Winners and finalists

2020 WA Training Awards winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 WA Training Awards! On this page, we proudly showcase WA Training Awards winners from previous years. 

WA Training Awards winners are ambassadors for vocational education and training in Western Australia. If you would like to book a WA Training Awards ambassador for an upcoming event, please contact the WA Training Awards team.


2020 Apprentice of the Year

Bethany Clarke, 2020 WA Training Awards Apprentice of the Year.

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.


2020 Trainee of the Year

Cheyne Pearce, 2020 WA Training Awards Trainee of the Year.

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.

Cheyne 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.’


2020 Vocational Student of the Year

Trent Caldwell, 2020 WA Training Awards Vocational Student of the Year.

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!


2020 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Colleen Little, 2020 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 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.


2020 School-based Apprentice of the Year

Joel Pearson, WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 2020

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.


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
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
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
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
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
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