Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year award, sponsored by BHP, recognises the achievement of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student who is undertaking an apprenticeship, traineeship or a course of study leading to a national qualification, and who has been outstanding in aspects of their training and demonstrates the relevance of lifelong learning for themselves and their community.

"My dream for the future is to own my own successful hair and beauty salon. As a proud South Australian young Aboriginal and future entrepreneur, I would like to train and inspire other Aboriginal young people to follow a career in this industry."

Tameeka Bagnara

2021 Winner, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

How can I be involved?

If you're eligible for this award then you can register on the SA Training Awards platform and complete your nomination before 15 May.

To be eligible for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year you need to:

  • identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • be a permanent resident of Australia
  • have completed or be due to complete their training in a training course that leads to a nationally recognised outcome or qualification, and
  • meet the criteria of the School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year award, the Vocational Student of the Year award, the Apprentice of the Year award or the Trainee of the Year award.

2022 state winners of this category are automatically nominated for the Australian Training Awards.

View all categories

First you'll need to create an account and register on the SA Training Awards platform.

Then there is a simple written application process which lets you showcase your experience and training by responding to and addressing each of the selection criteria. Your application is only assessed on your skills and achievements but you'll also be asked to provide a brief overview of yourself to help us get to know you better.

Once applications close, the judging panel will access and independently judge all applications. The Awards Executive Officer will notify shortlisted applicants of their success and invite them to a final interview.

Find out more

  • 7 March 2022 - Applications open
  • March / April 2022 - Information session
  • 15 May 2022 - Applications close
  • 25 August - Awards Recognition event
  • 18 November - Australian Training Awards presentation event (Adelaide)

Enrolled in the Certificate III in Hairdressing (apprenticeship pathway) with The Parlour Hair Academy, Tameeka is also employed with successful, family owned and operated business, Station 95 Hair and Beauty Salon.

After completing her apprenticeship, Tameeka plans to study small business subjects through TAFE SA – continuing her training journey with the aim of owning her own business – as well as a qualification in makeup, positioning her to add further value to her clients.

Addressing the selection criteria

In your application, you must present information in a way that clearly addresses the award criteria. The judging panel will look for evidence of how your training has contributed to your career and study plans, the development of your skills and your achievements to date, as well as any way in which your training may have helped you to engage with the community. The details below will give you an overview of what the judges will be looking for.


Section A: Overview

Provide a short overview covering a description of the qualification you are enrolled in, your registered training organisation and employer and host employer (if applicable) as well as your reason for choosing the industry and training path.

This information will not be considered or used for judging purposes, but it may be used as your summary throughout the Awards process.

Your answer in this section will be limited to 300 words.


Section B: Applicants will be judged against the following criteria

We want to know more about you and you achievements that make you an excellent candidate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year. You'll be asked to provide short answers to four key areas:

  • Career and study achievements
  • Team and communication skills
  • Ability to be an ambassador (representative) for training in Australia
  • Community engagement

Your answers to these sections will be limited to 400 words each.


Supporting documents

Up to five (5) single sided A4 page attachments are permitted, with each attachment to be provided at a 100 per cent ratio, one document per page. Attachments must be referenced in your application. No multimedia items or discs will be accepted, and any material exceeding the maximum number of attachments (5) will not be considered.

See the selection criteria

See each of the selection criteria and a few thought-starters to help you get started on your responses.

Career and study achievements

Consider things such as:

  • why did you choose your course?
  • how has it changed or impacted on you?
  • what have you gained from it?
  • have you had to address any challenges that have impacted on your training?
Team and communication skills

Consider any skills you have developed through your training, such as:

  • what you have been able to tell others, students, friends etc about your training?
  • what you like about working in a team setting?
  • what traits you think are important to positively influence others?
Ability to be an ambassador (representative) for training in Australia

Tell us about:

  • and provide examples of where you have taken a leadership role inside or outside of work
  • what other activities you have been involved in where you have been a representative?
  • how you would describe the quality of your training?
Community engagement

You may wish to include information about:

  • how you are connected with your community/extended family?
  • how the training has impacted on your community?
  • what qualities you have or activities you have been involved in that you feel would be useful in your role as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year?
  • what your achievements in areas other than study and work?