An ode to finalists of the Australian Training Awards – comment by CEO Craig Robertson

An ode to finalists of the Australian Training Awards – comment by CEO Craig Robertson

Congratulations finalists
National recognition is an honour but success is yours to keep
You have shown the good from VET though the path has been steep
Go, now be disciplesExcellent, providers
Purpose and planning create outcomes beyond the balance sheet
Trust in teachers and teaching is the ingredient hard to beat
A message for all

Inspiring, teachers
Constructing the learning, shepherding the learner, agency nurtured
New knowledge and skills transform, opportunity furthered
Spread the magic

Fantastic work, employers
Above and beyond, you’ve created learning cultures and partnerships
Dividends of a richer kind – you, worker and teacher – the triumvirate equips
Productivity enhanced

Well done, system
You’ve shown more than competency, market and regulation can do alone
People, purpose, pedagogy aligned are where the outcomes are sown
Cultivate excellence

Take note Australia
The sector can get it right
Entrusted providers can enlight
Look to the beacon on the Hill –

See below for registration to the Australian Training Awards virtual presentation.

2020 Australian Training Awards finalists announced

On Friday 20 November the Australian Training Awards will showcase Australia’s national training system and celebrate the exceptional talent in vocational education and training (VET).

Seventy-five finalists have been shortlisted across the 17 Australian Training Awards.

The Australian Training Awards recognise outstanding achievement in three broad categories: individuals including students, apprentices, trainees and teachers; employers who train their workforce; and registered training organisations.

The awards also recognise outstanding leadership and contribution to the VET sector through the Lifetime Achievement Award and National Achievement Award.

Selection as a finalist in this prestigious award program is a great honour. All award finalists are invited to become part of the exclusive Australian VET Alumni. Alumni members share their story of success and inspire others to consider VET training on their career pathway.

Discover more about the finalists by reading their profiles on the Australian Training Awards website.

For the first time the Australian Training Awards are going virtual. To witness the best in Australian VET, register now to watch the awards ceremony online. Viewers will receive a unique link on the day of the awards which will go live at 6:00 pm AEDT on Friday, 20 November 2020.

The Australian Training Awards are delivered by the National Careers Institute.

For more information, visit the Australian Training Awards on Twitter, and Facebook.

No imminent return of international students: PM 

There will be no quick return of international students, after the National Cabinet put off any decision on the matter last Friday.

In a statement released after the meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said federal and state leaders had agreed to continue prioritising returning Australians over international students.

“Quarantine space must be prioritised to Australians, including vulnerable Australians, seeking to return home,” he said.

“While we look forward to welcoming international students back and will continue planning for their return, we cannot progress the broader entry of international students at this time.”

The meeting also agreed to establish an Intergovernmental Agreement on Automatic Mutual Recognition of Occupational Licences, to be signed by the end of the year, and to take effect from next July.

Box Hill Institute named Australia's best cyber security educator

Box Hill Institute has beaten some of the country’s most respected institutions to be named as Australia’s leading cyber security educator.

Box Hill Institute was named Cyber Security Educator of the year at the 9th Australian Information Security Association (AISA) Cyber Security Awards.

The award is for a TAFE or university that has developed and implemented a comprehensive, flexible and easily accessible cyber security education program which delivers industry ready graduates.

Box Hill Institute has been at the forefront of cyber security education, opening its dedicated Cyber Security Operational Centre (CSOC) in 2018 – the first of its kind in Australia, with specialised equipment, technology and security in a real world setting.

It also established TAFECyber, a national consortium including 10 TAFEs that have been awarded funding through the AustCyber Projects Fund.

The institute has more than 450 students across three campuses in its accredited cyber security courses – the Certificate IV in Cyber Security, the Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security, and the Graduate Diploma in Cyber Security.

Box Hill Institute’s graduates are currently working at leading companies such as Cisco, Telstra, IBM, NetApp, NAB, Dimension Data, SEEK, NVIDIA, ANZ, Lumina Networks and Open Universities Australia.

The other finalists for the award were Edith Cowan University, South Metropolitan TAFE, Deakin University, University of Queensland, Victoria University Polytechnic, RMIT, Charles Darwin University, and North Metropolitan TAFE.

See the AISA award winners

See the article below on Commonwealth Supported Places for cyber security.

NSW government to create trades skills pathway centre

The NSW government is to create a new body that will help fast-track mature workers and women with trades skills into formal qualifications.

Ahead of tomorrow’s state Budget the government has announced $57.4 million to create the Trades Skills Pathways Centre. It will work with training providers to help experienced but unqualified trade workers to attain certification.

“It will also look into delivering trades training in a flexible way, which would be attractive for many women and mature workers who are often balancing work and family responsibilities,” Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.

“The traditional apprenticeship model is not for everyone. Many workers acquire these same skills on the job, without formal training,” he said.

Skills Minister Geoff Lee said the new approach will go beyond traditional apprenticeships and traineeships to capture workers who may have missed the opportunity to obtain formal skills.

The Sydney Morning Herald also reports that the state Budget will invest $2.5 million to develop a business case for a TAFE NSW residential aged care training facility which would be developed as a “centre of excellence” and be based on a TAFE campus.

Centennial celebrations at The Gordon

Victoria’s The Gordon is celebrating 100 years of delivering international education, marking an incredible era that has seen it welcome an English prince, a Nauruan president, Olympians and even a war hero.

The first international student at The Gordon arrived in 1920 – a young man from Tokyo who enrolled in a wool course.

Since then, thousands of students from more than 75 countries have studied at The Gordon in vocational occupations ranging from textiles and dressmaking, electrical and wireless operations, to nursing and cookery.

One of the institute’s most notable international students was Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the third son of George V, who went on to serve as Australia’s Governor-General from 1945 to 1947.

The Gordon recently partnered with the Chongqing Centre for International Education Exchange to deliver teacher training to over 50 vocational colleges and schools in China.

Well done on an incredible 100 years of achievement!

Tasmania to get new training centre for tourism and hospitality

The Tasmanian government is investing $1 million to establish a new not-for-profit industry training college for the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Premier Peter Gutwein said the idea for the new Registered Training Organisation (RTO) arose from discussions with the Tasmanian Hospitality Association and the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania for an “alternative training model”, led by industry.

“Informed by these peak bodies, the new RTO will complement private training providers and TasTAFE’s Drysdale arm to expand the market,” Mr Gutwein said.

“It will also focus on areas that Drysdale does not deliver such as industry informed non-accredited training programs.”

A Tourism and Hospitality Workforce Advisory Committee is being established, with representation from the THA and TICT to advise on skills priorities.

Mr Gutwein said the hospitality and tourism industries have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the government is committed to rebuilding the sectors.

TAFE applied research can play a critical role in business adaptation and recovery

TAFE’s have a pivotal role to play in the area of applied research, by helping many small and medium sized enterprises to adopt technology to address real world problems.

Writing in The Australian Higher Education last week, TDA CEO Craig Robertson urged the government to consider a model of applied research that would see TAFEs collaborate with SMEs to develop and improve services and processes.

It follows a report from TDA and industry partners Cisco and Optus, which explores the model operating in Canada, based around applied research – or practice-based innovation.

“Directed at small and medium enterprises, the Canadian government funds community colleges to conduct applied research projects with local firms.

“The intellectual property is retained by the business, with the resources of the college leveraged to design and develop prototypes, products, processes and services.

“This is research solving real world problems for businesses. Most projects are finished within 12 months,” Mr Robertson said.

“There are already instances where TAFEs bring these services to their business partners, but is increasingly difficult to commit limited resourced to the task.

“Bringing TAFEs into Australia’s research agenda is a necessary first step.”

See ‘SMEs and TAFEs Collaborating through Applied Research for Growth’, released by TDA, with industry partners Cisco and Optus.

Exciting job opportunities in the Pacific

The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) is embarking on a significant expansion of its activities in Papua New Guinea and is seeking applications for a number of senior positions.

The scope of APTC’s operations has recently expanded in PNG with the incorporation of the PNG Skills for Sub-National Growth Investment (SNGI) programme. It is now advertising for the following roles:

  • Executive Director PNG
  • Director Academic (TVET) PNG
  • Director Operations PNG

APTC provides high quality training across the Pacific and works in partnership with regional governments, industry and TVET training providers. It is managed by TAFE Queensland on behalf of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Applications close 11:59pm Fiji Time, Monday, 23 November.

For further enquiries, please contact Julia Peters on

See more

Commonwealth Supported Places support cyber sleuths

Box Hill Institute’s Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security offers Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) so students pay no fees. The course teaches students much sought-after cyber security skills, with potential careers as cyber security specialists, security analysts and network engineers.  It equips students with the knowledge and skills to implement cyber security standards, technologies, systems and networks in different industry settings.  Along with Box Hill Institute’s Undergraduate Certificate in Networking and Cyber Security these CSP funded TAFE qualifications are delivering to the Australian Qualifications Framework, knowledge and skills to create job ready graduates that meet industry expectations.

Student, Daisy Wong said, “I have really enjoyed the Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security offered by Box Hill Institute. It has really broadened my knowledge in the field and will help me in my career. The CSP places has provided the opportunity for me to upskill,” she said.

The Undergraduate Certificate in Networking and Cyber Security provides a pathway into Box Hill Institute’s Bachelor of Computer Systems (Cyber), with many students already expressing interest in continuing their studies. CSP funding enables Australians, for whom study is unaffordable, a pathway to upskill or retrain in a growth industry, increase their ability to secure employment, and address the nationwide cyber security skills shortage, currently in high demand, through exposure to valuable industry knowledge from guest lectures and engagement with industry experts.

In the ‘Capture-The-Flag 2020’ competition, students from the Box Hill Institute, Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore, and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Canada, used information security tools and techniques to perform digital “break-ins” and uncover hidden secrets (flags) in vulnerable programs or websites for points.

Box Hill Institute’s Certificate IV in Cyber Security student, Bryce Campbell said, “The GEN Capture-The-Flag was a great way to show me how far I’ve come from when I started the Cert IV course at Box Hill Institute, and provided me with new insights. Now I am determined to compete in future competitions to hone in my skills.” By challenging students across the globe in virtual environments, it provides Box Hill Institute’s Global Education Partners with more opportunities to connect and engage with students in lieu of exchange programs. Given the success of this virtual format, the Global Education Network partners plan more virtual exchange opportunities in the future.

Box Hill Institute, along with other TDA member TAFE non-university higher education providers and TDA dual sector institutes, are seeking to take-up further CSPs as recently offered to TAFEs by Education Minister Dan Tehan.

WorldSkills Australia competition delayed

WorldSkills Australia has decided to push out the date for its national championships to August next year, instead of April as originally planned.

The WorldSkills Australia National Championships & Skills Show will now take place from 26 to 28 August, 2021 in Western Australia. The opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday 25 August.

“We understand that this decision will be disappointing for some of you, but we also know that this decision is in the best interests of everyone involved in the event and we appreciate the understanding and support of our talented WorldSkills Australia community, at this time,” the organisers said.

The delay won’t affect competitors representing Australia at the WorldSkills International event in Shanghai, which has been postponed and is expected to be held late in 2022.

See more

ASQA offers advice on managing workplace assessments

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has provided new resources to explain how to better manage training and assessment in situations where workplaces have been restricted due to COVID-19.

“Provider feedback expressed that, while many training products or components of training products can be easily adapted to online or distance delivery, there has been difficulty in undertaking practical assessment in situations where workplace assessment or work placement are traditionally used,” ASQA said.

The latest information explains workplace training, assessment and simulations, and includes videos on mandatory workplace assessment.

See more

Diary Dates

AVETRA 2020 Researcher Development Series
Webinars designed for early career, emerging and practitioner researchers
June 2020 – March 2021
More information

OctoberVET 2020
A series of online events in October showcasing VET research and discussion.

‘Learning in turbulent times’, hosted by Federation University, featuring Anthony Mann (OECD) speaking about ‘Young people and the COVID-19 Labour Market’ along with three Federation University presentations focusing on Men’s Sheds; Community learning in adversity; and People’s learning about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Date: 16th November, 6pm – 8pm (AEDT)

Webinar Link: Provided upon registration


Flyer: Attached

Register here

VDC 2020 Virtual Teaching & Learning Conference
19 & 20 November 2020
Registrations Open

Australian Training Awards
20 November 2020
Virtual event
More information

Velg Training & MRWED
30 November – 4 December 2020
More information

TAFE Directors Australia Convention 2021
29 – 30 April 2021
Westin Hotel, Perth
More information coming soon

Worldskills Australia
25 – 29 August 2021
Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre
More information