Skip to main content


CDU VET student wins Australian Apprentice of the Year

CDU VET student Savanne Canobie, pictured with a trades award at CDU in 2018, has won the 2021 Apprentice of the Year Award.

Charles Darwin University (CDU)’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) student Savanne Canobie has won the 2021 Australian Apprentice of the Year Award, becoming one of the few Northern Territory students to receive the national prize.

The Australian Training Awards, held on November 18 this year, is the nation’s highest honour for apprentices, trainers and registered training organisations, recognising and celebrating outstanding achievements in the VET sector.

Ms Canobie has completed a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician at CDU and is currently enrolled in a Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control.

A high achieving apprentice from Nhulunbuy, Ms Canobie has also previously won a trades award at CDU in 2018.

Ms Canobie said she was honoured to be named the 2021 Apprentice of the Year.

“It shows that hard work pays off. If you do something you enjoy, good things happen,” Ms Canobie said.

As a female apprentice in what is traditionally a male-dominated industry, she has consistently demonstrated an eagerness to refine her skills and seek out opportunities to lead.

She attributes her success to the theoretical learning at CDU and hands-on experiences gained by working at Rio Tinto in East Arnhem Land.

“I think the VET system is really good. I work with my hands most of the time, and when I come to CDU, I have the ‘aha’ moment when I understand why I do that in the field,” she said.

Ms Canobie pays it forward through peer mentoring and aspires to become qualified in a dual trade in Electrotechnology and Instrumentation and Control.

“My biggest tip for others considering pathways for VET is to go for it because you never know what it might lead to. With the qualification, you can do so many more things.

I want to be the type of tradesperson that apprentices coming through can see as a role model.

CDU VET team leader in Electrotechnology and Plumbing, Brett Willowhite, has high praises for Ms Canobie.

“Savanne has always been a bright and hardworking student. Her success is also a testament to the team that’s been able to support her and provides the right training to see students through,” Mr Willowhite said.

There are more than 300 students currently enrolled in the Electrotechnology courses run at CDU’s Casuarina and Alice Springs campuses.

VET business lecturer at CDU Alice Springs, Wendy Blight, is a finalist for the 2021 VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award.

First Nations trainee and project officer at Menzies School of Health Research, Jahdai Vigona, is a finalist for the 2021 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award.

Related Articles