2019 winners

Congratulations to the 2019 NT Training Awards winners:


Winner: Rory Milner, Certificate III in Carpentry

Employer: Sunbuild

Rory Milner worked as an engineer for four years before deciding on a career that would change his world.

“Undertaking and completing my carpentry apprenticeship has changed my life for the better, as it has definitely changed my life's trajectory,” Rory said.

Once enrolled in his apprenticeship, Rory didn’t let anything get in the way of him reaching his goal. Rory accelerated his learning and finished his apprenticeship with one year to spare. He went on to win the Master Builders Apprentice of the Year award in 2018 for both the Northern Territory (NT) and Australia.

“I love working in a hands‑on team every day, especially when working in construction as it feels like you get to work with your mates every day, have a laugh and get to bond over shared experiences. I chose my course as I was interested in using my engineering background and knowledge in a more hands-on field.”

Runner up: Callum DiFrancesco

Winner: Jack Short, Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology

Training provider: Red Centre Technology Partners

For lifelong local Jack Short, busy took on a whole new meaning when he decided to enrol in a school-based traineeship while completing year 12 and working two days a week.

Things haven’t slowed down since he completed his schooling, with Jack deciding to take on a Certificate III traineeship in Information, Digital Media and Technology to further develop his skills in the IT industry. “I have learnt many skills throughout my traineeship which include time management, organisation skills, formal emailing and taking on a professional attitude and image for the workplace,” Jack said.

Jack credits the support of GTNT in helping him manage his busy schedule, checking in and keeping him motivated.

Jack, who was born in Alice Springs and raised on his family’s cattle stations, hopes to complete a Certificate IV in Information Technology and further develop his skills in the industry.

Runner up: Jordan Owen

Winner: Raelene Collins, Certificate III in Laboratory Skills

Training provider: GTNT

Raelene Collins couples her knowledge of traditional medicine used in Australia for thousands of years with contemporary practices in her pursuit of becoming a paediatrician.

Raelene has completed a Certificate III in Laboratory Skills and is now a step ahead of the rest in her current studies.

“Completing this traineeship has given me the knowledge and experience in clinical sciences and research, which is invaluable to becoming a doctor,” Raelene said.

After completing her certificate, Raelene is now in her first year of nursing and takes with her an impressive catalogue of experience.

“I’ve met with doctors and given my personal opinion to help ear health problems and protect the health of Indigenous children,” Raelene said.

Raelene has also met with Minister for Indigenous Australians to secure funding for HealthLAB and has contributed to Menzies School of Health Research’s Traditional Australian Medicinal Plants Agribusiness project.

Runner up: Kenny Lechleitner

Winner: Jacqui Culgan, Certificate III and IV in Fitness

Training provider: Charles Darwin University

Like many people starting out in the workforce, Jacqui Culgan wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to do. However, soon after starting a Certificate III and IV in Fitness, Jacqui’s confidence and passion grew.

“I began to realise my potential and exactly where my future lay,” Jacqui said. “I realised I wanted to help people, especially clients who no longer exercised because of injuries and mental and physical health prohibiting them.”

Outside of her studies, Jacqui was elected as one of the captains at the recent Arafura Games for the NT Territory swimming team.

“I have also committed the last five years to coaching swimming at The Gold Fish Bowl and work with both brand new swimmers and those who have graduated to the swimming squad.”

After completing her certificate, Jacqui decided to take the next step and begin a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science. “My goal now is to become a sports physiotherapist and work with rehabilitation among athletes.”

Runner up: Despina Rossides

Winner: Ashlee Gilder, Certificate III in Individual Support

Employer: Top End Health Services

Knowing she wants to become a midwife in the future, Ashlee Gilder, is putting all the steps in place now to makes sure she achieves her goal.

Ashlee is currently undertaking a Certificate III in Individual Support and was offered one of the first traineeships at the Palmerston Regional Hospital as a Personal Care Assistant.

“I have been proud to tell my friends that I am one of the three girls to gain the first traineeship within the Palmerston Regional Hospital completing a Certificate III in Individual Support alongside completing year 12 studies,” Ashlee said.

“I find great pleasure in being able to work in a diverse workplace environment where my role sees me assisting patients of differing needs on a daily basis. In the future I hope to become a midwife and assist patients with their maternity requirements and journey.”

Since beginning her traineeship, Ashlee has developed her communication and organisational skills, further accelerating her towards her dream of becoming a midwife.

Runner up: Claudia Kretschmer

Winner: Laurent De Biasio, Certificate III in Health Services Assistance

School: Darwin High School

Laurent De Biasio always knew he wanted to work in healthcare, but the volume of options left him feeling overwhelmed. That was until he stumbled across an advertisement on his school’s noticeboard calling for applications for a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance and his future became instantly clear.

“I went from having a blurry vision of my future to a focused view, leading me down the path of nursing and the potential I have to change my life,” Laurent said.

Since enrolling in the course, Laurent hasn’t looked back and credits his training in helping him develop his communication skills and self-confidence. “Enrolling in this course was the best thing I had ever done; not only did I learn a vast amount of skills related to healthcare, I made new connections with interesting people, increased my confidence not only in the workplace but also in my everyday life, which I am very thankful for.”

Runner up: Courtney Canavan

Winner: Patricia Sweeney Fawcett

Employer: Charles Darwin University

Patricia Sweeney Fawcett is on the learning journey with her students as she strives to be the best teacher she can be.

“My teaching is 100% student centred. I ask myself, ‘how do my choices to deliver and assess training give my students the best possible outcomes?” Patricia said.

Patricia achieved “100% retention, 100% achievement and 100% success” in the three years she was course leader for the Diploma of Beauty Therapy at Charles Darwin University.

Patricia has also led a workforce development project to build capability of other trainers across the NT.

Runner up: Teresa Raines

Winner: Sunday Mishu, Advanced Diploma in Hospitality

Training provider: International College of Advanced Education

When Sunday Mishu decided to embark on a journey of learning within the hospitality industry he didn’t realise the passion it would ignite in him to strive to be the best in his field.

As a first step into the industry, Sunday undertook a Certificate IV in Hospitality, closely followed by an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality and on the job learning.

Sunday’s passion lies in bartending and he is currently employed at the Mindil Beach Casino Resort where he is a senior bartender. Sunday’s ultimate goal is to one day become a food and beverage director at a five-star hotel.

“The reason I chose this industry and training pathway was my passion for making drinks and creating memorable experiences for patrons in regards to food, beverage and overall service,” Sunday said.

Sunday’s bartending skills were recognised when he was nominated for Hospitality NT’s Bartender of the Year award.

Runner up: Sharon Wu

Winner: FORWAARD Aboriginal Corporation

FORWAARD Aboriginal Corporation recognised the need to upskill its workers to make a difference in the life of people experiencing substance abuse.

FORWAARD Aboriginal Corporation is an Aboriginal controlled organisation which provides a variety of rehabilitation programs for mainly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have issues with drug or alcohol use. The corporation introduced workforce development strategies to deliver nationally recognised training programs to ensure its compassionate and caring staff have the skills and theoretical practices to support its clients.

The staff at FORWAARD Aboriginal Corporation are the key to driving the corporation and come from a range of backgrounds, ages, cultures and skillsets. One thing all staff have in common is their passion for making a positive difference in the lives of others.

The corporation’s collective mission is to help the most marginalised people in society recognise and achieve their life goals.

Runner up: Gold Medal Services

Winner: NEC IT Solutions Pty Ltd

NEC knows the importance of continual professional development and offers its employees innovative training options to enhance skills and build capability, all with the goal to build sustainable career pathways within the workforce.

As the NT’s largest private sector ICT employer, NEC is committed to the Territory for the long run. With over 180 direct employees and a 40‑strong partner network, NEC services all areas of the NT including regional and remote communities. NEC works hard to promote diversity and is committed to creating jobs that enable people to work, live and raise families in the Territory.

The company offers a range of work experience and grassroot training initiatives to teach work readiness skills to aspiring ICT professionals.

NEC looks to grow capacity within the local industry as a whole to ensure the NT ICT industry can sustain the requirements of the Territory. In addition to work experience, NEC facilitates an Indigenous Work Placement Program, school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

Runner up: Kinetic IT

Winner: Charles Darwin University

Charles Darwin University (CDU) is the largest vocational education and training (VET) provider in the NT. In 2018 CDU supported 8,785 students undertaking study in 180 courses across 123 locations locally, interstate and internationally.

CDU prides itself on the quality of its students, delivery and educators. CDU students are regularly recognised locally and nationally for their education achievements. CDU student quality is recognised by industry, with 87% of graduates employed four months after graduating.

CDU educators are respected by their students and peers, and also are recognised locally and nationally for their achievements. CDU professional development is highly regarded and has resulted in CDU leading the NT VET workforce development program, improving VET educator quality across participating NT registered training organisations (RTOs).

CDU is a national leader in remote Aboriginal VET education, providing quality education to all Territorians. This success was demonstrated through the nationally recognised report, ‘Ready for Work’, which sets the benchmark for RTOs in improving engagement, design and delivery of training in remote Australia.

Runner up: MacKillop Catholic College RTO

Winner: Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and Northern Territory Correctional Services

In 2018, 250 prisoners from Alice Springs and Darwin correctional facilities graduated with nationally recognised certificates delivered in partnership by Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and Northern Territory Correctional Services. In the same year, 370 prisoners also completed licences such as white card, forklift, food safety, first aid and working at heights.

The partnership sees accredited and non‑accredited training delivered in correctional facilities. The integrated training model incorporates peer learning, where prisoners with trade backgrounds can complete a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to deliver the course and is underpinned by the ‘both‑ways’ philosophy where Aboriginal and western ways of learning are simultaneously applied.

The commitment to providing opportunities for prisoners to transform their lives through education and training is down to a shared vision to provide prisoners with foundational skills that align with external employment requirements. The model developed by Batchelor Institute and Northern Territory Correctional Services is one that is regarded as industry best practice, with correctional facilities in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria implementing similar models in recent years.

Runner up: Training Steps for Capability

Last updated: 23 September 2019

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