The VET Development Centre is the proud sponsor of the Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award at the Annual Victorian Training Awards, a sponsorship that VDC has been involved in since the mid-2000s.

Held on Friday 18 August at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, winners of the 69th Annual Victorian Training Awards were announced at a Gala, celebrating the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in the Victorian vocational education sector.

The prestigious Victorian Training Awards bring together apprentices, trainees, students, teachers, training providers, employers, and industry representatives, sharing in a high-quality training system that meets the needs of all Victorians. Winners go on to compete at the Australian Training Awards in November.

The winner of the VDC sponsored Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award was Thomas Patterson, from Outer Northern Trade Training Centre who delivers the Certificate II in Building and Construction Pre-apprenticeship (Carpentry) and the Certificate I Construction Pathways. Thomas has also completed the Industry Connect Program, a program developed and delivered by the VDC on behalf of the Victoria Department of Education for VET In Schools teachers.

The Outer Northern Trade Training Centre is a trade training centre that provides secondary school students in and around the Northern suburbs of Melbourne the opportunity to enrol and complete vocational training in four trades: AutomotiveBuilding & Construction CarpentryElectro-technology and Plumbing.

Thomas leapt into VET teaching to share his knowledge and skills, after 15 years of working in the construction industry as a carpenter and licenced builder. To prepare students more thoroughly for the workforce, Thomas implemented real-world tasks. Small-scale models were replaced with house-sized wall frames, roof structures and sub-floors, which rapidly escalated their skills. Thomas collaborated with plumbing and electrical trade colleagues to apply the same approach into their trades, resulting in a rapid improvement in student output.

Congratulations also to Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award Finalists:

Jill Ford, Chisholm Institute, delivering the Certificate III in Dental Assisting

Justin Bisson, Federation TAFE, delivering the Certificate IV in Engineering Drafting, and Diploma of Engineering

A word from the award recipient, Thomas Patterson

“Being awarded the Victorian Training Awards Teacher of the Year has given me a strong feeling of pride for the profession I’m a part of. Education and employment are foundations of society, so to work in a sector that creates platforms for both is very special. To me the award really recognises my students, as without them this wouldn’t be possible. The daily inspiration, energy and challenge these young people provide me with is what makes me aspire to be the best practitioner I can. The award also makes me feel privileged to be part of the Outer Northern Trade Training Centre teaching team who are always delivering high quality teaching for every student. This award reflects the standard the team aim for in order to facilitate great learning for young people in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Receiving the award also makes me feel happy to shine some attention on VET teachers and the amazing work we do in our respective communities giving people of all walks in life an opportunity to succeed and reach their potential. It demonstrates that great teaching can come from anybody who has passion and commitment for their vocation, no matter their pathway to the profession. I feel extraordinarily happy to represent teachers in the VET sector, and look forward to taking part in the National Training Awards.

I would welcome anyone reading this who is thinking about a career change into VET teaching, to reach out and talk to a teacher or the VDC about the pathways available to reach this goal.

Thank you to the VDC for sponsoring the event and for continuing to provide professional development opportunities for teachers and trainers across the sector.”

The Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement

VDC also acknowledges the late Professor Peter Noonan OAM who was awarded the Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Victoria Training Awards Gala. Professor Noonan was the Chair of the VET Development Centre from 2008 to 2011 (formerly known as the TAFE Development Centre) and played a major role in shaping policy in higher education and vocational education and training in Australia for over 25 years as a researcher, senior public servant, consultant, and adviser to national and state governments.