VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award

The VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award recognises innovation and excellence by a vocational education and training (VET) teacher/trainer providing nationally recognised training to students at a registered training organisation (RTO), or in partnership with an RTO.

When Stephen Lunn had trouble finding apprentices with the basic work readiness needed in the hospitality industry, the widely respected chef decided to start teaching those skills himself. Stephen has now been the lead vocational education and training (VET) Hospitality Teacher at Guilford Young College in Tasmania for seven years and has added VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award from the 2015 Australian Training Awards to his hospitality industry awards.

“Winning this award is recognition and validation of the hours you spend working on getting the most out of your students, making them aware and giving them the best possible skills to enter the workforce.”

Stephen and his colleagues have put in place systems for success at Guilford Young College.

“We establish clear pathways, goals and standards and take the time needed to make our students work ready.”

Stephen has introduced an innovative, engaging taste of the industry with ‘Master Chef’ style classes over each term in which the best Year 10 students progress to cooking a dinner for 60 people.

“After this, a number of those Year 10 students sign up to Guilford Young’s hospitality courses and many go right through to Year 12 and into apprenticeships.”

His connections, developed over 30 years of local and international experience in the hospitality industry, have helped some of Stephen’s talented students into interstate careers with major hospitality establishments. But he takes equal pride in students to whom he’s simply been able to give direction and goals in life to keep them learning. “It’s about working out how each student learns.”

For Stephen, the Australian Training Awards give recognition to the outstanding people and businesses in the VET sector. “It lifts the profile of what we do and what we are trying to achieve.”

Stephen says he is still learning. “Every year throws up new challenges and rewards, and I have to think of different ways to get my message across to the next generation. In doing that, they keep me young.”