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Five CQUni students named as finalists in regional Queensland Training Awards

Published:14 June 2019

CQUni students (clockwise from left) Richard O'Brien, Toby Greenbury, Brenton Tomlinson, Selena Buckley and Kaddie Chilly, are finalists in the Central Queensland Regional Queensland Training Awards.

Five CQUniversity students have had their dedication recognised by being named finalists in the Central Queensland Regional Queensland Training Awards.

The group were nominated in the categories of Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year, Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, Equity VET Student of the Year and School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year.

Certificate III in Beauty Services student Selena Buckley is a finalist in the Equity VET Student of the Year category.

“It’s quite exciting and I’m very proud to have been nominated,” she said.

“When we did the paperwork I thought to myself that it was a pretty big deal and then I made the top five, but when I made the top three it came as a bit of a shock.”

Selena has been operating her own beauty therapy business in Gladstone and has also been adding to her skills with additional short courses like Henna Eyebrows in Rockhampton.

Richard O’Brien, a tradesman at Rio Tinto Yarwun, is a finalist in the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year category. He completed his Certificate III in Electrotechnology/Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control with CQUni in August 2018.

“It’s a good feeling to be nominated – a bit of self-pride and recognition from my workplace and peers,” he said.

“During my apprenticeship training with CQUni I also managed to do an Associate Degree of Engineering and it was great to receive support from Rio Tinto and my teachers to do that additional study during my apprenticeship training.”

Certificate III in Business Administration graduate Kaddie Chilly is a finalist in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year category.

“I was pretty surprised to be in the top three,” she said. “I was nominated last year, but didn’t make it in the list, so this is quite a surprise.”

Kaddie, who works for the Department of Education in Rockhampton, said she thought the CQUniversity qualification she received helped her a great deal.

“Especially when I was an administration officer, I found I was able to easily apply what I’d learned to my job,” she said.

Moranbah State High School student Brenton Tomlinson is a finalist in the School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year category. He is studying a Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology, travelling to Anglo American Moranbah North Coal Mine once a week.

“I’m pretty stoked to have been nominated – it’s good that I’ve been able to be recognised for my efforts,” he said.

He said although he only started his studies in January he already has plans to apply for an apprenticeship with Anglo American.

Central Highlands Regional Council Parks and Gardens Plant Operator/Labourer Toby Greenbury is a finalist in the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year.

“It was massively unexpected – I seriously didn’t expect to make it past the interviews,” he said.

“I’ve got a big smile on my face. I was a panel beater for 26 years and I’ve turned a hobby into a career.”

Toby said he found the Certificate II in Horticulture he did at CQUniversity challenging, but is considering taking on a Certificate III and possibly a degree level course in Parks and Gardens in the near future.

CQUni Pro Vice-Chancellor for VET Operations and Growth Peter Heilbuth congratulated the students on their nominations.

“It’s so good to see employers supporting the region’s growth, through learning - congratulations to the students and their teachers on this achievement,” he said.

The winners of the Central Queensland Regionals will be announced at a ceremony at the Rockhampton Heritage Village on 20 July.

For the full list of regional finalists visit https://desbt.qld.gov.au/training/qta/winners-and-finalists/regions/cq-winners-finalists