Page 1


Australia’s best Challenger Institute has been crowned the best large training provider in the country

A message from Chief Executive Officer, Liz Harris Welcome to this very special December edition of Waves. For Challenger Institute of Technology, Christmas arrived early when we were presented with the highest award in vocational education and training in Australia.

(L-R) ACAAR director Greg Jenkins, Minister for Fisheries Norman Moore, Department of Fisheries CEO Stuart Smith, Swan River Trust general manager Rod Hughes and Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland.

In the previous edition of Waves I announced that Challenger Institute had been named Western Australia’s best large training provider. Now I can proudly say that the commitment of Challenger staff to the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, and our strong relationships with industry, has seen us gain equal recognition at the national level. Challenger Institute received the Large Training Provider of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards in November. This prestigious award confirms our reputation as a flexible, high quality and skills-focused training institute (pages 6-7). This has been a year of unprecedented success. Challenger’s training restaurant, Quinlan’s, won its fifth and third consecutive Gold Plate Award at the 2012 Gold Plate Awards, earning it a place in the Hall of Fame. We also became the first Western Australian training provider to win the tourism industry’s most prestigious award, the Sir David Brand Award for Tourism (more page 4). Challenger’s Australian Centre for Applied Aquaculture Research (ACAAR), which plays a lead role nationally in marine research, has partnered in a new program that could see a return of the time-honoured family tradition of prawning. In a world first, ACAAR’s research team is working to restock western school prawns in the Swan and Canning rivers to provide the impetus for stocks to develop into viable populations (page 3).


Having proudly given rise to a number of successful local fashion designers, it’s no surprise that Challenger’s annual fashion event draws a big crowd. This year’s parade, Take Flight, was no exception, featuring an array of cutting-edge collections. And for the first time in the show’s history, the fashion students presented their designs without the use of a catwalk and soared all the higher in doing so (page 8). Two closely aligned but very different training initiatives at Challenger have opened up rewarding career opportunities in Gorgon, one of the world’s largest natural gas projects. An apprentice training program at our Henderson campus is providing heavy fabrication engineering students with specific training for the resources sector and the Gorgon project (page 5). In Rockingham, a group of Aboriginal students who have acquired construction skills and qualifications have also been given the opportunity to work on projects associated with the Gorgon gas fields (page 10). I hope you enjoy the last edition of Waves for 2012, which highlights just some of the achievements and developments at Challenger Institute – Australia’s best large training provider. I am enormously grateful for the passion and commitment of our staff, the loyalty of our partners and the contribution of our Governing Council and, in particular the Chair, Paddi Creevey, for our excellent achievements this year. I wish all our staff, students and industry and community partners a very safe and happy Christmas. Warm regards,

Liz Harris Chief Executive Officer Challenger Institute of Technology Cover: Accepting the award for Large Training Provider of the Year were (L-R) general manager training services Jill Jamieson, Minister for Training and Workforce Development Murray Cowper, CEO Liz Harris, Governing Council deputy chair Mike Deeks and Governing Council chair Paddi Creevey.

Western school prawns

Challenger works to restock Perth rivers with prawns In a world first, Challenger Institute of Technology is working to restock Western school prawns in the Swan and Canning rivers, to help reestablish prawning as an iconic family activity.

provide a kick start for stocks to develop into viable populations.

part of Perth’s summer lifestyle,” Mr Moore said.

Mr Jenkins said the reasons for the

The exact number of prawns to be released will depend on spawning success.

“Along with the Peel Inlet, near Mandurah, Perth’s river system is the most popular area for recreational prawning in Western Australia’s southern regions and the school prawn is one of the main species taken.”

in Perth rivers was unclear, but

ACAAR director Greg Jenkins said the project was truly unique.

including yellowfin tuna, yellowtail

Collection of prawn broodstock from the Swan River has begun, allowing Challenger’s research team at its Australian Centre for Applied Aquaculture Research (ACAAR) to breed and grow the broodstock.

Mr Moore said it was hoped the initiative, made possible by funds raised through recreational f ishing licence fees, would help over time to re-establish prawning as a key family activity in the Swan and Canning rivers.

The juvenile prawns will be introduced to the shallow banks of the rivers over the summer months, to hopefully

Challenger Institute, Swan River Trust and the Department of Fisheries are working together on the restocking project. Fisheries Minister Norman Moore congratulated the partners in the three year, $330,000 project.

“Drag netting for prawns on a hot summer night was once an intrinsic

“Noone has ever grown this type of prawn before, and there are def initely challenges ahead to ensure they can be nurtured to the point they can be released and monitored,” Mr Jenkins said. “We have expertise in the restocking of estuarine and marine fish, in particular restocking black bream in the Blackwood River, but prawns are an entirely different prospect.”

diminishing numbers of prawns restocking could complement further research into these factors. ACAAR has previously been involved in research for a range of species for aquaculture in Western Australia, kingfish, mulloway, black bream, snapper, King George whiting and WA dhufish. The prawn restocking project is funded through the Recreational Fishing Fund and administered via the peak recreational fishing body, Recfishwest. The Swan River Trust instigated the project and will be responsible for the community values aspects of the initiative.

The hospitality team with Quinlan’s fifth Gold Plate.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi (left) and Professor BickmoreBrand representing the late Sir David Brand (right) present the tourism awards to Challenger’s hospitality and tourism director Margaret Gannaway (2nd from left) and tourism course coordinator Kathryn Clark.

Gold plate, tourism awards make history Two unique awards presented to Challenger Institute of Technology have created their own slice of history. 4

Challenger has become the first training provider to win the tourism industry’s most prestigious award. The Institute took out the Sir David Brand Award for Tourism at the 40th annual WA Tourism Awards. Challenger’s School of Hospitality and Tourism was presented with the top accolade, which is awarded to the best of the WA Tourism Award gold medallists, after winning the Tourism Education and Training category.

Challenger is also set to become the first hospitality training provider in Western Australia to enter the restaurant industry’s prestigious Hall of Fame after its training restaurant, Quinlan’s, won its fifth Gold Plate Award at the 2012 Gold Plate Awards gala ball. Challenger Institute CEO Liz Harris said it was an honour to be recognised at the highest level in industry. “Acknowledgment at this level is very exciting for our students, who can feel conf ident that the training they are receiving at Challenger is of the highest quality,” Ms Harris said. Quinlan’s Training Restaurant claimed its first Gold Plate Award in 2004 and again in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Gourmet escape has hospitality students seeing stars Thirty-five Challenger Institute of Technology hospitality students are still buzzing after their recent culinary escape from campus kitchen to the picturesque southwest wine region. The students were handpicked to assist at the sell-out Margaret River Gourmet Escape weekend, where they got the opportunity to support an exclusive line-up of wellknown international chefs.

For three days the students rubbed shoulders with the likes of Kylie Kwong, Matt Moran and more than 20 international and local food and wine experts. Challenger Institute hospitality lecturer Clare Russell said the cookery, hospitality, tourism and events students were involved in a plethora of activities over the action-packed weekend. “The cookery students assisted at the celebrity chefs’ table and green room, test kitchen and wine tasting sessions, and the events and tourism students played an important role with ticketing and ushering duties,” Ms Russell said. “It was a great compliment for the students to be selected to be involved in such a high profile and hugely popular food and wine event.”

Minister for Training and Workforce Development Murray Cowper (centre) with Challenger students and apprentices Jeremiah Narkle (left) and Adam Gosen.

New apprentice partnership trains workers for Gorgon A new apprentice training program, aptly titled You’re On Your Way, is providing opportunities for Western Australians to set their careers in motion in the mining and resources sector. Twelve heavy fabrication apprentices are the first to take part in the innovative program at Challenger Institute of Technology that is training new workers for Gorgon, one of the world’s largest natural gas projects. Challenger Institute general manager training services Jill Jamieson said the program was an exciting collaboration between Challenger Institute and CKJV (a joint venture of global engineering giants CB&I and Kentz). “The fabrication and electrical trades are among the most sought after in Western Australia,” Ms Jamieson said. “By working so closely with industry, Challenger Institute is playing a key role in supporting initiatives that attract people to work in these industries.” The You’re on Your Way program provides flexible learning opportunities for apprentices in the resources sector and works within the framework of Challenger’s SMART apprenticeship model.

Challenger launched the SMART model in 2011 with the aim of tailoring training to meet the requirements of both employers and students. “The model utilises existing skills and industrial experience and knowledge to enable apprentices to complete their apprenticeships based on competency, rather than time served,” Ms Jamieson said. Last year, 28 fabrication apprentices were involved in the SMART model and gained their competencies at an accelerated rate. This year the number of apprentices has increased by more than 60 per cent. The success of the model, particularly in relation to the You’re on Your Way program, is due to lecturers being available to deliver training in a coordinated and cooperative manner. They also work with employers to ensure the apprentices are mentored and learning is supported in the workplace. You’re On Your Way will target trainees and apprentices in skill areas including heavy fabrication, electrical, mechanical, scaffolding and rigging. The heavy fabrication apprentices receive 10 weeks of training at Challenger Institute before beginning the apprenticeship program in the workplace – a key feature of the program.


CHALLENGER INSTITUTE CROWNED AUSTRALIA’S BEST Challenger Institute of Technology is Australia’s best large training provider. The Institute took out the nation’s top training award at the prestigious Australian Training Awards in Melbourne.

Highlights of 2012 Savour Australia Restaurant and Catering HOSTPLUS Award for Excellence Western Australian Large Training Provider of the Year Gold Plate Award and induction into the Gold Plate Hall of Fame Western Australian Tourism Award Sir David Brand Award for Tourism Australian Large Training Provider of the Year

Challenger Institute CEO Liz Harris said it was an honour to be recognised at the highest level of vocational education and training.

(L-R) Challenger Institute Governing Council chair Paddi Creevey and CEO Liz Harris.

“Challenger Institute is very proud to be acknowledged with this award, which is recognition of our commitment to high quality training, continuous improvement as an organisation and of the passion and dedication of our staff,” Ms Harris said.


“Challenger’s purpose is to provide a pathway to a better future for everyone, and we are passionate about helping people – in particular disadvantaged groups – learn new skills and improve their employment prospects. “We are also highly aligned to industry needs and we work closely with more than 300 community and business partners, including in oil and gas, health, maritime, hospitality and construction, to build a skilled and productive workforce and to fill labour shortages.” Challenger Institute became a finalist in the Australian Training Awards after winning WA Large Training Provider of the Year at the WA Training Awards in September. The Institute beat two other finalists – TAFE NSW Riverina Institute and Queensland’s Blue Dog Training – to take out the top national award.

The top Australian award for a large training institution comes to Challenger.

(L-R) Governing Council chair Paddi Creevey, Governing Council deputy chair Mike Deeks, CEO Liz Harris, and general managers Michael Juliff, Terry Durant, Melanie Sorensen and Jill Jamieson celebrate the award.

Challenger Institute’s Governing Council chair Paddi Creevey said Challenger’s flexibility, responsiveness and social inclusiveness helped make it a leader nationally. “This award is a great coup for Western Australia; we have the best training in Australia right here on our doorstep,” she said. “Challenger is already the preferred training provider of more than 23,000 students, both local and international students,” she said. “And now it is off icial that we are the best.” The annual Australian Training Awards recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of training organisations, as well as apprentices, trainees and vocational students. The Large Training Provider of the Year award is presented to an Australian registered training organisation with more than 1,500 enrolled students.


Glamour from designer Aqeela Issacs, who took out top honours at the recent Perth Fashion Festival.

Mia Jones’ costume entry at Perth Fashion Festival.

A collection by Danelaw Court-Petersen.

Student fashion parade takes flight


This striking design by Katie Goodlet featured at the recent StyleAid fashion event.

Perth’s fashionistas flocked to Progress Hall in Hilton for Challenger Institute of Technology’s annual fashion runway event and awards night.

The Take Flight concept gave rise to a colour palette of predominately blue, green and yellow garments – representing birdlife.

Celebrating its 18th anniversary, the Take Flight parade was inspired by a bird theme.

“The designs were the culmination of two years of effort by the students, showcasing an impressive depth of fashion knowledge and training.

More than 250 style-savvy guests were treated to a display of cuttingedge collections from Challenger’s graduating Applied Fashion Design and Technology Diploma students.

Challenger Institute CEO Liz Harris said the event was one of distinction. “This event marks the pinnacle of achievement for Challenger’s fashion department, which has worked exceptionally hard to produce a high calibre of work,” Ms Harris said.

“This has been a very successful year for our fashion area, with our students asked to participate in various highprofile events including StyleAid and

the Perth Fashion Festival, in which Challenger’s Aqeela Isaacs was named overall student winner.” The 2012 Fashion Vocational Student of the Year Award went to Mia Jones (pictured far right, with model). Throughout her studies, Mia demonstrated a high level of understanding of fashion concepts and design elements. Mia plans to eventually start her own label, which will embody her individual style through the use of beautiful fabrics, superb construction and clever styling. Awards also went to Katie Goodlet, who received the Pattern Making Award, and Shannen Barton, who was presented with the Bernina Award for Sewing. Photography by Style Discovery


Chevron community engagement advisor Rod Mapstone, course participant Shannon Khan and Challenger general manager training services Jill Jamieson.


Unique program opens employment doors for Aboriginal trainees A world of opportunity has been revealed for a group of Aboriginal students at Challenger Institute of Technology who have become the first to complete a unique training initiative that has resulted in employment opportunities on the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project. Challenger Institute partnered with energy company Chevron Australia to provide training for 12 students in the inaugural Gorgon Entry Skills Training Program. Challenger Institute provided hands-on training and exposure to the tools, processes and tasks required to work in the resources sector. This included a range of units and construction proficiencies, including forklift operation, tool skills, elevated work platforms, fixing and securing equipment, working in confined spaces and first aid. The students received a number of recognised industry tickets as well as units of competency from a Certificate II in Electrotechnology. Perhaps the most significant element of this four-week program was the genuine employment opportunities offered to successful graduates. Through the involvement of Gorgon contractors, successful graduates of the program have been offered employment

opportunities on the Gorgon Project, the largest single resource project in Australia’s history. The students will be working at the Australian Marine Complex and in the Henderson area, where a number of Gorgon contractors are undertaking scopes of work. The Gorgon Project contractors who participated in the program undertook regular visits to the students in the form of guest talks and BBQ lunches, where they shared their expertise and offered valuable advice on working in the industry. “By working with industry to deliver this type of tailored training, an innovative program has been devised that has provided such a positive experience for the participants,” said Challenger CEO Liz Harris. The participants were selected and assisted throughout the course by the Australian Indigenous Business Alliance Group. Gorgon Development Director Scott Young said the Gorgon Project was making a significant contribution to employment in the Kwinana and Henderson area. “This program is one of a number of initiatives creating opportunities for apprentices and trainees with Gorgon contractors,” Mr Young said. Speaking at the certificate presentation ceremony at Challenger’s Rockingham campus, course graduate Shannon Khan expressed his thanks on behalf of the student group, describing the four weeks as “a completely positive experience.”

French student masters the art of conservation Challenger Institute of Technology graduate Mathilde Bernhard may be an expert in flora and fauna, but she’s no shrinking violet.

“The Australian wilderness is the first reason why I decided to stay in this beautiful country, and I feel that it is now my home,” she said. Challenger Institute’s International Student Graduation Ceremony was held

on 21 November at the WA Maritime Museum. More than 100 students from 26 countries were congratulated on their success in a range of training programs.

The passionate conservationist, who studied a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management, has received Challenger Institute’s International Student of the Year Award. Mathilde left France five years ago to travel to Australia and New Zealand. A former professional illustrator in Paris, she made Western Australia her home after feeling a connection with the local wildlife and a desire to preserve it. “WA’s flora is of an amazing diversity and complexity,” she said. “Unfortunately, it is threatened every day and I feel the need to do my share when it comes to protecting it.” Mathilde worked on a number of environmental projects during her studies at Challenger Institute, including the revegetation of Rottnest Island and activities for the Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre. She has also helped organise a fundraiser for the protection, research and awareness of the endangered West Australian numbat. Mathilde is now working with Sustainable Outdoors – a native landscaping and landcare business – where she is engaged with bushland care, such as erosion control, revegetation and invasive species control.

image to go here


Emergency drill fires up training Students at Challenger Institute of Technology’s oil and gas training facility gained first-hand experience in dealing with an emergency situation when a life threatening scenario unfolded during their training recently.

drill aimed at giving the students the practical experience of dealing with an emergency situation in the oil and gas or hydrocarbon industries.

The situation at the Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) in Munster was no cause for alarm though; it was a training

To intensify the situation, there was a mock casualty, which required the emergency response team to rescue the injured person from a height.

The scenario involved a local industry emergency response group and ACEPT trainees working together to respond to an emergency situation. The scene was set when a major pipework rupture caused a leak of gas and oil from the simulated well head, resulting in a fire.

ACEPT lecturer Jim McQuade said the exercise would not have been possible without the support of local industry. “Global mineral producer Tronox provided the emergency response team, an ambulance to transport the casualty and a fire engine and hoses to put out the blaze,” Mr McQuade said. “The exercise gave students first-hand experience in managing a crisis, given the skills that their on-campus training has provided them with. I am very happy with the result.”

The emergency response team fight the fire.

12 The response team checks the casualty’s vital signs before placing him in the ambulance.

INDUSTRY TRAINING AREAS Applied Engineering Building and Automotive Technology Business and IT Community Services, Health, Sport and Lifestyle Hospitality and Tourism Foundation and Cultural Studies Maritime Science and the Environment SPECIALIST CENTRES Australian Centre for Applied Aquaculture Research (ACAAR) Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT)

Waves Magazine To advise of a change of address please telephone (08) 9239 8301. All other enquiries should be directed to the Editor, Waves Magazine. Phone: (08) 9239 8301 Fax: (08) 9239 8088 Email: Website: Waves Magazine articles may be reproduced with acknowledgement.