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People's Choice Awards 2020



Category: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

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.”


Gary began his career with Essential Energy as an apprentice. On the completion of his apprenticeship he was employed as a Power Line Worker (Distribution) before changing career paths to a role as an assessor trainer. He is now a lead trainer in Essential Energy’s apprenticeship program.

Gary relishes monitoring, guiding and supporting apprentices. He undertook a Diploma of Business Administration with TAFE NSW because his new role incorporates administrative functions he wanted to enhance.

Having worked on the ground as a Power Line Worker, Gary used his industry skills to provide subject matter expertise for the design and development of technical training content. He programs and delivers competency-based workplace training and workplace-based competency evaluations, alerting supervisors to any gaps.

Gary Wimbus“Gary’s passion and enthusiasm is inspirational,” says Gary’s training delivery manager, Allan Whelan. “The depth and exposure Gary offered the wider training team was invaluable. He has an ability to connect with our learners and challenge them in a way that digs deep into the ‘why.’ Thinking outside the box, he explores innovative ways of learning engagement through technology and workplace simulations. He is a dedicated team player who lives our organisational values and receives outstanding feedback from our learners.”

With a 16-month-old baby at home and another on the way, Gary’s had to balance working full-time with travel and home life.

Gary and his team were pleased when Essential Energy’s Apprenticeship Program won the 2019 Australian Training Employer Award for Apprenticeships.

Gary has developed and implemented the Apprentice Block Champion Awards, led a capstone review process, the Parkes Switching Simulator Project, implemented the North Coast Local Assessor Trainer Program and become a member of Essential Energy’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group. This group works with partners such as the Clontarf Foundation, CareerTrackers and Girls Academy to create opportunities for Indigenous people.

Gary is committed to community engagement, talking about VET and careers at Essential Energy at school and university events and NAIDOC celebrations.

Gary believes it’s important to maintain current industry skills so he can share this knowledge with his learners. Additional training includes a Certificate III in ESI – Distribution, a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and Diplomas in Leadership and Management, Customer Engagement, and Quality Auditing.

“My training experience at TAFE NSW has been of an extremely high quality,” says Gary. “I’ve been so impressed that I’ve adapted key components of the training I’ve received and used them in my own training delivery.”

Since completing his Diploma of Business Administration in 2019, Gary is now undertaking a Master of Business Administration.

“Education improves the lives and attitudes of everyone around us. I’ve been able to communicate these benefits to apprentices, school students, colleagues, and family. This has encouraged many in my community to chase their dreams through training or education.”