Prime Mover Lands at GOTAFE for Automotive Students

GOTAFE’s Heavy Vehicle Automotive Apprentices now have the ability to work on the newest release Cummins X15 performance Series Engine (2017), one of the first prime mover engines in available in Australia for students to work on.

A successful grant application secured the purchasing of the $120,000 Cummins Engine which is the newest engine to be released by Cummins and is now located at GOTAFE’s Automotive Facility Wangaratta.

GOTAFE Commercial Manager for Automotive Mark Ward said that the new engine gives our students a number of advantages over other Registered Training Providers (RTO).

“This engine that is now part of our suite of equipment in the automotive training facility that gives our heavy vehicle apprentices the opportunity to work on something that will soon be commonplace in the workplace.

“The X15 would be found in heavy vehicles like a semi-trailer or B Double so we hope to invite industry in for specialised training that would be conducted in partnership with Cummins representatives and GOTAFE trainers.

“This engine is special for a few reasons, firstly it is the only one of its kind in Australia to be located in a training facility, the others are actually in vehicles cruising around Australia,” he said.

“Secondly this engine is unique in that it has the latest emission control technology built in, the air comes out almost clean.

“The way for the future is reducing emissions and being more environmentally friendly, so we believe what better way to instil that into our students than to teach them with the newest technology.”

The engine is programmed by Insight Diagnostic that communicates with the engine through a computer or laptop.

VCAL students get creative with social enterprise projects

​GOTAFE’s VCAL students have embraced the challenge of creating a social enterprise projects as part of their VCAL studies.

GOTAFE Trainers Mitch Seaton and Jane Leonard said the students have really invested in the projects, with projects ranging from Indigenous Socks ‘Dot 2 Dot’ and Beanies ‘Knitt Witts’.

“The aim of the social enterprise project is to create a business or enterprise that generate funds, with 51% of the profits going towards a social cause,” said Mitch.

“The students get to choose the project, something they are passionate about, something they can really focus their energy on and hopefully generate some funds for a cause they believe in.

“One of our students Jordan Wilson, from the Wiradjuri Tribe has really revelled in the challenge, designing socks with an indigenous theme that features the Goanna, his totem animal.

“Jordan’s socks have already arrived and he is selling them for $12  pair with 51% profits going towards Rumbalara’s Aboriginal Homelessness Sleepout program.

“Other projects include Classy Moustache – a moustache darkening tool, Knitt Witts – beanies Graces Semicolon Enterprise, Stevie’s Gumball Machine, Darcys Dog Coats, Tail Wagging Dog Tags – personalised dog tags, Teniece’s Cook Book, Jarvis’s Jerry Cans and Bryne’s Candles.

“The social enterprise project model is hands-on and allows for students to create something that might aid them in the future.

“Through the project the students learn business skills including how to create business and marketing plans, budgeting skills, bookkeeping and design and creating as well.

“The project also challenges the students to think of the bigger picture and that is that young people today face a different world of work, with less opportunities for ongoing lifelong paid employment, less need for more traditional employability skills, and more need for developing flexible entrepreneurial skills more suited to changing technologies, economies and communities.

“The students also build on their essential skills around numeracy, literacy, personal development and work related skills.”

The concept of Social Enterprise was introduced by Tash McCormick, Commercial Manager for Learning Skills & Koorie Unit. The project is in partnership with Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurs (ACRE) who take the students through the process of social enterprise, from ideas to reality.

Jeremy Connell Crowned Victorian Apprentice of the Year

On Wednesday 11 October, GOTAFE Engineering student Jeremy Connell was announced Apprentice of the Year at the Victorian Training Awards (VTA) Presentation night. The evening was held at the Crown Palladium, a venue befitting the achievements of the finalists.

After a vigorous selection process, Jeremy was one of three finalists and was announced as the Apprentice of the Year by the Minister for Training and Skills, the Hon. Gayle Tierney at the awards night. Jeremy was joined by his employer, Heath Lloyd from Wangaratta Engineering, his partner and his GOTAFE Trainer Greg Keane.

GOTAFE Engineering Trainer Greg Keane said he was delighted to attend the VTA Award Ceremony and see Jeremy up on that stage receiving the Apprentice of the Year award.

“When Jeremy’s name was called out as Apprentice of the Year, I couldn’t have been happier,” Greg said. “I have been lucky enough to be involved in Jeremy’s training since he started as a school-based trainee six years ago.”

“Throughout the entire time he stood out, his skills, his passion, his drive, the quiet way he went about his work and for me it was the way he always made time to help his fellow students, he often put their needs above his own.”

“From the start, I knew he was something special, so when he decided to go back to high school to finish Year 12, after finishing Certificate II in Engineering then come back to us to start his apprenticeship which is a slightly different path that a school-based trainee might take, I said to his employer Wangaratta Engineering, this young man is special let’s work with him to make it happen.”

“For our Engineering Department, Jeremy winning this award is affirmation we are doing great work here, we have great facilities, dedicated trainers and a commitment to our students and the broader engineering field.”

The awards recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of vocational education and training students, teachers, training providers and employers across 15 award categories with winners sharing a total prize pool of $65,000.

Dr Angela Decker Follows Her Passion For Training

Dr Angela Decker joined Veterinary Technology Team at GOTAFE after completing her Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor Veterinary Science in 2012.

“In July 2016 I decided to follow my passion for teaching, and accepted a position with GOTAFE, in collaboration with Charles Sturt University. My role was to assist with the development of the rapidly expanding Bachelor degree in Veterinary Technology.

“Training the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at GOTAFE is a new set of challenges compared to industry, but I really enjoy working with the students and watching them grow, improve their knowledge and skills, and fulfil their goals.”

An average day for Angela involves preparing for and delivering a two hour video conference lecture to the internal students at the Wagga Wagga Campus as well as fielding student enquiries and providing one-on-one tutorials via email or video conference.
“Training the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at GOTAFE is a new set of challenges compared to the industry, but I really enjoy working with the students and watching them grow, improve their knowledge and skills and fulfil their goals.”

Phil Guthrie Takes Out Wurreker Awards

Congratulations to Phil Guthrie for winning the 2017 Wurreker Awards!

Wurreker Awards provide are an annual opportunity to showcase the commendable efforts and successes of individuals and organisations working tirelessly to improve the Koorie experience in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.

Phil was recognised for the Wurreker Award through his work within the Academy of Sport, Health and Education (ASHE). He has been with the program for all but nine months of the program’s operations.

Phil is currently the program’s teaching, learning and training coordinator. He continues to grow in his role and is now completing Certificate III in Fitness and Level two AFL coaching qualifications to not only add value to ASHE but also Shepparton’s Aboriginal Community.

Phil is one of Shepparton’s great advocates for Aboriginal Culture. He respects the Shepparton region, and particularly Cummeragunja, as the source of an incredible history of indigenous champions whose contribution to our society is slowly but surely being understood and appreciated by mainstream society today.

Well Done Phil!

Masterclass with Melanie Newman

Gotafe were fortunate to have Professional Dog Groomer, Melanie Newman, facilitate a masterclass at the Werribee Campus in September.
Well known and highly respected within the industry, Melanie’s passion for dog grooming began in the late 1990’s.
Today, Melanie has a rewarding career with 15 years’ experience as a Professional Dog Groomer.
In 2004, Melanie opened her own professional dog grooming salon, Spa Bark Dog Grooming & Spa, in Moonee Ponds, Victoria and has since created her own collection of natural premium canine grooming products.
In 2008 she was formally recognised as an Internationally Certified Master Groomer.

Melanie has competed in grooming competitions across Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy and the USA and in 2013 she was crowned the Australian Royal Supreme Grooming Champion. In 2015 Melanie represented Groom Team Australia in Milan, Italy at the World Team Championships, where the team were placed 12th overall.
She is a Victorian Assessor for Certificate III and IV as well as an Instructor and has been a keynote speaker at several industry events.
One Gotafe student said about her experience after the Masterclass-
“We were lucky enough to have a four day, hands on, workshop with the amazing Melanie Newman and handsome Dash the Bichon. Melanie guided us through breed clips and passed on handy grooming hints. We all left on Friday feeling inspired and motivated to try out our new skills and keep developing and growing as groomers.”

Gotafe provides training in Certificate III in Pet Grooming (ACM30612) and
Certificate IV in Pet Styling (ACM40612).
For more information visit

Grow Your Business Through Training

Studies show that staff are more likely to work harder and stay longer with employers who have provided them with a start to their career. The recent McCrindle Report, prepared for the Skilling Australia Foundation, shows VET Graduates and Apprentices have positive and energising effects on incumbent workers.

Nick Bertoli from Bertoli Farm Equipment currently employs five Agricultural Mechanical Apprentices and sees the value in giving young people a chance at a career in his industry.

“They need to have a keen work ethic to start with, be enthusiastic and want to learn. As long as they can show a bit of initiative and try their best, that’s all you can ask for out of anyone,” explained Mr Bertoli.
“The GOTAFE Trainers that I had when I was an Apprentice were absolutely fantastic. They were easy to get along with and had all been in the industry themselves so they knew what they were talking about.”

Apprenticeships and Traineeships may not suit every business, take Project Management for example. Damien Watson completed GOTAFE’s Diploma of Project Management (BSB51415) while working in the industry in order to validate his skills.

“I was working as a Project Manager but didn’t have the relevant qualifications. This course gave me the theory and the official title to progress in my field.”

Attending class one day per month for 12 months provided Damien with the skills to better implement plans and procedures into his business and provide better service to clients.
The research speaks for itself: “When compared with employment outcomes for university graduates, VET continues to produce superior results and has proven itself to be a more flexible, accessible and adaptable platform for educating and skilling Australians than University education,” said Skilling Australia CEO, Nicholas Wyman.

GOTAFE offers over 250 courses including industry specific short courses. View all Courses or call 1300 468 233 to find out more.

VCAL Art Exhibition at William Orr Barn

VCAL and ASHE students have been extremely busy cleaning and organising the barn at our William Orr Barn located in Shepparton in preparation for an art display, and to showcase activities and study undertaken throughout the year.

This event celebrates the awakening of this magnificent building, and to view the wonderful work and studies being undertaken by the VCAL and ASHE students.

$500 Raised for Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation

GOTAFE’s Nursing trainer Allison Derooy presented $500 raised from 2017 Regional Health Student Conference to Allen Turner, cofounder of Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation.

Allen Turner was a guest speaker at the event getting the word out about how important it is to have the discussion about being an organ donor. Allen’s Daughter, Zaidee was just seven years old when she passed away suddenly from a brain aneurism. Zaidee passed away in December 2004 and was the only child in Victoria under the age of 16 years to donate her organs and tissues that year.

The foundation is aimed at both Adults and Children to inspire them to think about becoming organ donors too.

Start the discussion and help save more lives.


GOTAFE Trainers Judge At The Great Aussie Pie Competition

GOTAFE Baking trainers, Stephen Pinnuck and Kim Banfield are busy in Sydney this week judging “The Great Aussie Pie” competition. It is the biggest pie competition in Australia.

Stephen and Kim have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to judge the competition for the past 15 years. The competition runs for four days with a judging panel of 12 people. They have a number of entries with each judge potentially eating 60 pies a day, so roughly judging around 240 pies for the whole competition.

“Pies get cut into quarters for us to taste. We nibble on the meat, pastry, aroma, the stability and all of those things that go towards it. And then we move onto the next pie. We nibble because there is no way we could eat a full quarter of 60 pies in a day”. Said Stephen.

“We first mark the pies cold. In this section we don’t eat the pies, we mark for symmetry, colour, pastry thickness, amount of filling, and if it is the gourmet section what sort of fillings have they tried. Whether it’s creative or not. When hot, we taste the pies and mark on stability, aroma, meat and fillings that they have used.”

Stephen’s idea of a good pie “one that is well constructed, it’s got good flavour but not over powering, the meat doesn’t run out everywhere, the pastry isn’t too thick. Just a good, consistent, stable pie.”

The competition is a great way for the Bakeries and the industry to get some more exposure. People travel far and wide to try the “Greatest Aussie Pie”.

“I think it’s good for bakeries. The bakeries that have entered all get feedback on their entries. If they don’t go as well as what they hoped they can improve with the suggestions on their feedback. People who act upon their feedback are the ones that eventually take out the big prizes”.