What does it mean to be a training ambassador?

As a 2015 WA Training Awards winner or finalist, you’re an ambassador for training in WA. An ambassador is defined as an authorised member or representative. But what exactly does this mean and what opportunities could there be over the next 12 months?

Let’s ask training ambassador extraordinaire and WA Training Award 2014 winners, Geoff Franklin and Kathryn Schache.

Geoff Franklin embarked on a training journey as a mature aged student, dedicating many long hours and years of hard work to becoming a fully qualified chef. Geoff was chosen as the WA Apprentice of the Year 2014 and has since used his role as an ambassador for training to encourage anyone thinking of a career change to go for it, no matter what stage of life they are in.

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Geoff Franklin, WA Apprentice of the Year 2014

“It is a huge privilege to be selected to represent the Vocational Education and Training sector in WA”, says Geoff.

“As an ambassador for training, I have not only had the opportunity to share my own personal story, but hopefully inspired others to effect positive change to their lives through further education.”

Over the last year Geoff has had a number of opportunities to act as an ambassador for training, one of which included cooking breakfast for the Minister for Training and Workforce Development, the Honourable Liza Harvey, at the launch of the WA Training Awards 2015.

Minister Liza Harvey and Geoff Franklin

Geoff has since been a speaker at the Training Providers Forum, joined a panel discussion group at the Career Development Association of Australia’s national conference, been on the judging panel for the WA Apprentice of the Year 2015, represented his employer Crown at a morning tea with distinguished guests including a senator and ministers to celebrate diversity in employment, and he was also inducted as a member of Alumni at the Polytechnic West Awards night.

But it’s not just those who have undergone training who have the potential to be ambassadors. It is also those who are delivering the training, as demonstrated by Kathryn Schache, WA Trainer of the Year 2014.

Kathryn Schache has 15 years’ experience as a nurse, but has always been passionate about teaching. Before becoming a qualified lecturer at West Coast Institute she mentored enrolled nursing students and graduates at the hospitals in which she worked.

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Kathryn Schache, WA Trainer of the Year 2014

“Having the opportunity to be an ambassador for Vocational Education and Training (VET) has been more than a privilege”, says Kathryn.

“To win such a prestigious award for the State, allowed me to go out into industry and the community and promote VET sector training opportunities that are available to all students, beginning from VET in school programs to mature aged entry students.”

As a training ambassador, Kathryn promotes the many opportunities available to students through VET studies, including studying online, part time and full time. She takes great pleasure in helping students find the right training pathway to suit their individual needs and goals.

“As an ambassador for training I am proud to be able to promote all the training options to ensure every individual that chooses to study has an opportunity to make their career dreams come to fruition.”

Kathryn says being an ambassador has taken many forms over the last year, starting in the classroom.

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Kathryn teaching students at West Coast Institute

“When I’m teaching my students I get to share how I began my VET Training as an Enrolled Nurse and the opportunities that have arisen throughout my career and this inspires students and shows them that there are many career pathways that can progress out of a qualification.”

Kathryn has also had the opportunity to share her innovative training ideas and methods in the Australian Training Awards newsletter, has been a part of the judging panel for the WA Trainer of the Year 2015, and will also have the opportunity to mentor Trainer of the Year finalists to prepare them for this year’s Australian Training Awards.

By sharing their experiences, advice and knowledge, both Geoff and Kathryn have been able to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to consider how vocational education and training could benefit them and potentially change their lives. In addition, they are able to inspire employers and training providers to review their training methods and continue to make improvements.

Ambassadors for training come in many shapes and forms. All WA Training Award finalists and winners, both in the individual and organisation categories, have a story worth sharing. You never know who might be listening and how this could expand their horizon.

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WA Training Awards 2015 Presentation Dinner wrap-up!

What a night! With the support of event partner Apprenticeship Support Australia, the 21st WA Training Awards was celebrated in style at last Friday night’s Presentation Dinner.

Hosted by Training and Workforce Development Minister, the Honorable Liza Harvey, the event saw almost 600 guests join us at the Perth Convention and Exhibiton Centre to celebrate the achievements of 24 individual and 18 organisation finalists.

The WA Training Awards was established to recognise the outstanding achievements and contributions of individuals and organisations in the training sector. The level of success was certainly prevalent on Friday night as we met our finalists and listened to their inspiring stories.

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The WA Training Awards team would like to thank everyone who attended the event and those who played a part in making it such a wonderful night, including our generous sponsors.

“The Presentation Dinner is always such a fantastic event. It’s a celebration of some extremely inspiring individuals and organisations for all the hard work they’ve put in throughout the year to get to this point. Seeing it all come together is such a thrill for our team,” said WA Training Awards Coordinator, Elysia Tsangarides.

The first award recipient for the night was Crown Perth, who was named Employer of the Year 2015. When accepting the award, Crown’s representative Alicia Gleeson spoke of the extensive training they do with their 5000 staff to prepare them for the 90 million interactions they have with customers each year.

“We take customer service seriously and it is imperative we lift our service standards and aim for best practice,” said Alicia.

“We do a lot of training and development of staff. Our future is our people and their ability to develop is our goal.”

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Kahli King Elliott, WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year 2015

Police cadet Kahli King Elliott was named WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year 2015. She thanked the WA Police for giving her the opportunity to be a police cadet and thanked her family for their support.

“My great grandparents are here tonight. They flew all the way down from Kununurra especially for this night,” said Kahli.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said it was a ‘double whammy’ seeing Kahli receive her award, as Mrs Harvey is also the Minister for Police.

Sandra Van Der Gaag was named Trainee of the Year 2015 and said that her two year traineeship in Karratha was a wonderful experience.

“I continued to learn and grow at work every day,” said Sandra.

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Finalists in the WA Training Awards are of the highest calibre, which makes the process of awarding one winner in each category extremely tough. To be named as a finalist is a significant achievement in itself.

The WA Training Awards team would like all this year’s finalists to be proud of what they have achieved, overcome and contributed and to know that they have a bright future ahead.

“We have no doubt all of you will continue to do wonderful things personally, professionally and in the community and we look forward to seeing where this takes you in the future,” says Elysia.

To view this year’s full list of WA Training Awards recipients, visit our website.

For more images from the big night, check out the WA Training Awards Facebook page.

Eligible WA Training Award category winners will represent Western Australia at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart on 19th November 2015.

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