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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4677 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

there are offices around. Why would people go there? There is very little reason at this stage, and I think that will be the case for some time.

National training awards

MS MacDONALD: My question, through you, Mr Speaker, is to the minister for education, Ms Gallagher. Minister, my question concerns last week's national training awards. Can you please inform the Assembly how the ACT fared at these awards?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. I acknowledge her longstanding interest in vocational education and training. I can tell the Assembly how the ACT fared. We fared very well, actually.

The training awards recognise Australia's best apprentices and trainees as well as training providers and employers and acknowledge the contribution of vocational education, training and skills development to Australia's economy and society. Around 1,000 of the country's training decision-makers and achievers from industry and government attended the event, which is sponsored by the Australian government, through the Department of Education, Science and Training.

Mark Devery, who completed an outdoor recreation certificate IV, was announced winner of the Australian new apprenticeships trainee of the year. Always active and trying something new or improving his current knowledge and skill base in outdoor recreation, Mark's motivation, talent and self-starter attitude have seen him quickly rise to the top of his profession.

Working with Outward Bound Australia for over the past 12 months, he has achieved not only completion of his traineeship but also nationally recognised qualifications in wilderness first aid, river rescue, bronze medallion, certificate IV in workplace training and assessment, and vertical rescue. Throughout his first year with Outward Bound Australia, Mark has proven himself to be a committed, enthusiastic and valued employee. All this enthusiasm is accompanied by Mark's giving nature. He has generously donated time to several community activities, assisting the elderly both in Canberra and the United Kingdom.

The second award was won by stonemason Brendan Church, who was runner-up in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student of the year category. The judges commented that Brendan was passionate about his industry as well as being actively involved in supporting young indigenous people through a range of community activities. An outstanding employee of Rocksolid Stonemasonry, Brendan is the new face of vocational education and training, a good leader and an excellent role model for his peers.

A great ambassador for stonemasonry, Brendan has a particular affinity for addressing different cultural and social needs of the Canberra community. He is passionately involved in several community service activities such as the traditional games program. As a leader, he teaches traditional Aboriginal games to school children, is also an indigenous mentor as part of a Pathways program and offers career guidance in setting and achieving goals for students aged from 14 to 16 years. He hopes to open his own

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