Leela Subramaniam nominated among the shining stars of Vocational Training Awards

Victoria is celebrating the outstanding achievements of students, teachers and employers across the state at the 69th Victorian Training Awards to be held next month.

These awards recognize excellence in the vocational education and training sector in the state.

Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today officially announced the 40 finalists that have been named across 14 categories, including six individual awards, four employer awards, four training organisation awards and the Industry Collaboration Award.

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Image: Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney (Source: Twitter)

Minister Tierney said in a statement:

“The Victorian Training Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our apprentices, students, teachers, trainers and employers. We had a record number of nominations for this year’s event – showcasing how our investment in TAFE and training is helping more Victorians get the training they need for the careers they deserve.”

With record-breaking numbers of nominations this year, this exceptional talent cements Victoria’s position as the national leader in vocational education and training.

Leela Subramaniam has been nominated in the Apprentice of the Year category.

Image: Leela Subramaniam (Source: Facebook)

Leela’s cookery career began after a family tragedy. She’d been working part-time in hospitality while undertaking a Bachelor of Laws and Commerce when her father died. Unable to concentrate on her studies, Leela withdrew, commenced Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Chisholm, and transitioned to apprentice chef at work.

Image: Leela Subramaniam (Source: Facebook)

On completing her apprenticeship in 2022, she was promoted to junior sous chef. Her head chef proudly declared that a graduate being promoted to a leadership role was unheard of.

Now, Leela helps run the kitchen and leads a team of 8 during busy shifts, ensuring that each meal exiting the kitchen is perfect. Leela also won Apprentice of the Year at the 2023 Chisholm Education Awards. Leela plans to eventually open her own 20-seater fine dining restaurant and work towards winning some chef hats. She is passionate about encouraging other young women to consider a career as a chef.

These education champions come from across Victoria, including Bendigo, Geelong, Warrnambool, Wodonga and Warragul. Organisations nominated include the Chisholm Institute, TAFE Gippsland, The Gordon, South West TAFE, Smart Business Solutions, Jayco Australia and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

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Minister Tierney added:

“We’re making sure every Victorian has access to the training they need for the job they want, with more than $545 million invested in TAFE through the Victorian Budget 2023/24. We’ve delivered nation-leading reforms to fix the broken TAFE and vocational education system left by the former Napthine Liberal Government including offering Free TAFE for more than 80 courses and short courses.”

This year’s winners will be announced at the Victorian Training Awards gala ceremony on Friday, 18 August, with each one receiving $5,000 in prize money and the opportunity to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards.

Presented by the Victorian Skills Authority, the Awards are supported by the Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN), and the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Australia.

The full list of finalists can be found at vic.gov.au/2023-victorian-training-awards-finalists.