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South Australia's 2018 Australian Training Award Winners

Congratulations to South Australia's 2018 Australian Training Awards winners listed below.

Individual Award Winner

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award

Lidia Lipkiewicz winner  

Lidia Lipkiewicz

When Lidia was a TAFE lecturer in 1995, she was working with a group of disengaged youths from one of Australia’s most disadvantaged areas. The students had low levels of literacy, low self-esteem, lacked confidence, and didn’t want to be in the classroom.

Lidia found a way to get the students working by creating an action/competency/project based learning environment and has been hooked on this method ever since.

She is now teaching English to migrant job-seekers. With the new funding model, the push for employment outcomes and greater scrutiny on quality and reporting systems, with reduced resources, posed a challenge. Lidia saw an opportunity, and with the backing of her managers, introduced a weekly, project-based program called ‘Plan a Project’. The program helped students gain the English skills and confidence essential to the work place and develop employability skills. A large percentage of them got jobs.

Individual Award Runner-up

VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award

Darren Quinn Runner up  

Darren Quinn

Darren is a passionate automotive trainer, currently working as the Training and Development Manager at CMI Toyota, a division of the Commercial Motor Vehicles Group.

He spent the previous seven years as a technical trainer and training curriculum developer for GM Holden.
Drawing on his previous experiences to support the development of 45 trainee and apprentices currently employed in the CMV Group’s light vehicle dealerships, Darren’s aim is to improve the quality of training available for all learners to access.

His view is that for training to be successful, it is vital learners are motivated and engaged by their trainers and mentors. To achieve this, Darren uses a variety of different approaches, including classroom based facilitation, practical demonstrations, E-learning and group activities.

He sees himself as a facilitator who gets the course started and provides the basic structure, while allowing students to take charge of their learning.

Organisation Award Winner

Small Training Provider of the Year

PEER award winner  


PEER is a non-profit industry-based registered training and group training organisation delivering nationally accredited training packages to meet South Australia’s skill development needs.

Founded in 1985, PEER has trained 48,000 people, including more than 3,000 apprentices, with a 90 per cent completion rate. PEER is recognised for delivering trade training and assessment in the electrical, plumbing, data communications, and refrigeration and air-conditioning trades.

As a group training organisation, it is the largest employer of apprentices within the building and construction industry in SA, with more than 400 apprentices and trainees. It also delivers pre-vocational training, VET in Schools, short upskilling courses and skills recognition.

PEER’s training is customised and personalised to accommodate the learning styles of each student delivered by qualified professional trainers.

For more information about the national awards, visit the Australian Training Awards website.