Winners and finalists

WA Training Awards 2021 Winners

The Department of Training and Workforce Development and State Training Board would like to congratulate all winners for
their outstanding achievements. The WA Training Awards 2021 winners are ambassadors for the training sector.

The Australian Training Awards are the peak national awards that showcase best practice in vocational education and training. Winners from each state and territory (in aligned categories) have the opportunity to compete for a national award title. The Australian Training Awards also has a number of awards that are available by direct entry.


WA Trainer of the Year 2021

Sponsored by the Training Accreditation Council WA


Maryke Gray 

• Trains in Conservation and Land Management, Horticulture and Aboriginal Ranger Programs

• Employed by Central Regional TAFE

Maryke is passionate about ensuring students have the same opportunities to receive quality training and assessment, no matter where they live. A trainer in Conservation and Land Management, Horticulture and Aboriginal Ranger Programs at Central Regional TAFE, Maryke delivers the full range of qualifications from Certificate I to Diploma, utilising live work projects, some of which involve working at the Abrolhos islands and remote Aboriginal Communities throughout the Mid-West and Gascoyne.

Maryke uses various methods to connect students from remote locations to live class sessions with students in Geraldton, and recognises that classroom-based training is not for all, delivering the Aboriginal Ranger training programs entirely on country.

With more than 20 years of experience in managing conservation projects, Maryke is committed to education for all to conserve our environment for the future.

WA Trainer of the Year 2021 - Maryke Gray

WA International Student of the Year 2021

Sponsored by StudyPerth


Johanna Faber 

• Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management

• North Metropolitan TAFE

Johanna has always been passionate about travelling, so when she came to Australia from Germany in 2017 and fell in love with the country, she decided she wanted a career in travel and tourism.

By studying in a different country, Johanna felt it would offer her the opportunity of experiencing travel and tourism first-hand, taking part in a different culture and learning a new language while completing her course - a Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management at North Metropolitan TAFE.

Studying allowed Johanna to gain confidence in communicating in English while learning the many facets of the industry, and was able to land a job as a travel consultant. While COVID-19 forced the closure of the office, it hasn’t deterred Johanna from working in the industry.

WA International Student of the Year 2021 - Johanna Faber

WA Cultural Diversity Training Award 2021

Sponsored by the Electrical and Communications Association of Western Australia


Agnes Toluwade 

• Certificate IV Mental Health

• North Metropolitan TAFE

Migrating from Nigeria in 2015, the first time Agnes heard about the suicide of a teenager on the news, she was jolted. Determined to take action and contribute to her new home country, Agnes decided to study a Certificate IV in Mental Health, and be part of the solution for a mentally healthy Australia.

The course at North Metropolitan TAFE has helped her understand the many issues that impact on mental health, and the ways to support people’s recovery.

Agnes has crossed several barriers to pursue her study, and hopes that others in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) communities will see that studying at TAFE offers many opportunities.

WA Cultural Diversity Training Award 2021 - Agnes Toluwade

WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year 2021

Sponsored by Polly Farmer Foundation


Kevin Wilson 

• Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design

• North Metropolitan TAFE

• Nani Creative (co-owner / operator)

Growing up as a Wongai man from the Goldfields region, Kevin has had an interest in art for as long as he can remember. After a few years and a few too many run-ins with police, he decided he couldn’t keep going down that path, so he signed up for an apprenticeship in print finishing at North Metropolitan TAFE, which was just the beginning of his TAFE journey.

After completing his Diploma in Graphic Design, he continued on to the Advanced Diploma, becoming more confident in himself, his work and how he speaks about it.

Kevin says he feels like he has found his calling in life, and since finishing has gone on to co-found Nani Creative, a graphic design company specialising in design for projects promoting Aboriginal tourism.

WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year 2021 - Kevin Wilson

WA Vocational Student of the Year 2021


Zoe Tucker 

• Certificate IV Landscape Design

• South Metropolitan TAFE

Twenty years after leaving school, Zoe finally feels like she has found her pathway. Finding traditional work roles not conducive to family life, the single mother of three took the plunge towards a new career and followed her passion, studying a Certificate IV in Landscape Design – a perfect fit for a creative person with a love of plants and nature and background in architecture.

Zoe hasn’t looked back, winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Vocational Student of the Year 2020 and relishing the opportunity to create greener spaces.

WA Vocational Student of the Year 2021 - Zoe Tucker

WA Trainee of the Year 2021


Amber Ugle-Hayward 

• Certificate III Government

• Aspire Performance Training

• Public Sector Commission

Wanting to pursue a career that was meaningful, challenging and would make a positive impact on the lives of many Western Australians, Amber applied for the Public Sector Commission’s Aboriginal Traineeship Program, knowing it would give her a ‘foot in the door’ to government. Amber has made the most of her placement with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, gaining practical knowledge while completing a Certificate III in Government through Aspire Performance Training.

Throughout the traineeship, Amber has proactively sought opportunities to further her career and expand networks, establishing a reputation as a highly competent team member who consistently displays leadership, collaboration, respect and integrity.

Amber says the experience has allowed her to develop her confidence and communication skills to raise awareness of Aboriginal culture within the State Government, and directly influence the Department’s internal policies.

WA Trainee of the Year 2021 - Amber Ugle-Hayward

WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 2021

Sponsored by Roy Hill


Courtney Short 

• Certificate III in Commercial Cookery

• North Metropolitan TAFE

• Hospitality Group Training

Preparing meals with and for her family has always brought great joy to Courtney, so it seemed a natural fit to pursue her love of cooking at the age of 15, commencing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.

Successfully juggling her school work at Mercy College with an apprenticeship through North Metropolitan TAFE, Courtney says the knowledge and skills she has already developed by working alongside chefs at Pan Pacific Hotel (through Hospitality Group Training) are essential for working in the industry.

Now aged 17, Courtney is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a chef and is so pleased she followed a VET pathway.

WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 2021 - Courtney Short

WA Apprentice of the Year 2021

Sponsored by Apprenticeship Support Australia, powered by CCI WA


Christian Ferrone 

• Diploma in Aeroskills (Mechanical)

• Aviation Australia

• ExecuJet MRO Services

A curiosity for how things work and a love of aeroplanes led Christian to pursue a career as a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. Now employed by ExecuJet MRO Services Australia – where he completed his apprenticeship – the course taught him how to safely maintain gas turbine and propeller-driven fixed-wing aircraft.

Christian completed the Diploma in Aeroskills (Mechanical) with a 95 per cent course average, and was in the first cohort of WA apprentices through the RTO, Aviation Australia.

Now a mentor for other apprentices coming through, Christian knows teamwork is an essential part of the aviation industry.

WA Apprentice of the Year 2021 - Christian Ferrone

WA Medium Employer of the Year 2021

Sponsored by Apprenticeship Support Australia, powered by CCI WA


Consolidated Group

Consolidated Group is a Civil Earth Works and Plant Hire Services company that has been resourcing the mining, government, transport, and construction sectors since 2013. The company’s focus on training, upskilling and ongoing mentoring of staff has enabled it to reach new goals and extend the bar on what it can achieve.

Continued success and growth has lead the company to partner with a local Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to establish its own training department to skill its entire workforce in-house.

The company is committed to constantly improving the capability of its employees, many of whom are from under-represented groups.

Consolidated Group prefer to develop skills from within, and seek to find people with the right attitude, work ethic, resilience, and personal skills to succeed.

WA Medium Employer of the Year 2021 - Consolidated Group

WA Large Employer of the Year 2021


McDonald’s Australia, WA

McDonald’s is one of Australia’s largest employers and trainers across regional and metropolitan areas.

Employing over 100,000 people in Australia, McDonald’s invest over $40 million every year in employee training and development, equating to approximately $8 million in Western Australia. The company views training and development as an investment, not a cost. As an RTO, McDonald’s recognises and rewards employees by offering a range of nationally recognised qualifications at no cost to the students.

McDonald’s currently have over 580 students actively enrolled in a traineeship in Western Australia, with 296 completions in 2020.

WA Large Employer of the Year 2021 - McDonald’s Australia, WA

WA Small Training Provider of the Year 2021


Niche Education Group

Niche Education, formally known as the Australasian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science (AACDS) was established in 2003 to meet the education and training needs of the cosmetic medical and dermal therapy professions.

The college has developed new and innovative accredited qualifications to address the absence of formal training in the cosmetic medical/aesthetics field and to bridge the gap between traditional beauty services and advanced dermal therapy techniques.

Niche delivers the first and only accredited course in Cosmetic Nursing in the country, a testament to the contribution the organisation has made to innovative training on a national scale.

WA Small Training Provider of the Year 2021 - Niche Education Group

WA Large Training Provider of the Year 2021


North Metropolitan TAFE

North Metropolitan TAFE (NM TAFE), one of Western Australia’s largest publicly funded TAFE colleges, has ten (10) campuses across the central, greater north and north eastern metropolitan regions of Perth. The college offers more than 400 training products ranging from Certificate I to Advanced Diploma qualifications, including skill sets and short courses.

NM TAFE focuses on delivering quality training and assessment services to students, industry and community; while streamlining business practices to ensure sustainability.

A focus on accessible, flexible, contemporary, industry relevant training provides students with a variety of learning pathways and skills to secure the jobs of the future.

WA Large Training Provider of the Year 2021 - North Metropolitan TAFE

Australian Training Awards Direct Entry Category - Australian Apprenticeships - Employer Award


WA Department of Justice

Congratulations to WA finalists, WA Department of Justice, who have been selected as finalists for the 2021 Australian Training Awards Australian Apprenticeships - Employer Award.

The Department of Justice WA is one of the first states to successfully implement traineeships within prisons. In WA, prisoners are employed by the prison and paid in gratuity as well as the provision of room, board, health and training services in lieu of wages. Prisoners are offered a wide range of traineeships and apprenticeships within WA prisons, in areas such as kitchens, textiles, laundry, gardens, cleaning and maintenance.

The Australian Apprenticeships - Employer Award recognises those employers who have made innovative improvements in training which provide beneficial outcomes for their apprentices and/or trainees in Australia and to their local community.

Australian Apprenticeships - Employer Award - WA Department of Justice

Honour roll

All WA Training Award winners from previous years are detailed here. Please note that some categories listed are no longer part of the WATA program.

WA Apprentice of the Year

Year Winner Industry
2020 Bethany Clarke Resources
2019 Anthony Di Cristofaro   Building and construction
2018 Megan Feaver Electrical
2017 Jamie Stewart Carpentry
2016 Brendan Carlson Electrical instrumentation
2015 Jared Stone Electrical
2014 Geoffrey Franklin Hospitality
2013 Emma Stevenson Electrical Engineering
2012 Samuel Goodall Carpentry
2011 Ailin Gay Hospitality
2010 Emerson Lievense Electrical
2009 Blake McCarthy Electrical
2008 Ashlee Scinocco Cabinet Making
2007 Brendan Pratt Hospitality
2006 Gavin Zimmer Automotive
2005 Michael Sonnerman Aerospace
2004 Drew Wheeler Cabinet Making
2003 Stacey Miller Hospitality
2002 Ben Moran Electrical
2001 Kate Cooper Hospitality
2000 Simone Mercer Electrical
1999 Grant Chettleburgh Horticulture
1998 Mark Rintoul Butchery
1997 Deborah Brayley Horticulture
1996 Una Smith Hospitality
1995 Teresa Greer Plumbing
1994 Heidi Hughes Health

WA Trainee of the year

Year Winner Industry
2020 Cheyne Pearce Horticulture
2019 Rebecca Hudson Resources
2018 Beth Hodder Business
2017 Claire McLeary Meat Processing
2016 Blake Sayer Maritime
2015 Sandra Van Der Gaag Process Plant Operations
2014 Emma Hay Veterinary Nursing 
2013 Joshua Antunovich Process Plant Operations
2012 Nicola Howe Finance
2011 Abbey Sergeant Community Services
2010 Hayley Easter Agriculture
2009 Adam Selby Resources
2008 Joanna Wren Horticulture
2007 Zoe Howarth Performing Arts
2006 Gemma Backshall Business
2005 Richard Stocker Resources
2004 Samantha Johnson Business
2003 Colbi Perreira Finance
2002 Nicole Goode Hospitality
2001 Marissa Eastough Retail
2000 Sharon Williams Land Management
1999 Katherine Bodey Hospitality
1998 Paul Edwards Retail
1997 Chelsea Collins Business
1996 Mark O’Malley Engineering
1995 Bradley Hulm Transport and Logistics
1994 Fiona Coda Travel and Tourism

WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Year Winner Industry
2020 Colleen Little Business
2019 Rekeisha Voss Government
2018 Soleil White Health
2017 Kim Dick Training and Assessment
2016 Naomi Beath Resources
2015 Kahli King Elliot Public Administration
2014 Regina Richardson Community Services
2013 Ryan D’Souza Construction
2012 Nathan McGuire Interior Design
2011 Calvin Buckle Electrical
2010 Eugene Winmar Travel and Tourism
2009 Salathiel McKay Electrical
2008 James Palmer Education
2007 Charlie Colbung Visual Arts
2006 Nadine Johnston Business
2005 Mitchell Sellen Travel and Tourism
2004 Merridoo Walbidi Education
2003 Roberta Tacey Business
2002 Hamid Bin Saad Aquaculture
2001 Cherie Wood Education
2000 Loretta McNamara Education
1999 Alison Gear Resources
1998 June Djiagween Elliot Engineering
1997 Leonard Ashburton Business
1996 Michelle Simms Health
1995 Jenna George Business
1994 Natalie Mippy Business

WA International Student of the Year

Year Winner Industry
2019 Dushica Poposki Nursing
2018 Ananda Paiva  Hospitality
2017 Rui Sheidt Feix Horticulture
2016 Natalie Robinson Health

WA School-based Apprentice of the Year

Year Winner Industry
2020 Joel Pearson Arts Administration
2019 Tiffany Heilan Sport and Recreation
2018 Caitlin Whittle Hospitality
2017 Ben Rowe Heavy Vehicle Mechanics
2016 Liam Brien Retail
2015 Thalia Wilkinson Electrical
2014 Taylor Wood Hospitality
2013 Henry Kemp Electrical
2012 Timothy Gossage Engineering
2011 Benjamin King Automotive
2010 Hudson O’Dwyer-Flynn Electrical
2009 Daniel Lowe Hospitality

WA Vocational Student of the Year

Year Winner Industry
2020 Trent Caldwell Marketing and Communications
2019 Chloe Baigent Community Services (Youth Work)
2018 Caitlan Noble Health
2017 Kyle Morgan Environmental Monitoring
2016 Louise Brookes Hospitality
2015 Katherine Haag Community Services
2014 Genaro Auriemma Construction
2013 Natasha Farr Laboratory Technology
2012 Stephen Moore Performing Arts
2011 Jonté Pike Fashion Design
2010 Denese Smythe Community Services
2009 Jon Arlow Aquaculture
2008 Debra Franks Community Services
2007 Lisa Horn Jewellery Making
2006 Johanna Swoboda Aquaculture
2005 Virginia Gay Performing Arts
2004 Latasha Santostefano Hospitality
2003 Anthony Pagan Aquaculture
2002 Leanne Edwards Travel and Tourism
2001 Justine Davis Fashion Design
2000 Kylie Hooker Health
1999 Peta Crane Community Services
1998 Alana Farrel Travel and Tourism
1997 Craig Shearer Hospitality
1996 Dionne Blake Hospitality
1995 Shelley Boyd Children’s Services

WA Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Training Award

Year Winner Industry
2019 Elena Smirnova EAL
2018 William Bol Security
2017 Esfandiar Shahmir Education Assistance
2016 Jasmin Porter Children's Services
2015 Maureen Guiloy Business
2014 Navjot Randhawa Telecommunications
2013 Marjan Ghadirian Mechanical Engineering
2012 Maria Lima Villahermosa Community Services
2011 Eduardo Pena Transport and Logistics

WA Trainer of the Year

Year Winner
2019 Matthew King
2018 Crystle Challinger
2017 Jane Goodfellow
2016 Tegan Mossop
2015 Danni Grundy
2014 Kathryn Schache
2013 Jacky Cheng
2012 Guy Truss
2011 Amanda Smith
2010 Charles Dornan
2009 Bel Skinner
2008 Elizabeth Haythornthwaite
2007 Paul Tennant
2006 Dr Michael Cheah
2005 Sarah Hardie
2004 Margaret Rhodes
2003 Maria Amesz
2002 Lynne Butler
2001 Sharleen Jordan

WA Small Training Provider of the Year

Year Winner
2019 Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services
2018 Mental Health Commission (Strong spirit strong minds Aboriginal Program)

Auswest Specialist Education and Training Services(Department of Justice)

2016 Scope Training
2015 Scope Training
2014 Marr Mooditj Training
2013 Taylorweir International School of Hairdressing
2012 LabTech Training
2011 Nara Training and Assessing
2010 College of Electrical Training
2009 Jobs South West Community Services
2008 Australian College of Training
2007 Nara Training and Assessing
2006 Marr Mooditj Foundation
2005 Hospitality Group Training
2004 XLT Industrial Training
2003 Marr Mooditj Foundation
2002 Dental Nursing Australia
2001 West Pilbara College of TAFE
2000 PPTC Skills

WA International Training Provider of the Year 

Year Winner
Please note: This award category is no longer active.
2015 DNA Kingston Training
2014 Central Institute of Technology
2013 Central Institute of Technology
2012 Australian College of Applied Education
2011 Central Institute of Technology
2010 Central Institute of Technology

WA Large Training Provider of the Year

Year Winner
2019 North Regional TAFE
2018 North Metropolitan TAFE
2017 North Regional TAFE
2016 South Metropolitan TAFE
2015 Durack Institute of Technology
2014 NECA College of Electrical Training
2013 Kimberley Training Institute
2012 Challenger Institute of Technology
2011 Polytechnic West
2010 Durack Institute of Technology
2009 Central TAFE
2008 Great Southern TAFE
2007 West Coast TAFE
2006 Swan TAFE
2005 Challenger TAFE
2004 Challenger TAFE
2003 Central West College of TAFE
2002 Central West College of TAFE
2001 South East Metropolitan College of TAFE
2000 South East Metropolitan College of TAFE
1999 South East Metropolitan College of TAFE
1998 West Coast College of TAFE
1997 North Metropolitan College of TAFE
1996 South East Metropolitan College of TAFE
1996 The Lady Gowrie Centre

WA Medium Employer of the Year

Year Winner

Eden Corporation Pty Ltd T/As McDonald's Karratha

2007 Western Geotechnics
2006 WA Freightlines Group of Companies
2005 Therapy Focus
2004 Perth Zoo
2003 Australian Portfolio Administrators
2002 Not awarded
2001 Doric Group
2000 Market Equity
1999 Arrix Integrated
1998 The Purslowe Group of Funeral Companies
1997 Arrix Services
1996 Dalwallinu Health Services
1995 Arrix Cleaning Services
1995 Australian Broadcasting Commission
1994 Dalwallinu District Hospital

WA Large Employer of the Year

Year Winner
2019 Barminco Pty Ltd
2018 Roy Hill
2017 McDonald's Australia
2016 Civmec Construction and Engineering Pty Ltd
2015 Crown Perth
2014 Main Roads WA
2013 McDonald’s Australia
2012 Main Roads WA
2011 City of Cockburn
2010 Chevron Australia
2009 Hollywood Private Hospital
2008 Western Australian Police
2007 Worsley Alumina
2006 John Holland
2005 City of Albany
2004 Co-operative Bulk Handling
2003 Disability Services Commission–Learning Development Branch
2002 Fremantle Hospital and Health Care
2001 Alcoa World Alumina Australia (WA Operations)
2000 Brightwater Care Group and E G Green and Sons
1999 St John of God Health Care, Subiaco
1998 Austal Ships
1997 Department of Land Administration
1996 BHP Iron Ore Pty
1995 BHP Iron Ore, Port Hedland
1994 Sheraton Perth Hotel

WA Industry Collaboration Award

Year Winner
2019 The Electrical Industry Female Participation Program (EIFPP)
2018 Central Regional TAFE
2017 MPA Skills

WA Small Business of the Year

Year Winner
2013 Barber Drilling
2012 Ceiling Solutions
2011 Subicare Child Care Centre
2010 Verriers Engineering Services
2009 Not awarded
2008 Verriers Engineering Services
2007 Not awarded
2006 Not awarded
2005 Geraldton Resource Centre
2004 Leeder Cleaning Services
2003 Goolarri Media Enterprises
2002 Bunbury Florist
2001 Satterthwaite Consulting
2000 Warnbro Fair News and Books
1999 Shamrock Hotel
1998 Shamrock Hotel
1997 Mareena Purslowe and Associates
1996 Melville Panel and Paint
1995 Southside Personnel Services
1994 2 Dance Plus
1993 Pierrots Hair Salon

WA School Pathways to VET (formerly VET in Schools Excellence)

Year Winner
2015 Newton Moore Education Support Centre
2014 Busselton Senior High School
2013 Hampton Senior High School
2012 MPA Skills and John Forrest Secondary College
2011 WA College of Agriculture – Cunderdin
2010 Kimberley TAFE
2009 WA College of Agriculture – Cunderdin
2008 Central West TAFE with Clontarf Midwest Football Academy and Geraldton SHS
2007 Tom Price Senior High School
2006 WA College of Agriculture - Cunderdin
2005 Tom Price Senior High School
2004 North Lake Senior Campus
2003 Warnbro Community High School Education Support Centre
2002 Hamilton Senior High School
2001 Belmont City College
2000 Excellence in Education Compact
1999 Excellence in Education Compact

State Training Board Award for an Employer of Apprentices or Trainees

Year Winner
2007 Fletcher International WA
2006 Western Geotechnics Group

WA Innovative Product of the Year

Year Winner
1995 Taylor Weir School of Hairdressing

WA Resource Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Year Winner
2007 Melissa Roguski, Bunbury Business College
2006 Damien Challis, Pilbara TAFE/Apprenticeships WA

State Training Board Medal

Year Winner
2005 Wooden Boat Works
2004 Mr Donald Boyle

WA VET in Schools Student Awards

Year Winner
WA VET in Schools School Based Trainee of the Year
Megan Labruyere, Geraldton Grammar School
Mac Prosk, St Joseph’s College, Albany
WA VET in Schools Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
Ellie Penny, Belmont City College
Kendall Roe, Carnarvon Senior High School
WA VET in Schools Education Support Student of the Year
Theresa Williams, Cannington Community Education Support Centre
Joshua Yates, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar
WA VET in Schools Student of the Year
Jessica Ogden, St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School
Christopher Giles, WA College of Agriculture - Cunderdin

WA Training Initiative (formerly WA Access and Equity Award)

Year Winner
2015 Central Institute of Technology – Jump Start Training Program
2014 Fairbridge Western Australia
2013 Durack Institute of Technology
2012 JSW Training and Community Services
2011 Central Institute of Technology and the David Wirrpanda Foundation
2010 Rio Tinto Iron Ore
2009 Department of Corrective Services
2008 Macmahon Contractors
2007 SMYL Community Services
2006 C.Y. O’Connor College of TAFE and West Australian Country Health Service, Wheatbelt
2005 Central West TAFE
2004 Department of Justice
2003 Abmusic Aboriginal and Islander Music College
2002 Cheeditha Community Training Program and West Pilbara College of TAFE
2001 Kimberley College of TAFE
2000 Association for the Blind of WA and Central West College of TAFE
1999 C.Y. O’Connor College of TAFE
1998 Keightley Consultancies
1997 South Metropolitan College – Disability Services and Hospitality
1996 Industry Reference Group – Childcare Assessment and Bridging Project and Learning Centre Link
1995 WA Arts, Sports and Recreation Industrial Training Council Incorporated
Page last updated March 30, 2021