Like us on Facebook

  • 1 September 2020

NSW People's Choice Awards 2020

Our 2019 NSW Training Awards Winners

This year, a new People’s Choice Award category was introduced to celebrate 65 years of the NSW Training Awards. For the first time ever, the public were given the power to cast their vote and recognise the best and brightest in vocational education and training.

Congratulations to our People’s Choice Award winners and thank you to everyone who voted.

View all the 2020 NSW Training Awards Winners.

People's Choice Award
Apprentice of the Year Finalists

Daniel Bortoli

Daniel BortoliQualification: Certificate III in Electrotechnology
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: NECA Electrical Apprenticeships
Hosted by: Stowe Australia Pty Ltd

“The electrical industry is incredibly dynamic. No two days are the same! The challenge and variety that exists within this trade offers me growth, evolution and great job satisfaction. It promises to be a rewarding lifelong career.”


Georgia Foley

Georgia FoleyQualification: Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: HVTC Pty Ltd
Hosted by: Narrabri Coal Operations

“What I love most about mining is that the technology is always advancing – there’s always more knowledge to be gained.”


Jordon Peterson

Jordon PetersonQualification: Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: HVTC Pty Ltd
Hosted by: Nestle Australia

“Commencing two pre-trade skills certificates at Newman Senior Technical College was a turning point in my life. I competed in WorldSkills regional and national competitions placing first in regionals and second in nationals, and I won every trade award at school.”


Joshua Nickl - Winner!

Joshua NicklQualification: Certificate III in Retail Baking (Combined)
Trained by: Canberra Institute of Technology
Employed by: The Gumnut Patisserie Pty Ltd

“Pastry is my life. I literally grew up in the kitchen of my parent’s patisserie. My parents are two of Australia’s best pastry chefs so it’s no surprise I’m driven to follow in their footsteps and be as good, if not better, than them.”


Leann Reyes

Leann ReyesQualification: Certificate III in Hairdressing
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: Wildlife Hairdressing

“I used to struggle with low self-esteem when interacting with others, but since I started my apprenticeship at Wildlife Hairdressing my confidence has blossomed. Working in such a large salon, great communication skills are needed. I strive to ensure no one is alienated and all apprentices are working as a unit.”


Madison Candy

Madison CandyQualification: Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Mechanical)
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd

“Aviation is in my blood. My dad is a pilot so I’ve been around planes well before I could spell my name. Much to dad's dismay, I never wanted to fly planes, just fix them!”


People's Choice Award
Trainee of the Year Finalists

Emily Jones

Emily JonesQualification: Certificate IV in Library and Information Services
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Group Training Organisation: ATEL Training Solutions
Hosted by: Greater Hume Council

“I’ve always wanted to help people. Being able to assist a community member who’s struggling, confused or curious has given me so much job satisfaction. This traineeship has widened my understanding of all areas of community service. The contacts I’ve made, the relationships I’ve forged and the experiences I’ve gained will stay with me forever.”


Monique Burns

Monique BurnsQualification: Certificate III in Education Support
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: St Joseph's College Tweed Heads

“My traineeship helped me understand the differing needs of students with a disability and how these impact them socially, emotionally and physically. By better understanding the difficulties they face, I’m able to support them in an inclusive classroom environment. This opened my eyes to a whole new area of education I hope to pursue in the future.”


Reece Oldfield - Winner!

Reece OldfieldQualification: Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations
Trained by: Train 365 Indigenous Corporation
Group Training Organisation: Skillset
Hosted by: Moolarben Coal Operations Pty Ltd

“I love working with new equipment and large vehicles. I was employed in earthmoving when I realised mining required similar skills, but offered greater career development and a better work/life balance. I also knew once qualified, I could transfer my skills to any mine worldwide – that really opens up a whole new world of opportunities!”


Renee Rizzardo

Renee RizzardoQualification: Certificate III in Customer Engagement
Trained by: Australian College of Commerce and Management Pty Ltd
Employed by: Busways Trust

“I’ve been working in customer service since I was 14. I like talking with people and solving their issues and concerns. I love the challenge of converting an upset customer into a satisfied one. I find it really fulfilling to know I’ve helped people get what they need or embrace a new perspective.”


Ricky Rangra

Ricky RangraQualification: Certificate III in Business
Trained by: Train Australia Pty Ltd
Group Training Organisation: ARC Group Training Ltd
Hosted by: Westpac

“When I was four-years-old my family migrated to Australia with nothing but a small amount of money and a dream to contribute to their new country. The financial services industry had a transformative impact in my upbringing. It enabled my parents to buy a house and provide for us. By pursuing a career in banking, I’m motivated to pay my way forward and help other Australians fulfil their dreams.”


Shayd Flegg

Shayd FleggQualification: Certificate III in Early Childhood Education & Care
Trained by: Early Childhood Training & Resource Centre (ECTARC)
Employed by: ECTARC - Wallaroo Children's Centre

“Working with children is a gift. As educators, we’re able to nurture and nourish these amazing little people. I had no idea the extent of hard work early educators do day-in-day-out. When I began my traineeship, I saw these amazing women I worked with weren’t just educators, they were teachers, mothers, environmentalists, cooks, cleaners, artists, musicians, gardeners, and more!”


People's Choice Award
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Finalists

Gary Wimbus

Gary WimbusQualification: Diploma of Business Administration
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: Essential Energy

“I am dedicated to the journey of lifelong learning, personal development and growth. I aspire to become a senior leader and improve my skills so I can be an asset to my organisation.”


Janaya Millgate

Janaya MillgateQualification: Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Trained by: Early Childhood Training & Resource Centre (ECTARC)
Employed by: Farran Street Pty Ltd

“When I was 18 my parents decided to foster. My life went from doing next to nothing to helping raise four beautiful babies. This sparked my interest in childcare. I like to tell people that childcare chose me.”


Raymond Steadman - Winner!

Raymond SteadmanQualification: Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Trained by: International Child Care College Pty Ltd
Employed by: Awabakal Preschool

“As an early childhood educator, I’m privileged to be able to make an impact on children’s lives by assisting each child to see their potential. I want them to have pride in their culture and ensure their voice is heard.”


People's Choice Award
School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year Finalists

Cassandra O'Carroll

Cassandra O'CarrollQualification: Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management
Trained by: Kiama Community College
Group Training Organisation: HVTC Pty Ltd
Hosted by: Shoalhaven City Council
School: Bomaderry High School

“I want to expand my knowledge of the local environment and the challenges it currently faces so I can protect it as best I can.”


Samar Yousef

Samar YousefQualification: Certificate II in Sport Coaching
Trained by: Public Schools NSW, Macquarie Park
Employed by: Creating Chances
School: Wyong High School

“I have a passion for youth, especially those who don't see potential in themselves, but have the scope to grow. I want them to learn that the journey they’re on isn't one they have to take alone.”


Theodore Scholl - Winner!

Theodore SchollQualification: Certificate II in Warehousing Operations
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: Richmond Valley Council
School: St Mary's Catholic College, Casino

“I chose warehousing operations as I wanted to challenge myself. Working as a storekeeper at Richmond Valley Council in a new and unfamiliar industry has made me more open to change. I enjoy the variety this industry offers and the transferrable skills I’m learning. I’ve been able to better understand the workings of my local council as a whole, which has given me a greater connection to my community.”


Want to become an apprentice or trainee?

Find out more about the opportunities and benefits of fee-free apprenticeships and fee-free traineeships. And check our FAQ section to find the 5 steps you'll need to take.

About the NSW Training Awards

The NSW Training Awards are conducted annually by Training Services NSW to recognise outstanding achievement in the vocational education and training sector. The Awards honour and reward the achievements of students, trainers/teachers, training organisations, large and medium employers.

Find out more about the NSW Training Awards.

2020 NSW Training Awards - People’s Choice Award Voting Terms and Conditions

  • Use of the voting service constitutes agreement with these Terms and Conditions.
  • Online voting will open at 9:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday 1 September and closes at 11:30 p.m. EST Monday 28 September.
  • Online voting is limited to one vote per person, per category.
  • An online vote cannot be withdrawn after it has been submitted.
  • Online votes may be subject to system checks to ensure authenticity and combat fraudulent voting.
  • Training Services NSW reserves the right to review and remove any votes if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that fraudulent voting has occurred or if it considers there has been any attempt to skew poll results.
  • Winners of the People’s Choice Awards will be announced during the NSW Training Awards Facebook live event commencing 6 p.m. Friday 9 October 2020.
  • The Department’s determination on the winner of the People’s Choice Award in each category is final.