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issue six // june 2012



issue six // june 2012


Auto Light apprentice William Ramsay awarded Geof Gale Medal for Most Outstanding Student of the Year P2

Preparing for a culinary extravaganza PO Box 1336 Midland Western Australia 6936 General Enquiries (08) 9267 7777 Course Information (08) 9267 7500 Email Internet

Five great chefs will be paired with five great wines throughout the month of June at the Bentley Pines Restaurant. P4

Standing ovation for Capelli at Quality Day Over 850 staff members converge on Perth’s Convention Centre for annual Quality Day. P6

Skills West Expo Career options and trade skills will be on show at this year’s SkillsWest Expo. P14

Spotlight on International Projects MD strengthens ties with visit to China and Japan P10

Maddy’s style to aid awareness What outfit would you create and wear if you didn’t want to look out of place at a children’s tea party? P13

A quick word We speak to PWA Trainer of the Year, Joe Turner. P16





Employers were recognised across PWA’s four academic divisions. The winners were: •

From Access & Community – MercyCare

From Commerce & Hospitality – Chatters Restaurant Group

From Construction Trades – Electrical Group Training

From Engineering & Resources – Callidus Process Solutions

Polytechnic West’s Managing Director Wayne Collyer presented the students with their awards and congratulated all finalists on their nominations.

“POLYTECHNIC WEST IS PROUD OF ITS STUDENTS AND THE STAFF WHO ENSURE WE CONTINUE TO PROVIDE WESTERN AUSTRALIA WITH GRADUATES OF THE HIGHEST CALIBRE. THESE AWARD WINNERS ARE TESTIMONY OF OUR COMMITMENT TO VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING” Inductee Stephen Hollow, who now owns and runs the Silver Spoon Restaurant in Victoria Park, says while he wouldn’t encourage everyone to follow a hospitality path, his time at Polytechnic West provided the training he needed to manage his own restaurant. “It’s a great feeling to be the owner of a successful restaurant” Stephen says. “Some days it doesn’t feel like I’m at work. I’m passionate about providing good service to my customers and being successful at something I love”. Special thanks go to the Construction Training Fund, MEGT Australia, the City of Swan, Student Edge, Perth Airport, ISS Facility Services, Access Analytic Solutions and Platinum Polytechnic West who proudly sponsored the night and made it possible.

From L-R: Wayne Collyer, Managing Director of Polytechnic West; the Hon Peter Collier, Minister for Training and Workforce Development; William Ramsay; Peter Tuck, NECA; Keith Vuleta, Chairman of the Governing Council, Polytechnic West; Jessica Hogg; Nathanael Garlett; Tracie Hazell; Joe Turner and Adam Clark.

CELEBRATING THE BEST OF POLYTECHNIC WEST ■ A warm autumn evening amongst the pines proved the perfect backdrop for Polytechnic West to recognise and reward their top students, trainer and employers at the organisation’s annual awards night presentation. Held under the stars at the Bentley campus, nominees were joined by the Hon Peter Collier, Minister for Energy; Training and Workforce Development and Indigenous Affairs, representatives of Perth’s Industry Training Councils, Polytechnic West’s Governing Council, directors, employers, staff, family and friends. Emcee, Perth radio and television personality Verity James, announced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year William Ramsay as the Geof Gale Medalist - Polytechnic West’s Student of the Year for 2011. William completed an apprenticeship in Automotive Light and is employed by Kimberley Group Training. “I made the most of growing up in a small country town, learning as much as possible about cars from watching my dad and uncle” William says.

“Now, I’m hoping to further my knowledge on heavy duty vehicles”. Travelling by plane regularly to Perth over his four and a half year apprenticeship is one example of William’s dedication and commitment to study. “Although he was quite reserved at the start, William grew into a confident young man, interacting with students and joking around” says Paul Tennant, Automotive lecturer. “William’s lifestyle is also very community focussed; when he isn’t working at the mines he is a role model to young Indigenous people, volunteering to increase drug and alcohol awareness”. Metal Fabrication lecturer Joe Turner was given top honours as Trainer of the Year. Joe’s basic philosophy is to teach kids the skills they can take to the workforce and be employable. “I’ve got the best job in the world, seeing my students start to learn and enjoy what they do” Joe says. “My ultimate reward is when my students come back and say thanks Joe, I got an apprenticeship.”

We took five minutes to have a quick word with Joe Turner following his win. Turn to page 16 to read more.

The Hon Peter Collier watches on as William Ramsay accepts the Geof Gale Medal for Most Outstanding Student of the Year.

“You are the Polytechnic’s cream of the crop for 2011 and you should all be so very proud of where you are sitting tonight” Wayne said. “Polytechnic West is proud of its students and the staff who ensure we continue to provide Western Australia with graduates of the highest calibre. These award winners are testimony of our commitment to vocational education and training”. A special addition to the evening for 2012 was the inaugural induction of 12 former students into Polytechnic West’s Alumni Wall of Talent. “Our Alumni wall recognises some of our most outstanding students of the past” Wayne said. “These are students who have earned significant industry achievements, represented Australia at the WorldSkills competition, or have been a past recipient of the Geof Gale Medal as our Most Outstanding Student of the Year”.

Award Winners Adam Clark

Apprentice of the Year

Hilda Dixon

Trainee of the Year

Jessica Hogg

Vocational Student of the Year

Tracie Hazell

Flexible/Online Student of the Year

William Ramsay

Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Nathaneal Garlett School Based Student of the Year Sabrina Lorenz

International Student of the Year

Martha Magnar

English Language Student of the Year

Joe Turner

Trainer of the Year





PREPARING FOR A CULINARY EXTRAVAGANZA ■ As the cold starts to set in, there’s nothing better than sitting down to a warm winter meal, surrounded by family and friends, and a good drop of wine. Polytechnic West’s Gold Plate Awarded Bentley Pines Restaurant is offering you the chance to do just that this year, presenting a dinner series called Five Great Chefs, Five Great Wineries. “Five Great Chefs, Five Great Wineries is the first dinner series of its kind to come to Polytechnic West” says Robert Groot, Hospitality lecturer at Polytechnic West. “The idea is to always involve our industry in what we do here at PWA. Many of the great chefs great wineries are only too happy to work with the students to ensure the success of the night” Rob says. Each of the five dinners, running throughout the month of June, will be coordinated by students from the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality. “The students will be involved in every aspect of the evening” Robert says.

Naomi Bulner, Polytechnic West lecturer and mentor Denis Boulet and Owen Keremeta-Hood in London.

“The process starts with the initial meeting and has continued throughout the planning process with constant communication between the Great Chef, the Great Winery and the students. Five Great Chefs, Five Great Wineries will run at Polytechnic West throughout the month of June.

Five Great Chefs, Five Great Wineries LINE-UP 11 June Frederick Verschoore, Chef & Proprietor Great Millie Restaurant Bellarmine Wines, Pemberton David Mullen Wine Agency 12 June Brad Froehlich, Executive Chef Pan Pacific Hotel Forest Hill Wines, Denmark 18 June Costa Simatos, Executive Chef University Club of WA Rosily Vineyard, Margaret River David Mullen Wine Agency 19 June Don Hancey, Chef & Proprietor Panorama Catering Gilberts Wines, Mt Barker 25 June Gordon Kahle, Chef & Proprietor Crowded House Restaurant Alkoomi Wines, Frankland

“MANY OF THE GREAT CHEFS AND GREAT WINERIES ARE ONLY TOO HAPPY TO WORK WITH THE STUDENTS TO ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF THE NIGHT” “We see this program, whereby the students are utilising all their skills and knowledge over the semesters that they have been with us, as a culmination of sorts, of all of their efforts before they leave us”. The first of the dinners will be held on Monday June 11, featuring Chef Frederick Verschoore from Great Millie Restaurant and wines from the Bellarmine Winery in Pemberton. “Each dinner will consist of a three-course meal with matching wines, coffee and tea” Robert says. “We will commence service at 6.30pm and should be all done by 9.30pm”. Tickets for each dinner are $60 per person and on sale now. To secure your seat contact the Bentley Pines Restaurant on 9267 7219 or email

YOUNG CHEF TASTES SUCCESS This story was written by Sara Fitzpatrick and first published in the Canning Times on Tuesday 2 May. It is reproduced with permission.

■ Promising young chef Naomi Bulner endured the most stressful two-and-a-half hours of her cooking career at the a recent culinary competition in London. With the clock ticking and judges patrolling – much like a MasterChef pressure test - the Global Hospitality Challenge tested the skills and mental stamina of Bulner and fellow Polytechnic West student chef Owen Keremeta-Hood like never before. Performing against five international teams in their first challenge, the WA duo did well to calm the nerves and dodge a couple of mishaps to take home third place with an innovative three-course meal, which featured native Australian spices such as lemon myrtle and pepperberry. “Competition-style cooking is completely different to working in a kitchen” said Bulner, the newly-appointed sous chef at Steve’s Bar and Restaurant.

“You’ve got judges wandering around and watching everything you’re doing, be it cleaning the bench or throwing something in the bin. “We had a couple of dramas with the dessert – a dark chocolate moelleux. “Usually when practising in Perth, the kitchen is too hot whereas over there the kitchen was too cold. “We just had to make it work because we needed to put something on the plate.”


Bulner, who loves cooking with chocolate because of its versatility, chose the culinary path after studying engineering for six years. “Only getting about halfway through the degree, it was clear my heart was never really into it so I decided I should do something I enjoyed and started cooking” she said. “I’m a much better chef than I was an engineer.” To find out more about hospitality courses at Polytechnic West call 9267 7500.



STANDING OVATION FOR CAPELLI AT QUALITY DAY ■ Over 850 staff members converged on Perth’s Convention Centre in April for the organisation’s annual Quality Day.

Wayne Collyer, Managing Director of Polytechnic West says Quality Day helps to build staff morale whilst showcasing the many attributes of the Polytechnic. “Quality day provides the staff of PWA with the opportunity to engage with presenters on a number of key strategic issues facing the organisation” Collyer said.

Providing a rare opportunity for Polytechnic West to gather both lecturing and administrative staff in the one room, Quality Day 2012 was headlined by author, songwriter, radio and television presenter, self proclaimed hobo and creator of the Dynamic Thinking Course for Leadership, Glenn Capelli. Capelli tackled a range of learning techniques which included the Five Layers of Leading Learning, the Trinity of Relationships, Engagement and Attendance, the Nature and Pace of Change and Higher Order Presentation Skills for Teaching and Reaching.

“It also provides one of the very few times a year when staff can catch up with their colleagues from other campuses”.

Wayne Collyer, Managing Director of Polytechnic West, with keynote speaker Glen Capelli, at Quality Day 2012

Staff stretched, laughed and chatted their way through a very real learning process, complete with music, song and dance. Their appreciation was evidenced with a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the hour-long session and feedback including “Standing ovation says it all. Excellent speaker and very professional presentation. There was a lot to learn from his methods and his presentation style for all lecturers” “Glenn's presentation was relevant and very entertaining. He was an engaging speaker with lots of relevant things for today's classroom” “Really enjoyed this session. It was both engaging and humorous. The realisation of what he was saying had me captivated for the whole session leaving me wanting more” “Glen was inspirational and the content of his presentation was appropriate for all who work in education. He was an absolute pleasure to listen to and I thoroughly enjoyed it” “This was the best presentation I have ever seen. Inspirational” “An excellent, engaging presentation that not only educated but inspired me on all levels, professionally and personally” “Glenn's presentation is the best I have seen since I have been at PWA, and that is 7 years. I wanted more!” Ten breakout sessions followed on topics including Sustainability, Social Media, Communication, Game Based Learning and Managing Difficult and Toxic Behaviours.

The organisation also recognised its quiet achievers on the day, with the presentation of Quality Awards in six categories. The Managing Director’s Award for Excellence was a tie, won by both Electrical lecturer Christopher Slattery and Fluid Power lecturer Peter Geutjes.



INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT AT QUALITY WEEK ■ Alongside Quality Day 2012, Polytechnic West staff were able to take part in a range of Professional and Career Development units. Key industry representatives provided their perspective on how the organisation can best achieve its strategic mission of providing innovative and flexible training services to industry. “Over 70 staff members attended information sessions held by Sharon Viles, Manager of Trades Training for Rio Tinto and Alan Davis, Director of Skills Development for the Construction Training Council” said Kath Finn, Director of Teaching and Learning at Polytechnic West.

“I gratefully accept this award on behalf of my Director, Portfolio Manager and colleagues” Christopher said. “The success of our apprentices is achieved by many. When they work hard to reach or surpass their potential that makes me feel like I have already won an award.

Award winners at Quality Day 2012

Both speakers highlighted that industry wanted improved training flexibility and responsiveness, which could be in part achieved by training providers developing greater relationships with employers, especially with early engagement in the training cycle. “Employers have their apprentices for 88% of the time during their training contract, compared to just 12% by Polytechnic West” Alan said.

“The training schedules also need to offer more flexibility to ensure apprentices commence training as soon as they start work, and reflect the employers changing circumstances” Alan said.

Outstanding Student Experience Janet O’Toole and the CAVSS Team Outstanding Support Services Judith D’Costa

Each speaker also acknowledged that training providers such as Polytechnic West were providing a good service, often with limited resources. PWA’s Transforming Trade Training strategy was also cited as one initiative that is addressing the flexibility and responsiveness required by employers.

Industry Relationships Kerry Banyard the Chevron Project Team Commercial Business Development The Construction Trades International Team, Midland campus

Social Responsibility Janet Lee

Alan alerted the group to the fact that, although the residential and commercial industry was currently stagnant, the resources sector continues to flourish.

“A large proportion of the learning occurs in the workplace, training providers need to recognise this, and use it to benefit the apprentice.

This award is just the icing on the cake”.

Environmental Sustainability Brad Shilkin, Tracey Geerlings and the Publications Distribution Team

The Construction Fund is a major employer in Western Australia, with over 131,000 workers, which is equivalent to 11% of the State’s total workforce. They are also a major supporter of the apprenticeship system in Western Australia, employing 41% of all apprentices in the industry.

“Sharon highlighted Rio Tinto’s commitment to training, evidenced in the over $80m invested in their training programs in the last 12-months, which saw apprentice numbers double”. Currently, Rio Tinto has approximately 300 apprentices and 400 trainees across a wide range of occupations with a plan to increase apprentice numbers by 120 in the coming year.




RAC REWARDS APPRENTICES ■ Providing apprentices with an opportunity to further their careers and learn more about the automotive industry, Polytechnic West once again proudly partnered with the RAC to present the 9th annual Advantage Awards.

“My favourite was definitely the Kenworth Assembly Plant” Ian said. “It was amazing to see a production line of that size and to see trucks being built from start from finish. “The spray painting facilities, in particular, were fantastic”. A bit of icing on the cake was a Friday night football match between the Fremantle Dockers at Saint Kilda, at Etihad Stadium. Jonathon Maile, Portfolio Manager for Automotive Trades at Polytechnic West says that there are many benefits of the awards for students.

Over 140 teams signed up for this year’s Rally, from Melbourne to Cairns, via Wentworth, Tibooburra, Innamincka, Windorah, Winton and Undara. Wayne Collyer, Managing Director of Polytechnic West; Autobody Repair apprentice Samuel Treasure; Autobody Refinishing apprentice Ian Sherrett; John Stronger

“The main benefit comes from the fact that, each year, we’re able to strengthen our relationship with the only West Australian owned insurance company” Maile said. “As an organisation, we are very grateful to the RAC for making these awards possible. It’s a pleasure to be able to work with them each year”. To find out more about automotive studies at Polytechnic West call 9267 7500.

CHARGING TO SUCCESS ■ Polytechnic West’s top achievers in Automotive Electrical studies were recently recognised at the organisation’s annual Electrical Excellence Awards. Stage three apprentice Sergio Carvalho was presented with the Automotive Electrical Excellence Award, for the most outstanding apprentice of 2011. Sergio, who completed his apprenticeship at Claremont Auto Electrical, was a grateful recipient of the award. “This award means so much to me” Sergio says. “I really see Automotive Electrical as the future for our industry. “All cars are becoming a lot more electrical now and it’s important we know how to deal with that”. As part of his prize Sergio was awarded a trip to Melbourne by Hella Australia. “I’m hoping to go over and watch the Formula One” Sergio says. Polytechnic West has seen a massive demand for training in the automotive electrical sector in the past 12-months, leading to the opening of its training facility in Pinjarra.

JOSH & ANDREW’S SHITBOX RALLY ADVENTURE ■ When second-year Refrigeration and AirConditioning apprentice Joshua Pekel decided to take part in the annual Shitbox Rally he had no idea what he was getting himself into. A week later, he and his buddy Andrew Shugg rolled their heap into Cairns, having raised over $4000 for the Cancer Council of Australia along the way.

Autobody Repair apprentice Samuel Treasure from Vulcan Panel and Paint and Autobody Refinishing apprentice Ian Sherrett from Joondalup Smash Repairs were this year’s winners. Both Samuel and Ian travelled to Melbourne in mid-April, as part of their win, on a study tour which took in some of our best manufacturing plants including the Kenworth Assembly Plant, PPG, Hella, the ACE Centre, Fox Car Collection, HSV, HRT FPV, FPR and the Ford Discovery Centre.



“Our automotive electrical department has spear-headed the introduction of training in the Peel region” says Jonathon Maile, Portfolio Manager for Automotive Trades. Polytechnic West’s Automotive Electrical Awards evening was proudly sponsored by Hella Australia, WesTrac and Autospark. To find out more about automotive studies at Polytechnic West call 9267 7500.

Winners on the night were Stage 1 Apprentice – Melissa Sharpe Stage 2 Apprentice – Peter Harper Stage 3 Apprentice – Sergio Carvalho Pre-apprentice, semester one – Bryce Ruksenas Pre-apprentice, semester two – Brenton Greatrex Dual Trader Award – Jason Bailey Westrac Award – Zachary Belli

no time and we didn’t have any other problems with it for the rest of the trip. “The ignition was a whole other story, some days it would start and, on others, it required a little manual handling to get it going” he says. What about air conditioning? “What about it?” Joshua says. There was none of that either; the boys drove on unsealed roads, for six days, in mostly 35 degree heat. “We were covered in red dust at the end of every day” Joshua says with a laugh.

“Andrew and I were looking for something fun to do when we stumbled across the rally” Joshua said. “We knew it would be a great way to explore some of Australia’s east coast while raising money for a great cause”. Not an event for the faint-hearted, the Rally is targeted towards those who want to have an adventure, that crave something different and memorable and, more importantly, who want to raise much needed money for charity. “As a team we had to raise $4000 to enter” Joshua said. “To do that we sought sponsorship from local businesses, family and friends and we even held a Where’s Wally type hunt in the city, where we gave away tickets to the Big Day Out”. In return for the funds raised, the boys were “given back” $1500; $500 for fuel and $1000 which was to be used to purchase their very own “shitbox” for the event. “We ended up finding a 1989 Suburu L Series in Adelaide” Joshua said. “So, whilst I flew to Melbourne to prepare for the race a week before it started, Andrew went to Adelaide, collected the car and then drove it to Melbourne in time for the start”.

THE WEEK LEADING UP TO THE RALLY WAS SET ASIDE TO PAINT THEIR CAR, CHECK THE ENGINE, TYRES AND DO ALL THE OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE SETTING OFF ON AN ADVENTURE OF THIS KIND. Not a race, per se, the Rally’s main aim is to get every car over the finish line, gaffer tape, string and all, so that they can be auctioned to raise additional funds for charity. “All but nine cars made it to the end” Joshua says. “The spirit of the people taking part was fantastic. Everyone was willing to help out their fellow rally driver to make sure they were able to get to the end. I’ve not really ever seen anything like it”. So, what’s next for these two young adventurers?

The week leading up to the rally was set aside to paint their car, check the engine, tyres and do all the other things you should do before setting off on an adventure of this kind.

“If we can get sponsorship we’d really like to do the 2013 rally, from Adelaide to Fremantle” Joshua says.

“All the prep in the world couldn’t have helped us” Joshua continues.

“After that, I’m hoping to plan a big 4WD trip around Australia”.

“We blew a tyre just after the event started and had to source a local mechanic to help get us back on the road.

If you would like to sponsor Joshua and Andrew for the 2013 Shitbox Rally, email Joshua at

“He was amazing; he was vision impaired but he fixed our tyre in

For further information about the rally visit



SPOTLIGHT ON INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS Strengthening the international partnership: Japan ■ Polytechnic West’s Managing Director, Wayne Collyer also visited the Kagawa Education Institute of Nutrition in Tokyo while overseas, to celebrate the appointment of their new Principal and Vice-Principal responsible for international relationships. Polytechnic West has been partnering with Kagawa since 2003, providing hospitality training at the organisation’s Bentley campus. The next intake of students will commence their studies in July this year. Planning is also underway to mark Kagawa’s 80th anniversary at Polytechnic West in 2013. “We look forward to hosting selected guests from Japan and Australia at our award winning Bentley Pines Restaurant” says Hiromi Fujisaki, Director of International Business at Polytechnic West. Wayne Collyer, Managing Director of Polytechnic West signs a Letter of Intent with members of the Jiamusi Vocational College, Heilongjiang Province, China.

VET delivery contract signed in China ■ Following an offshore visit by PWA’s Managing Director Wayne Collyer, Polytechnic West has signed a Letter of Intent to deliver the Certificate II in Construction Pathways (Bricklaying and Blocklaying) to up to 100 students at the Jiamusi Vocational College located in Heilongjiang Province in China.

The partnership between Kagawa and Polytechnic West directly compliments the Japanese Government’s plan to address the reduction in student numbers heading abroad to study. “The number of Japanese college students studying abroad declined by 28% over a five year period, from 82,000 in 2004 to 59,000 in 2009” Mrs Fujisaki said. “The Kagawa-Polytechnic West partnership reflects our strong commitment to this region in the coming years”.



COLOURS REFLECT HARMONY This story was written by Belinda Cipriano and first published in the Eastern Reporter on Tuesday 27 March. It is reproduced with permission.

■ A colourful celebration of cultures was part of festivities at Polytechnic West’s Balga campus for vocational education and training in March, as staff and students got into the spirit of Harmony Day. About 250 students representing 43 countries took part in a flag ceremony, presenting their national flags and introducing themselves in their native language. Entertainment featured student performances, including Chinese opera singing and Sudanese dancing, and there was a sausage sizzle on the menu. Polytechnic West Managing Director Wayne Collyer said the celebration was indicative of the variety of nationalities studying at Polytechnic West.

“Harmony Day provides an opportunity for all West Australian to embrace diversity and the many benefits it brings to our society, while also acknowledging that barriers still exist in the community”. Harmony Day, the United Nations international day for the elimination of racial discrimination is celebrated during the month of March.


“One only has to look at the vast array of colours and traditional clothes everyone is wearing today to realise the large number of truly multicultural students we have at Polytechnic West” he said.


To find out more about offshore projects at Polytechnic West contact the International Centre on 9442 8331.

Following the completion of the Certificate II course, students are expected to enrol into further studies in one of four additional pathways – Information Technology, Engineering, Construction or Business - offered at one of the organisation’s six major campuses. Although China is the biggest foreign buyer of Australia’s education, Mr Collyer says the onshore international student market is in decline for both Australia and Western Australia. “The Jiamusi project represents Polytechnic West’s strategy to combat the contracting onshore environment by delivering a VET qualification leading to additional study pathways offered by PWA in Australia” Mr Collyer said. The Jiamusi project is Polytechnic West’s second offshore commercial venture in China, in recent years. To find out more about offshore projects at Polytechnic West contact the International Centre on 9442 8331.

Wayne Collyer, Managing Director of Polytechnic West with Executive Members of the Kagawa Institute, Japan.

Lecturers Michael Levissianos and Maria Gogos celebrate Harmony Day at Polytechnic West’s Balga Campus. Image courtesy of the Community Newspaper Group.



DRESSING CAJ…ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE ■ If you’ve ever wandered around your local Polytechnic West campus on a Friday, you will have no doubt noticed staff members in their jeans and sneakers. A bit too casual for the workplace? Maybe. All for a great cause? Absolutely. Polytechnic West’s Informal Fridays give staff the opportunity to support a variety of worthy local charities, in exchange for the privilege of wearing casual clothes to work. Kim Wouters, Project Officer and Coordinator for Informal Fridays, says that together, PWA staff members can make a big difference in the lives of others.

Diane Munrowd, Manager of Native ARC Inc, recipient of January’s donation, thanked Polytechnic West for their valued contribution to their organisation. “As a non-profit organisation we rely heavily on the goodwill of the public and organisations such as yours to assist us in the care of sick, orphaned and injured wildlife” Diane said. “The very generous donation Polytechnic West has provided will go towards ensuring animals in our care receive the medications and food essential for their recovery”.



MADDY’S STYLE TO AID AWARENESS ■ What outfit would you create and wear if you didn’t want to look out of place at a children’s tea party? Not something you get asked everyday but, that’s just the question that faced students applying to be part of this year’s STYLEAID competition.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to create something different and unique” Maddy says.

The creative brief went on to say that the colour had to be at least 80% pastel pink with a secondary colour selected from either lemon, lilac, pale green or pale blue.

Maddy has already spent over 40 hours on her design and, she’s well aware of the endless late nights to come.

With that in mind, 13 Polytechnic West students whipped up a storm and each of them will be part of the student finale, on 27 July, at Burswood.


Currently completing the third year of her Advanced Diploma in Applied Fashion Design and Technology, Maddy Frodsham says she entered the competition as a challenge.


“I’m currently deconstructing a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt for use. After that, I’ll have to dye my material, colour my flowers and spray paint my spiders” Maddy says. Now in its 15th year, STYLEAID was conceived to raise much needed funds to assist in the education, prevention, care, and support aims and objectives of the Western Australian AIDS Council.

“There are a lot of organisations and people out there who, for various reasons, are doing it a lot tougher than ourselves” Kim says. “Few of us have not been touched in some way by serious illness, disease or adversity.

STYLEAID 2012 promises to once again raise the bar in presenting the best in WA fashion in a way that allows those attending to appreciate all that is great about the amazing design talent in Perth.

“We hope that our donation, although small, provides a little hope for those involved”. Raising over $9000 in 2011, the organisation hopes to top $10,000 in 2012, donating to:


Native Arc


Dyslexia SPELD Foundation


Ryan Marron Foundation


Cancer Council




Perth Inner City Youth Service Inc


World Vision (sponsoring July E from Nicaragua)


Silver Chain

“I can’t wait to see what other designers have come up with” Maddy says.

July E Gonzalez, Pol ytec World Vision Sponsor hnic West’s Child from Nicaragu a.

“It’s going to be a very exciting night and I am looking forward to sharing the stage with fantastic West Australian designers. “It’s going to be a very proud moment for me” Maddy said. Kerry Banyard, Portfolio Manager for the Western Australian Institute of Fashion and Textiles at Polytechnic West, has congratulated all participating students on their achievement.


“Polytechnic West students have had an ever-expanding presence at STYLEAID since the inception of the student division” Ms Banyard said. “We have a proud history of students being recognised across WA as the best in their field and it’s very rewarding to see our graduating students go on to be so successful.

September MS Society October

Juvenile Diabetes


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

“My design is based on the children’s story Miss Spider’s Tea Party. It incorporates my favourite elements of the story being flowers, a web and spiders (all coloured in pink) of course!”

With over 1900 staff members, Polytechnic West is committed to supporting the local community and looks forward to doing so for many years to come.

“I wish them all the very best of luck for the event”.

“Nothing is better for the soul than the gift of giving” Kim says.


Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS)

If you have any questions regarding Informal Friday, please contact Kim Wouters on 6254 8306.

Maddy Frodsham’s design for STYLEAID 2012 takes shape.

To find out more about studying fashion at Polytechnic West call 9267 7500. For further information on STYLEAID 2012 visit




SEE US AT THE SKILLS WEST EXPO ■ The last careers and training expo of the year will take place at the Perth Convention Centre from August 10 to 12, providing an opportunity for the Polytechnic to showcase its range of qualifications to over 15,000 prospective students.

A joint initiative by the West Australian Government and The West Australian Newspaper, the Skills West Expo highlights where jobs are and how to get them.

“Students can speak to training providers, look into career and study options, access information staff and study area champions, and take part in hands on and interactive displays” McCarrol says.

Wayne McCarrol from Prospective Student Services at Polytechnic West says that an expo like this allows students to source all the information they need, under one roof.

“Demonstrations are a great way to investigate; the students get to learn more about what a particular career entails and the various pathways to attain their goals. They also gain



“I decided to enter Miss Perth NAIDOC because I felt it would be a great chance for me to meet new people, especially all the other finalists.

exposure to courses and careers in industries they may not have thought of.” Over 100 exhibitors are expected to take part in the three-day event, promoting career, employment, education and training opportunities in skill-short industries across Western Australia. The expo is also the only one to offer the popular “try-a-trade” corner for guests to get their hands dirty and take a little something home with them. The Skills West Expo runs from August 10 to 12 at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre. Entry is free. To find out more visit


“I hope to be able to make programs for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman more accessible, so that they too can gain the same experience and confidence that I have gained during Miss Perth NAIDOC training. “Every young girl deserves to feel amazing and important; if I was crowned Miss Perth NAIDOC I would make it my goal to help girls feel this way and I also look forward to playing a major role in my community, as an Indigenous role model” Emily said.

Emily Curtis being photographed as part of the Miss NAIDOC event.

■ Indigenous Business Trainee Emily Curtis will take to the stage as a finalist in the Miss Perth NAIDOC, in late May. Currently completing a Certificate III in Business in the Strategic Partnerships Directorate, Emily was recruited as part of Polytechnic West’s Indigenous Employment Strategy. “I’ve been at Polytechnic West for four months now and am really enjoying the traineeship program” Emily says.

This story was first published in the West Australian on Wednesday 28 March. It is reproduced with permission.

■ The State Government hopes a new course offering training and employment opportunities for migrants will create more childcare workers and help alleviate a growing skills shortage in the industry.

“I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO MAKE PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER WOMAN MORE ACCESSIBLE” Miss NAIDOC Perth is a leadership and empowerment program for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Perth, which culminates in the Miss NAIDOC Perth show, usually held during Reconciliation Week in Perth. We wish Emily the best of luck.


Polytechnic West has launched a new migrant pathways to childcare course at its Balga and Thornlie campuses, with the first students expected to graduate in June.

■ If you’re an avid reader of TechTalk you’ll have noticed that Polytechnic West students have had great success at the state, national and international WorldSkills competitions over the years.

Training Minister Peter Collier said it was a fantastic program that provided migrants with opportunities to learn new skills and make a new life in WA. Some of the students, such as Maria Villahermosa from Venezuela, have gone on to study the Certificate III in Children’s Services, which all industry workers are required to hold by 2014. Ms Villahermosa, who moved to Australia two years ago, took up a work placement at the Children’s Hospital Child Care Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital as part of her training and she was offered part-time work at the centre while she finishes her studies.

We hope that continues throughout 2012 and, we congratulate the following 14 students who will compete against the nation’s finest at this year’s National WorldSkills Competition, being held at Sydney Olympic Park in late August. Stay tuned for all the results from this year’s national competition, in our next edition of TechTalk.



Study Area



Study Area



Autobody Repair

Christopher Harris







Retail Baking - Bread






Retail Baking - Pastry Vehicle Painting






“The course is a great opportunity for immigrants to do something with their lives” she said.



Garment Production


Boughton-Lane Wall & Floor Tiling

The West Australian ©






Wall & Floor Tiling







For more information on childcare courses at Polytechnic West call 9267 7500.

Maria Villahermosa and 13-month old Hannah at the Children’s Hospital Child Care Centre at PMH. Picture Dione Davidson. Image courtesy of The West Australian.



A QUICK WORD ■ We took five minutes to catch up with Metal Fabrication lecturer Joe Turner, following his win as Polytechnic West Trainer of the Year in April. 1. How did it feel to be named Polytechnic West Trainer of the Year? Great! It is very satisfying to be acknowledged for all the hard work put in over the year.

my students is that they become highly skilled tradespeople with employable work ethics. If I can share some life skills with them on the way then that would be the “icing on the cake”.

2. What does winning the award mean to you?

7. What would you say to someone thinking of becoming a lecturer?

This is the hardest question to answer. It is nice to receive awards such as these but my greatest rewards come from the students, when they are competent in their studies and obtain employment.

If you have the enthusiasm to shape the next generation of highly skilled tradespeople then just do it. When I resigned from my last position, where I had 10 years of service and permanent employment, it was a huge risk but, well worth it. Without the risk I would not have the most satisfying career I have ever known.

3. What’s been happening since the win, in April? Since winning the award I have had to spend a lot of my time thanking everybody who stops to congratulate me on winning Trainer of the Year! The amount of congratulations I have received has been overwhelming. Apart from that it has been business as usual. 4. Why did you decide on a career in lecturing? My last position was as a Workshop Supervisor for a Fabrication Shop. After many years there I came to realise the most satisfying part of my role was hiring and training apprentices, selecting a young applicant straight from school and, over four years, turning them into a highly skilled tradesperson.

8. What is the most rewarding part of your job? Working with and shaping a young students life towards employability, even with all the challenges that the students put before me. 9. What would you say has been your overall career highlight? I have been lucky throughout my lecturing career to date. Every time I have finished training a group of

POLYTECHNIC WEST ON SHOW AT PEARCE apprentices or pre-apprentices I have been given a thank you card signed by all my students. At present I have four cards in my home office and these give me more satisfaction then all of the “shiny toys” I have purchased with my wages. 10. Do you think that lecturing has had an impact on your life? Why/why not? Yes and all for the better. Now I get to share in my students’ lives and this is the most important employment I have ever held. 11. Do you have a motto or life strategy that you adopt? My motto for life has always been to force yourself out of your comfort zone. We all get stuck in as we travel through life, take the risk. 12. If you could offer one piece of advice to students, what would it be? Just try and if you have to, try again. You will succeed if you want it enough. 13. What does the future hold for you? Hopefully more of the same but I am sure it will be full of more challenges.

When I handed in my resignation to join Polytechnic West my manager told me he thought my forte in life was to work with young people training them to be trades people, in hindsight I guess he was right!

■ The Australian Defence Force’s Air Force: Anywhere, Anytime Air Show hit Perth in May, bringing with it a dazzling array of static, flying and ground displays from the Royal Australian Air Force, Army and Navy, as well as International Air Forces. Ten PWA staff members braved the reported traffic to head-up the organisation’s information stand in the exhibition hall. “It was an absolutely fantastic weekend for all aviation enthusiasts” said Steve Sartain, Director of Polytechnic West’s AeroSpace Training Centre. “As members of Polytechnic West, we were very proud to be able to participate in such an event.

Polytechnic West’s booth at the Australian Defence Force’s Air Force: Anywhere, Anytime Air Show.


Over 50,000 spectators came through the gates over the twoday event, all of them no doubt wowed by the skills of the aerobatic pilots and RAAF Roulettes.

Staff also took the opportunity to publicise the organisation’s upcoming AeroSpace Training Centre Open Night, in support of National Skills Week. The Open Night will be held on 31 August from 4pm to 8pm at PWA’s Hangar, located at 14 Compass Road, Hangar 110, Jandakot Airport.

Polytechnic West staff handed out over 1300 AeroSpace dedicated publications over the weekend, to enthusiasts of all ages.

6. What do you feel you can offer the next generation through your lecturing at PWA? Polytechnic West Trainer of the Year Joe Turner accepts his award from Michelle Hoad, General Manager of Vocational Education and Training.

“We also wanted to target our military servicemen and women, with the opportunity to receive Recognition of Prior Learning based on their military training and experience. “I am very proud of the response we had, not only by the interest from all the prospective students, but the professionalism exhibited by our staff.”

Aerial demonstrations that were highlights of the event were given by the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets and by a USAF, B-52 Stratofortress bomber, flown in especially for this event from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

I have been lecturing for five years now and have spent all that time at Polytechnic West.

“We had a tremendous interest by students of all ages in all our Aviation courses of study, from Aircraft Maintenance, Airport Management and Airline Operations to Pilot and Cabin Crew Training” Steve said.

“Our division has a strong background of military aviation through our lecturing staff, several of whom actually served here, at the RAAF Base, Pearce” Steve said.

There were also numerous aircraft on display including a RAAF C-17 Globemaster, a Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130H and a United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker.

5. How long have you been lecturing for and how long have you been at Polytechnic West?

The highest outcome I can hope for with



A major interest for high school aged students was the Vocational Education and Training for in Schools Programs. Many rural and local area students were particularly interested in the Diploma of Aeronautics, for future pilots, and the Certificate III in Aviation Flight Operations for Cabin Crew members.

“AS MEMBERS OF POLYTECHNIC WEST, WE WERE VERY PROUD TO BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN SUCH AN EVENT” “The Open Night will give prospective students, their parents, and the public a chance to speak with Polytechnic West staff members and take a tour of the AeroSpace Training Centre’s facilities and fleet of aircraft, including our very own static Boeing 737” Steve said. To find out more about aviation studies at Polytechnic West call 9267 7500.





CONGRATULATIONS ■ Polytechnic West has officially welcomed the arrival Nathan Collard to the Corporate Information Unit, at the Midland campus. Nathan is the first successful Indigenous trainee to be permanently placed at Polytechnic West. “I’m pleased to say that Nathan has successfully completed his Certificate III in Business Traineeship at Midland’s Customer Service Centre and he’s now permanently employed at Polytechnic West” says Tina Graham, Polytechnic West Indigenous Human Resources Consultant.

Some of the artwork pieces created by Stewart Parris during his Certificate II studies.

AIRBRUSHING COMES TO WA ■ Airbrushing - a term commonly accepted as what’s done to all the pretty pictures on the covers of high-gloss magazines. True, to a tiny, tiny extent. There’s a great deal more to Airbrushing than what any of us could imagine and, it’s all now coming to Polytechnic West. Partnering with Airbrush Venturi, Polytechnic West is delivering the very first Certificate II in Airbrushing qualification in Western Australia with delivery of the Airbrush Venturi Custom Paint Airbrush Graphics Course to come. Polytechnic West lecturer Stewart Parris is Western Australia’s first ever qualified Airbrush Venturi Lecturer. An Auto Refinishing lecturer by trade, Stewart has spent the last 18-months mastering the world of airbrush and, he says that you don’t have to be “arty” or know how to “draw” to be able to airbrush. “The airbrush is completely different to all other art tools” Stewart says. “The system we’re using teaches students how to "render", that is, how to copy images in a step by step way. Offered for part-time study, at night, the course is really two courses in one. The first term teaches students traditional flame designing, but to a professional standard. “Students have to design full flame jobs, including traditional flames, repeaters, tribal and multi-layered flames, on cars and bikes as part of the course” Stewart says. In term two students are taught many of the "standards" of custom painting, such as bullet holes, chequered flags and wood graining but, all with the powerful step by step systems that Airbrush Venturi are known for. “By the end of the 16-night course, students will have learnt how to do space scenes, rivets, bolts, screws, wood graining,

3D carved lettering, chequered flags, water droplets, bullet holes, ripped steel and more” Stewart says. Along with Tony Vowles, founder of the Airbrush Venturi system, Stewart has been busy promoting the course in recent months, with Tony putting his 25-years of experience to good use creating artworks of Peter Brock, Elvis, Wolfman Jack, Mad Max and Garth Tander at car shows like the WA Hot Rod Show, Whiteman Park and Motorvation. He then sells his artwork, donating all proceeds to Australian charities including CanTeen and the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.

“I LEARNT LOTS OF NEW SKILLS DURING MY TRAINING AND I’M HOPING I CAN USE THESE TO SUCCESSFULLY CONTRIBUTE TO POLYTECHNIC WEST” A recent recruit from the Public Sector Commission, as part of PWA’s Indigenous Employment Strategy, Nathan has spent the last 12 months training and working at Polytechnic West.

A lecturer with the Access and Community division at Polytechnic West, Lesley was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in early 2010. We’re delighted to be able to update you all with the news that Lesley, and her beloved horse Smooch, a Holsteiner Mare, have been selected as the official reserve combination for Australia’s Paralympics Team. Lesley will head to London in August and we wish her the very best of luck.


“At the end of the traineeship, successful graduates are offered permanent placements across the agency” Tina says. “Nathan enjoyed access to his lecturer on a daily basis and he’s been able to instantly apply his newly gained skills in the workplace”.

“The opportunity to help out these fantastic charities means that the whole thing becomes one-hundred times more meaningful” Tony says.

Nathan says he hopes his traineeship will lead to bigger and better things across Polytechnic West.

“We’ve raised over $25,000 in the last two years and we hope to top $20,000 in 2012”.

“I learnt lots of new skills during my training and I’m hoping I can use these to successfully contribute to Polytechnic West” Nathan said.

Although both immensely proud that the course is now up and running, Stewart and Tony also acknowledge the support of their numerous partners.

■ In issue four of TechTalk, September 2011, we brought you the story of Lesley Smit, who was busily training for this year’s Paralympics.

For more information on PWA’s Indigenous Employment Strategy contact Tina Graham on 9442 8374.

Lesley Smit and her training partner, Smooch.

“Polytechnic West has provided all the resources and materials to get the course up and running” Stewart says. “They have also given me the opportunity to learn a new skill and to be able to pay it forward to a new generation of airbrush technicians. We really could not have done this without their backing.

GOING SOCIAL Keep up to date with everything that’s happening at Polytechnic West by joining our social media networks.

“We also have to thank PPG for supplying all the paints and the countless number of individuals who have donated their time, labour and resources worth thousands of dollars”. “All this combined means that the standard of work that will emerge from this new generation of airbrush custom painters will redefine the level of professionalism we have to offer in WA”. To find out more about the Custom Paint Airbrush Graphics Course contact Polytechnic West on 9267 7500.


issue six // june 2012



issue six // june 2012


Auto Light apprentice William Ramsay awarded Geof Gale Medal for Most Outstanding Student of the Year P2

Preparing for a culinary extravaganza PO Box 1336 Midland Western Australia 6936 General Enquiries (08) 9267 7777 Course Information (08) 9267 7500 Email Internet

Five great chefs will be paired with five great wines throughout the month of June at the Bentley Pines Restaurant. P4

Standing ovation for Capelli at Quality Day Over 850 staff members converge on Perth’s Convention Centre for annual Quality Day. P6

Skills West Expo Career options and trade skills will be on show at this year’s SkillsWest Expo. P14

Spotlight on International Projects MD strengthens ties with visit to China and Japan P10

Maddy’s style to aid awareness What outfit would you create and wear if you didn’t want to look out of place at a children’s tea party? P13

A quick word We speak to PWA Trainer of the Year, Joe Turner. P16

Tech Talk June 2012  

Tech Talk is Polytechnic West's magazine, read it to stay up to date with happenings across the organisation.

Tech Talk June 2012  

Tech Talk is Polytechnic West's magazine, read it to stay up to date with happenings across the organisation.