Release type: Media Release


2008 Prime Minister's Awards for Skills Excellence in School Winners Announced


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

The Prime Minister and Acting Education Minister today congratulated outstanding students who have been awarded a 2008 Prime Minister’s Award for Skills Excellence in School.

The Award recognises Year 12 students who have demonstrated excellence and outstanding achievement in vocational education and training in schools.

Award categories include the highest achieving student in each state and territory, the highest achieving Indigenous student, and the highest achieving students in each represented industry area. Award recipients in each of these categories are listed below.

Winners of this prestigious award are selected from the highest achieving recipients of the Australian Vocational Student Prize.

Each winner receives a certificate from the Prime Minister and $2,000 in addition to their Australian Vocational Student Prize Award.

The Awards recognise the significant achievements of these students in gaining a better understanding of the world of work and developing industry-specific skills, while at the same time studying for their Senior Secondary Certificates.

The Award also promotes vocational education and training as a valuable and desirable pathway for students.

The commitment of these students to learning exemplifies what the Council of Australian Governments’ Compact with Young Australians aims to achieve.

The Compact encourages young Australians to realise their potential by entitling every Australian under the age of 25 to an education or training place. The Compact will ensure young Australians have the skills necessary to play a productive role in Australia’s economic prosperity.

For more information about the Prime Minister’s Award for Skills Excellence in School, the Australian Vocational Student Prize, and for the full list of 2008 winners, visit

Highest Achieving Students in Industry Groups

Joanne Stevens Mansfield Secondary College VIC (Agri-Food)Sara Jane Janke Chinchilla State High School QLD (Community Services and Health) James Monks-Corrigan Assumption College VIC (Construction and Property Services) Jesse Passon Australian Technical College – Northern Adelaide SA (ElectroComms and Energy Utilities) Heidi Henderson Sheldon College QLD (Innovation and Business) Benjamin Wheeler Aldridge State High School QLD (Manufacturing) Brianna Smith Birchip P-12 School VIC (Services) Joseph Daw FCJ College, VIC (Transport and Logistics)

Highest Achieving Students in States and Territories

Luke SearleSt Francis Xavier College ACTJessica Baldwin Bradfield Senior College NSW Rebecca Tattingham O'Loughlin Catholic College NT Daniel Bunker John Paul College QLD Amy Michelle Fromm Bordertown High School SA Melanie McCoy St Brendan Shaw-College TAS Andrew Bennett Ballarat Secondary College VIC Jerrah Menary Schools of Isolated & Distance Education WA

Highest Achieving Indigenous Student

Madilyn Yuke Australian Technical College North Brisbane QLD