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CQ Stars Shine Bright

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More than 190 people were on hand to congratulate the regional finalist and winners at the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training’s Gala event for the Central Qld division of the Queensland Training Awards in Emerald recently.

The Emerald town hall was transformed into a magical venue, setting the tone for the evening which recognised the achievements of finalists in 11 different categories covering apprentices and trainees, teachers, community initiatives and employers of the year.

After three years of online awards due to COVID restrictions, people were happy to finally be able to attend the awards in person again and the evening proved to be a great success. Special guests on the night included Ministers Representative Chris Le Prou – Regional Director Central Queensland Region from the Department of Employment Small Business and Training and Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor, Kerry Hayes.

Department representatives said the evening was a huge success and were very thankful to the people of Emerald for welcoming the Queensland Training Awards to their town.

Master of Ceremonies Kat Davidson kept the crowd entertained throughout the evening and was quick to thank all individual category and evening sponsors, without whose help, an event like this would not have been possible.

Sponsors included The Busy Group and Jobs Queensland, MEGT, Mas National, BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL), Hastings Deering, Central Highlands Regional Council, Blue Stone Medical and Professional, Busy At Work CQ University Australia and Glencore.

Congratulations to all the Winners & Finalists!
The Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year
Regional winner: Madonna Nelson-Bamford – Certificate III in Parks and Gardens
Madonna’s training provider was CQ University Australia and she is employed by the Central Highlands Regional Council where she has been part of the Parks and Gardens team at Central Highlands Regional Council since 2018.
Regional finalists: Sunny Lorraway & Bailey Price
Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year
Regional winner: Peta Burridge – Certificate IV in Youth Work. Peta completed a Certificate IV in Youth Work through the Australis College and is employed by the Mackay Regional Council.
Regional finalists: Lavinnia Jones & Renae Womal
Vocational Student of the Year
Regional winner: Riley Donovan – Certificate II in Engineering Pathways Capella local Riley successfully completed his Certificate II in Engineering Pathways through the Marist College in Emerald.
Regional finalists: Michael Dibdin & Cheyenne Hall
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
Regional winner: Jessy Edwards – Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade Jessy successfully completed her Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade through CQ University Australia and is employed by Queensland Alumina Limited QAL.
Regional finalists: Shanae Corowa & Tamika Mooney
School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year
Regional winner: Martine David – Certificate III in Sport and Recreation Martine completed a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation through Youth Development and Training. She is currently a Year 11 student at The Cathedral College and is completing a school-based traineeship through Leisure Employment Australia.
Regional finalists: Riley Donovan & Alicia Kelly
Equity VET Student of the Year
Regional winner: Michael Dibdin – Certificate III in Individual Support Michael successfully completed his certificate through Axiom College and is employed by the Endeavour Foundation Mackay.
Regional finalist: Patrick Roberts
VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year
Regional winner: Gregory Pullen Gregory Pullen is employed by Marist College Emerald where he is part of Industrial Technology Department.
Regional finalists: Nathan Corbett, Onsite Training Australia & Aletta Marshall, Axiom College
Community Training Initiative of the Year
Regional winner: Emerald Neighbourhood Centre – Program: Get Set for Work This program, supported by the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, has allowed the Emerald Neighbourhood Centre to provide 15 to 19-year-olds who have disengaged from school a safe environment to gain skills, employment and or move onto further training. In 2021, program participants achieved a 100% completion rate.
Regional finalists: Apprentice and Trainees Queensland & Startup Gladstone
Large Employer of the Year
Regional winner: Central Highlands Regional Council Central Highlands Regional Council received the award for their commitment to building the capacity of its workforce by providing opportunities for employees to attain and maintain the required qualifications and participate in ongoing skills development programs.
Regional finalists: NFR Holdings (McDonald’s Mackay East, Canelands Central, Northern Beaches, North Mackay and Andergrove) & Queensland Alumina Limited
Medium Employer of the Year
Regional winner: Taylored Automotive Services of Dysart.
This small business has adopted a policy that encourages all staff to undertake the training they want or need to be more successful in their chosen profession, whether they are a trainee or a tradesperson. Business Owner and Director Seamus Taylor was thrilled to accept the award after having taken out the awards for Small Employer of the Year in both 2018 and 2019.
Small Employer of the Year
Regional winner: Edison Hair Collective Edison Hair Collective is a locally owned hairdressing salon in Mackay.  Salon owner Katie Chapman said the most rewarding thing about owning her own business is being able to employ young people choosing hairdressing as their career.
Regional finalists: Intuition The Art of Hair & Johnson’s 4WD Repair Shop

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