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Tropical North Queensland brings home Queensland Training Awards state honours

Three Tropical North Queenslanders – two from Napranum and one from Cairns – have been recognised for their contributions and achievements in the training sector at the state titles of the 62nd Queensland Training Awards.

Story: Dylan Nicholson, The Cairns Post.

The 2023 Queensland Training Awards provides the state’s top prize for outstanding achievements in vocational education and training statewide.

The winners were announced at a gala event at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday night.

The Cape town of Napranum celebrated two winners with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the year, Shaniqua Burke, and School Based Apprentice of the Year, Kyezaya Namai-Sabatino, both hailing from the remote town.

School-Based Apprentice of the Year, Napranum’s Kyezaya Namai-Sabatino, a Year 12 Western Cape College student. Picture: Supplied

Ms Burke completed a Certificate III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care with TAFE Queensland and is currently helping her local community as a trainee health worker at Apunipima Cape York Health Council.

Mr Namai-Sabatino attends Western Cape College and completed his school-based diesel fitting traineeship through MRAEL. He is continuing to work with Rio Tinto in Weipa.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, Napranum’s Shaniqua Burke. Picture: Supplied

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui congratulated the pair on their awards.

“Queensland has some of the best talent in Australia so it is a remarkable achievement for a small community like Napranum to take out two of the state’s awards,” she said.

Jessica Addo of Cairns also brought home an award being recognised as Vocational Student of the year.

Ms Addo is a PCYC Outside School Hours Care Supervisor and has completed her Certificate IV and a Diploma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education through Remote Area Teacher Education Program and TAFE Queensland.

“I can’t wait to see Shaniqua, Kyezaya and Jessica representing not just the tropical north but the whole of Queensland at the national awards in November,” Ms Lui said.

Vocational Student of the Year, Jessica Addo of Cairns. Picture: Supplied

“It is great to see Tropical North Queensland take out three awards this year, and I hope this will inspire more local people to pursue their own goals through vocational education and training,” Minister for Training and Skills Development, Di Farmer, said.

A total of 14 winners took home state honours and are now in the running for national recognition at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart, Tasmania on Friday, November 17.