AVETRA makes the following Awards at its Annual Conference, with the Ray Barker Award for Distinguished Service to VET Research and the Berwyn Clayton Award for Distinguished Service to AVETRA, presented in alternate years.

1. Berwyn Clayton Award for Distinguished Service to AVETRA

2. Ray Barker Award for Distinguished Service to VET Research

3. AVETRA Paper of the Year / New Researcher Paper of the Year

4.  Journal Article of the Year Award

5. Ambassador Awards


In 2014, AVETRA was please to partner with TAFE Directors Australia, as part of our Memorandum of Understanding with them, to present the inaugural ‘TAFE Innovation Scholarship’. This initiative aims to foster innovation in industry workforce development initiatives. Recipients will investigate innovative ways to meet new and emerging skill needs through projects in industry or community settings. The outcomes will inform new practices and/or partnerships models for TAFE and specific industry/community sectors.  This Award will be awarded annually, and the winner will present at the following AVETRA Conference.


In 2014, AVETRA presented Awards to the following winners:


Roger Harris

The AVETRA VET Journal Article of the Year was presented to Roger Harris and Catherine Ramos for their journal article ‘Building career capital through further study in Australia and Singapore’. The Abstract follows with the link to the full article below:

In modern society, individuals are having to assume increasing responsibility for their own career trajectories. One of the key ways in which individuals can engage in such ‘career self-management’ is by taking up learning opportunities through further study. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to explore, using the conceptual framework of career capital, ways in which samples of adults in Australia and Singapore perceive that they are self-managing and leveraging their careers through continuing education, and the nature of the career capital they are accumulating. It draws on data from two different research projects undertaken in Australia and Singapore. These projects involved individuals who had undertaken studies in two different educational sectors: the academic and the vocational. Australian respondents (n=190) had studied in both the vocational education and training (VET) and the higher education (HE) sectors; Singaporean respondents (n=101) had graduated from both the formal tertiary education (PET) and the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) sectors. Data were gathered through online surveys and in-depth interviews. Based on the reports from these samples, the study found that the building of career capital was being played out relatively consistently despite educational, political and cultural differences, but that different emphases were placed on the types of career capital, with ‘knowing-how’ the most important.


Harris, R & Ramos, C (2013). ‘Building career capital through further study in Australia and Singapore’, International Journal of Lifelong Education, 32(5), pp. 620-638.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02601370.2012.753124


Susan Webb

The Conference Paper of the Year was awarded to Susan Webb for the paper ‘Geographical dimensions of imagined futures: post school participation in education and work in peri-urban and regional Australia’.  The Abstract follows and the full paper can be found on the AVETRA website.


This paper discusses preliminary findings from a sub-set of empirical data collected for a recent NCVER study that explored the geographic dimensions of social exclusion in four locations in Victoria and South Australia with lower than average post school education participation. Set against the policy context of the Bradley Review (2008) and the drive to increase the post-school participation of young people from low socio-economic status neighbourhoods, this qualitative research study, responding to identified gaps in the literature, sought a nuanced understanding of how young people make decisions about their post-school pathways. Drawing on Appadurai’s (2004) concept ‘horizons of aspiration’ the paper explores the aspirations of two young people formed from, and within, their particular rural ‘neighborhoods’. The paper reveals how their post-school education and work choices, imagined futures and conceptions of a ‘good life’, have topographic and gendered influences that are important considerations for policy makers.


David McLean


The TAFE Directors Australia and AVETRA Innovation Scholarship was awarded to David McLean from RMIT University. David is the Deputy Head of School \ Industry Group Manager in the School of Vocational Business Education at RMIT.

David’s proposal seeks to investigate innovative funding and training delivery models for new micro-business start-ups in the Health and Community Services Sector with the aim of increasing graduate success in business and developing stronger relationships with industry.