The Skill Engineer Ltd.

Annual Report

Chair Report

CEO Report

Work Placement

VET Awards

Skilled Creative

Youth View

Digi Van


Girls of Steel



Probu Dedleewun

Acknowledgement of Country

The Skill Engineer Ltd. (TSE) acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

This video was produced by Skilled Creative for the Department of Education’s Ready Arrive Work program.

What we do

The Skill Engineer Ltd (TSE) is a not-for-profit ACNC registered charity that works to advance employment, education, and training opportunities for individuals so they have a future that will be full of promise and inclusion.

Operating in Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia, our organisation also supports gender equality, disability advocacy, and opportunities for First Nations people.

Our people

Over the past three years TSE has grown from a small team to a vibrant organisation with over 50 full-time and part time and casual staff across Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

Our team is made up of highly experienced staff who are passionate and dedicated to creating purposeful futures for young people. TSE is governed by a skilled, youthful Board with expertise and experience across business and enterprise development, education and training, marketing and digital content, governance, and community and workforce development. 

We recognise the historical exclusion and mistreatment faced by First Nations people, individuals of diverse ethnic backgrounds, women, individuals with diverse abilities, members of the LGBTIQA+ communities, refugees, migrants, and others in numerous workplaces across Australia. Our commitment is to be an inclusive workplace, free from discrimination attracting employees who will bring diversity and tolerance everyday, into our work place.

TSE is dedicated to offering employment prospects to young individuals and backs them through job opportunities and into further training. TSE would not be possible without our skilled and dedicated team, Board, partners, and all the young people we have collaborated with and learned from.


Choose to be bold

We take risks and push boundaries and drive innovation.

Have transparency

We prioritise open, honest communication to build trust and accountability.

Be a no-ego doer

Ego aside, we value teamwork and each person’s contributions.

Listen first, then listen more

We start by listening, truly understanding perspectives, and valuing diverse viewpoints before we act or make decisions.

Communicate with clarity

Clear and precise communication for team and stakeholder alignment.

Show gratitude

We express appreciation and acknowledge the efforts and contributions of our colleagues and partners.

Do what’s right, not what’s easy

We prioritise what’s right over what’s easy. 

Celebrate Culture

We honour and celebrate diverse cultures, celebrating their richness. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We value diversity as a strength, actively promoting an inclusive environment where all voices are heard and valued.

Matt Grant Chair

Chair Report

Matt Grant


It’s a pleasure to present the 2023 Annual Report for The Skill Engineer Ltd. Throughout this report we delve into the key areas of impact, challenges and ongoing opportunities where our amazing team and young people consistently channel their passion and energy each day.

Each month as the Board convenes, I am consistently inspired and enthused to hear of the passion within our organisation and its ongoing positive social impact. Firstly, I must applaud our incredible and experienced staff, who work diligently to strengthen relationships with stakeholders and connect with our youth. Without them, we couldn’t credit the incredible success we’ve achieved.

I understand that this annual report for 2023 represents a financial year. However this report is composed  in the latter part of the year and I am reflecting on the year it has been. I am reminded of the ever-changing dynamic that characterises our country—a place abundant with history, passion, and culture. This does not come without challenges. I recognise to many that 2023 offered an unprecedented opportunity for a Voice to Parliament, an outcome that many will find disheartening. I challenge everyone, regardless of the view you may hold, to ask ourselves how we can continue to provide avenues for our First all our youth to grow and develop the skills needed to build the inclusive, adaptable, and resilient Australia we strive for.

Continuously driven by our vision “purposeful futures” The Skill Engineer Ltd. has continued to move forward. To name just a few proud accomplishments of our teams and students:

  • The planned relocation of our Work Placement and Skilled Creative teams into an amalgamated office space, which is fit for purpose and ready for future growth, marks a significant development.
  • We have strengthened partnerships within the Work Placement program, aiming not only to increase student numbers but, most importantly, to engage new host employers and provide meaningful placements for students.
  • The growth of our Skilled Creative team has been impressive, from high quality fee-for-service work to the conception of the Digi Van being a notable highlight.
  • We are maintaining our continued focus on our BRACE and UNLOCKED programs, targeting individuals with diverse learning needs and those struggling to engage with education.
  • We have extended our program delivery to Broome, Western Australia. The programs offered there create an inclusive environment with attainable objectives, leading to outstanding outcomes. These programs provide employable skills, offer transportation options to youth, and involve students completing community-driven projects and connecting to Country.

With our organisation’s core mission in mind, to create personalised opportunities for young people, it is essential for us to contemplate our decisions and be guided by what captures the interest of our youth, First Nations people, women and people with diverse abilities. In alignment with our dedication to our ongoing mission, The Skill Engineer Ltd. maintains its focus on nurturing a culture of learning and adaptability.

Looking ahead we are excited about the potential for growth, partnerships, and opportunities. As we navigate the complexities of the coming year ahead, I am confident that our collective efforts will have a significant impact towards shaping a brighter, more promising future for the participants and families of all our programs and activities.

Finally, inclusive of our entire team, I would like to call out the incredible effort, passion, and relentless energy of our CEO Maggie MacFie and Operations and Communications Manager, Charlotte Dickie, two incredibly talented individuals who together share an unparalleled passion for change. Their leadership and guidance continue to drive us towards success.

Maggie MacFie

CEO Report

Maggie MacFie


In this past financial year, TSE has experienced profound transformation and growth. In 2023, we focussed on engaging young people in civic, social and participatory initiatives to create purposeful futures. Our commitment extended to creating more opportunities for First Nations communities, individuals from diverse backgrounds, women, and those with diverse abilities.

This report details our accomplishments from the past year, achieved through collaboration with numerous dedicated stakeholders and partners who share our passion for empowering young people and individuals. 

We introduced three new programs and expanded our presence to encompass three states: NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia.

Within the reporting period, we conducted strategic planning, setting a clear vision for the next two years. We want to engage individuals in economic, social, and civic activities by creating vocational and educational opportunities and personalised programs to foster social inclusion and improve well-being. Our ambitions are bold, our actions transparent and we do what is right not what is easy. We are no-ego doers who celebrate culture and value diversity.

Our emphasis on developing First Nations-led programs to support the national reconciliation movement and provide meaningful opportunities for First Nations youth coincided with the Indigenous Voice to Parliament Referendum.

TSE introduced MobPod, a podcasting platform aimed at giving a voice to First Nations youth, allowing them to share their perspectives on current issues and personal interests.  The purpose of this initiative is to nurture a sense of identity and purpose, and empower students to make meaningful contributions within their communities. 

Although the referendum was not within the reporting period, it’s important to acknowledge that for Indigenous Australians who supported an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, the comprehensive loss of the 2023 referendum was devastating. TSE extends its arms and strength to our First Nations brothers and sisters, with whom we continue to stand together with determination to deliver a better future for our children, young people and families.

In 2023, TSE focused on women in trades. We continue to pave the way for more women to enter and excel in engineering by providing access to training, mentorship, networking, work-experience, engineering site excursions, micro-business development opportunities – All in a safe, family-friendly work environment. Our efforts have helped to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and encouraged industries with skill shortages to tap into a previously untapped pool of talent.

As we celebrate another big year we’ve also set new goals for the year ahead: that by combining skill development, mentorship, cultural integration and community engagement we will empower young individuals, enabling them to break the cycle of disengagement, realise their full potential and become leaders in their community.

None of this would be possible without our skilled and dedicated team, board, stakeholders, partners and all the young people we have collaborated with and learned from. The year 2023 brought both challenges and rewards for TSE and the young people we’re here to support. As we move ahead, our mission remains straightforward: offering training and employment opportunities, imparting valuable trade skills, nurturing a sense of responsibility, enhancing resilience and wellbeing, and rewarding  accomplishment to help create purposeful futures.

I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Matt Grant, our Chairperson. His dedication and ability to handle the responsibilities of this role with energy and composure in the face of challenges deserve our utmost appreciation. We owe him a huge thank you.



TSE proudly supports and celebrates National NAIDOC Week and acknowledges importance of recognising First Nations culture and those who contribute to the community. 

The 2022 theme, ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’, encouraged all of us to champion institutional, structural, collaborative, and cooperative change while celebrating those who have already driven and led change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over generations.

In celebration of NAIDOC Week 2022, Skilled Creative dropped an episode of the Youth View podcast, recorded at the Mingaletta Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation in Umina Beach, NSW. This special installment featured an insightful yarn with Jacob Bell, a Kerrupjmara man who had been born and raised on Darkinjung Country. Jacob spoke about his connection to NAIDOC and the meaningful choice he made to work at Barang.

The NAIDOC theme aligns with my decision to work at Barang. It’s been a significant challenge to stand up and help the community, regardless of any adversity I may face. It’s good to have the courage to get up, stand up, and show up every day.

“The two people who will always stand out to me are my mum and my nan. They are both amazing strongholds  in my life, shaping the man I am today. They’re formidable to my life; working their entire lives for the community, helping families and engaging with the community. They have kept culture strong for me, which is fundamental to my identity. First and foremost they are the most important people in my life.

Jacob is an avid member of the Central Coast Community, attending local Aboriginal events, participating in the Barudir Project and the Barang Youth Summits, among other youth programs, as well as completing a School-Based Traineeship in Business Services at Novaskill.

He is now the Project Support Officer at Barang Regional Alliance, striving for the equal opportunity and representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and especially youth on the Central Coast, encouraging participation in every possible way.

Work Placement


Each year, Skill Engineer Ltd. facilitates thousands of student placements, offering real-world experiences to students studying Vocational Education and Training subjects across the Central Coast and Sydney regions. The program is highly successful, providing students with invaluable hands-on industry experience during week-long placements.

Work placement is a mandatory requirement of a diverse range of 12 industry-based VET courses, including fields such as Automotive, Entertainment Industry, Human Services, Retail Services, Business Services, Financial Services, Information and Digital Technology, Tourism, Travel and Events, Electrotechnology, Hospitality, Primary Industries, and Construction. TSE is also actively involved in coordinating six Board-Endorsed Courses, namely Animal Studies, Early Childhood, Fitness, Manufacturing and Engineering, Plumbing, and Sport Coaching.

TSE’s commitment to managing these work placements not only ensures compliance with educational requirements but also provides students with invaluable real-world experiences, enhancing their skill sets and preparing them for future careers in their chosen industries. TSE’s experienced team liaise with host employers, teachers, parents and students to facilitate a smooth transition from classroom learning to practical application in the workforce.

TSE collaborates with top host employers spanning diverse industries, offering students meaningful in-place opportunities alongside virtual placements. These placements benefit both students and businesses, providing an extra pair of hands for the week, fully insured and unpaid.

In light of the pandemic, TSE acknowledges the transition many industries have made to remote or online work arrangements. Consequently, TSE has adapted its strategies to seek virtual placements that continue to offer meaningful workplace experiences for students to fulfill their year 11 and 12 certifications.

A successful collaboration with Amazon Web Services provided IDT students with a valuable simulated experience, allowing them to explore AI and Cyber Security. Through workshops, mentoring, and set tasks, students gained industry insights and leveraged Amazon’s resources in web development, data analytics, and more.

TSE has also had the privilege of participating in two professional development workshops organised by the NSW Department of Education. We collaborated with Structured Workplace Learning providers from across the state to strategize on enhancing Structured Workplace Learning.

The workshops featured industry giants such as AWS, Amazon and Salesforce, who showcased the myriad opportunities available to our students in the tech world.

We were particularly thrilled to hear from Creative Director Mike, representing Skilled Creative, our social enterprise initiative established to provide 200 work placements annually in the fields of IDT and Entertainment. This workshop provided us with eye-opening insights, thanks to the invaluable contributions and expertise shared by the NSW Department of Education, Catholic Schools NSW, and the Association of Independent Schools

TSE is also member of The Youth Futures Network (YFN), a unified body comprising 16 not-for-profit organisations across NSW. Our network collaborates with local employers, education providers, communities, youth services, and families, delivering numerous youth programs on behalf of Local, State, and Federal Government. These initiatives, along with our events, services, and workshops, are supported by our members and stakeholders. With 30 years of collective experience, we specialise in constructing pathways for young people. The Youth Futures Network possesses the capability and resources to execute state and regional initiatives efficiently, tailored to specific locations, and proven successful. Our extensive expertise lies in bridging the aspirations of young individuals with industry needs, aligned with governmental objectives. 

The Work Placement Coordination Program is funded by the NSW Department of Education, Catholic Schools NSW and the Association of Independent Schools of NSW.

TSE as a host employer

work placement

During the reporting period, we had the privilege of hosting a number of business services students who contributed to our essential administrative tasks, such as answering phones, collating documents and working with the team. In June 2022, we hosted Madison, a Work Placement Business Services student from St. Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah.

Madison is a dedicated student who also pursues Vocational Education and Training (VET) subjects in hospitality and retail. Beyond her academic endeavors, Madison gains practical experience in the hospitality field by working at a cafe, where she excels in back-of-house operations, including plating food and collaborating within a busy kitchen team.

Madison shared her experience, saying,

“Here at The Skill Engineer, I’ve been learning about Work Placement and how to connect students with host employers. This is all very new to me, but it’s why I’m enjoying the VET subjects so much—I’m constantly gaining new skills and knowledge.”

Farewell to Deb

Deborah Hetherington

Farewell to Debbie Hetherington!

In 2022, we said farewell to our esteemed Senior Work Placement Coordinator, Debbie Hetherington. Debbie’s journey with us began in the early 1990s, where she partnered with TSE’s CEO Maggie at the CES (Commonwealth Employment Service), collaborating to assist individuals in finding employment during a period of high unemployment.

Over the years, Debbie’s pivotal role evolved as she played a significant part in helping Australians secure jobs during challenging economic times. She supported youth in their pursuit of employment and career advancement, offering guidance, conducting mock interviews, and actively participating in events like Try-A-Trade, Tech Girls, and more.

Debbie’s impact on young individuals has been enormous, ensuring they embark on their post-school paths with the best possible start. Her network-building efforts have left an enduring mark on our organisation, schools, teachers, students, and support networks. We extend a huge thank you to Debbie for her contributions and wish her all the best.

Here at The Skill Engineer, I’ve been learning about Work Placement and how to connect students with host employers. This is all very new to me, but it’s why I’m enjoying the VET subjects so much—I’m constantly gaining new skills and knowledge.


Work placements


Student registrations


Host employers


The Skill Engineer Ltd. hosted the virtual 2022 VET Awards, reaching over 1000 viewers!

The online format was adapted due to Covid, allowing students and host employers to be recognised. Skilled Creative deserves praise for their remarkable effort in organising this fantastic broadcast.

The VET (Vocational Education and Training) Awards honour students who have shown exemplary performance during their vocational training placements.

These awards also commend the incredible host employers for nurturing young talents and contributing immensely to the community. We’d also like to acknowledge the teachers and mentors who put forward their students for nomination.

Student Awards

outstanding performance on work placement in 2022

Central Coast

Angus Misek – TAFE NSW – Hornsby Campus – Automotive
Blake Weston – TAFE NSW – Wyong Campus – Automotive
Halle Baxter – St. Joseph’s Catholic College – East Gosford – Business Services
Jayden Brady – MacKillop Catholic College – Construction
Tyke Harvey – TAFE NSW – Wyong Campus – Electrotechnology
Jake Yeung – St. Peter’s Catholic College – Entertainment
Brianna Kard – Terrigal High School – Hospitality – Food & Beverage
Scott Donnet – St. Edward’s College – Hospitality – Kitchen Operations
Greg Brien – Henry Kendall High School – Primary Industries
Hannah Cole – St. Joseph’s Catholic College – East Gosford – Retail


Chloe Abou-Hamad – St. Patrick’s Marist College – Business Services
Yasmin Aloisio – Gilroy Catholic College – Construction
Rachel Bunn – TAFE NSW- Hornsby Campus – Electrotechnology
Grace Walker-Rolls – Oakhill College – Entertainment
Rena Zouein – Marian Catholic College – Hospitality- Food & Beverage
Rachael Anderson – St. Patrick’s Marist College – Retail
Blake Escott – MacKillop Catholic College – First Nations

Host Employer AWARDs

Exceptional contributions to Vocational Education and Training in 2022

Central Coast

Brian Hilton Toyota – Woy Woy
Coastwide Steel & Metalwork Pty Ltd
J.Clarke Constructions
Lake Haven Newsagency
Mick Neill Electrical
Narara Valley Nursery
NRL Development of Sport
Oasis Youth Centre
Snap Fitness Tuggerah
The Coastal Brew Café
The Doylo
Wyong Milk Factory Café


5 Star Real Estate
Carlingford Mechanical
Pennant Hills Golf Club
Pennant Hills Heritage Café
O’Brien Electrical Castle Hill
Pronto Rocks Café
PV Construction Pty Ltd
Target – Hornsby
The Epping Club

Skilled Creative

A youth-led creative agency


Skilled Creative, situated at MADD studios in Gosford, played host to hundreds of Entertainment and IDT students throughout the reporting period. It was established to meet the substantial demand for entertainment and IT work placements in the Central Coast and Northern Sydney regions. The studio provided an exciting setting complete with a recording studio, photography booths, and a dedicated creative space for students.

During 2022 and 2023, our team expanded its portfolio of responsibilities. This included conceptualising the Digi Van initiative, collaborating with MobPod, and delivering fee-for-service projects for clients, such as the NSW Department of Education. Skilled Creative delivered high-quality work, ensuring that students gained valuable hands-on experience across diverse domains. Skilled Creative also seamlessly orchestrated the annual VET Awards, producing an exceptional broadcast.

Digi Van

Youth Podcasting and Media Production


In 2023, the Digi Van hit the road as an exciting multimedia hub on wheels, aimed at empowering youth in the Central Coast and North Sydney regions. The Digi Van offers broadcasting capabilities and advanced technology, to amplify youth voices that represent the community and create impactful digital content. This initiative has been made possible through the generous support of the ‘Our Region, Our Voice’ – Regional Youth Investment Program NSW Government and Youth Opportunities.

Beyond imparting valuable media skills, our Skilled Creative team guides young participants toward creative digital pathways and future employment opportunities.

During the reporting period, we engaged young individuals in the branding, design, and outfitting of the Digi Van, providing valuable work placement opportunities. Through collaboration with youth, we collectively crafted the final brand. In June 2023, The Skill Engineer Ltd. and Skilled Creative initiated preparations for the Central Coast launch, which would be attended by youth, community members, and dignitaries

Prior to its official launch, the Digi Van made a special appearance at the 2023 Central Coast Community NAIDOC Celebrations. Teens utilized the van and collaborated with The Skill Engineer Ltd.’s MobPod team to capture the wisdom and stories of elders for the ‘For Our Elders’ initiative.

Maggie MacFie, CEO of Skill Engineer Ltd., highlighted the vital role of multimedia in shaping youth’s self-perception and their engagement within the broader community. She emphasised that media allows them to interpret the world, its values, and ideas, fostering a deeper understanding and active participation, making it an essential component of modern culture, entertainment, and societal transformation.

In close partnership with the community, the Digi Van aims not only to showcase outstanding local talent but also to promote resilience, advocate for meaningful change, and, above all, serve as a dynamic and vibrant outlet for joy and creativity.

The Digi Van received support during its inception from Design Plus Digital, with additional backing from Blackmagic Design and Evero Engineering.

Youth View

A podcast by Skilled Creative

TSE’s Youth View is a podcast amplifying young voices, with each episode produced and hosted by a new group of young people exploring Gen Z-centric themes.

During the reporting period, we featured compelling audio content, delving into topics like AI’s impact on the entertainment industry, social media influencers’ influence on youth, algorithms’ role in shaping our online experiences, and mental health challenges faced by young people.


First Nations Youth Voice Podcast

In 2023, TSE launched the Mob Pod, an initiative providing First Nations young people from Central Coast high schools with a platform to express their thoughts, opinions, and voices on contemporary issues and personal interests through engaging podcast episodes.
The Mob Pod attracted over 55 students during its initial intake, involving students from the Central Coast including Henry Kendall High School, Brisbane Water Secondary College Umina Campus, Narara Valley High School, and Ngaruki Gulgul Central School. In the future, NAISDA students will also be actively engaged in the podcast, bringing their unique perspectives and talents to the forefront.
Students had the unique opportunity to engage with State and Federal politicians, conducting interviews that have fostered professional relationships, particularly with those politicians who harbor political aspirations. Additionally, they conducted interviews with Aboriginal Elders within the local community, establishing meaningful connections. Through various engagements, whether individual, studio-based interviews, or community events, students have gained the confidence and ability to connect with community Elders.
The students were introduced to mainstream media, radio, and journalists who conducted interviews about the program. They were exposed to national radio interviews and featured on various mainstream media platforms, including websites and newspapers, extending their reach both nationally and globally. The Mob Pod episodes produced by the students are available on Spotify, Amazon, Apple, and numerous other digital podcast platforms.
Students participated in NAIDOC and local sporting events, conducting interviews with local Elders during the Central Coast NAIDOC Community Day. Additionally, they engaged in a conversation with Dr. Gordon Reid MP on MobPod, covering diverse topics such as life on the Coast and his parliamentary and rugby experiences. They also engaged in conversations with Aboriginal sports heroes Steve Ella and Maurice Goolagong. 
Program Facilitator Peppa Griffioen-Smith praised the students for their talent and intelligence, underscoring the significance of providing them with a platform to amplify their voices through podcasting.
By engaging in insightful conversations and thought-provoking discussions, these young podcasters will contribute to an ongoing dialogue on issues relevant to their community and raise awareness about matters that directly affect their lives.
The program’s comprehensive approach encourages students to undertake extensive research, develop critical thinking skills, and refine their communication abilities. 
Tune in, take a listen to some of the deadly interviews and podcasts produced by these talented students!
The Mob Pod is funded by the NSW Government 2023 Regional Youth Radio Program.

Girls of Steel

Assisting women to gain an apprenticeship in a non-traditional trade


 The Girls of Steel program, designed for women aged 17 to 24 interested in non-traditional trades, offers project-based learning supported by a Certificate II in Engineering. It aims to diversify the engineering workforce and empower young women.

The Skill Engineer Ltd. identified Central Coast NSW and North East Victoria as the program’s inception sites. These regions face significant challenges, including high levels of youth unemployment and underachievement, which affect the engineering and manufacturing sectors’ ability to recruit qualified tradespeople.

The program places a strong emphasis on pastoral care, professional behavior, and work ethic, along with teaching business acumen and budgeting skills. This approach ensures that participants develop a well-rounded skill set, preparing them not only for success in engineering but also for any future career. 

Its primary objective is to tackle the skills shortage and under-representation of women in STEM fields, with a particular emphasis on creating apprenticeship opportunities. Currently, women comprise less than 15% of qualified individuals in Australia in science, technology, engineering, and math, and ongoing gender pay gaps compared to their male counterparts.

“There is stubbornly low representation of women in apprenticeships in the STEM sector,”” says Maggie MacFie, Chief Executive Officer of the Skill Engineer Ltd. 

“Women’s unique perspectives and creative approaches in engineering can drive innovation in STEM. Boosting female representation in the field taps into a broader talent pool, fostering inclusivity and equity in the workforce, and improving the expertise of engineering enterprises.”

Job service providers and metals and engineering employers further support participants, providing potential employment pathways during and after the program.

The program also offers comprehensive pastoral care, including wellbeing support and mentoring. Ms. MacFie acknowledges that participants may have family commitments and children, with some facing challenges such as unstable housing, low literacy, limited job opportunities, disabilities, and experiences with substance abuse and domestic violence.

“Mentorship and support networks play a crucial role in empowering women in male-dominated industries. We provide mentors who offer guidance, share experiences, and assist in navigating the challenges of the industry.”

“Additionally, we offer support networks that provide a safe space for sharing insights, resources, and opportunities. These connections offer encouragement, build confidence and enhance resilience among female participants.”

During the 2022-2023 financial year, several participants secured employment opportunities in both Victoria and NSW. In Victoria, two participants successfully secured apprenticeships, one participant secured part-time employment and additionally, three participants secured full-time employment, reflecting the program’s success in preparing young women for the workforce.

A remarkable success story comes from a Central Coast participant who, despite being diagnosed with level two autism, thrives in the program. She has honed her fabrication skills, creating both structural utility pieces and sculptural works. Furthermore, she has sold sculptures commercially, showcasing the program’s potential for entrepreneurial opportunities. Her story highlights how the program has helped her identify her career aspirations. She now aspires to secure an apprenticeship in engineering and become a Program Trades Assistant, supporting other women in achieving their program and industry goals. As a valued participant, she has also acted as a mentor and supporter for others in the program.

The Girls of Steel program receives funding from the Australian government through the Women’s Leadership and Development Program Project (WLDP). This grant complements existing initiatives under the Government’s JobMaker Plan, specifically the JobTrainer Fund, working in partnership with the Commonwealth to achieve its objectives.


Building resilience and confidence for employment


The Skill Engineer Ltd. introduced the BRACE program to support the success of students with diverse learning needs, particularly those enrolled in Year 11 or 12 VET subjects. Our primary focus was on preparing these students for work placements through tailored solutions that emphasised accessibility, adaptability, and the development of individualized workplace learning plans. 

Through our experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, we identified significant challenges faced by many students with diverse learning needs. These challenges often included high levels of anxiety, concerns related to the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and a limited understanding of industry expectations during work placements.

Central to the BRACE program is the acquisition of critical skills that support students’ engagement with work placements. These skills encompass the ability to manage anxiety effectively, address mental health concerns, set and achieve goals, and build resilience. Importantly, the skills acquired through BRACE extend far beyond the context of work placements; they serve as valuable tools for navigating various aspects of life.

In Term 4 of 2022, we engaged Wyong High School, North Lakes High School, and in Term 1 of 2023, we engaged Kariong High School. Our industry visits included Gravity Center Lake Haven, BORG, Treetops Wyong, Little Kickers Erina Fair, Snap Fitness Erina, Wyong Milk Factory, One 3 One, Kindy Patch, Anytime Fitness, Bunnings Tuggerah, and The Crowne Plaza Terrigal. Students were impressed by the community support available through organisations like headspace and the YMCA. Workplace visits allowed students to see the connection between their skills, education, and employment.

The BRACE program is funded by the Regional Industry Education Partnership, NSW Training Services.


re-engaging with education and training


During the reporting period, the Unlocked program addressed the needs of students who had faced challenges in re-engaging with education and training following the COVID lockdown. It catered to young individuals aged 12–18, offering valuable industry knowledge and on-the-job training in various fields, including engineering, manufacturing, hospitality, construction, recording and video production, event management, conservation, land management, and job readiness.

In Term 4 of 2022, we achieved excellent outcomes:

Four Secondary Schools participated including Henry Kendall High School, Narara Valley High School, St Edwards College and St Peters Catholic College with 24 students completing the course. 6 students were also offered work experience and possible apprenticeships in the metals and construction industry upon completing Year 1. 1 student started a small business enterprise after acquiring skills from the horticulture sessions, and four students shifted their career pathways from construction to the metal industry. 

In Term 1 of 2023, we enrolled 10 students, all of whom actively participated in a diverse range of programs. These included CALM & Construction for three weeks, Media & Metal Engineering for three weeks, and a two-week program focusing on Hospitality & Event Management. The term culminated with a memorable Graduation Event during the final week, celebrating the students’ achievements and experiences in these various fields of study.

During Term 2 of 2023, our students benefited from valuable guest sessions and seminars. Representatives from headspace Gosford visited to engage in discussions about resilience and effective anxiety management. They provided insights and guidance on mental health issues, and contact details for headspace were distributed to the students for additional support. Additionally, our students had the privilege of hearing from The TSE Aboriginal Cultural Engagement Worker, who shared insights and experiences related to working in culturally diverse environments, fostering a broader understanding of cultural diversity and its significance.

Unlocked is supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Probu Dedleewun



Nestled in an industrial area of Broome, a remarkable transformation takes place every day.

Like clockwork, between 10 and 15 young people show up for an immersive 8-week program that unveils the exciting realm of welding and offers unparalleled pastoral care and personalised learning support.

Tailored to young individuals struggling with poor school attendance, the program becomes a nurturing environment for personal development. Youth are guided by a dedicated transition-to-work provider who advocates for their path towards meaningful employment. Equally, parents and guardians trust us to create a pathway where the aspirations of their children can thrive.

Initially, our young people arrive timid but eager to learn. Like sponges, they absorb the teachings of their newly appointed apprentice master. Each day, they show up dressed in their proudly branded PPE, complete with fresh work boots. 

Gradually, the workshop awakens and becomes a hive of activity. Focused and headstrong, these young participants assemble electric scooters from scratch under the watchful eye of their apprentice master. But their ambitions extend beyond engineering. They venture into entrepreneurial endeavors, crafting fire pits, water features, and even creating a veggie patch in the comforting shade.

With growing confidence, they take ownership of their surroundings, arriving each day with purpose, carving out their niche in the workshop, and tending to the gardens with pride, mowing and maintaining the site’s fresh appearance.

Comprehensive support envelops our young participants, extending beyond the boundaries of their work. Our program provides wrap-around pastoral care, addressing their basic needs, such as morning pickups and heartfelt meals lovingly prepared by our office staff. Additionally, they receive extra assistance with their education and are supported to attain a White Card and First Aid Certificate.

Located on the Dampier Peninsula, a special block of land awaits our young people, offering them respite during weekends at Neem. Here, they are embraced by nurturing hosts who support them in preparing meals, including hearty roo-tail stew and traditional damper.

The young people, through their acquired vocational skills, construct two gunya blocks that will serve as venues for special cultural events hosted at Neem, leaving a lasting legacy. In this way, they contribute to their hosts and give back in a meaningful way.

As the program draws to a close, the young participants emerge equipped with an impressive range of engineering and construction skills, as well as the preparedness to embark on meaningful pathways in employment, training, or education.

A representation of their growth is clearly outlined in the form of carefully crafted scooters, constructed from scratch, serving as a means of transportation to and from future employment and education opportunities. These scooters symbolize their newfound independence and readiness to embrace their professional journeys.

To acknowledge their remarkable progress, program mentors organise a graduation ceremony, recognising and celebrating the dedication and achievements of these young individuals. Their mentors remain steady in their support, accompanying them as they navigate their paths, ensuring a smooth transition into other avenues where their skills can flourish and thrive.

The Probu Dedleewun program, facilitated by The Skill Engineer Ltd., is federally funded by the Australian Government, and supported by Kullarri Regional Communities Indigenous Corporation and Broome Youth and Families Hub.


TSE Financials 2022

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