educations.

Runner up: Myra Clark - Certificate III in Beauty Services

Employer: Palmerston Day Spa
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

Sponsored by McArthur River Mine.

Winner: Carolyn Maxsted - Certificate IV in Fitness

Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

As a business owner, Carolyn Maxsted decided to complete her Certificate IV in Fitness to assist her own staff in improving their personal health and wellbeing; as many lead sedentary work and personal lives.

Carolyn believes that health and fitness is often not valued highly in busy workplaces, yet the consequences are that staff find work responsibilities harder when they are less healthy and they are sick more often which can slow down the overall productivity of the workplace. Carolyn needed to be in peak form herself to manage a recycling business which she runs with her partner, as well as continue to service her own Group Fitness clients, spend time with her three children and focus on her studies; which she successfully completed in November last year.

Having lost a sister to cancer, Carolyn is an active member of the NT Cancer Council and through her participation did all she could to promote and raise funds for the cause when competing in a World Natural Body Building competition.

She also ran fitness classes for students at Malak Primary School where her daughters attend school. Her passion and commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone she comes into contact with and her selfless desire to freely pass on her knowledge and experience is testament to Carolyn’s vocational goal towards a fitter, more active lifestyle for all.

Runner up: Sarah Douglas - Certificate III in Fitness

Employer: Life Be In It NT
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

Sponsored by GTNT.

Winner: Jane Alia - Certificate III in Dental Assisting

School: Darwin High School
Employer: Oral Health Services NT
Registered training provider: Department of Health

Jane Alia arrived from Sudan in 2008 and her desire and commitment to succeed in her new country has been outstanding. Jane epitomises all the attributes of a school-based apprentice with her sights set on becoming a dentist one day.

Having completed her Certificate III in Dental Assisting, 18-year-old Jane has gained vital dentistry skills and an intimate knowledge of the work, conditions and pathways available to her in the oral health sector. Jane sees a skills shortage in oral health as her opportunity to become part of an industry that is reinventing itself to attract more people.

Given her background, Jane is a passionate advocate for programs to assist young people from different backgrounds struggling to fit into new lives. She volunteers at the Melaleuca Refugee Centre and helps women and young people feel welcomed and accepted in the community. A member of Darwin High School’s leadership team, Jane helps organise the school’s Biggest Morning Tea, Big Shave, 40 Hour Famine and other fundraising and awareness events.

Jane is the youth representative for the Northern Territory Council for Human Rights Education and also the vice-chair of Multicultural Youth Northern Territory (MyNT). In these roles, Jane speaks and lobbies politicians, Territory leaders and community groups about providing more positive opportunities and a better understanding of the unique needs of young Territorians.

Runner up: Zoey Kellaway - Certificate II in Community Studies

School: Taminmin College
Employer: GTNT
Host employer: Department of Health - Alcohol and Other Drugs Program Training Unit
Registered training provider: Department of Health

Sponsored by ConocoPhillips.

Winner: Joshua Tarrant - Certificate IV in Fitness

School: Palmerston Senior College
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

Joshua Tarrant sought out a healthier lifestyle for himself three years ago and after losing 20kgs through his own dedication and commitment, he decided to enlist the assistance of an expert to take him the rest of the way.

To this day, 18-year-old Josh credits his personal trainer with changing his life. This life-altering experience led Josh to want to develop his knowledge and skills to ensure he could always stay fit and healthy, as well as provide the same hope to others seeking a new, fitter lifestyle.

With the encouragement of his trainer, Josh started his Certificate III in Fitness and through his study realised that exercise was now a natural and enjoyable part of his life and no longer a painful, exhausting chore. As soon as he completed his Certificate III, Josh started a Certificate IV in Fitness with Group Fitness Specialisation, which he has now also successfully completed.

Josh can still hardly believe that in just three years he now has a professional career guiding people towards a happier and healthy life. His own personal experience means he fully understands the hardships, emotions and difficulties many people have with making such changes; making him a wonderfully supportive and empathetic trainer.

As an active member of the community, Josh is a former St John cadet and has assisted the YMCA with the Annual Defence Expo, which he coordinated. He has recently completed his Bronze Medallion and Pool Lifeguard qualifications and extended his previous certificates in CPR, resuscitation, defibrillation awareness and remote emergency response.

Runner up: Gabrielle Birch - Certificate I in Business and Certificate I and II in Information Technology

School: Nhulunbuy High School
Registered training provider: Nhulunbuy High School Council

Sponsored by Territory Technology Solutions.

Winner: Helen Grant - Taminmin College

Helen Grant is described as an exceptional hospitality teacher and role model for young people with a focus on community engagement, bringing people together for a common purpose and showing students how they can make a difference in their community.

Initially employed at Taminmin Secondary College as the home economics teacher in 2007, Helen has developed the curriculum to include the expansion into vocational education and training (VET) hospitality training with the school becoming a registered training organisation and offering Certificate I and II in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations).

The hospitality program at Taminmin College has become a vital program for students from a range of backgrounds including Aboriginal, learning unit, low-socio economic, and leading learners. Part of the program’s ongoing success is Helen’s passion for her work and her students, and her excellent industry contacts.

Fundraising for charity by preparing meals for lunches and dinners for community events and organisations is Helen’s way to show students how they can engage and influence their community. Taminmin College’s hospitality department has raised more than $10,000 in the last three years through this community work.

As a qualified chef and trainer, Helen was invited to take part in the National Review of the Hospitality qualifications and programs from entry level through to full diplomas. Her vital knowledge of the unique challenges facing Territory students and teachers were considered and included in the new education framework being developed for the industry.

To ensure her industry consultation is relevant and up-to-date, Helen is a member of the Australian Culinary Federation NT Chapter, the Home Economics Institute of Australia Inc NT Chapter, WorldSkills Australia, Service Skills Australia and the CHARTTES Training Advisory Council.

By currently undertaking a Diploma in Management, Helen is also making sure her own skills are continually developing and that she is maintaining the latest training and management standards in the classroom.

Runner up: Helen Clark - Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

Sponsored by INPEX.

Winner: Mineral Council Australia (MCA) in collaboration with Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE)

The minerals industry in Australia plays a significant role in the economic viability of rural and remote communities. This economic viability is underpinned directly through employment and business enterprise opportunities as well as broader development initiatives within the industry.

While the industry has engaged with Aboriginal communities and provided employment and training opportunities for some time, the growing shortage of skilled labour has highlighted regional and remote communities as an underutilised, underestimated and untapped resource base. A workshop comprising of eight Northern Territory-based mining companies, the MCA’s NT division and the NT Government was held in 2009 to address these issues.

The result was the MCA-NT Indigenous Pre-Employment Program - an industry-driven program designed to enable Aboriginal people to achieve a standard of job readiness and gain entry into the mining industry. The Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) entered into partnership with MCA-NT to facilitate the education aspects of the program.

Students spend 50% of their time undertaking the selected courses at BIITE’s Batchelor Campus and registered training organisations’ training workshops, and the remaining 50% on-the-job with their mining company employer. To assist participants understand and prepare, the program is designed around working life at a mine with 12 hour days for two weeks in shared dormitory living with alcohol and drug testing and high nutrition and fitness expectations before a seven day rest period.

The target enrolment for the program is 30 students per semester or 60 students per year. The success rate to date has been 84% with the most pleasing aspect of these results being that many graduates remain employed.

As a result of the achievements so far, the course has received unanimous support from all parties to continue. The program is always in a constant state of review to ensure the project content and delivery remains relevant to industry and the participants.

Runner up: Training Connections Australia (TCA) in collaboration with ITEC Employment

Sponsored by Southern Cross Television.

Winner: Hastings Deering (Aust) Ltd

Hastings Deering specialises in earthmoving for mining, roads infrastructure, land development, earthworks for construction, electrical and plumbing, and is a dealer for Caterpillar heavy vehicles. The company also deals in diesel engines for marine, power generation and transport.

Currently, Hastings Deering employs 29 full-time apprentices as well as four school-based apprentices out of its total 160 staff.

The company’s policy to ‘grow our own’ has seen apprentice numbers increase steadily with an average of eight new apprentice places being offered every year in Darwin and every two years in Alice Springs. High retention rates after the completion of the apprenticeships means the company has a strong ‘apprentice-appreciation culture’ among staff and management.

As the leading earthmoving specialists, Hastings Deering believes that staying at the top of the field is only achieved when their staff are expertly trained and experienced so as to offer the best, most current advice and information to clients. Staff training and knowledge in the areas of site and equipment safety, contamination control and up-to-date technical training has provided the most benefit for their business outcomes and on-going success.

By providing innovative learning programs and tools in the workplace, above-award wages, assistance with tool kits, work clothes, boots and other safety equipment; Hastings Deering offers initiatives and encouragement to apprentices to work hard to become an asset to the company and the industry in general.

Runner up: Kerry’s Automotive Group

Sponsored by Chamber of Commerce NT.

Winner: DAC Enterprises Pty Ltd

DAC Enterprises is a civil engineering and construction services business serving the Top End for more than 25 years. This privately owned company also operates transport, haulage, quarry, drainage, demolition and dismantling divisions giving it truly unique expertise and a highly customer driven reputation.

At present, 11 staff are studying various certificate courses to maintain due diligence, increase their skill capacity and support business goals. Managing Director, Douglas Taylor is leading by example and also undertaking a Business Mastery Course to ensure his own skills and expertise meet current standards and are of benefit to the organisation.

The practical business outcomes of staff training are obvious with a 10% reduction in onsite incidents and accidents and a consistency of high standard work and delivery of projects on time and on budget. High staff confidence, workplace efficiency and job satisfaction due to training programs has also benefitted the stability and positive outlook of staff and ensured a strong future for the business.

Instead of a Human Resources department, DAC has a People and Culture department that addresses the company’s recruitment and training programs. The department’s focus is on offering diverse career pathways and ongoing workplace satisfaction and performance. Staff awards, a training and skills development resource library and regular one‑on‑one performance assessments are just a few of the ways DAC Enterprises strive to assist staff in reaching company and personal career development goals.

Winner : Charles Darwin University

As the NT’s largest training provider, Charles Darwin University (CDU) has a major and multi-faceted role in the region’s economic and social development. The clearest evidence of this is in the university’s support for emerging industries of resource development and a growing Defence force presence.

The university recently invested $1 million in instrumentation for an electrotechnology laboratory to accommodate the demand for high-level qualifications in the resources sector, and has also announced a North Australian Centre for Oil and Gas as part of a $3 million agreement with INPEX Ichthys LNG Project.

The training programs offered by CDU assist industry, employers, government and a diverse range of large and small businesses to achieve their goals. The university provides training for 200 VET qualifications ranging from non-award courses to certificates and diplomas. The qualifications are primarily offered through four schools - the School of Trades; the School of Business and Service Industries; the School of Primary Industries; and the School of VET Health, Community and Children’s Services.

The university’s training mission is to significantly contribute to the economic and community development of the NT as a continuously improving and prosperous multi-sector education and training organisation. This mission is supported by several main objectives. They include the creation of rich learning environments in unique regional locations, being a preferred choice for Aboriginal students, actively pursuing partnerships which strengthen capacity whilst delivering mutually beneficial outcomes and providing a regional institution acknowledged for the quality and excellence of its programs and its support for students and staff.

The university builds strong links between the VET and higher education spheres to the extent that lecturers are shared between many of the sectors. CDU operates on a large scale and has broad reach that boasts more than 21,000 VET and higher education students, and vocational training being delivered in more than 150 locations throughout the NT.

Runner up: The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation

Last updated: 24 June 2019

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