A boost for GOTAFE in Seymour


Today the Victorian Government announced a 2.54million commitment to upgrade facilities if re-elected.  Welcomed to GOTAFEs Seymour campus by GOTAFE CEO Travis Heeney, Minister for Training and Skills, the Hon. Gayle Tierney was accompanied by Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes and Labor candidate for Euroa, Fionna Deppeler-Morton.

The project will establish multipurpose integrated teaching facilities and flexible learning spaces, with interactive technology and e-learning, supporting local students and helping to meet key learning and increasing student numbers in key areas of skill shortage in the region.

These state-of-the-art learning spaces will support GOTAFE to partner with industry and universities to further develop educational pathways and programs to launch further training within the community. The upgrade of facilities will also include student amenities and upgrades to staff offices.

CEO Travis Heeney speaks of the importance of this announcement. “As the largest TAFE in regional Victoria, GOTAFE plays a vital role in preparing this region with a highly skilled workforce. Today’s announcement represents a critical juncture for GOTAFE and signals a new era in confidence and direction from the state government.”

“We are seeing a consistently high demand for training in both the Diploma of Nursing and in the Certificate IV and Diploma of Community Services. The growth in demand for these areas of study is unprecedented, with the right facilities and teaching resources we are well placed to meet this demand. These committed funds will allow our students to learn in a replicated work environment, using the equipment and facilities they will need to excel in the workplace.”

GOTAFE to remain as Goulburn Valley League Major Sponsor until 2022


We are excited to announce our partnership as major and naming rights sponsor of the Goulburn Valley League has been extended for four more years.

Football clubs harness the collective energy of players, coaches, administrators, volunteers and supporters to not only deliver sport and social activities for members, but for their respective communities. They provide an environment for personal growth, education and team work.

GOTAFE CEO Travis Heeney said “Football and Netball clubs are the backbone of many regional communities within our footprint. GOTAFE certainly has an active interest in the league, with many of our students, apprentices, staff members and graduates as loyal members of the clubs within the league. It made complete sense for us to continue the partnership with GVL.

“The GVL is a fantastic fit for our organisation, as they mirror many of GOTAFE’s values. At a club level, as well as a league level, the GVL have a positive view on the role of lifelong learning. This continued partnership allows GOTAFE to communicate with our local community and to interact with our audiences in an authentic way.”

GVL Chairman, David Roff, believes the partnership is a great step forward for the league.

“The GOTAFE Goulburn Valley League is now a well-established brand in the region and GOTAFE has been a wonderful partner to the Goulburn Valley League so we are thrilled to continue the relationship with them in this new deal.

“We are excited about the opportunities for cross promotion and other joint activity” he said.

Delivering More Tafe Training In Northern Victoria


People in Shepparton will be able to access more TAFE training thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today visited GOTAFE’s Shepparton campus to announce almost $7.5 million to deliver 12 new TAFE courses as well as funding to support GOTAFE’s community services.
More than $4 million will be used to fund new courses to address community needs in growth areas such as agriculture industry expansion and innovation, community services, NDIS readiness and more.
A number of new courses will support Indigenous Australians to access apprenticeships, traineeships and training. In one case GOTAFE is partnering with Indigenous National Technology & Telecom Network to provide pathways into telecommunications work.
Indigenous National Technology & Telecom Network expects to create 120 new jobs over the next 12 months with 44 in the Hume region available to well-trained Indigenous Australians.
More than $3 million in TAFE Community Service funding will go to a range of GOTAFE community services including support for Skills and Job Centres in Shepparton, Wangaratta, Benalla and Seymour.
Extra support will also be provided to help boost student’s literacy and numeracy skills as well as creating a supportive TAFE environment for all ability levels and from all backgrounds.
The new courses are being funded through the Regional Specialist Training Fund, which is ensuring students receive high quality training that delivers the workforce skills employers need.
The GOTAFE TAFE Community Service funding boost is part of the Government’s $48.8 million investment across the state to help to give every student the support they need to get the most out of their time at TAFE.
To make it easier to access training, the Government is investing $172 million to make 30 priority TAFE courses and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses that lead to jobs that are most in demand from Victorian employers tuition free.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 is investing an additional $644 million to strengthen TAFE, address skills shortages and ensure all Victorians can access the training they need to get a good job.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“GOTAFE is vital to delivering quality training to people in Northern Victoria – that’s why we’re funding 12 new courses and boosting support for students.”
“This funding means that more people will have access training closer to home and get the support they need to finish their course.”
“The previous Liberal Government spent four years cutting TAFE and closing campuses – we’re rebuilding TAFE to make sure Victorians can get the training the need to get a job.”

GOTAFE APPOINTS NEW CEO


GOTAFE has appointed Travis Heeney as the new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Heeney, who will take up his new role on July 2, has a strong track record in local government, not for profit and business transformation.

The GOTAFE Board Chair Joanne Dwyer welcomed Mr Heeney’s appointment, which follows recommendations by an independent expert relating to the ongoing delivery of quality education and training in the region.

“Travis has a great understanding of the region, having worked with the Mitchell Shire Council and has the proven experience to oversee organisational change, while building closer relationships with the community,” Ms Dwyer said.

“It was these qualities, which will help make a positive contribution to the culture at the GOTAFE that made Travis stand out in a list of high quality candidates.”

Most recently, Mr Heeney has been contracted to lead business transformation in various regional and metropolitan community focussed organisations, assisting them to achieve their full potential.

Mr Heeney said he was looking forward to working with the GOTAFE organisation over the longer term to build an open and transparent culture, capable of responding to the exciting and evolving landscape of further education both locally and more broadly.

“This is a great opportunity to work with the Board and staff to rebuild the GOTAFE offering, by ensuring we operate collaboratively with government, the community and other stakeholders,” Mr Heeney said.

“Together we will strive to deliver the best opportunities for students and ensure the GOTAFE maintains a prominent and valuable role in the ongoing development of the region.”

Mr Heeney has recently held executive positions with Macedon Shire Ranges Council, Central Goldfields Shire Council, Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre and Mitchell Shire Council.

TAFE Collaboration Means Smooth Transition for Students


GOTAFE, South West TAFE and Federation Training are excited to be part of the new Dairy Learn model launched this year by Dairy Australia.

The new model will allow a range of local providers to support the dairy industry to upskill using both extension and education activities.

GOTAFE has confirmed it is working in partnership with South West TAFE and Federation Training to assist in the transition of dairy industry students.

GOTAFE, primarily based in North East Victoria, ceased taking new enrolments at the Institute’s southern training locations in Warragul, Leongatha and Terang on 31 December 2017.

GOTAFE General Manager of Education Services, Margie Fixter confirmed GOTAFE will transition former Terang Campus students to South West TAFE, with Federation Training agreeing to accept students from Warragul and Leongatha Campuses.

“The three Institutes have collaborated to ensure a smooth transition for all affected students, employers and industry stakeholders. The process has been an excellent example of cross Institute collaboration,” said Ms Fixter.

Existing students are now able to complete their qualifications with their local TAFE provider.

GOTAFE will now concentrate its dairy training in North Eastern Victoria, with South West TAFE and Federation Training providing training and support to the dairy industry in their respective regions.

Consultation with affected stakeholders remains ongoing as the transition process continues.

Twenty-three GOTAFE students are invited to represent Team Victoria at WorldSkills Nationals


Twenty-five WorldSkills Regional Competition medalists have been invited to apply to represent the Central Victoria Region as a part of ‘Team Victoria’ at the 2018 WorldSkills National Competition held in Sydney.

Twenty-three out of the 25 Regional WorldSkills competitors given the opportunity to be part of ‘Team Victoria’ are from GOTAFE, the other two from Kangan TAFE.
WorldSkills Project Officer Callum Ross, said this is a great opportunity for students and also a great reflection on the level of skills of students and the dedication of GOTAFE trainers.

“Representing GOTAFE at the National level of the WorldSkills competition is a great honour and we are thrilled that 23 of our students have been given the opportunity to apply to compete at the national level,” said Callum.

“To have 23 GOTAFE students invited out of the 25 students overall is a wonderful reflection of the calibre of our students and also the commitment of our trainers to giving our students every opportunity to be their best and compete against the best.

“Our trainers are committed to entering students into the WorldSkills competition and ensuring they are prepared for the rigorous challenges of WorldSkills, they understand the importance of encouraging their students and giving them the opportunity to compete against the best people in their field.

“GOTAFE had 15 competitions in various areas ranging from Beauty Therapy to Electrical and Retail Baking Pastry, this just goes to show how committed our trainers and our organisation is to giving students the best opportunity to improve their skills and test these skills out on a Regional stage”.

GOTAFE has had strong success at the WorldSkills competition over the years.

Winners from the National Level have the opportunity to represent Australia at the 45th WorldSkills Competition (WSC2019) in Kazan, Russia in 2019, a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent Australia and your training organisation on the world stage.

2017 Apprentice of the Year Announced for Wangaratta and Benalla Campuses


GOTAFE’s Wangaratta and Benalla Campuses held their annual Trade Awards on Wednesday 6 December at the Gateway Hotel, Wangaratta. The awards were attended by over 220 apprentices, employers, sponsors and GOTAFE Trainers.

50 awards were presented to outstanding pre-apprentices, and apprentices in their first, second, third and fourth years from the Automotive, Building and Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Hairdressing and Beauty, Hospitality, Baking and Plumbing learning areas.

Matthew Shipard from Brocklesby, NSW took out the top prize when he was announced as GOTAFE’s 2017 Apprentice of the Year for Wangaratta and Benalla Campuses. Matthew, an Engineering Apprentice, was one of the eight final year Apprentices who were awarded the Outstanding Apprentice Achievement Award for their respective learning areas.

Matthew recently completed Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (MEM30305) with GOTAFE and works with Ai Group Training Services and Nestle – Uncle Tobys.

“When I was 15 I completed pre apprenticeships in both Automotive and Engineering then during Year 12 I was working as a Shearer. I started working at Nestle and studying a certificate in Fitting and Turning which I fast tracked in two and a half years at night school and have just completed my second qualification, Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade in under 12 months.”

“GOTAFE has taught me a lot about fabrication and turning, both theory and practical. I now have a broad range of skills in fitting and machining.”

GOTAFE Trainer Greg Keane describes Matthew as an extraordinary student.

“Matthew is focussed and has a willingness to succeed that I haven’t seen in a student for a very long time. He has an unwavering desire to get work done.

“If I had a class full of Matthew Shipard’s I’d be a very happy camper. Whatever Matthew does I am sure he will succeed.”

Matthew recently won the Wodonga Council Red Carpet Youth Awards. In 2016 Matthew was named the Ai Group Apprentice of the Month. Matthew is a volunteer firefighter, part time firefighter, enjoys tennis and in 2016 joined a mission to Papua New Guinea

Matthew plans to one day set up his own business and continue working on the family farm. GOTAFE wishes him the greatest success.

GOTAFE also celebrated the achievements of their Apprentice students from Seymour and Shepparton Campuses on Monday 4 December at the GV Hotel, Shepparton.

2017 Apprentice of the Year Announced for Shepparton and Seymour Campuses


GOTAFE’s Seymour and Shepparton Campuses held their annual Trade Awards on Monday 4 December at the GV Hotel, Shepparton. The awards were attended by over 220 apprentices, employers, sponsors and GOTAFE Trainers.

50 awards were presented to outstanding pre-apprentices, and apprentices in their first, second, third and fourth years from the Automotive, Building and Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Hairdressing and Beauty, Hospitality, Baking and Plumbing learning areas.

Joseph Brooks from Waaia took out the top prize and was announced as GOTAFE’s 2017 Apprentice of the Year for Shepparton and Seymour Campuses. Joseph, an Electrical Apprentice, was one of the eight final year Apprentices who were awarded the Outstanding Apprentice Achievement Award for their respective learning areas.

Joseph recently completed Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician) (UEE30811) with GOTAFE and is now working with CVGT and Howden Enterprises.

“I’m honoured to be nominated. I have enjoyed my learning experience at GOTAFE and have always felt supported by my Trainers. GOTAFE has provided me with technical and interpersonal skills. I’ve been able to tap into the experience and expertise of my Trainers.”

GOTAFE Trainer Darren Cook found Joseph to be a very conscientious student who always tried hard.

“Joseph is truly interested in the subject matter and challenges us as Trainers as he often asks curly questions or clarifies the reason why. As Trainers we need to be organised when we know Joe is in the class.”

“I worked at the abattoirs loading trucks for six months after finishing school and then applied for an Electrical Apprenticeship.”

Joseph competed in the WorldSkills Regional Competition this year, receiving a Bronze medal. He is President of the Nathalia Young Farmers and also enjoys kickboxing, reading, traveling.”

Joseph plans to continue working in the electrical industry and would like to get involved in solar and battery storage work. GOTAFE wishes him the greatest success.

GOTAFE will also celebrate the achievements of their Apprentice students from Wangaratta and Benalla Campuses on Wednesday 6 December at the Wangaratta Gateway Hotel.

Auto Student awarded bronze in World Skill Competition


GOTAFE Automotive student Zaker Gulzari will be presented with a medal and Certificate of Achievement after winning bronze at the Regional World Skills Competition.

Zaker is employed by Woollards Auto body Works, Shepparton and took out third place in the Autobody Repairs section of the World Skills Competition.

Callum Ross, GOTAFE WorldSkills Project Officer said the level of skill showcased by all the students that competed was very high and this year there was a record number of competitions held for the Central Victorian Region.

“There was a total of 13 competitions held by GOTAFE for our region, the most ever,” said Callum.

“The competition is very demanding on the students, it’s stressful and fast paced and requires them to work on a variety of techniques within a specified timeframe, usually around 6 hours.

“The competitions saw students compete against their classmates and the clock in their chosen trade.

“After being involved in this competition for many years it is great to see Woollards and GOTAFE have once again produced a high performing apprentice in Zaker.

“In 2014, GOTAFE spray painting apprentice Billy Cowcher, employed by Woollards narrowly missed out gold at the National World Skills Competition in Perth after winning number one place at the state level.”

GOTAFE has had strong success at the World Skills Competition. And in 2016, two GOTAFE students represented the region at the National World Skills Competition in Melbourne. Automotive Apprentice Crystal McLaren from Wodonga placed third in the Paint and Panel category while Hairdressing Apprentice Eloise McCormick from Beechworth placed ninth. Their success has sparked interest from Trainers and Apprentices alike, with six departments involved in this year’s Regional Competition at GOTAFE.

From July to October the Regional World Skills Competitions were held at GOTAFE’s Shepparton and Wangaratta Campuses across a variety of fields including Building, Automotive, Plumbing, Retail Baking Bread, Retail Baking Pastry, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy.

The winners from the Regional Competitions will be eligible for the selection process to attend the National Competition held in Sydney in 2018. Winners from last year’s National Competition are competing in the World Competition held in Abu Dhabi in October.

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.