Two wins at Victorian Training Awards

A Bendigo TAFE teacher and plumbing apprentice have been named top teacher and apprentice in Victoria over the weekend.

The Victorian Teacher of the Year Award was presented to individual support coordinator and teacher Julie Kramer who has taught at Bendigo TAFE for more than a decade.

“I can honestly say how humbling it is to not only be considered but actually be successful in winning this award. I would love to thank all the amazing people I have worked with over my 10 years at Bendigo TAFE, especially teacher Bryan Jones who has been with me for five of those,” she said.

Amongst Ms Kramer’s most impactful initiatives in class include the introduction of real world simulations to every unit of the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community Care) – a move inspired by her 20 years of industry experience in aged care.

Ms Kramer hopes to pursue further studies with the $5,000 prize money.

“I am thinking of using my prize money for further study and finally completing my Masters,” she said.

“I look forward to continuing to improve my course in the future by making the online component just as interactive as the classroom learning.”

Bendigo TAFE plumbing apprentice Andrew Jan, who works at Macedon Ranges Plumbing in Kyneton, was named Victorian Apprentice of the Year.

“I am completely overwhelmed to be named Victorian Apprentice of the Year. I never in a million years could’ve imagined I would be awarded this title,” he said.

Mr Jan said he owed his success to many who supported him throughout his training.

“I’d like to thank my lovely partner Emily for supporting me through this journey, all the staff at Bendigo TAFE, especially Tony Hughes, Grant Wee-Hee and the amazing team in the plumbing department,” he said.

“I also thank Simon and Sophie Lowe from Macedon Ranges Plumbing for moulding me into the plumber I am today, and finally Liam and Amy Miles from Mount View Plumbing for giving me the opportunity to start an apprenticeship.”

Mr Jan had spent 11 years working in thoroughbred breeding before making a career switch to plumbing. His achievements also include clinching the 2020 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant and Bendigo TAFE’s 2021 Apprentice of the Year Award.

Mr Jan plans to put his $5,000 prize money towards supporting his new career.

“The prize money will go towards expanding my collection of tools, as well as paying for studies in Certificate IV in Plumbing,” he said.

“My future plan is to complete my Certificate IV in Plumbing and obtain my plumbing license. I would like to start my own business, and later on, in semi-retirement, I’d very much like to return to Bendigo TAFE as a plumbing teacher.”

Bendigo TAFE Chief Executive Sally Curtain congratulated the winners on their success.

“Congratulations to Julie and Andrew – they have each made tremendous contributions within their sector and are real inspirations to future teachers and apprentices,” she said.

“Their achievements, along with all the other winners and finalists, reflect the strength of Victoria’s vocational education and training sector.”

Held on 16 October, the Victorian Training Awards recognised the state’s best apprentices, students, teachers, trainers and employers. Bendigo TAFE was also recognised as a finalist for Inclusive Training Provider of the Year. ​

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