2022 HVTC Excellence Awards

The HVTC Excellence Awards celebrate our ongoing commitment to promoting excellence in training and employment. 

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2022 HVTC Excellence Awards! We will be celebrating at our awards event in May.

Read a bit about each of our category winners below.

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Milton Morris Encouragement Award - Kasey Lewis

Hosted to Origin Energy

Kasey is a 2nd Year Electrical Apprentice hosted to Origin Energy. Kasey completed the Central Coast Community College Work Readiness Program in 2021 and was nominated by the RTO as Student of the Year in the Colleges Australia Awards. Kasey is a passionate advocate for Women in non-traditional trade roles and mature aged apprentices. She consistently shows dedication to her Apprenticeship on the job and at the RTO and receives great feedback from her Supervisors and Trainers. 

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Milton Morris Encouragement Award - Shaani Monson

Hosted to Whitehaven Coal

Shaani commenced her Mobile Plant apprenticeship with HVTC and host employer Maules Creek Coal in February 2022. Shaani has great knowledge and experience in mechanical work and has always wanted an opportunity to become qualified in an area she is passionate about. Shaani has received positive feedback from the day she interviewed for the apprenticeship which is now flowing into her work ethic on and off site.

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RTO Student of the Year - Kasey Lewis

Hosted to Origin Energy

RTO - Central Coast Community College

Despite the challenges Kasey has faced, she continues to apply herself in her apprenticeship and exceed expectations. After taking part in the 2021 Work Readiness Program, Kasey was recognised for her outstanding achievements in the course and has continued these efforts throughout her apprenticeship. Kasey was recently named one of eight finalists in the Community Colleges Australia Student of the Year awards and is an advocate for Vocational Education & Training and women in trades.

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RTO Online Student of the Year - Anny Le

Hosted to Service NSW Bondi Junction

RTO - Central Coast Community College

Anny Le is currently enrolled in a Certificate III Customer Engagement with the College as part of her traineeship with HVTC and Service NSW Bondi Junction. Anny has consistently submitted work to a very high standard, going above and beyond in her training. Anny has demonstrated excellence in her RTO studies and proves to be a valuable asset to the team at Service NSW.

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RTO Achievement Award - Zackery Barry

Hosted to Alfabs Engineering

RTO - Central Coast Community College

Zackery is completing a Fabrication apprenticeship with HVTC and Host Employer, Alfabs Engineering, while undertaking his Cert III in Engineering Fabrication with the College. Zackery’s trainers refer to him as a quiet achiever and have provided positive feedback on his application and quality workmanship throughout the first year of his apprenticeship. Zackery is never afraid to ask questions and is a respectful worker and student.

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School-Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - Jorgieah Perry

Hosted to Garden Village Port Macquarie

To pursue her passion for helping people, Jorgieah undertook a School-Based Aged Care traineeship with HVTC and host employer, Garden Village Port Macquarie. Jorgieah demonstrated a strong commitment to her training, achieving a competency-based completion while also successfully completing her HSC studies. Jorgieah’s performance on-the-job has earned her an ongoing role with her host employer following completion of her school-based traineeship.

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Woman in Non-Traditional Trade Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - Taylor Vandijk

Hosted to Sutherland Shire Council

Taylor has always been a standout trainee with a passion for the environment and bushland regeneration. While completing her Conservation and Land Management traineeship with HVTC and Sutherland Shire Council, Taylor has not only completed a Diploma in Sustainability, but is also in the final year of her Bachelor of Science, majoring in Sustainability. Her passion extends to her being an active member of her community, engaging in various environmental groups and local government elections.

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Indigenous Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - Sophia De Vries

Hosted to Service NSW Goulburn

Sophia undertook a Digital Service Representative traineeship with HVTC and Service NSW Goulburn to improve her customer service skills and take the next step in her career. Sophia always goes above and beyond for customers and has received positive feedback from both Service NSW and various customers. Since completing, Sophia has obtained a role with the Orange Service Centre, and has become involved in training and developing new trainees and team members.

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Trainee of the Year - Finlay Hegarty

Hosted to Shoalhaven City Council

Finlay began his Surveying Traineeship with HVTC and host employer, Shoalhaven City Council in February 2019. Throughout his traineeship, Finlay continued to strive for new learning opportunities and showed an ability to be adaptable to any task that was assigned to him, which in turn, has led to a fixed-term role with his host employer. Finlay has successfully completed a Cert III in Surveying & Spatial Information Services, Cert IV in Surveying & Diploma in Surveying throughout his time with HVTC.

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Apprentice of the Year, Highly Commended - Matthew Lewis

Hosted to Aloha Interiors

Matthew Lewis has undertaken a Certificate III in Shopfitting through an apprenticeship with HVTC and host employer, Aloha Interiors. Since commencement, Matthew has been an outstanding apprentice with strong enthusiasm and determination to better himself. His commitment and hard work have been acknowledged throughout his apprenticeship, including during National Skills Week and the World Skills challenge. Matthew has been offered a full time position with Aloha interiors upon completion of his apprenticeship and hopes to become an ambassador for vocational education and training.

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Apprentice of the Year - Michael Owen

Hosted to Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group

While still completing his apprenticeship, Michael simultaneously completed his Certificate IV in Industrial Electronics and Control, as well as a Diploma of Electrical Engineering, demonstrating outstanding commitment to his training and development. Michael’s high achievements in all areas of his apprenticeship have been recognised, as he has been offered a full time technician role with his host employer, NCIG, as well as being accepted into the 2022 Today’s Skills Tomorrow’s Leaders program in Canberra.

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HVTC Employee of the Year - Ashley Kelly

Human Resource Advisor

Ashley Kelly joined HVTC in 2018 as the very first participant in our Graduate Programs. As a fresh-faced university student, Ashley quickly established herself as a proactive and diligent employee, dedicated to learning the ropes of the HR and Safety space and working collaboratively with all stakeholders. Group Training is one of the most complex IR environments for a HR professional to navigate, and Ashley immediately impressed with her composure, curiosity and ability to build and maintain effective relationships with her stakeholders. With a solid foundation of HR and Safety experience, Ashley completed her Grad Program in 2021 and was promoted to her current role of HR Advisor, where she works as a trusted business partner across both the GTO and RTO at HVTC Group. 


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Host Employer Innovation Award - Service NSW

Service NSW is a NSW Government executive agency that delivers world-class one-stop-shop services for customers, businesses, and partner agencies across the state. With over 180 Service Centres, the organisation provides more than 1200 transactions and facilitates a range of support services for individuals and businesses. In 2021, Service NSW delivered the Recovery traineeship program with HVTC, creating an additional 75 Digital Service Representative traineeship opportunities across the state to support their COVID recovery initiatives.


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Host Employer Safety Award - BlueScope

BlueScope has enthusiastically supported our Incident Reporting, it’s a Life Saver… campaign and have recorded a 13% increase in their Incident Reporting. BlueScope’s commitment to providing safe and sustainable employment to the next generation of tradespeople is demonstrated through their robust and proactive Safety Management System, their ongoing safety training and the incredible support provided to injured HVTC Apprentices. HVTC are proud to partner with BlueScope in providing exceptional injury management that recognises the importance of recovering at work to maintain good mental health and social connections with the workplace while recovering from an injury.


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Small Host Employer of the Year - O'Brien Plumbing Tamworth

O’Brien Plumbing Tamworth are specialists in the plumbing and gas fitting industry, operating out of Tamworth, and servicing the Northwest region. The business has hosted 18 apprentices in Certificate III in Plumbing and currently hosting 4 apprentices. O’Brien Plumbing provides all employees including HVTC’s apprentices a safe and supportive environment that encourages success.


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Large Host Employer of the Year - Origin Energy

Origin Energy are one of Australia’s leading energy providers and are committed to providing affordable and sustainable energy across the country. Since acquiring Australia’s largest power station in 2013, Origin has partnered with HVTC to provide apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities at the Eraring site in a range of trades, including Electrotechnology, Engineering, Warehousing, and Indigenous Land Management. Origin continue to provide quality training and employment opportunities for people in the Hunter region and currently host 18 HVTC apprentices and trainees.


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Overall Host Employer of the Year - Alfabs Group

Alfabs Group is a NSW based organisation that specialises in heavy engineering and mining equipment, with locations in the Hunter Valley, Wollongong, Narrabri and Mackay. Alfabs Group have had a relationship with HVTC since 2009 and have hosted over 50 HVTC apprentices and trainees. Alfabs are committed to providing training opportunities to both school leavers and mature-aged apprentices and trainees in multiple vocations.

Thank you to our generous sponsors



VERTO is an award winning, not-for-profit organisation assisting businesses and individuals with all their apprenticeship, employment and training needs. Our expertise covers a range of areas including Aboriginal services, Australian apprenticeships services, disability services, employment services and vocational training to help businesses, individuals and local industry to thrive. Our mission is to positively impact the lives of individuals and communities and we’ve built a track record of exemplary customer service over 35 years, built around an ethical approach. You'll find the team in over 40 locations across NSW, Victoria, and the ACT.

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Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by Origin Energy

Origin has a rich heritage in energy exploration, production, power generation and retailing. Today, we're a leading provider of energy to homes and businesses throughout Australia, working every day to make energy more affordable, more sustainable, smarter and easier. We use a range of energy sources to make electricity, from traditional fuels like coal and natural gas, to renewables like the wind and the sun. Since acquiring Australia’s largest power station in 2013, Origin has employed over 50 apprentices at the Eraring power station and this program continues in 2022 with 19 apprentices on site.


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Trainee of the Year – Sponsored by NSW Minerals Council

The NSW Minerals Council is the peak industry association representing the $24 billion mining industry in NSW. Our membership comprises over 100 producers, mine operators, explorers and associated mining services providers and includes all of the major mining companies operating in NSW. Many of our members also operate in other Australian states and globally. On behalf of our members we work closely with government, regulators, other industries, the media, unions and local mining communities to foster a dynamic, efficient and sustainable industry in NSW.


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Milton Morris Encouragement Award – Sponsored by Glencore

Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 90 commodities. Glencore has operated in Australia for nearly 20 years and holds significant interests in a range of commodity industries across all mainland states and the Northern Territory. Our Australian coal business, headquartered in the Hunter Valley, comprises 16 operating mines and employs almost 10,000 people. We also have one of the coal industry’s largest apprenticeship programs with nearly 250 apprentices.  



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School-Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - Sponsored by Whitehaven Coal

Whitehaven Coal is the leading Australian producer of premium-quality coal. We are the dominant player in the Gunnedah Coal Basin of NSW and have development assets underway nearby, and in Queensland. We are proudly local, and around 75% of our 2,500-strong workforce lives in the local communities around our mine sites. We believe in equality, diversity and inclusion, and offer a range of benefits for our people including incentive plans and industry-leading parental leave.


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Woman in Non-traditional Trade Apprentice/Trainee of the Year and RTO Student of the Year - Sponsored by Howden Australia

Founded in 1854, Howden manufactures and supplies engineered heavy duty and light industrial fans, heat exchangers, and compressors and provides a full service, retrofit and maintenance team for air and gas handling equipment in a variety of industries. Incorporated in Australia in 1948, and with facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cardiff and Perth, Howden Australia works with customers across the power generating, petrochemical, oil and gas, mining, iron and steel and other industrial sectors throughout the Asia Pacific region.



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Indigenous Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - Sponsored by The Mutual Bank

A member-owned bank offering industry-leading service and award-winning financial products to the Hunter Region. Established in 1888, The Mutual Bank has a long history of helping local people and small businesses to achieve their financial goals whilst supporting local employment and grassroots community organisations.

The Mutual Bank provides its members with choice and convenience in how they do their banking with innovative digital solutions and traditional customer service. It has branches in Dungog, East Maitland, Edgeworth, Maitland, Mayfield, Raymond Terrace, and Rutherford.

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RTO Achievement Award - Sponsored by PGSR

PGSR provides complete solutions for energy and industry through the delivery of skilled personnel, resources, specialised equipment and turn-key maintenance solutions Australia-wide. They are backed by Toshiba which enables them to provide high-end scalability, but their solutions has been specially designed to be independent, affordable, and customisable on a local level. Established in 2004 in Western Australia, PGSR has since expanded to increase their footprint Australia-wide, providing resources and support, from service to maintenance, to 24/7 breakdown support for energy and industry. 

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Large Host Employer of the Year – Sponsored by The Commonwealth Bank

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is one of Australia’s leading providers of personal banking, business and institutional banking and share broking services. With 17.4 million customers and a history spanning more than a century, the Group’s purpose is to improve the financial wellbeing of its customers and communities. CBA is Australia’s leader in digital banking and maintains the largest branch network across the country. The Regional and Agribusiness Banking arm of CBA provides a comprehensive range of services to small business, corporate and agribusiness customers located in regional Australia.


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Small Host Employer of the Year – Sponsored by Centennial Coal

Centennial is an Australian energy company at the heart of innovation, technology and sustainability. With operations in the Hunter and Lithgow, and a corporate office in the Sydney CBD, Centennial employs 1,700 people, including graduates, apprentices and tradespeople across a range of disciplines. Centennial fuels around 30 per cent of New South Wales’ coal-fired electricity generating capacity, while we also manage a successful export business. We are committed to achieving excellent outcomes for our customers, employees and the community.

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