Excellence in vocational education and training honoured at a national level

Image of Lifetime Achievement Awards recipient Mary Campbell on ATA branded background

This story was first published on Monday 23 November 2020. If you wish to use this content, please contact media@dewr.gov.au to confirm that the information is still current.

Seventeen recipients from across Australia were honoured on Friday night for their outstanding achievement in vocational education and training (VET) at the 2020 Australian Training Awards.

The 17 winners represented students, apprentices, trainees, teachers, registered training organisations and employers. They took out their respective awards against a high-calibre field of 75 national finalists. The full list of winners and finalists is on the Australian Training Awards website.

The VET sector’s night-of-nights was held virtually for the first time this year. Excellence was recognised across three broad categories: individuals including students, apprentices, trainees and teachers; employers who train their workforce; and registered training organisations.

Outstanding leadership and contribution to the VET sector was also recognised though the Lifetime Achievement Award. This top honour went to Mary Campbell, CEO of TAFE Queensland. Mary was honoured for her dedication and commitment to VET, spanning across more than 30 years in leadership and operational roles.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists!


Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Mary Campbell, QLD

National Achievement Award

  • Debbie Blow, QLD

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award

  • Rachel Leigh Taylor, NT

VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award

  • Kevin Nunn, VIC

Vocational Student of the Year Award

  • Heetham Hekmat, TAS

Trainee of the Year Award

  • Breanna Cassidy, QLD

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award

  • Lisa Cherie Birnie, ACT

Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award

  • Sebastian Connor, ACT

Apprentice of the Year Award

  • Caitlin Radford, TAS

Australian Apprenticeships—Employer Award

  • Fairbrother, TAS

Small Employer of the Year

  • Kent Saddlery, QLD

Medium Employer of the Year

  • Outside Ideas, SA

Large Employer of the Year

  • SA Power Networks, SA

Industry Collaboration Award

  • Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and Australian Defence Force, NT

School Pathways to VET Award

  • St Paul's College Kempsey, NSW

Large Training Provider of the Year

  • South West Institute of TAFE, VIC

Small Training Provider of the Year

  • Builders Academy Australia, VIC

For those who missed it, you can watch the awards ceremony on the ATA website.

More information

From the Newsroom

Correct at time of publication.