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Top students recognised at Kangan Institute Apprentice and Industry Awards Ceremony

Kangan Institute held its annual Apprentice and Industry Awards Ceremony last night to celebrate the achievements of nearly 30 apprentices and trainees.

Students gathered at Aerial, South Wharf as they were recognised from a wide range of study areas, including construction, engineering, electrical, landscape construction, commercial cookery, bakery, hairdressing and automotive.

The top award – Apprentice of the Year – was presented to Certificate III in Carpentry student Carl Sartori for achieving excellence in his field.

The 40-year-old former paramedic discovered a passion for carpentry after working on a window installation project in his new home.

“As soon as I realised I enjoyed carpentry work, I spoke to a carpenter about becoming a labourer. I soon decided to do an apprenticeship and spoke to the team at Kangan Institute who helped me get started,” he said.

Undertaking an apprenticeship as an adult learner while supporting a family may have had its challenges, but Carl remains unwavering in his belief that the value of education far outweighs its challenges.

“The most difficult aspect was providing support for my family. We had to economise as much as we could and I decided to ask my boss for extra work when it was available,” he said. 

“This is my fourth career. Returning to education and starting again was a challenge in itself but it was something I enjoyed because I was learning something new. I’ve found a career that I genuinely love and I feel a sense of pride when I see the things I’ve built.” 

Carl has his career plans mapped out and this includes obtaining a domestic builder’s license after his apprenticeship to secure his future in the field. The award winner is hopeful that his journey will inspire others to consider a skilled trade career.

“Apprenticeships are sometimes considered a secondary choice for people who aren’t achieving academically. But I found that I faced more challenges as a carpenter compared with other careers. Apprenticeships and trades are options for many people to strive towards as pathways to successful lives.”

Awards for the evening include:

  • Apprentice of the Year (Construction) – Carl Sartori
    Award sponsored by: Metricon

    Carl Sartori discovered a passion for carpentry after working on a window installation project in his new home. The 40-year-old former paramedic is completing the Certificate III in Carpentry and employed by Ground Up Building Group. His future plans include obtaining a domestic builder’s license after his apprenticeship.  

  • Metricon Trade Smart Award – Lucas Gamberra
    Award sponsored by: Metricon

    The Metricon Trade Smart Award is presented to the most outstanding student undertaking the Metricon-Kangan Institute pathway program. The program provides students with an opportunity to undertake work placement on a Metricon home building site and gain skills to work in residential home building.

    Lucas Gamberra was an obvious candidate for the award for successfully turning his life around after a long period of unemployment. The 30-year-old had completed a work placement with a Metricon principal bricklayer and impressed his supervisors with his strong work ethic and devotion to the trade. Lucas was offered a job by Jon Bricklaying Service after his placement and the single father is currently thriving in his new role while undertaking the Certificate IV in Building and Construction.  

  • Apprentice of the Year (Engineering) – Matthew Williams
    Award sponsored by: Essendon Rotary Club

    Apprentice fabricator Matthew Williams has thrived within an industry that demands a high level of commitment from workers as there are very high levels of quality and workmanship to be met amidst tight timelines. Despite frequent interstate travel as part of his role at Prodrive Racing (Australia), Matthew has kept up with the requirements of his Certificate III in Engineering (Fabrication Trade) course and frequently introduces learning outcomes into the workplace. 

  • Apprentice of the Year (Electrical) – Steve McKinnon
    Award sponsored by: Energy Safe Victoria

    Steve McKinnon started his TAFE journey as a vocational education and training student in 2013 and progressed into the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician apprenticeship in 2014. Currently employed by Quick Smart Contracting, Steve has big plans for the future including working on commercial projects and starting his own business. 

  • Apprentice of the Year (Landscape Construction) – Joshua Greenhalgh
    Award sponsored by: Plantmark

    Joshua began his journey in landscape construction after deciding to defer university education and try working as a labourer instead. The intricate nature of landscaping sparked his passion for the trade and Joshua soon secured employment as a landscaping apprentice. The Certificate III in Landscape Construction student works at The Apprenticeship Factory and is known for being a hard worker. He spends his free time working on projects for family, friends and acquaintances and hopes to build up his network to eventually run his own business.  

  • Apprentice of the Year (Commercial Cookery) – Samuel Wood

    Born and raised in a small country town in New South Wales, Samuel Wood moved to Melbourne seven years ago to pursue a university degree in sound engineering and music production. He soon realised he wasn’t enjoying the course and eventually found himself a job as an apprentice in the kitchen. With a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery under his belt, Samuel has recently started working with hotel and resort giant Sofitel Hotels.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Bakery) – Christopher Porter
    Award sponsored by: Australian Bakery and Pizza

    For Christopher Porter, pursuing a career in retail baking was an easy decision to make. Employed by Bakers Delight in Essendon, the first year apprentice has always had an interest in art and found that baking provided the opportunity to be artistic. Fiercely devoted to expanding his skills and experience, the talented Certificate III in Retail Baking student recently went head to head with some of the state’s top bakers in the 2017 Victorian Baking Show (Vienna, sourdough and fruit loaf categories).

  • Student of the Year (Bakery) – Bruce McDonald

    Pursuing a career change while supporting a young child can be daunting but Certificate III in Retail Baking student Bruce McDonald has proven himself as a top baker, with the former call centre worker clinching a first place win at the 2017 Victorian Baking Show (White French Stick category).          

  • Apprentice of the Year (Hairdressing) – Ciara Remfrey-Petit

    Ciara Remfrey-Petit’s creative journey began in the beauty industry but she soon found her true calling in hairdressing. Currently undertaking the Certificate III in Hairdressing, Ciara’s proactive approach to work and studies is no secret amongst her teachers and employers. The 23-year-old regularly volunteers at events like the Kangan Institute Fashion Show and Melbourne Hair Expo and currently holds a senior position at her workplace, Shelly’s Hairworks.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Automotive) – Joshua Drenen
    Award sponsored by: Sir Henry Royce Foundation

    Joshua Drenen may have started his apprenticeship at an early age of 15 but the hard worker has demonstrated maturity beyond his years. Currently employed by K & RJ Matthews Quarries in Traralgon, Joshua maintains and repairs a variety of earthmoving equipment and often works in the quarry as part of his role. Described by his teachers as highly engaged and focused, the Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology student regularly shares his experience with his classmates to facilitate greater discussion and knowledge-sharing.

  • Pre-Apprentice of the Year (Automotive) – Nikko Magno
    Award sponsored by: Albert Park Rotary Club

    The Automotive Pre-Apprentice of the Year Award recognises the most outstanding student undertaking the Certificate II in Automotive Studies. This year’s award was presented to Nikko Magno for his strong commitment to learning. The go-getter is currently undertaking an apprenticeship with Land Rover at Port Melbourne.

  • Trainee of the Year (Automotive) – Aaron Piening
    Award sponsored by: Nissan Motorsport

    Currently in Year 11, Aaron Piening commenced the Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology program in 2016 as a school based student. Aaron is employed by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) as a trainee in vehicle servicing technology and hopes to work towards becoming a technician.

  • A.R. Jackson Award – Matthew Setaro
    Award sponsored by: Coburg Rotary Club

    Matthew Setaro is employed by Volksrepair and is undertaking the Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology. The A.R. (Dick) Jackson Award was first presented in 1987 to the most outstanding 1st year automotive apprentice at the Batman Automotive College. The award was named in honour of the Coburg Rotarian Dick Jackson who was a long-standing member of the Batman Automotive College Council.  

  • Apprentice of the Year (Motorcycle) – Patrick Dealy
    Award sponsored by: WPC Group

    Patrick Dealy’s dedication to training and advanced skills in servicing, repairing and testing motorcycle components has positioned the apprentice as the winning candidate for this award. Patrick has successfully completed the Certificate III in Motorcycle Mechanical Technology and is employed by Freestyle Honda. 

  • Automotive Electrical Achievement Award – Liam Groves
    Award sponsored by: Training Systems Australia

    The Automotive Electrical Achievement Award is presented to a high achieving automotive electrical student. Currently employed by Pitstop Auto Electrical and undertaking the Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology, Liam Groves has impressed his teachers with his keen devotion to learning and furthering his knowledge.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Electrical) – Adrian Sambuco
    Award sponsored by: Ashdown Ingram

    The Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Electrical) Award is presented to the most outstanding automotive electrical student for the year. Currently employed by SV Auto Electrical and undertaking the Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology, Adrian Sambuco has demonstrated a strong dedication to learning and applying his new skills in the workplace.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Refinishing Technology) – Eric Yiu-Cheung Chan
    Award sponsored by: PPG

    The Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Refinishing Technology) Award is presented to the most outstanding automotive refinishing technology student for the year. This year’s winner is Eric Chan who has completed the Certificate III in Automotive Refinishing Technology and is currently employed by Symes Accident Repairs.

  • Student of the Year (Motorsport) – Brodie Moore
    Award sponsored by: Century Batteries

    The Student of the Year (Motorsport) Award is presented to the most outstanding motorsport student for the year.

    This year’s winner is Brodie Moore who began his motorsport journey with the Certificate II in Motorsport Technology and Certificate III in Motorsport Technology.  Brodie completed a work placement and internship at Nissan Motorsport as part of his certificate II qualification and commenced at Erebus Motorsport in 2016. He is currently undertaking the Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology and travels the world as number two mechanic on the Erebus/Penrite V8 Commodore.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Parts Interpreting) – Jayden Duke
    Award sponsored by: Ashdown Ingram

    The Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Parts Interpreting) Award is presented to the student who has demonstrated educational excellence and has thrived in tasks related to customer communications and sale of automotive parts and accessories. This year’s winner is Jayden Duke who is employed by CMV Automotive.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Heavy Vehicle) – Joshua Drenan
    Award sponsored by: SP Tools

    Joshua Drenen may have started his apprenticeship at an early age of 15 but the hard worker has demonstrated maturity beyond his years. Currently employed by K & RJ Matthews Quarries in Traralgon, Joshua maintains and repairs a variety of earthmoving equipment and often works in the quarry as part of his role. Described by his teachers as highly engaged and focused, the Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology student regularly shares his experience with his classmates to facilitate greater discussion and knowledge-sharing.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Heavy Vehicle – Key Client) – Goran Bene
    Award sponsored by: SAF Holland

    The Apprentice of the Year (Heavy Vehicle – Key Client) Award is presented to the top heavy vehicle student participating in Kangan Institute’s key client program. Key client programs are specialised automotive training offered to a range of major dealerships and the programs are tailored to the needs of each organisation. This year’s winner is Goran Bene who is completing the Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology and employed by CMV Automotive.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Light Vehicle – Key Client) – Phuoc Pham
    Award sponsored by: VACC

    The Apprentice of the Year (Light Vehicle – Key Client) Award is presented to the top light vehicle student involved in Kangan Institute’s key client program. Key client programs are specialised automotive training offered to a range of major dealerships and the programs are tailored to the needs of each organisation. This year’s winner is Phuoc Pham who is completing the Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology and employed by Kmart Tyre & Auto Service. 

  • Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Body Repair) – David Jr Blazevic
    Award sponsored by: Sheen Group

    The Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Body Repair) Award is presented to the student who has demonstrated educational excellence and has thrived in tasks related to repairing and maintaining the body of cars, heavy vehicles and more. This year’s winner is David Jr Blazevic who works at Corso Body Works and is undertaking the Certificate III in Automotive Body Repair Technology.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Body Repair – Key Client: Sheen Group) – Timothy Kennedy
    Award sponsored by: Sheen Group

    The Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Body Repair – Key Client: Sheen Group) Award is presented to an apprentice who is working at Sheen Group and has thrived in tasks related to repairing and maintaining the body of cars, heavy vehicles and more. This year’s winner is Timothy Kennedy who is undertaking the Certificate III in Automotive Body Repair Technology.

  • Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Refinishing Technology – Key Client: Sheen Group) – Corey Brown
    Award sponsored by: Sheen Group

    The Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Refinishing Technology – Key Client: Sheen Group) Award is presented to an apprentice who is working at Sheen Group and has thrived in tasks related to painting, refinishing, repairing and maintaining painted surfaces of various vehicles. This year’s winner is Corey Brown who is undertaking the Certificate III in Automotive Refinishing Technology.

  • Lionel Gell School of Instruction Award in Automotive – Joshua Drenan
    Award sponsored by: Sir Henry Royce Foundation

    Joshua Drenen may have started his apprenticeship at an early age of 15 but the hard worker has demonstrated maturity beyond his years. Currently employed by K & RJ Matthews Quarries in Traralgon, Joshua maintains and repairs a variety of earthmoving equipment and often works in the quarry as part of his role. Described by his teachers as highly engaged and focused, the Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology student regularly shares his experience with his classmates to facilitate greater discussion and knowledge-sharing.

    The Lionel Gell School of Instruction Award in Automotive is sponsored by Lionel Gell from the Lionel Gell School of Instruction for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Owners. The school assists in the training and education of club members and the general public.    

  • Sir Henry Royce Foundation Award for Excellence – Nicholas Spencer
    Award sponsored by: Sir Henry Royce Foundation

    The Sir Henry Royce Foundation Award for Excellence is presented to the best overall body making student at Kangan Institute. This year’s winner is Nicholas Spencer who works at Barker Trailers and is undertaking the Certificate III in Automotive Manufacturing Technical Operations – Bus, Truck and Trailer.

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