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Rural trade and skills teachers recognised for their excellence

3 November 2008

THE best Trade and Skill Agriculture Teacher and Conservation and Land Management Teacher were recognised at a prestigious ceremony in Sydney recently and thanked for their contribution to the skill needs of the nation and regional Australia.

Mr Duncan Fraser, Chair of the NFF Rural Industry Reference Group of the Institute for Trade Skills Excellence said “These awards are incredibly important in recognising the work done by our trade and skill teachers”.

Each award winner receives a $5,000 prize - this is divided into $3,000 personal spend with the remaining $2,000 to be spent on a professional development project which gives back to both industry and students.

“Often the role of teachers is a thankless one and even those that excel find their efforts unappreciated and unrecognised”, Mr Fraser said.

“These awards are a chance to highlight the great work our teachers do in skilling Australia. It is tremendous that industry has this opportunity to thank the teaching profession with these prizes.

“Each of the nominees had a wonderful story to tell. The excellence they demonstrated in servicing the skills needs of industry and inspiring learners made for a truly difficult decision.

Dr Heim, Manager of Primary Industry at the Charles Darwin University, was the winner of the Agriculture Trade and Skills Teacher of the Year. Ms Melinda Howlett at the National Centre for Equine Education in Victoria received a certificate of commendation.

“We congratulate Dr Heim, for his excellent work in not just leading a team of teaching professionals, but for his hands-on involvement in skilling cattle producers in testing animals for pregnancy prior to live-export.

“Ms Howlett teaching work was also viewed as exceptional by the judges who were particularly impressed by her transition of equine learning materials for on-line application.

Mr Jeff Smith, Conservation and Land Management Trainer at the Chisholm Institute in Victoria, was the winner of the Conservation and Land Management Trade and Skill Teacher of the Year.

“We congratulate Mr Smith for his success in multiple roles in Conservation and Land Management, his involvement with learners, and the application of up-to-date knowledge to the benefit of the industry,” Mr Fraser said.

Both Dr Heim and Mr Smith, as Rural Industry winners, will compete against winners from seven other industries for the Overall Trade Teacher of the Year Awards in Darwin on 20 November 2008 at the National Training Awards Gala Dinner. The Rural winners will also be separately recognised at the NFF Annual Dinner being held in Brisbane on 22 June 2009.

[NOTES: This is the second year of the Awards run by the Institute for Trade Skills Excellence whose role it is to promote the importance of trades and skills and recognise excellence in trades and skills education and training. The Institute worked in conjunction with industry, including the NFF, to build the concept for the awards, in establishing the awards criteria and selecting the fourteen category winners for the 2008 Awards. Please go to www.skillsone.com.au for further information on the Trades and Skills Teacher of the Year Award winners and to download photos from the award ceremony.]

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