The training sector's night of nights saw a record number of nominations.
The winners of the 65th Victorian Training Awards (VTA) were announced at a gala dinner at Crown Palladium on 6 September.
The night witnessed a trend towards female and mature-age student winners. Six of the seven individual awards went to females and three out of five student awards went to mature age learners.
For the third year running, the Large Training Provider of the Year prize went to a regional TAFE – Sunraysia Institute of TAFE. Holmesglen took out the Industry Collaboration Award, also for the third consecutive year.
Proving you can start something new at any age, 48-year-old Racheal Hilder won the Vocational Student of the Year Award after many years as a primary carer.
Rachael started a Diploma of Community Services but realised she was drawn to justice. After completing a Diploma of Justice at Kangan Institute, Rachael now works as a Corrections Officer at Ravenhall Correctional Centre.
Rachael says that she hopes her win can inspire somebody else who is also considering a career change.
'The patience of all my trainers was incredible,' Rachael says. 'They each bought something different to my learning experience.'
Jake Carter was named 2019 VTA Apprentice of the Year. On the verge of becoming a first-time father, Jake chose to make a career change from finance to study for an electrical pre-apprenticeship. He said he was delighted to have this decision so strongly vindicated with this recognition.
'I don't know where I'd be without the teachers and trainers,' Jake says. 'They've really guided me and helped me establish and achieve my goals.'
Patricia Neden won the prestigious Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement. The People's Choice Award for Apprentice of the Year went to Amber Kate Gabelich.
This year's event featured special presentations that highlighted the VTA's proud history in showcasing the quality, excellence and diversity of Victoria's vocational education and training sector.
Victorian Training Awards
Victoria Training Awards winners were selected from 39 finalists across 13 categories. They represent the state's best students, teachers, training providers and employers.
See all the winners at VTA winners.
See photographs at VTA official gallery.