2018 winners

The winners of the 2018 Northern Territory Training Awards are:


Sponsored by ISAC NT

Winner: Nathan Powell, Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

Employer: Power and Water
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

Nathan Powell is proof that dreams can come true at any age. Nathan began his electrotechnology apprenticeship as a mature age apprentice after a career in the police force so he could spend more time with his young family.

Nathan excelled in his apprenticeship receiving eight exam results of 100% at trade school. He was a finalist in the Master Builders NT Excellence in Building and Construction Apprentice Awards and has received awards from GTNT for his outstanding workmanship and work ethic.

Since tinkering with electronic kits and gadgets as a child, Nathan recently fulfilled another dream when he rebuilt and automated his yacht’s entire electrical system.

Runner-up: Joshua Molina, Certificate III in Arboriculture

Employer: Arafura Tree Services and Consulting Pty Ltd
Registered training provider: ArbTrack Australia

Since becoming the youngest arborist qualified in the Northern Territory (NT), Joshua Molina’s career has continued to scale new heights.

With an interest in conservation, it was while watching tree crews remove enormous trees from his house as a teenager that his passion for arboriculture was ignited. Signing up for work experience with Arafura Trees as a high school student, Josh quickly earnt the respect and eventually an apprenticeship with his employer.

Josh completed a Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management at Arafura Trees and has since gone on to complete a Certificate III in Arboriculture.

Josh, who mentors disadvantaged children through Filipino martial arts, is now qualified to lead crews at the age of 19 and has plans to undertake a Diploma of Arboriculture.

Sponsored by NEC

Winner: Kimberly Brewster, Certificate III in Business Administration

Employer: Programmed Skilled Workforce
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

After completing year 12 just before the birth of her child, Kimberly Brewster put her career aspirations on hold to focus on being a mother.

Worried her lack of formal training and experience would limit her in securing employment in the business administration sector,

Kimberly thought she would never be given a chance. Fortunately, securing a traineeship with Programmed and host company ConocoPhillips marked the beginning of a life-long learning journey that she says has changed her life.

Now a mum of two, Kimberly completed a Certificate III in Business Administration in December 2017 and is doing a Certificate IV in Business Administration. Described by ConocoPhillips as an “integral team member” Kimberly provides sole administrative support for the company’s 200 onshore team members.

Runner Up: Rachel Harpur, Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Employer: Early Learning Durack
Registered training provider: Alana Kaye College

An insatiable hunger for challenge and meaning saw Rachel Harpur take a leap of faith and switch career paths from retail to childcare.

Rachel enrolled in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care after completing year 12 and is now undertaking a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care while working at Journey Early Learning Durack.

Rachel teaches aerial acrobatic skills and says dangling on a rope suspended from the roof gives her a similar feeling to learning new skills through her traineeship. A self-professed eco-warrior, Rachel combines her passion for working with children and the environment by teaching children to be sustainable and respect the environment.

Sponsored by East Arnhem Regional Council

Winner: Sonny Malmerin-Fejo, Certificate III in Warehousing Operations

Employer: Programmed Skilled Workforce
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

When Sonny Malmerin-Fejo began his apprenticeship at ConocoPhillips he couldn’t believe he was getting paid for the work he was doing. Described by his supervisor as sunny by name and by nature, Sonny has established himself as a happy and enthusiastic team member with an infectious hunger for learning new skills.

In completing a Certificate III in Warehouse Operations, Sonny has rotated through various departments within ConocoPhillips, being exposed to huge logistical operations.

With this has come some challenges which Sonny has tackled head on by immersing himself in team culture and reaching out for help when he needed it.

Runner Up: Amber Cadell, Certificate IV in Business

Employer: Top End Health Services
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

Amber Cadell’s message is simple - 'never let adversity stop you from reaching your goals'. Amber’s goal is to one day become a police officer so she can be a role model in her community and promote good behaviour. With her natural born leadership skills, commitment to success and resilience during tough times, she is already half way there.

In 2016, Amber completed a Certificate II in Business as part of the Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) and has since completed a Certificate IV in Business. She is currently enrolled in the Certificate IV in Leadership and Management while juggling work at Katherine Hospital in an administrative position.

During her first certificate as part of the IEP, Amber’s resilience was tested with the death of her brother two weeks into the program.

Amber vowed to not miss any of her training despite the devastation her and her family were suffering.

Sponsored by Hot100

Winner: Kaylee Appleyard, Diploma of Training Design and Development

Employer: Alana Kaye College
Registered training provider: Alana Kaye College

Teaching the teachers is a skill Kaylee Appleyard revels in as she works towards becoming a leading force for change in the NT.

Committed to shaping the lives of adults and children alike as a trainer in the Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care qualifications, Kaylee teaches others the skills and knowledge required to make a difference in children’s lives.

Kaylee has a Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and recently completed a Diploma in Training Design and Development. Kaylee recognises the
challenges in the ever changing childcare industry and relies on the support and advice from other industry professionals to help overcome obstacles and maintain faith in herself and her abilities.

Runner Up: Emily Tjung, Certificate III and IV in Fitness

Employer: Training for Warriors
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

Emily Tjung has learnt dedication can change both your mind and body after establishing her own personal training business.

Losing weight and increasing muscle mass are a positive by-product of Emily’s service with the main aim to create better headspace and motivation for clients to lead a healthier life. Emily, who grew up in the Territory, radiates enthusiasm and is enjoying her increased confidence and knowledge after completing her Certificate III and IV in Fitness.

Emily also has a third degree black belt in Tang Soo Do karate and is actively involved in the Chung Wah Society Lion Dance Troupe. In 2017, she was awarded the Certificate IV Fitness Student of the Year and the Mitchell Russell Memorial Award of the Most Outstanding Personal Training Results.

Sponsored by GTNT

Winner: Tullalah Ormsby, Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Employer: Farrar Early Learning Centre
Registered training provider: Transforming Training

From a young age Tullalah Ormsby knew she would work in childcare. However, it was not until year 10 work experience at a local childcare centre and after her family opened their home as foster carers that she was inspired to pursue a school-based apprenticeship in early childhood education and care.

Tullalah completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in 2017 and is now doing a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. She works three days a week at Farrar Early Learning Centre as a part time apprentice while spending two days a week at school.

Runner Up: Rhylie-Lynn Maurirere, Certificate III in Business Administration

Employer: Site Skills Training
Registered training provider: Site Skills Training

Rhylie Maurirere was so eager to join the workforce that she accelerated her school based traineeship and finished year 12 six months ahead of schedule.

Rhylie has completed a Certificate III in Business Administration and is enrolled in a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety. Completing year 12, her certificate and having 12 months’ work experience under her belt has significantly boosted Rhylie’s self confidence and she is keen to share her story with others.

By excelling in training and in her workplace, Rhylie has developed the confidence she needed to join a local touch football team where she brings passion and enthusiasm to the team.

Sponsored by McArthur River Mining - Glencore

Winner: Jemma Young, Certificate II in Constructions (Pathways) and Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)

School: Darwin High School
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

A presentation by the Sparkettes, a team of female electricians, was enough to spark a life-long learning journey for Jemma Young.

Jemma is on her way to becoming an electrician and hopes to begin an apprenticeship once she has finished school. To prepare for her apprenticeship and future career as an electrician, Jemma has completed a Certificate II in Construction and recently began a Certificate II in Electrotechnology.

Working with host employer, Power and Water, Jemma balances completing her certificate, year 12, volunteering and casual weekend employment. Jemma has no qualms in entering a largely male dominated industry and describes her commitment and excellent work ethic as the traits that will help her reach her goals.

Runner Up: Tannah Gould, Certificate III in Conservation Land Management, Certificate II in Tourism, Maritime Operations and Engineering Pathways

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

Nhulunbuy local Tannah Gould wants to work in the environmental sector and is doing everything she can to prepare herself for employment. Tannah is completing a Certificate II in Tourism, Certificate II in Engineering Pathways, Certificate III in Conservation Land Management and achieving a coxswain qualification.

Having already completed work placements with various businesses and demonstrated her eagerness to learn, Tannah has already had employment offers for when she finishes year 12 at the end of this year.

Tannah found VET in schools was the best option for her to ensure she could enter the industry of her choice.

Sponsored by INPEX Ichthys Project

Winner: Chrissy Zelley

Subject Area: Early Childhood Education and Care
Employer: Charles Darwin University

Charles Darwin University (CDU) trainer Chrissy Zelley’s classroom is not confined by four walls. With her student group spanning an impressive 110,000 square kilometres in the Territory’s north, it can be difficult to deliver successful training courses.

Chrissy teaches the Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care with students from Timber Creek, Kalkaringi, Mataranka, Ngukurr and Katherine. However, the real obstacle for Chrissy is far more challenging as some students speak English as their fourth language.

One of Chrissy’s major career achievements has been the success of her Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care students located in Ngukurr.

Runner Up: Martin Astridge, Certificate II in Community Engagement

Subject area: Community Engagement
Employer: NT Police Force

Martin Astridge is a devoted father of three but nurtures and improves the professional and personal lives of many more. Having been a police officer for almost 20 years, Martin has a wealth of knowledge and experience in community engagement. The lucky recipients of this knowledge are NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services College cadets where Martin leads the Certificate II in Community Engagement.

Sponsored by Study in Australia NT

Winner: Manfred Mletsin, Diploma of Leadership and Management

Manfred Mletsin says completing a Diploma of Leadership and Management has taught him that communication is the key to success – something he has practiced with his family and as a result brought them closer together.

During his diploma, Manfred learnt about human resources, business, sales and management which he says he practices in his role as a supervisor.

Runner Up: Linh Do, Certificate II in Retail Services

Vietnam born Linh Do enrolled in a Certificate II in Retail Services to improve her customer service skills, learn about business and improve her confidence with the hope of one day securing a management role in retail.

Having now completed the certificate, Linh is equipped with the knowledge and skills she needs to excel in the retail space, with her biggest achievement being the improvement to her English-speaking skills.

Sponsored by NT News

Winner: Hot Tamale Mexican Cantina

Award winning Hot Tamale Mexican Cantina has embraced a 'pass it forward' attitude when it comes to training staff. Hot Tamale staff undergo rigorous training processes involving online training modules and on the floor practical training with a mentor.

Since opening in 2006, Hot Tamale has won a number of awards including the 2016 AHA Gold Plate Award for Best Cocktail List and the 2017 AHA National Award for Excellence in Service. David knows that his staff are his biggest asset.

With 15 staff producing a high calibre of work and customer service, the company is proud of its training procedures, having trained countless people who have gone onto to bigger things around the world.

Runner up: YouthWorX NT

YouthWorX NT has been providing services and support to young people in the Territory for 20 years. While providing advice on social issues in the community and promoting employment of young people across the Territory, YouthworX NT practices what it preaches by supporting its own staff and their career choices.

YouthWorX NT supports capacity building and professional development in its employees, with 10 staff undertaking a range of skills training over the past 12 months, including qualifications in alcohol and other drugs, first aid, mental health, leadership and management, counselling, community services and exercise and sports science.

The different skill sets showcased by YouthWorX NT’s 14 employees are celebrated and staff are encouraged to pursue training to build their capacity.

Sponsored by Charles Darwin University

Winner: NEC Australia

In the ever-changing space of information and communications technology (ICT), local company NEC Australia is committed to supporting young people and creating a diverse and sustainable workforce within the sector.

NEC employs 166 full-time staff across the NT to deliver essential ICT solutions and services to businesses. Established in Darwin in 1998, NEC is the Territory’s largest private sector ICT employer and is committed to creating jobs that keep people in the Territory.

NEC design all employee training programs with the Territory’s conditions in mind and continuously build employee skillsets to ensure exceptional service delivery and meeting of contractual agreements, while also supporting employee satisfaction.

Runner up: Outback Stores

Aim to 'make a positive difference in the health, employment and economy of remote Aboriginal communities' through their sustainable retail stores.

Established in 2006, Outback Stores currently supports 37 Aboriginal owned remote community stores in the NT, Western Australia and South Australia through retail store management and other support services. They are also a registered training organisation.

Sponsored by Hastings Deering

Winner: Charles Darwin University

CDU has 10,157 vocational education and training (VET) students enrolled in an impressive 184 qualifications across the NT. VET at CDU delivers training in 140 locations from Milingimbi and Borroloola to the Tanami and is the Territory’s largest public VET provider. VET at CDU focus on laying the foundations to enable young Territorians to participate in the local economy with more than 2,100 high school students enrolled in VET for Secondary Schools.

The training organisation is committed to achieving its strategic priorities by targeting training to meet the Territory’s demand for skills. Passionate about providing apprenticeships for its Aboriginal students, who make up 30% of VET enrolments, VET at CDU is introducing initiatives such as a CDU and Gumatj Corporation program to provide Yolgnu men and women work opportunities in East Arnhem Land.

Runner up: Fox Education and Consulting

Committed to creating sustainable careers in health care for Territorians with a focus on recruiting Aboriginal students. Responding to a skills shortage in health care particularly in regional and remote locations, Fox Education and Consulting provide aged care, disability, community services and individual care training to students located in Alice Springs, Santa Teresa, Mount Liebig, Kintore and Mutitjulu.

Sponsored by ISAC NT

Winner: PFES Cadet Program

The next generation of police, firefighter and emergency recruits are being put through their paces as part of the NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services (NTPFES) Cadet Program.

A joint partnership between NTPFES and the Department of Education, the program gives high school students a taste of life in the tri-Services through work placements, emergency, fire and police training, life skills, business and community engagement.

Cadets undergo intensive training blocks to prepare them for their future careers in any industry including the NTPFES, Australian Defence Force and NT Government public sector.

Year 11 and 12 students can apply for the two year program, which encourages Aboriginal and female students to address local recruitment shortages.

Runner up: William Angliss Institute

A partnership between the owners of Ayers Rock Resort, Voyages, and the William Angliss Institute (WAI) has seen Aboriginal employment at the resort soar from less than 1% to 37%. Voyages, a subsidiary of the Indigenous Land Corporation, and WAI, deliver hospitality, tourism, retail and business training through the National Indigenous Training Academy at Ayers Rock Resort.

The academy delivers a Certificate III in Hospitality and Tourism and Certificate III in Business to ensure students are job-ready when they graduate. The academy has had 288 tourism and hospitality graduates, achieving a 90% completion rate.

The program was recognised when Ayers Rock Resort received the Qantas Award for Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism in 2017 for the third year. The program is supported by the traditional owners of Uluru, the Anangu, who take the trainees on a tour to Uluru and the cultural centre to give them an invaluable insight into the cultural history of land.

Last updated: 24 June 2019

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