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Graduate’s spark of excitement at training awards

By Patrick Nelson

Austin Asche AC QC and Shawn du Venage at the NT Training Awards Austin Asche AC QC and Shawn du Venage at the NT Training Awards

An electro-technology graduate from Central Australia has kept alive Charles Darwin University’s recent tradition of winning the Territory’s top annual award for apprentices.

Mature-age graduate Shawn du Venage became the seventh student in seven years to win the Austin Asche Apprentice of the Year at the NT Training Awards in Darwin at the weekend.

Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor Vocational Education and Training Associate Professor Steve Shanahan said Mr du Venage was the second student from Central Australia and the second electro-technology student to win in the past seven years.

“Staff at CDU and from the VET Faculty in particular are thrilled for Shawn and congratulate him on this outstanding win,” Dr Shanahan said.

“He was a highly motivated student who demonstrated a great deal of personal motivation, aptitude and excellence during his studies with us.”

Dr Shanahan said CDU was also thrilled to be celebrating a number of other successes from the NT training sector’s night of nights, with six awards on the night.

“We were proud to be the registered training provider for students who won five individuals awards and three runners-up awards. We also co-shared the Training Initiative Award with GTNT.

“For the second year in a row one of our staff has won the VET teacher-trainer of the Year award. This year it was fitness trainer Nikki Higgins. I congratulate Nikki along with the other winners and indeed all finalists for their outstanding achievements.

“Collectively, CDU’s performance at the awards reflects our commitment to excellence across a broad spectrum of vocational education and training courses from the tropics to the outback.”

Dr Shanahan said several CDU students would represent the Northern Territory at the national training awards in Adelaide in November.

CDU at the NT Training Awards:

Austin Asche Apprentice of the Year
Winner:  Shawn du Venage - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Trainee of the Year
Winner:  Bradley Malby – Certificate III in Business Administration 
Runner-up:  Gerald Pasigna – Certificate IV in Computer Systems Technology
Vocational Student of the Year
Winner:  Aimee Williams – Certificate III and IV in Fitness
Runner-Up: Patrick Rivers – Certificate IV in Community Services Work
VET in Schools Student of the Year
Winner:  Lachlan Synnott – Certificate II in Transport & Distribution
School-Based Apprentice / Trainee of the Year
Runner-up:  Kane Andrews - Certificate III in Carpentry 
VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year
Winner:  Nikki Higgins
Training Initiative Award
Winner:  GTNT in collaboration with Charles Darwin University