The Australian Training Awards acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector, recognising remarkable individuals, businesses, and registered training organisations (RTOs) across 16 Award categories.

At Skills Insight, we are always thrilled to see outstanding achievements in the industries we work with. We congratulate all finalists, including Colin Taranto from NTHA Training, Craig Jones from UQ Skills, WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin, CathWest Innovation College, TAFE Gippsland and TAFE Queensland, all finalists in their categories.

The Award ceremony is this week, on the 17th of November, in Hobart, Tasmania.

Colin Taranto

VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year finalist

Colin is a highly experienced trainer in timber systems design and timber frame/truss manufacturing with 39 years of expertise in the timber industry. He is dedicated to staying current with industry trends and standards, ensuring that he provides the most up-to-date information to his students. Colin works for NTHA Training and maintains strong industry connections and actively engages in conferences and publications to inform his students about new developments. His key strength lies in his commitment to supporting his learners, emphasising the importance of building relationships, rapport, and trust to ensure their success.

Craig Jones

VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year finalist

Craig is a highly experienced master farrier with over 35 years in the field. He is passionate about the industry and dedicated to passing on his knowledge through VET. He has transformed the Certificate IV in Farriery program at UQ Skills by incorporating modern, digitised training materials, making it more accessible to apprentices.

To enhance practical learning, Craig has recorded himself demonstrating various skills, from basic to advanced, available online for students. He has even created anatomical models to aid apprentices’ understanding of horse movement. Additionally, Craig collaborated with the UQ VETS Equine Specialist Hospital to ensure that his training material align with the latest research and practices, fostering better understanding between apprentices and veterinary students.

WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin

Small Training Provider of the Year finalist

The Western Australian College of Agriculture, Cunderdin, is well-known for delivering exceptional VET programs that combine theoretical and practical learning, preparing students for multiple industries, including agriculture and related fields. Training occurs on a 4,000-hectare commercial farm and a state-of-the-art Trade Training Centre.

Over the past three years, more than 95% of graduates have successfully transitioned into employment, training, apprenticeships, traineeships, or university pathways, highlighting their effectiveness in preparing students for the workforce.

CathWest Innovation College

School Pathways to VET Award finalist

CathWest Innovation College, a Catholic high school in Mount Druitt and Emu Plains, NSW, stands out with its innovative approach to education. They focus on providing diverse pathways through VET, emphasising job readiness and essential skills like problem solving, teamwork, and effective communication.

Catering to students in years 10 to 12, CathWest offers a wide range of qualifications in several fields, including animal studies.

Large Training Provider of the Year finalists

TAFE Queensland, a well-established education institution with more than 100,000 students and 450 qualifications, including animal care and management, agriculture and horticulture. They continually enhance their performance and assist educators in accessing industry and teaching training. A self-reflection tool for educators aligns with student expectations, facilitating improvements.

Over the past six years, TAFE Gippsland has undergone a transformative journey, focusing on community and industry engagement to deliver high-quality VET outcomes in the region. As a result, it is recognised as a leading VET provider in regional Victoria. It offers a diverse program across its 13 campuses, covering food and fibre, conservation, animal studies, and VET nursing. Through key partnerships and initiatives, TAFE Gippsland has played a significant role in the region’s transition to renewables and the clean energy economy.