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Good News

Monday, November 27 2017

While there remains many topics of considerable weight, this week I thought I would just touch on good news.

The training industry was out in force last week to celebrate the Australian Training Awards. A fine night indeed.

It is always a pleasure to meet not just the winners but all of the finalists. It does remind you of why we are in this industry.

Some tremendous success stories.

If I have a favourite, it must be the Small Training Provider of the Year.

Long time ACPET member, Avidity Training and Development was the stand out winner.

Simon Wiggins and his team deserve absolute recognition for this hard fought win.

The College, centred in Launceston, Tasmania has been producing exceptional results for many years. They are an example of ‘life wasn’t meant to be easy’. The College has fought back from some real challenges, not of their own doing. However, Simon leads a team that engages, listens and improves every year.

What do they stand for?

Their specialty is providing skills and support to disengaged members of the community, including long term unemployed and people with a disability. 

Watching the sheer joy on Simon’s face paid for the entry ticket. Simon in true form had his family there to celebrate.

Well done team! I have included a photo below. Perhaps not the best quality but by this time Simon couldn’t stay still!

I would also like to recognise the ACPET finalists in the running on the night. This includes Auswest Specialist Education and Training Services, a College that focuses on making a positive difference in the lives of prisoners through a variety of rehabilitation and education programs.
Highly credentialed Charlton Brown was also recognised.

Charlton Brown is well renowned, having been in operation since 1985. They have built a global reputation as a leader in community care through training, recruitment, global linkages and industry advocacy.

There is no doubt they should have won last year, but it was fantastic to see them up in lights again!

It was also pleasing to see, Minister Karen Andrews celebrating on the night. The Minister gets real pleasure out of engaging with students and Colleges and her very active night on stage kept the audience enlivened. 

The Minister launched a new initiative, real skills for real careers.

What is it? From the Minister herself:

“So tonight, I am delighted to launch a new, high profile initiative to raise the status of VET.

It’s called real skills for real careers…. a long-term, sustained program of activity to unify and promote the sector.

Real skills for real careers captures what VET is all about, and what it has to offer.  It reflects that VET is industry led, and is in line with our mission to deliver courses that offer students outstanding employment prospects through the guidance of leading-practice industry specialists.

Real skills for real careers will unite us in how we describe and promote what a VET qualification can deliver.”

The initiative will feature people sharing their personal VET success stories in videos, podcasts, brochures, posters and across social media.

Back to the Minister:

“For too long, perceptions surrounding VET have been out of step with reality,” Minister Andrews said. “Many parents are still inclined to encourage their children to go to university after leaving school, rather than consider a VET career pathway. Others are convinced that VET is only for traditional trades like plumbing and carpentry. We need to dispel those myths.

“The fact is that VET qualifications lead to successful, meaningful, professional careers with great salaries and outstanding career prospects.”

Many of the graduates and alumni were there on the night, making it all very real.

Please link on the Video and have a look. It is well worth the time. More information can be found at the My Skills' Career Info or Industry pages or contact

Here is the first video from the Real Skill for Real Careers campaign:

As my final comment, I would like to recognise Bruce Mackenzie for being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bruce has been a real warrior for the sector and he has achieved so much. In true style Bruce spoke with passion and real honesty about the state of and challenges in our sector.

Well done Bruce – a well deserved honour.

That makes 7 ‘Hall of Famers”. It is worth looking at the list:

  • 2017 - Bruce MacKenzie
  • 2016 - Douglas Wright AM
  • 2015 - Peter Henneken AM
  • 2014 - Berwyn Clayton
  • 2013 - Albert Coulston Evans AO
  • 2012 - Peter Kirby AO
  • 2011 - Stella Axarllis AM

A fine list indeed.

Rod Camm
Chief Executive Officer


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