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South Burnett Shines At Awards

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Amanda and Mick Astill … regional winners at the Queensland Training Awards for the second year in a row

July 31, 2019

The South Burnett has picked up two major awards at the regional finals of the Queensland Training Awards, held in Gatton on Friday night.

Astill’s Electrical Services, based in Kingaroy, was named Darling Downs South West Region Medium Employer of the Year, beating strong competition which included Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council.

This is the second year in a row Astill’s has won a regional training award – and they’ve only entered twice!

Last year, Mick and Amanda Astill took home the regional Small Employer of the Year award, but because their workforce has grown over the past 12 months, they were judged this year in a higher category.

The latest trophy has topped off an exciting few months for the couple.

Astill’s shifted into larger, custom-built premises in Kingaroy Street two months ago after leasing at a nearby location for many years.

In fact, the business has come a long way in a short time.

“It is 10 years in September since we started in a garage in Wondai,” Amanda said.

They now have 26 employees, based across Kingaroy and the Sunshine Coast, including seven apprentices and one administration trainee plus 14 vehicles on the road.

Mick is proud of the fact their very first apprentice, put on just a couple of months after the business started, is still working for them almost a decade later.

And he’s also proud the business hires locally: 16 members of their current team are all former Kingaroy State High School students.

Astill’s handles everything from broken powerpoints to large commercial jobs, as well as solar power and air conditioning installations.

* * *

Phyllicia Landers at the awards on Friday (Photo: SkillCentred)

The second South Burnett win in Gatton was by Phyllicia Landers, from Cherbourg, who was presented with the regional Equity VET Student of the Year award.

Phyllicia started as a hospitality trainee under the State Government’s Skilling Queenslanders For Work program in 2016 and completed a Certificate II in Hospitality.

In October 2017, she was offered a paid position by SkillCentred Queensland at the Cherbourg Community Cafe and Training Centre where she works four days a week.

* * *

Phyllicia and Astill’s Electrical will now go on to compete at the State final which will be held in Brisbane on September 14. 

* * *

Other local finalists in the Darling Downs South West region were:

School-Based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

  • Brenna Prendergast
    Qualification: Certificate III in Business
    Training Provider: Australian Training Company Limited
    Group Training Organisation: Australian Training Company Limited
    Host Employer: South Burnett Rugby League
    School: Kingaroy State High School

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

  • Anne-Maree Walsh
    SkillCentred Queensland Inc (Cherbourg)

Community Training Initiative of the Year

  • SkillCentred Queensland Inc
    Program: Cherbourg Community Initiatives

Large Employer of the Year

  • Toowoomba Regional Council

Medium Employer of the Year

  • Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council

* * *

Darling Downs South West regional winners:

  • Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year – Ellie Farrington, Toowoomba
  • Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year – Karsha Dewis, Dalby
  • Vocational Student of the Year – Retaj Maryol, Darling Heights
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year – Kyla-Rae Saltner-Johnston, Dalby
  • School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year – Retaj Maryol, Darling Heights
  • VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year – Dr Shweta Singh, Stretton
  • Equity VET Student of the Year – Phyllicia Landers, Cherbourg
  • Community Training Initiative of the Year – Goondiwindi SILO Inc t/a Gateway To Training, Goondiwindi
  • Small Employer of the Year – ENZED Surat Basin, Chinchilla
  • Medium Employer of the Year – Astill’s Electrical Services Pty Ltd, Kingaroy
  • Large Employer of the Year – Western Downs Regional Council, Dalby

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