​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​201​7 Queensland Training Awards state winners and finalists

Congratulations to the state winners and finalists of the 2017 Queensland Training Awards.

Winners were announced by the Training and Skills Minister Yvette D'Ath at the Queensland Training Awards State Gala Dinner in Brisbane on 1 September.​

View the Queensland Training Awards state final dinner program (PDF, 6.6MB).

Get your p​​hotos now!

Visit the Queensland Training Awards 2017 photo gallery​​​ to relive all the fun and excitement! Apply the code 'QTA2017' to buy your favourites from Sheila Sissons Photography.

State winners ​​​and finalists

State winners who are in nationally aligned categories now have the opportunity to contest the Australian Training Awards, which will be held in Canberra on 23 November.

​Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Construction Skills Queensland


State winner: Gemma Hartwig

Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade (Maintenance - Diesel Fitting)
Trained by: TAFE Queensland South West
Employed by: Ostwald Bros
Region: Darling Downs South West

Determined to set a positive example for her three younger sisters, Gemma Hartwig undertook a mechanical engineering apprenticeship with Ostwald Bros. This experience helped her develop her teamwork and communication skills and better understand the nuances of successful leadership. Now employed by Diesel Care, Gemma is a passionate advocate for vocational education and encourages others — especially women — to consider an apprenticeship pathway.

State finalists

Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Proudly sponsored by BUSY At Work


State winner: Katie Emmert

Qualification: Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance
Trained by: National College Australia
Employed by: Mater Misericordiae Hospital Rockhampton
Region: Central Queensland

Completing a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance prepared Katie Emmert for her transition from Year 12 into a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. A dedicated and hard-working student, Katie also completed other recognised qualifications while undertaking her school-based allied health traineeship. This opportunity to obtain practical experience and become familiar with several different industries helped her choose her next career move with greater confidence.

State finalists

Vocational Student of the Year

Proudly sponsored by TAFE Queensland


State winner: Rachael Turner

Qualification: Certificate IV in Building and Construction
Trained by: TAFE Queensland SkillsTech
Employed by: Front Porch Properties
Region: Metropolitan

After running a successful music school for 10 years, Rachael Turner decided to pursue her passion for construction and design at TAFE. A highly motivated student, Rachael completed her course in one year. She quickly overcome the challenges of being taken seriously in a male-dominated industry and encourages other women to follow their construction dreams. Rachael is now running her own design and construction company.

State finalists

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Apprentice Employment Network


State winner: Ethan Atkinson

Qualification: Certificate III in Tourism
Trained by: Prestige Training Company
E​mployer: Coroborree (Dreamworld)
School: Upper Coomera State College
Region: South East

A proud Aboriginal man with a strong connection to his culture, Ethan Atkinson appreciated the hands-on learning provides by his traineeship. Ethan's training helped him build his confidence as he performed solo presentations as part of Dreamworld's Corroboree. He has also learned about the culture and language of other Aboriginal people. He hopes to one day apply his tourism skills to work around the world.

State finalists

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Hutchinson Builders


State winner: Bryce Riethmuller

Qualification: Certificate III in Meat Processing (Retail Butcher)
Trained by: Axial Training
Employed by: MacLagan Meats
School: Oakey State High School
Region: Darling Downs South West

Having decided that he wanted to explore a career as a butcher, Bryce Riethmuller approached MacLagan Meats himself to discuss completing a school-based apprenticeship. Working across the entire 'paddock to plate' aspects of his industry, Bryce's apprenticeship has helped him develop a range of trade-relevant and transferrable skills. He now helps show and judge cattle and looks forward to a rewarding career as a butcher.

State finalists

Equity VET Student of the Year

Proudly sponsored by CQUniversity Australia


State winner: Jacqueline Tipene

Qualification: Certificate III in Community Services
Trained by: Skills Generation
Region: Metropolitan

Single mother Jacqueline Tipene knew returning to study would not be easy. However, she was determined to 'give back' and achieve her goal to help homeless youth find secure accommodation and re-engage with education. Driven by her passion and supported by her trainer, Jacqueline successfully completed her course. She's since been offered the opportunity to study at university while working with the Department of Child Safety which she hopes to commence in the near future.

State finalists

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Velg Training


State winner: Ricki-lee Bernhardt-Turpin

Employed by: Kawana Waters State College
Region: North Coast

Ricki-lee Bernhardt-Turpin is a creative industries and live production and services teacher who is committed to engaging students in learning. Ricki-lee works diligently to build relationships with local businesses to offer extensive industry experience to her students. Tailoring her teaching to suit each individual's needs, Ricki-lee instils valuable skills and professionalism in all her students. This has resulted in a 100 per cent completion rate.

State finalists

Community Training Initiative of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Health and Community Services Workforce Council


State winner: Better Together

Program: Better Outcomes
(07) 5499 2230
Region: North Coast

Caboolture community organisation Better Together helps individuals with disabilities attain a Certificate II in hospitality or retail and supports them to find sustainable employment through its Better Outcomes program. Each participant receives personalised support, including mentoring, job readiness development and more. In addition to supporting participants to find employment, the program also aims to empower them to improve their self-esteem and confidence.

State finalists

Large Training Provider of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Australian Council for Private Education and Training


Winner: TAFE Queensland

1300 308 233

TAFE Queensland partners with local employers and communities to provide training across the state for people from a range of socioeconomic, educational and cultural backgrounds. With a student-first approach and an attitude of inclusive learning and training, students are supported to achieve their full potential. TAFE Queensland constantly updates training qualifications to suit learner and industry needs and stay relevant in a fast-changing world.

State finalists

Small Training Provider of the Year

Proudly sponsored by The Courier-Mail


Winner: St Columban's College

(07) 5495 3111

St Columban's College is dedicated to ensuring excellence in training, equity in access and participation, and a strategic edge for students entering the 21st century workforce. Modern training facilities and industry and business partnerships ensure students receive relevant and quality training. In addition to supporting students to gain recognised qualifications, the RTO also focuses on helping students develop essential literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills.

State finalists

Large Employer of the Year

Proudly sponsored by OSMAC Group Training


State winner: Hutchinson Builders

(07) 3335 5000
Region: Metropolitan

With a dedicated workforce development program, Hutchinson Builders is well-equipped to deliver training to all employees. Apprentices, trainees and other staff benefit from mentoring and individual support as they're engaged in accredited training and other training activities. Subcontractors are also able to take advantage of training opportunities. The business enjoys fantastic completion rates and its focus on developing its people has also benefited staff retention.

State finalists

Medium Employer of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Jobs Queensland


State winner: Darwalla Group

(07) 3822 0500
Region: South East

With a firm belief that employees are its most valuable asset, poultry producer Darwalla Group assists employees in reaching their full potential through education. All staff members undergo training, including non-accredited internal programs and accredited courses in poultry production, leadership and management. Upskilling existing workers has prepared these individuals for their current and future roles with the business and improved safety for everyone involved.

State finalists

Small Employer of the Year

Proudly sponsored by Quest Community News


State winner: Tradesmen on Time

(07) 3353 8751
Region: Metropolitan

Electrical contractor business Tradesmen on Time trains all staff to the highest standard of customer service. Employees also receive ongoing relevant training for their trade or administration role. The business trains apprentices and regularly hosts work experience students. This training focus has directly contributed to Tradesmen on Time's excellent reputation and resulted in competent, highly skilled tradespeople, safe working environments and increased personal development and satisfaction.

State finalists

Premier's Industry Collaboration Award

Proudly sponsored by Advance Queensland


Winner: EQIP Gladstone Incorporated

Working with local schools and industry, EQIP Gladstone Incorporated offers authentic workplace learning to help high school students develop work-ready skills. EQIP's approach to industry collaboration leverages specialised learning facilities, immersive programs, pathways tailored to Indigenous students, and community volunteering opportunities. Its success can be seen in students' post-school outcomes, with nearly 90 per cent of program graduates transitioning into apprenticeships, traineeships and employment.

State finalists

  • Mabel Park State High School Health Hub
  • West Moreton Hospital & Health Services and Health Pathways Alliance
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Last updated
27 October 2017