ACT Training Awards

2020 ACT Training Awards

About the awards

The ACT Training Awards is an annual opportunity to showcase the commitment, innovation and outstanding achievements of all those involved in the ACT vocational education and training (VET) sector.

The awards encompass recognition and reward of the successful of individuals and organisations in the ACT across 14 categories. Winners in aligned categories will go on to compete for national success at the Australian Training Awards.

Virtual event

The 2020 ACT Training Awards was held on Thursday 10 September 2020.

A recording of the event is available on YouTube.

2020 ACT Training Awards - Event Program (PDF 1.61MB).

2020 winners and finalists

ACT Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by ReadyTech

Khye Bolin

Qualification: Certificate III in Electronics and Communications
Training provider: Canberra Institute of Technology
Employer: MEGT (Australia) Ltd
Host employer: Honeywell (Australia) Ltd

Khye Bolin

Khye completed his Certificate III in Electronics and Communications with the Canberra Institute of Technology and MEGT (Australia), hosted to Honeywell (Australia). Before beginning his apprenticeship, Khye was busy managing both university studies and full-time work. He applied for the apprenticeship with Honeywell as it combined his passion for IT with his desire for continuous education and need for hands-on experience. Working for an industry leader not only allowed Khye to further his skills and knowledge in the field but also gain invaluable skills in professional communication, relationship building and project management.

Khye saw this opportunity as a perfect way to regain his work/life balance while still being able to study and work. From a young age Khye has had a great interest in how things work. Khye’s apprenticeship has provided valuable opportunities, experiences and recognition.

Finalist Qualification Registered training organisation Employer Host employer
Andrew Van Dartel Certificate III in Carpentry MBA Group Training Walmsley Homes Not applicable
Adam Groth Certificate III in Carpentry Canberra Institute of Technology Australian Training Company NMC Constructions
Anna Chamberlain Certificate III in Hairdressing Canberra Institute of Technology Cataldo's Salon Not applicable
Jacob Port Certificate IV in Information Technology Canberra Institute of Technology Department of Defence (Chief Information Officer Group) Not applicable
Louis Russell Certificate III in Parks and Gardens Canberra Institute of Technology Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate Not applicable

ACT Trainee of the Year, sponsored by Ginninderry

Clarisse Ambroise

Qualification: Certificate III in Hospitality
Training provider: Canberra Institute of Technology
Employer: La Baguette by R&M

Clarisse Ambroise

Clarisse completed the Certificate III in Hospitality with the Canberra Institute of Technology and is currently undertaking the Certificate IV in Hospitality through her employer, La Baguette R&M.

Moving from France to Australia when she was 20, Clarisse had to provide for herself early on. Embarking on further studies to improve her situation and create a better life, she has worked hard to evolve professionally and personally. The traineeship was valuable as it allowed Clarisse to work full-time and Iearn on the job as much as she could. Thanks to the support of the business, work colleagues and trainer, Clarisse has been able to further her career in the industry and enhance her customer service, teamwork and communication skills.

Finalist Qualification Registered training organisation Employer Host employer
Erin Place Certificate III in Customer Engagement Australian Training Company Australian Training Company Seeing Machines
Michaela Marquardt Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care ECTARC Oxley Early Learning Not Applicable
Brooke Warren Certificate III in Business Australian Training Company Australian Training Company Lockheed Martin
Chloe Batchelor Certificate III in Business Australian Training Company Australian Training Company Skills Canberra - Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
Kayla Steele Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care Recognition First G8 Education Gold Creek World of Learning

ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Lisa Cherie Birnie

Qualification: Certificate III in Government
Training provider: CIT Solutions
Employer: Department of Defence

Lisa Cherie Birnie

Lisa is a proud Indigenous woman from the Kamilaroi Nation and an ambassador for her community. She completed the Diploma of Government under the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program (IAP) with the Department of Human Services and CIT Solutions. Lisa completed the training to support her through a career change by gaining work experience and completing a qualification. Lisa, although unable to commence the apprenticeship at the same time as other students, made up the seven months’ difference and also managed to complete it ahead of the other program participants. Lisa’s challenges taught her how far good time management can take you when coupled with drive, determination, and a sound work ethic.

Lisa has held many leadership roles within her community including youth leader for Indigenous youth at risk of homelessness, Chair of Eurobodalla family support, member of the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AEVG), and a member of the Wanga Iindigi, which is involved in early intervention of Aboriginal youth crime prevention.

Finalist Qualification Registered training organisation Employer Host employer
Mwaaniipaak Nurokina Certificate III in Business Australian Training Company Australian Training Company Australian National University
Dimity Corey Sheather Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care ECTARC Busy Bees Not applicable
Laurie Hayes Diploma of Government CIT Solutions Department of Human Services Not applicable
Louise De Busch Diploma of Government CIT Solutions Department of Defence Not applicable
Eleasha Callaghan Diploma of Government CIT Solutions Department of Defence Not applicable
Skye-Maree Mitchell Certificate IV in Government CIT Solutions Comcare Not applicable

ACT Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year

Sebastian Connor

Qualification: Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
Training provider: Canberra Institute of Technology
School: Dickson College
Employer: Pilot Restaurant and Bar

Sebastian Connor

Sebastian commenced the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery as an Australian School-based Apprentice with Pilot. Restaurant + Bar. Sebastian is undertaking a tertiary package whilst also attending the Canberra Institute of Technology to complete his off the job training. Actively participating in many different sporting activities, Sebastian effectively manages his time to also take on academic competitions all while attending Dickson College.

Last year Sebastian won the ACT Big Geography competition and spent a week on Kangaroo Island learning about geography, tourism and sustainability. Sebastian has introduced his passion for sustainability to his workplace, using seasonal ingredients and appropriate cooking and cleaning practices. Sebastian’s training led him become aware of healthy eating, which helped him win the Canberra Healthy Teen Chef Award in 2019. Sebastian’s Australian School-based Apprenticeship has enhanced his passion for cooking, and he spends any spare time reading cookbooks and learning new techniques to bring to his workplace and enable him to pursue a career as a chef.

Finalist Qualification Registered training organisation School Employer Host employer
Ezekiel Turner Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) Canberra Institute of Technology Canberra College Australian Training Company Questacon
Nakita Taylor Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation Orbus3 Narrabundah College Australian Training Company Not applicable
Tarni Evans Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation Orbus3 Erindale College Australian Training Company Not applicable
Jasmine Webb Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) Quest Training Solutions Radford College Australian Training Company Black Mountain School
Nathan Woodward Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways LEAD Hawker College Australian Training Company Southern Cross Early Childhood School
Blake Frantz Certificate III in Business Australian Training Company Hawker College Australian Training Company Transitions and Careers - Education Directorate
Colby Jones Certificate III in Hairdressing College of Transformation, Education and Training Canberra High School Bentley’s of Canberra Not Applicable

ACT Vocational Student of the Year

Charise Mae Brabec

Qualification: Certificate III Floristry
Training provider: Canberra Institute of Technology

Charise Mae Brabec

Charise completed the Certificate III Floristry at CIT while continuing to work as a registered nurse. Charise chose vocational training as it offered a good combination of creative work, practical skills, hands on practice, theoretical background in plant materials, design and a work placement opportunity. The course gave Charise the confidence to start her own business, offering bespoke floral designs for weddings and events.

Charise volunteers with charity organisations where she provides designed floral arrangements for their activities. Charise is goal-oriented and passionate, and works extra hard to achieve what she has envisioned. ‘Believing in myself that I can do anything is my mantra and I push myself outside of my comfort zone to achieve my ambitions. I believe having these traits will get you anywhere you want to be.’

Finalist Qualification Registered training organisation
Kirsty Buttner Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care ECTARC
Clare McDowell Advanced Diploma in Events Management and Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management Kenvale College
Danielle Kuipers Certificate III in Business Daramalan College

ACT VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year

Nicole Lewis

Training provider: JCE Positive Outcomes

Nicole Lewis

Nicole has taught vocational education for over thirty years. She is currently a full-time trainer for JCE Positive Outcomes and runs her own hospitality business. Meeting with trainees at their work allows Nicole the opportunity to address any issues in real time and space, and to provide flexible and adaptive support.

Nicole aims to create and deliver practical training solutions relevant to her student’s specific workplace. She believes a positive relationship is the key to supporting students and sees herself as not just a trainer, but as a mentor and life coach. She is a proud Wadajara woman. Besides her love of formal study, Nicole take every opportunity to learn from other people.

Finalist Registered training organisation
Ben Scanlon MBA Group Training
Lesa Cockburn Canberra Institute of Technology
Renee Brand Canberra Institute of Technology
Bernie Slater Canberra Institute of Technology
Rodney Michael Farrar Professional Security and Risk Institute
Lynne Sheffield Quality Training in Construction

ACT Small Employer of the Year

Eden Hair Energy

Eden Hair Energy

Eden Hair Energy is based in Dickson, ACT. From humble beginnings in 2014, with a team of two, the team at Eden has grown to a team of 10, including a reception team and a well-balanced mix of senior staff and emerging stylists. Eden currently has five of their eight permanent team members undertaking accredited training, and is currently recruiting for another first year apprentice and business trainee.

Eden spends significant time and energy cultivating a healthy and thriving team culture and inspiring great quality service. In 2019, Eden introduced an industry-first Employee Benefits Program including access to a range of services such as training, counselling and financial advice.


  • Phil Blake Electrical

ACT Medium Employer of the Year, sponsored by Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service

Woden Valley Child Care Centre

Woden Valley Child Care Centre

Woden Valley Child Care Centre (WVCCC) is a community-based not-for-profit childcare centre managed by a Parent Committee. WVCCC has been an approved service since 1992 providing high quality care and education for children from 0 to 5 years old. The centre employs educators with a strong commitment to the care and education of children in a long day care setting. Their qualified educators hold or are actively working towards nationally-recognised qualifications, including Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates.

WVCCC recognises the importance of children growing up with an appreciation and respect for cultural diversity. At WVCCC, educators and children develop a strong sense of identity, learn about, and appreciate cultures and traditions other than their own and learn to enjoy and respect differences and recognise universal characteristics we all share.


  • WV Technologies Canberra

ACT Large Employer of the Year, sponsored by CIT



With a 43-year history, Communities@Work is the largest provider of children’s services in the ACT and the largest not-for-profit organisation in the region. The organisation’s purpose is to be responsive to the needs of the community by delivering high quality services that support positive educational outcomes, assist in alleviating hardship, enhance the quality of life and lead to positive social change. Training and development is essential to reaching their goals.

Now in its third year, Communities@Work’s Ascend Program provides a unique pathway for skill development by providing selected employees with a bespoke learning experience. The program blends the theoretical knowledge with practical paid experience. Participants work across Communities@Work’s children’s service centres and are mentored by experienced educators and teachers.


  • CEA Technologies
  • Department of Parliamentary Service Apprenticeship Program

ACT Small Training Provider of the Year

The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE)

The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE)

The AIE has grown from a small Canberra business in 1996 to become a world-leading non-profit training organisation with a deep commitment to its students. Established with a mission to lead specialist education for the interactive and digital media industries, AIE prides itself on providing a fun learning environment that inspires and supports creativity, entrepreneurial activity, employment and further study.

AIE graduates gain employment in most of the top creative studios in the ACT, around Australia and the globe. AIE delivers a range of accredited courses to support an array of training outcomes from fundamental skill development to employment and professional mastery.


  • JCE Positive Outcomes

ACT Large Training Provider of the Year

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT)

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT)

Recent global developments have had a profound effect on the vocational education and training sector and have changed how the CIT delivers education and training. Fully committed to changing lives through quality education and skills development, CIT has implemented new ways to engage with students, including enhanced use of technology.

CIT course offerings are strongly aligned with the priorities of the Territory and the nation, and include renewable energy and cyber security. Innovations in training delivery, supported by state-of-the-art facilities, like the CIT Fit & Well Allied Health Clinic, and enduring strategic industry partnerships, cement CIT as a leader at the cutting-edge of VET.


ACT Industry Collaboration Award

The Ginninderry Construction Program

The Ginninderry Construction Program

The Ginninderry Construction Program is an inclusive, collaborative project delivered by Quality Training in Construction and the Ginninderry SPARK Training and Employment initiative. The program supports local people, disconnected from the labour market in Belconnen and the wider ACT region, to undertake a Certificate II in Construction.

In addition to the qualification, the program provides participants with essential industry training and work placements, personal development, case management, counselling, mentoring support and employment pathways in the construction sector. The program uses a community live training site within the Strathnairn Arts Association grounds to support participants to develop their skills, while building a piece of infrastructure for the local community. This model has provided participants with a holistic approach to learning and skills development by combining theory with live site works and additional support.


  • Master Builders Group Training and Ginninderry SPARK Women in Civil Construction Program
  • Hotstart Hospitality Pre-employment Program
  • Project Embrace – Seeing Machines (An inclusion project)


Gold sponsor

ReadyTech logo

ReadyTech is an ASX-listed provider of people management software for Australia’s education, employment and back-to-work sectors.

A long-term supporter of vocational education and training (VET) in Australia, ReadyTech, through its software systems JR Plus, VETtrak and My Profiling, offers training providers and their students the software systems they need to make the increasingly complex end-to-end learning journey fruitful and focused on meaningful employment outcomes. From core compliance functionality for educators that supports the delivery of high quality education and training, right through to cutting edge behavioural science and predictive analytics technology designed to enhance the support students receive to boost completions. ReadyTech’s software suite helps VET providers and students manage the learning journey with confidence every step of the way.

When taken together, ReadyTech’s software helps manage the shifting human journey through learning, study and training into the world of work, in ways that ensure educators and students are workforce-ready and equipped for future of work.


Silver sponsors

Ginninderry logo

The Ginninderry development is more than bricks and mortar; it is about community and people. The SPARK Training and Employment program is all about connecting with those in our community who are disconnected from the labour market and supporting them into education, training and employment pathways.

Since the program began in 2017, SPARK has been proudly supporting the ACT Training Awards and a recipient of several awards, achieved in collaboration with various industry partners. In 2020, we again look forward to celebrating and acknowledging the efforts and achievements of those involved in vocational education and training in the ACT, and demonstrating SPARK’s continued commitment to delivery training places, work experience placements and employment opportunities across a variety of sectors.

Canberra Institute of Technology logo

For 90 years, the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) has changed lives through quality education and skills development for individuals, industry and the community.

CIT is the leading provider of vocational education and training (VET) in the ACT and region, training around 20,000 students annually.

CIT’s high-quality, innovative training provides the skills needed for our current and future workforce, supports our local and national economy, and contributes to Canberra’s ranking as the nation’s highest performing jurisdiction on measures of innovation and entrepreneurship.

CIT is ready to support our apprentices, trainees and graduates to meet the challenges and opportunities of this new world.


AATIS logo

The Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service (AATIS) raises awareness of potential apprenticeship and traineeship pathways to students, job seekers, career advisors, employers and others working in the industry. AATIS provides up-to-date information and resources for the networks delivering Australian Apprenticeships support services, including Apprenticeship Network providers and Group Training Organisations. This includes industry-based literacy and numeracy quizzes, online and offline, job and training descriptions, and field officer briefs containing an overview of various industries, including qualification summaries and availability data.


The AATIS website, app and resources are used for career planning and direction. AATIS is active across online and digital platforms, while also providing a contact point to help people navigate through the Australian Apprenticeships system. AATIS is free to use and funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.


ACT National Awards Team sponsor

Apprentice Employment Network NSW and ACT logo

The Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT (AEN NSW ACT) is the peak body representing a network of 28 accredited and independent not-for-profit Group Training Organisations in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. AEN NSW ACT is engaged in the following activities:

  • building relationships with all relevant State and Territory Government agencies
  • raising the profile of Group Training in NSW and ACT
  • increasing the market share of Group Training apprentices and trainees
  • identify new opportunities and projects for the industry
  • networking and professional development of the industry
  • facilitating the sharing of resources and information.

Bronze sponsors

CTET logo
National Mailing and Marketing logo
1300Apprentice logo
Training Fund Authority logo
Sarina Russo logo logo

Being an ambassador

Winners and finalists of the ACT Training Awards are recognised as ambassadors for the ACT vocational education and training (VET) sector and are at times called upon to participate in forums and speak at events.

The Awards are a great opportunity to identify VET students that showcase the range of opportunities and careers available through a VET pathway.

As an ACT Training Awards winner, you may be invited to participate in many activities following the awards, including but not limited to:

  • photo and video shoots promoting your achievements
  • media opportunities (speaking with local media outlets)
  • presenting at stakeholder forums
  • judging for your award category in future years
  • involvement in professional development days for future winners
  • presenting at industry and VET sector events.

Winners from the ACT Training Awards (in eligible categories) will represent the ACT at the Australian Training Awards. Our ambassadors represent the great outcomes Canberra’s VET sector produces and build the reputation of our VET community to both the ACT and the rest of Australia.

By sharing your experiences, advice and knowledge, you can encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to realise how VET can benefit them and potentially change their lives. In addition, you may be able to inspire employers and training providers to review their training methods and continue to make improvements.

You can represent the ACT VET sector as a VET Ambassador in many different ways and all ACT Training Awards finalists and winners have a story worth sharing.