Celebrating training and skills at the VTA Gala Night

Victoria’s vocational education and training sector celebrated its night of nights on Saturday October 16 2021. The Victorian Training Awards (VTA) gala ceremony was broadcast in a new, live online format to thousands of viewers watching on from home.

Media personality and proud Yankunytjatjara and Wirangu woman Shelley Ware emceed the event from the studio at the Melbourne Showgrounds. The 43 finalists in 16 award categories and 2 People’s Choice Awards were beamed into the studio on video for the announcement of their respective categories.

MC Shelley Ware hosting the live online gala ceremony from the Melbourne Showgrounds studio MC Shelley Ware hosting the live online gala ceremony from the Melbourne Showgrounds studio.

A night of glamour and celebration

While it was a virtual event, it still produced a glamorous atmosphere. The studio stage was lit up as finalists dressed to impress and celebrate the achievement of being selected as a finalist.

Guest presenters joined remotely, led by Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney.

Other guest presenters included:

  • the Department of Education Secretary Jenny Atta
  • Victorian Skills Authority (VSA) CEO Craig Robertson
  • VTA sponsors such as Dean Luciani, representing the Victorian Training Awards’ Principal Partner, GAN Australia and Apprenticeship Employment Network.

All presenters congratulated finalists for their impressive achievements in a challenging year for learning.

2021 VTA Winners

Category finalists and winners looked thrilled to attend the event. The limited cast and crew who were in-person at the showgrounds studio worked hard to put the production together.

AMES Australia Chief Executive Catherine Scarth received the Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her work has focused on providing programs that help newly arrived refugees, asylum seekers and migrants start a happy and healthy life in Australia.

Individual winners included:

  • Apprentice of the Year Andrew Jan of Bendigo TAFE
  • Vocational Student of the Year Samantha Daly of Swinburne University of Technology
  • Koorie Student of the Year Lucas Price of VACSAL
  • Teacher or Trainer of the Year Julie Kramer of Bendigo TAFE.

Employer and training organisation winners included:

  • Large Employer of the Year Metro Trains
  • Community Training Provider of the Year Williamstown Community and Education Centre
  • Large Training Provider of the Year William Angliss Institute
  • Small Training Provider of the Year Builders Academy Australia, who won the award for the second year running.

A quick intermission featured You Should be Dancing(opens in a new window) – an innovative continuous sequence video of disco and modern dance styles from students at 15 different institutions.

Overall, the night was an outstanding success. Some online viewers noted that the gala night had the charged atmosphere and seamless production of in-person events of the past. Almost all had forgotten that they were watching virtually.

We thank everyone from the Department of Education and the Victorian Skills Authority who organised the evening. We would also like to thank VTA sponsors, the judges of the awards and Encore who produced the show.

Most of all, we would like to thank the finalists, winners and all those who nominated for the Victorian Training Awards. We are delighted to celebrate your achievements through this year’s Awards and look forward to a time when we can celebrate in person.