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.

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.

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 http://www.gotafe.vic.edu.au/study-areas/foodfibre/animal-sciences/

Free Meningococcal vaccine for young people aged 15 to 19 years old


The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services asks for GOTAFE’s support in raising awareness of the Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine by encouraging our students aged 15-19 or staff with children aged 15-19 to get the vaccine whilst it is still free, before 31 December 2017.

GOTAFE would like to encourage our students aged between 15 and 19 years of age to get the free vaccine

In recent years the Meningococcal W strain has increased drastically across Australia, with Victoria experiencing 52 cases already in 2017, compared to one in 2013.

GOTAFE will post the informaiton on our social channels, website and other channels including on campus for students and staff so we can assist in preventing this life-threatening disease.

See below for the contents of the e-kit which includes frequently asked questions, key messages of the campaign and printable posters for your use.

Meningococcal Vaccine free for 15 to 19 year olds_fact sheet.pdf

Meningococcal Vaccine free for 15 to 19 year olds_poster for GOTAFE.pdf

From 18 April 2017 until 31 December 2017 immunisation providers (GPs and local councils) in Victoria can offer a free Meningococcal ACWY vaccine to young people aged 15 to 19 years old. The Victorian Government is funding this program to interrupt the spread of the disease.

GOTAFE Launch Youth IT Pre-Employment Course


On Monday 4th September, GOTAFE in collaboration with InfoXchange launched its new Youth IT Engineering pre-employment program, to be offered in 2018.

The launch was well attended by more than twenty key industry representatives including; Rural City of Wangaratta Councilors, council employees, employment agencies, local LLEN’s, business owners from engineering and IT fields, as well GOTAFE staff and Info Exchange representatives.

Attendees were given a presentation of the pre-employment program that aims to give students the IT programming skills they require to support their practical trade skills once they are working in industry. They were also given a tour of the relevant training facilities and the 3D Print Lab.

GOTAFE Executive Manager, Educational Operations (Acting) Brett Ambrosio said that the event was just the start of a number of activities designed to engage the community and seek their feedback.

“GOTAFE will host future forums and feedback sessions where we want to engage with industry, the local community, employers and key organizations to establish what they really need from this pre-employment program and then customize a training program that meets these needs,” said Brett.

“Today is just the start of building a capable and skilled workforce for the future.

“We know that our trades students need to have skills in computer programming, enabling them to operate machinery commonly found in workshops across a variety of industries.
“The course will provide successful students with a raft of transferrable skills that can be used across a number of trade disciplines.

“Local business owner Heath Lloyd from Wangaratta Engineering who attended today is a perfect example of someone who recognises that the way forward for his industry is in training his employees to have both practical trade skills and IT programming skills that enable them to operate computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinery.

“Having someone who has completed this new take on technology training in his workshop would enable him to produce computer aided design (CAD) drawings and the programming of CNC machinery to manufacture a wide range tooling, parts and equipment used in a whole range of industries both locally and around the country.

“The launch also gave us the opportunity to showcase our Print Lab and the type of equipment students might use in their first year of study.

“We also introduced attendees to InfoXchange, a not-for-profit social enterprise that uses technology to tackle the biggest social challenges of our time.”

The launch coincided with the Digital Innovation Festival. http://www.vic.gov.au/digitalinnovation

For more information or to get involved contact Brett Ambrosio via GOTAFE.

2017 Victorian Training Awards Now Open


Now in its 63rd year, the prestigious Victorian Training Awards recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of Vocational Education and Training students, teachers, training providers and employers.

Nominations close midnight, Friday 16 June.

Visit the official VTA page here.

GOTAFE will be submitting entries in a number of the organisational categories.
If you would like to nominate someone or yourself, send an email to marketing@gotafe.vic.edu.au

GOTAFE will take you there


GOTAFE graduate Loretta King is a public face of a new campaign showing how ‘TAFE will take you there’.

Loretta studied a beauty course at GOTAFE while completing her VCAL at school. She went from head make-up artist for her high school production to retail manager for a leading make-up brand. Loretta now runs her own freelance make-up business, and has film sets in her sights.

Loretta said, “Studying at GOTAFE gave me a head start in my career as I was able to complete my Certificate III in Beauty while doing VCAL in Year 12. My trainers were great. I was always asking questions and they were always happy to answer. I really enjoyed the hands-on work and the creative elements. I didn’t just have my head in a book.”

From today, Loretta’s story, and those of graduates from Victoria’s 12 TAFEs and four dual-sector universities, will show how quality training at a trusted TAFE can be the key to a great career.

The ‘TAFE will take you there’ campaign brings together Victoria’s 12 TAFEs and four dual-sector universities under a new united TAFE Victoria brand.

Victoria’s 12 TAFEs and four dual-sector universities will remain individual institutions, but the new brand gives them a strong collective voice as the centre of the government-funded training system.

Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney states, “The Victorian Government is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into TAFE. That’s why we’re endorsing a collective brand of providers – showing the community TAFE can take you anywhere. TAFE isn’t just changing the lives of everyday Victorians – it’s also making sure industry has the skills it needs for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

It’ll help TAFEs promote the hundreds of high-quality, industry linked courses on offer and will show students and industry that TAFEs are government-backed providers, each with their own unique expertise and specialisation.

The new tafe.vic.gov.au website, also launched today, will feature every TAFE course offered by TAFEs and dual-sector university in Victoria.