Release type: Media Release


Celebrating 25 years of excellence in vocational education


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education

Australia’s world-class vocational education and training (VET) sector was honoured tonight at the 25th annual Australian Training Awards in Sydney.

Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash, said the Awards showcased the excellence demonstrated in VET by students, teachers and trainers, registered training organisations and employers.

“The annual Awards reinforce the benefits of a vibrant VET sector to our community.”

“It is an opportunity for us to acknowledge hard-working Australians and the journeys they are undertaking - their dedication, skills and passion. Their achievements need to be celebrated so we can inspire the next generation of women and men whose skills will keep our economy strong.”

“A vocational education is just as important to our economy as a university degree. The ever changing global economy means employers are actively searching for candidates with relevant, transferable and innovative skills to meet the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow and this is what VET offers.” Minister Cash said.

Minister Cash congratulated all those nominated for an Award.

“To be selected as a finalist is an outstanding achievement. All of the individuals, businesses and registered training organisations that participated in the 25th Training Awards are leaders and role models in their field.”

Australia’s ongoing prosperity requires a strong VET sector that can deliver the skilled workforce that our modern economy requires. The Liberal National Government is investing over $4 billion annually to meet Australia’s skills needs.

“Our Government is creating hundreds of thousands of new apprenticeships and trainee places, to ensure there is pipeline of Australian tradies and trained workers. Without their skills and expertise, the services that underpin every aspect of our daily lives could not be delivered”.

The Australian Training Awards - the peak national awards for the VET system in Australia - are held each year in November.

A full list of winners is attached and more information is available at 

Category Winner
Lifetime Achievement Award Marie Persson
National Achievement Award Jennie Barrera
Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award Lidia Lipkiewicz (SA)
VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award Crystle Chalinger (WA)
Vocational Student of the Year Award Caitlan Noble (WA)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award Soleil White (WA)
Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award Kimberley Brewster (NT)
Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award Caitlin Whittle (WA)
Australian Apprentice of the Year Award Michael Edwards (NSW)
Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award Siemens Australia (VIC)
Small Employer of the Year Award Spencer Constructions (QLD)
Medium Employer of the Year Award North Construction and Building (NSW)
Large Employer of the Year Award PACCAR Australia (VIC)
Industry Collaboration Award Central Regional TAFE (Integrating Training and Biodiversity Conservation) (WA)
School Pathways to VET Award Busselton Senior High School (WA)
Small Training Provider of the Year Award PEER (SA)
Large Training Provider of the Year Award Wodonga TAFE (VIC)
International Provider of the Year Box Hill Institute Group