VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

This award recognises innovation and excellence by a trainer or teacher providing nationally accredited training to students at a registered training organisation (RTO), or in partnership with an RTO.

Meet the finalists in the VET Teacher or Trainer the Year category for the 2023 South Australian Training Awards – what an exceptional group of individuals!

The 2023 VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year category is proudly sponsored by SkyCity.

Amanda Vernik

Employed by: Marden Senior College

Amanda teaches Certificate III in Screen and Media at Marden Senior College (MSC), and lectures in animation at SAE Creative Industries, delivering four screen and media certificates across three locations in Adelaide and online.

Her work at MSC started after Honours in a Bachelor of Arts at UniSA. She has since worked at an advertising agency, delivered Certificate III in Design Fundamentals and Certificate IV in Graphic Design, led a team of designers, software implementers and project managers at a social commerce company in London, delivered online Certificate III in Screen and Media online at Open Access College, and supported staff in Certificate III in Screen and Media at Hamilton Secondary College.

Selected as a Skills SA 2022 Accelerate Scholar, Amanda studied a Double Diploma - in VET, and Training Design and Development. This planted the seeds for Amanda’s wish to be an engaging, inclusive, and relevant instructor.

Anthony Julianto

Employed by: Alliance College

As a chef and pastry chef for the past 23 years, and now a trainer and assessor at Alliance College overseeing Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, Anthony understands the challenges of transitioning from a chef to a trainer mindset.

Anthony has developed a proposal for an annual culinary competition targeting Alliance College students, to promote smart sustainable cooking and encourage young chefs to incorporate ethical waste management kitchen practices.

Anthony is dedicated to developing teaching methods for shy and Language, Literacy and Numeracy (Known as LLN) learners, and enhancing resources to meet dietary needs and allergies in the aged care sector.

Throughout his extensive culinary career, Anthony has kept updated on industry trends and innovations. Along with voluntary work, taking part in professional events provides insights into techniques, flavours, produce, training methodologies, and industry expectations.

Justin Mamo

Employed by: Cardijn College, MTC Training

As an apprentice sheet metal fabricator, Justin had a passion for sharing skills and knowledge with others. He started by up-skilling co-workers in TIG welding during lunch breaks, completed his training and education (TAE) qualification, and now holds a Diploma of Vocational Education and Training, and Diploma of Training Design and Development.

Now the Training Manager at MTC Training, a private RTO in a unique educational environment at Cardijn College Marcellin Campus, Justin creates, designs, and delivers programs for qualifications from the Manufacturing and Engineering Training Package, as well as non-accredited training to school students and apprentices.

He develops education programs and methodologies across multiple trades, for accredited and non-accredited training.

Justin has strong professional relationships with all members of his team of trainers, focusing on developing their skills alongside his own. This ensures the knowledge and skills he imparts are relevant and current, and exceed industry expectations.

Simon Lucas

Employed by:

  • Foundation Education
  • Australian Institute of Personal Trainers (AIPT)
  • self-employed

Simon’s purpose is to share the skills that shaped him and nurture empathy-driven professionals. His training began through a school-based VET program and Certificate III and Certificate IV in Fitness at TAFE SA.

Guided by his mentor, Peter Conroy, Simon discovered the essence of fitness: bringing passion into people's lives, to lift their wellbeing. He established his own organisation at 20 years old - now a reputable health and well-being provider in SA for 13 years.

Simon took his passion to schools, becoming a qualified trainer and assessor in 2016, to equip young people with the skills to inspire others and follow their dreams.

In 2020, he founded a second company, Mental Muscle Education, offering curriculum-based health and wellbeing programs to schools. Collaborating with RTOs, Simon now provides VET-directed learning and pathways to public and private schools across SA.

Simon encourages others in SA to join him and advance the VET sector across the state.