Release type: Joint Media Release


Celebrating Australia’s best in Vocational Education and Training


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
The Hon Steve Irons MP
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships

Australia’s world-class vocational education and training (VET) sector was honoured last night at the 2019 Australian Training Awards in Brisbane.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the awards highlight the excellence that is being achieved in the VET sector.

“To be selected as a finalist is an outstanding achievement. All of the individuals, businesses and registered training organisations recognised at this year’s training awards are leaders and role models in their field,” Minister Cash said.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Wayne Collyer for his enormous contribution to vocational education and training.

Mr Collyer achieved significant results for vocational education in Western Australia and has contributed to the continuous improvement of the Australian VET sector.

The National Achievement Award went to Judith McKay who has been a dedicated champion of vocational education in the Northern Territory.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP, said the awards are an opportunity to celebrate the dedication, skills and passion of the students, trainers, employers and training organisations who make up our vibrant VET sector.

“Their achievements will inspire the next generation of women and men whose skills will keep our economy going strong,” Assistant Minister Irons said.

“Looking at the list of this year’s very impressive winners and finalists, you can see the breadth of rewarding career opportunities offered by vocational education and training, providing real skills for real careers.”

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

Photographs of winners can be provided on request.





Lifetime Achievement Award

Wayne Collyer, WA

National Achievement Award                       

Judith McKay, NT

Apprentice of the Year

Rory Milner, NT

Trainee of the Year

Stephen Wikowski, Tas

Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award

Arcadia Meldrum, NSW

Vocational Student of the Year Award

Shaona Imaru, SA

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award

Taylor Williams, ACT

VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award

Sarah Ford, NSW

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award

Debra Guntrip, Tasmania



Small Employer of the Year Award

Crusader Homes, Tas

Medium Employer of the Year Award

Astill’s Electrical Services Pty Ltd, Qld

Large Employer of the Year Award

Barminco, WA

Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award

Essential Energy, NSW

Industry Collaboration Award

Holmesglen Institute and Royal Children’s Hospital, Vic



Small Training Provider of the Year Award

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, NSW

Large Training Provider of the Year Award

Sunraysia Institute of TAFE, Vic

International Training Provider of the Year Award

TAFE Queensland

School Pathways to VET Award

Circular Head Christian School, Tas