Community Education Trainer of the Year Awards 2023

CCA logo


Teresa Campos, nominated by Atwea College

Teresa has an extensive background in the hospitality industry. She is a passionate chef by trade and has operated her own catering company for a number of years. Through her business management experience, Teresa has built a successful career as a trainer/assessor in the Hospitality, Retail and Business industries. Teresa joined Atwea College in 2019 and during this time she worked across many campuses and delivered courses ranging from short skill sets to full qualifications. Teresa works with students from disadvantaged communities and is passionate about building employability skills in her students, increasing their capacity to learn and empowering them to achieve their goals. Teresa comments that “training for me is a pleasure. I love meeting new students and getting to see the change start, often from as little as Day 3.”

Highly Commended

Kevin Huxley, nominated by Central Coast Community College

Kevin is a dedicated and hardworking chef with over 27 years of experience in the management of kitchen operations and food preparation in both Australia and the UK. Kevin has completed a Cert IV in Commercial Cookery and a Cert IV in Training and Assessment. He delivers hospitality training programs from the Central Coast Community College Ourimbah campus and also travels to local employment service providers and organisations across the Central Coast region. Kevin’s expertise has allowed him to successfully deliver a range of course programs and workshops, including the Certificate III in Hospitality (Apprenticeship), Barista and Food Safety courses, and Community Services Taster workshops. He has also played a pivotal role in the creation and delivery the Confidence Builder Program, which includes hospitality workshops designed to support disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community.

Highly Commended

Penelope Ross, nominated by Tec-NQ

Penelope commenced training at Tec-NQ in 2017, initially as a Certificate II Information Technology trainer. She then went on to train in Business, IT and Skills for Work and after two years in the role was promoted to Head of Trade Skills Extension – Business, IT and Hospitality. In 202I she became Head of Boarding for Tec-NQ House as well as Head of Hospitality and Health. Penelope has introduced a hospitality program to year 10 students which links them with local industry and has led to many students gaining work in this field. In 2022-23, she led the practical delivery of the North Queensland Government Department of Employment, Small Business and Training’s regional community initiative for local refugees – The Growing Migrant and Refugee Food Business program. Penny not only makes an impactful contribution but also enjoys it, she comments that: “I am in this amazing role where every day is a joy to attend.”

Lifetime Achievement Award

Uncle Dion Barnett, nominated by Tranby

Dion has been engaged as a trainer/assessor at Tranby since 2014, delivering Diploma and Certificate IV level qualifications in Business (Governance), Community Development and Tranby’s Diploma of Applied Aboriginal Studies. He possesses a deep and long-term experience of the challenges and opportunities that are an intrinsic part of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and individuals. His qualifications are many, some of which include Ass Dip Education (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Development), Bachelor of Education, Cert IV in Training and Assessment and Diploma of Business (Governance). Dion previously worked for the Queensland Government Department of Aboriginal and Island Affairs (DAIA) for 13 years where he held roles as a Liaison Officer at Cunnamulla and Manager roles in Mt Isa, Lockhart River Community and in Brisbane. His colleagues comment that he is “an instrument of positive change as he engages learners and helps them to achieve educational outcomes.”


Sue Bryant, nominated by Macquarie Community College

Sue commenced as a trainer/assessor with Macquarie Community College in 2019, delivering Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. In 2021 Sue accepted the role as the Lead Trainer – Children’s Services and since then has built and developed a highly capable and dedicated team of 12 trainers, who are currently supporting over 400 active students. Prior to joining MCC Sue worked as a trainer/assessor for over 10 years and an educator in a variety of Early Childhood services for 15 years. Sue has Bachelor of Teaching (Birth to five years), Diploma of Early Childhood of Education and Care, Certificate IV in Community Services and Certificate IV in Training and Education amongst a wide range of qualifications. Recently Sue has been the driving force behind a significant partnership with a large early learning provider. This program has involved a lot of change and learning from both sides and Sue’s ability to be flexible and adaptive has supported both the students and the relationships.


Joanne Fennessy, nominated by Riverina Community College

Joanne commenced Enrolled Nursing Training at Temora Hospital in 1981 and since then, she has worked across diverse medical domains in both NSW and Northern Territory. He role as a teacher commenced in 1994 with medical training for Correctional Officers and extended to teaching Aged Care and then First Aid. In 2001, she introduced the Palliative Care Unit, which led to the development of the Palliative Care Skill Set for Riverina Institute in 2012. Joanne developed the Alcohol and Other Drug Education Program for the Australian Navy in 2005, a task that involved creating the Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drug work and delivering on-site training. She is responsible for pioneering the First Aid Moodle for Riverina Institute in 2014, which subsequently propelled online learning in First Aid. She comments that she remains “committed to providing exceptional learning experiences for my students.”


Barry Pawsey, nominated by Tamworth Community College

Barry is a Trainer and Assessor in Commercial Cookery, Commercial Patisserie and Hospitality units of competence at Tamworth Community College. He has conducted training at New England Community College Inverell, Guyra and Armidale in their Simulated Workplace environments and taught at TAFENSW for over 20 years. Most recently Barry has been involved in teaching and assessing the Pathways Program for Years 9, 10 and 11. This program was developed by the Department for students not likely to complete School and who are struggling to stay engaged. Barry comments: “I am passionate about assisting young learners into developing skills both socially and educationally to better their lives and become an active part of the community from a young age.”


Cathy Pitts, nominated by Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Community College

Cathy began her journey at HKCC in 2016, when she enrolled in Certificate III in Individual Support/Aged Care and later completed a Certificate IV in TAE, Certificate IV in Ageing Support and in 2021 the Certificate IV in Disability. She has also served on the HKCC Board as Deputy President. Cathy currently teaches three online evenings courses and two blended face-to-face/online day classes for HKCC. She assesses Work Placements in various residential facilities from Liverpool to Wahroonga. She also works at Home Instead (an Aged and Disability in home care provider), which allows Cathy to match theoretical knowledge and day-to-day skill sets and to help caregivers build confidence in the field. Cathy has extensive experience in Aged Care as a Caregiver and a People Specialist. She is passionate about palliative care and in 2023 started the Certificate IV in Death Douling. The HKCC team comment: “Cathy genuinely cares for her students, encouraging them to pursue career goals and further training.”


Alison Quinn, nominated by Western Riverina Community College

Alison is a highly qualified and experienced trainer and assessor who delivers a broad range of qualifications and short courses. Her background is in employment, hospitality, and the disability care industry, where she has spent 15 years supporting individuals with disabilities ranging from complex to moderate needs. Alison is a down to earth, extroverted person who makes training fun, engaging and fit for purpose. She enhances the learning experience for the learner through incorporating her own personal knowledge, learning experiences, and skills into her training. Alison’s philosophy is that “all people come to class with a goal, and the challenge is giving them the confidence that they can get where they need to go.”


Ainsley Schumacher, nominated by North Coast Community College

Ainsley Schumacher is an experienced training facilitator who developed her skills in the tourism sector as a Certified Surf Instructor and Ocean Safety Educator with Surfing Australia and Surfing USA. Ainsley further refined her skills in the recruitment, training and mentoring of staff through her work in hospitality management. In 2022 she joined the North Coast Community College team with a combined role of Community Outreach Officer and Trainer & Assessor. In the past year she has planned and coordinated the inaugural North Coast Junior Barista Championship – an event which was the culmination of barista training to 164 students from 11 local high schools within three school terms. Ainsley shares that her passion is “for teaching and supporting vulnerable learners to realise their potential.”