WA scoops the pool at Australian Training Awards – Congratulations to all our winners!

Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery has congratulated Western Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector for one of our best ever showings at Australia’s leading industry awards on 15 November. Six of WA’s 11 award nominees picked up accolades at the Australian Training Awards, with both individual and organisational winners from the State’s VET system being recognised for their success. 

Three outstanding female VET students secured titles in the individual categories for their performance as strong ambassadors for vocational education pathways. Yarawu and Bunuba woman and Broome mother, Soleil White, was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year for her work to close the gap within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare industry. The healthcare worker credited her training with giving her the confidence to make a difference and progress to further studies. She completed a Certificate IV in Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care and is now undertaking a Diploma of Nursing.

Inspirational examples of high calibre VET programs delivered to secondary students were also recognised at the awards, with Canning Vale College teacher Crystle Challinger securing the title of VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year – the second year in a row that a WA nominee has won this prestigious award. Regional WA was well represented, with Busselton Senior High School winning the School Pathways to VET award and Central Regional TAFE taking home the Industry Collaboration Award for its innovative biodiversity collaboration project. These achievements follow WA’s success at the the 2018 WorldSkills Championships earlier this year, where the WA secured the prestigious VETiS Shield as the country’s best-performing State. 

Please visit the WA Training Awards website for more information about the winners and finalists

“Last night’s incredible achievement further demonstrates that our State’s VET sector is first-class and shines a spotlight on our success in this space." the Minister said. “Western Australians looking to upskill, retrain or enter the workforce can do it with the confidence that they’ll learn from some of the nation’s best trainers, with some of the country’s most innovative training providers. I’m sure these inspiring winners will motivate others to take advantage of the excellent training opportunities available in WA, ensuring they are best placed to take on the jobs of the future." 

WA's 2018 Australian Training Awards winners

School-based Apprentice of the Year 2018
Caitlin Whittle, Lower Chittering, Tubal Workplace Training

Juggling studying five ATAR subjects with a Certificate II in Hospitality, Caitlin has thrived in the workplace environment.

She credits the experience with increasing her confidence and dedication, and has seen her grades improve as a result.

Caitlin has transferred her new skills, assisting with numerous school events. She is also a strong advocate for Swan Valley Anglican Community School’s hospitality program, presenting to younger students and writing articles for her local newspaper and the school website.    

Vocational Student of the Year 2018
Caitlan Noble, Mount Lawley, North Metropolitan TAFE

After completing a Bachelor of Commerce, Caitlin did an internship with Telethon which sparked her passion for the health industry. While at Princess Margaret Hospital, Caitlan was inspired to move into a clinical role.

Now employed as an anaesthetic technician at King Edward Memorial Hospital, Caitlan has been commended by her peers for going above and beyond to improve patient care.

As an active volunteer for Telethon, she enjoys seeing how children benefit from fundraising.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year 2018
Soleil White, Bilingurr, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services and North Regional TAFE

Soleil recently completed a Certificate IV in Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care and is now undertaking a Diploma of Nursing.  Her training has given her the confidence to be an advocate for Aboriginal health care and undertake further studies.

As the mother of a two-year-old, she is extremely motivated to create a better quality of life for future generations.

Soleil is doing her part to close the gap for Aboriginal people to provide and assist them with high quality care and taking a holistic approach to physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Australian Trainer/Teacher of the Year 2018
Crystle Challinger, Bayswater, Canning Vale College

The Canning Vale College teacher champions VET programs for secondary students throughout Western Australia and has been heavily involved in training other VET school based trainers.

Crystle has taught other teachers about using virtual and augmented reality programs to engage students creatively and use digital evidence collection for presentations.

As an Aboriginal Australian, Crystle believes in providing structured alternatives to traditional learning to meet the individual needs of a student. 

Industry Collaboration Award 2018
Central Regional TAFE – Biodiversity Conservation Collaboration, Geraldton

Central Regional TAFE, in collaboration with several environmental conservation stakeholders, is working to protect and restore key ecosystems in the Mid West. The collaboration focuses on restoring habitats at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands and managing invasive aquatic species. With integrated nationally recognised training programs, students gain real world experience on high priority environmental conservation projects, which also impacts employers, the community and the environment.

Collaboration partners include Northern Agricultural Catchments Council, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, City of Greater Geraldton, and Western Australian Museum.

School Pathways to VET Award 2018: Busselton Senior High School
As an RTO school since 1999, Busselton Senior High School has a unique model. A key feature is the highly supported student participation in work placement one day a week. The school is highly regarded for its expertise in supporting schools to meet compliance and deliver high quality programs to students, with employment for further training outcomes.

VET offerings have increased in recent years to reflect the needs of industry and provide engaging programs. In 2018, 75 per cent of senior school students were enrolled in a VET qualification. A flexible timetable with strong industry links is central to the success of the programs, as is delivery by suitably qualified and dedicated staff. In 2017, the school achieved a 100 per cent attainment rate. This is indicative of the high levels of support provided to students and the engaging nature of the programs.