Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Minister for Education and Training

    WA Training Awards 2020 winners celebrated

    7/10/2020 7:30 AM
    • Five exceptional individuals named as winners at the WA Training Awards 2020
    • WA Apprentice of the Year 2020 trained at South Metropolitan TAFE's world-class oil gas training facility
    • Celebrating training, its role in the State's recovery and assisting job creation

    The Education and Training Minister announced the five winners from the WA Training Awards 2020 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre last night.


    Winners from this year's awards, who succeeded despite highly unusual circumstances and changes to workplaces and training delivery, received $3,000. 


    Following in her father's footsteps proved successful for WA Apprentice of the Year 2020, Bethany Clarke, who now has a job at Shell, is excelling in the male-dominated oil and gas industry.


    The Methodist Ladies College alumnus undertook her apprenticeship after completing her ATAR and hopes to inspire other bright, young women to consider a VET pathway and a career in oil and gas.


    The 24 year-old credits VET with making an extremely positive impact on her life, when she first flew offshore she was a shy 20-year-old, and one of two females on the remote facility, the experience made her more resilient and independent.


    Bethany is an inaugural graduate of the National Energy Technician Training Scheme (NETTS), an industry collaboration project between South Metropolitan TAFE, Programmed and multiple oil and gas companies to increase diversity in the industry.


    This year, winners were recognised across five individual categories WA Apprentice of the Year; WA School-based Apprentice of the Year; WA Trainee of the Year; WA Vocational Student of the Year; and WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year.


    The winners will now be put forward to compete against the nation's best at the Australian Training Awards which will be a virtual celebration on 20 November 2020.


    The State's premier training award program is possible thanks to continuing support from the State Training Board, Apprenticeship Support Australia, AMA Apprenticeship and Traineeship Services, College of Electrical Training, Crown Perth, The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, MEGT, Roy Hill, StudyPerth and the Training Accreditation Council.


    Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:


    "The stories from this year's WA Training Awards highlight that the benefit of a VET pathway is far greater than just gaining a qualification and job.   


    "With VET playing a vital role in rebuilding of Western Australia's economy, the overall community benefit is significant and should be celebrated.


    "I congratulate this year's winners for their efforts and contributions. They are fine ambassadors for Western Australia's training system. 


    "The McGowan Government continues to recognise the importance of VET and has invested significantly in the sector to support its vital role in our society and economy in assisting job creation."


    Minister's office - 6552 5700


    WA Apprentice of the Year 2020


    Bethany Clarke (Mount Pleasant)

    Bethany entered her apprenticeship through the National Energy Technician Training Scheme, the first of its kind in Australia and the outcome of a collaboration involving multiple oil and gas companies. She achieved her Certificate III in Process Plant Operations through apprenticeship arrangements with Programmed and South Metropolitan TAFE. 


    Bethany believes that being a female in a male-dominated industry has pushed her to become a more confident version of herself. She is passionate about advocating for bringing more women into the industry. Her goal is to inspire other bright, young women who might not have thought about process plant operations as a potential career path, to consider this option and pursue the training opportunities that are available.


    WA Trainee of the Year 2020


    Cheyne Pearce (Ardross)

    Cheyne chose to study a Certificate IV in Horticulture at North Metropolitan TAFE in order to fulfil his passion to make a positive difference to our environment. His hard work and resolve eventually paid off with the offer of a dream job as a trainee at Kings Park and Botanic Gardens.


    Cheyne started his career as an air conditioning and refrigeration technician, but found increasingly that he wanted to pursue his passion for the environment. This passion was the catalyst for a career change. Through hard work and determination, he successfully completed a Certificate II in Horticulture and Conservation Land Management. He then went on to study the Certificate IV and with it, landed a position as a trainee at Kings Park and Botanic Gardens. He says working at King's Park was like 'living the horticultural dream - with access to some of the brightest and best minds in the field.'


    WA Vocational Student of the Year 2020


    Trent Caldwell (Ballajura)

    With a background in community services, advertising and art, Trent wanted to blend the skills learnt from these industries and embark on a journey to land his long-held ambition of a role in marketing. 


    After successfully completing a Diploma of Marketing and Communication at North Metropolitan TAFE, Trent has landed his dream role as a Social Media Manager. He manages the website, social media accounts and paid advertising campaigns for Near Me Real Estate.

    Following a near-fatal accident which left him in a coma, Trent has various learning hindrances. Although he struggled with financial and health problems during his studies, with the assistance from his lecturers, he completed the Diploma with flying colours. After his successful past 18 months, Trent advocates one simple message - study with TAFE!


    WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Student of the Year 2020


    Colleen Little (Wanneroo)

    Colleen is a proud Whadjuk Noongar woman. She loves her culture, her family and her history. She is delighted to be Aboriginal and have connections with land. Being part of a culture that faces various difficulties and challenges, she knows the struggles Aboriginal people are faced with and can relate to them from her own life experiences. Her goal is to lead, influence and inform a younger generation of Indigenous people to strive for a stronger, healthy life. She wants to break the barriers by creating supportive systems and leadership for many generations coming through.


    Colleen loves cars and has always been interested in the automotive field, so when the opportunity arose to complete a traineeship through AMA Training Services at Motor Trade Association of Western Australia (MTA WA), she leapt at the chance. Coming from a large Indigenous family, her traineeship allowed her to balance work and study responsibilities, with her family commitments.


    The Certificate III in Business allowed her to gain both on-the-job administrative experience, and knowledge of the automotive industry. She is now employed full time with MTA WA and her role allows her to help the next generation of tradespeople to commence their own careers.


    WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 2020


    Joel Pearson (Geraldton)

    The arts industry is something which Joel has always been deeply passionate about, so after years of circus, dance and volunteering at events, he started up his own circus entertainment company.


    A year of work placement encouraged Joel to further his training through a Certificate III in Arts Administration at North Regional TAFE, which resulted in being selected to complete a Tour Coordinator Mentorship with regional arts industry leader, CircuitWest.


    Joel says that being able to do a school-based traineeship has been a great opportunity to get real-world experience which complements his certificate, as well as to network and make connections with relevant people in the industry before leaving school.


    A highlight of Joel's career so far was his first solo project in late 2019, working with the City of Greater Geraldton to provide a performance project titled Geraldton's Worst Artist at the local event, Christmas on the Terrace, which was attended by thousands.