HVTC Excellence Awards recognise Shoalhaven’s young achievers

Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro, was special guest at HVTC’s Excellence Awards presentation in Newcastle on Friday 15 April 2016 where two talented Shoalhaven trainees were recognised for their outstanding achievements.

Twenty-three year old Samantha D’Elboux from Culburra Beach was named 2016 HVTC Indigenous Apprentice/Trainee of the Year. Samantha joined Shoalhaven Water, Shoalhaven City Council, as a trainee in 2014 and completed a Certificate II in Water Operations. She commenced a Certificate III in Water Operations in 2015. Recognising her skills and determination, Samantha was recently appointed Shoalhaven Water’s first female (Indigenous) Water/Wastewater Attendant.

“This award means a lot to me. It’s a huge personal achievement and a real honour to be recognised both locally and state-wide. I’m really interested in pursuing a career in water and environmental conservation. Living in small community such as Nowra there aren’t a lot of opportunities to branch out into the environmental industry but my traineeship with Shoalhaven Water has given me a great chance to get foot in the door to this industry,” said Samantha.

Seventeen year old Blake Kelly from Pyree took out the 2016 HVTC School-based Trainee of the Year Award. Completing a Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management through TAFE whilst combining HSC studies and School Captaincy commitments, Blake was involved with bush regeneration and land care management programs that have helped foster his conservation interests.

“I really appreciate this award. It acknowledges how hard I’ve worked and reflects how well my host employer, Shoalhaven City Council, my Field Officer Debbie Jones and I have worked together to get this far,” said Blake.

Samantha and Blake’s placement with host employer, Shoalhaven City Council, was facilitated through HVTC, Australia’s oldest Group Training Organisation.

HVTC’s Excellence Awards showcase the exceptional achievements of its apprentices, trainees and host businesses. Award winners are selected from finalists nominated from across the company’s ten regional offices.

“The HVTC Excellence Awards are a great opportunity to recognise the outstanding efforts of the company’s apprentices and trainees, and on behalf of the NSW Government I congratulate Samantha and Blake, as well as the other award winners on their achievements,” Mr Barilaro said.

HVTC CEO Sharon Smith says vocational education pathways can lead to career success for many young people.

“These awards not only celebrate the great results of our apprentices and trainees but they also reflect the significant role our business and industry partners play in making sure our young people secure quality employment outcomes,” Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith also thanked the judging panel, Byron Dodd (Training Services NSW), Jason Foster (VERTO) and Jason Sultana (GTA NSW and ACT).

“Our judges’ expertise and understanding of our business, and our goals and objectives for our apprentices, trainees and host businesses, has been reflected in the outstanding calibre of this year’s award recipients.”

HVTC Shoalhaven Field Officer, Debbie Jones, said Samantha and Blake’s awards reflect their enthusiasm and commitment to developing and succeeding in their careers. Both Samantha and Blake are proud Shoalhaven High School students who continue to promote the importance of skilling the region to future trainees and apprentices.

“Samantha and Blake have proven to be outstanding trainees. They are great advocates for HVTC’s traineeship program, Shoalhaven City Council, Shoalhaven High School and the Shoalhaven region and they will do well in their chosen careers,” said Debbie.

 HVTC Award Winners Samantha DElboux 

Samantha D’Elboux, 2016 HVTC Indigenous Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

HVTC Award Winners Blake Kelly 

Blake Kelly, 2016 HVTC School-based Trainee of the Year.