2016 Apprentice and Industry Award Ceremony winners

Rhys Attwood
Sir Henry Royce Foundation Award for Excellence

Sponsored by the Sir Henry Royce Foundation

Rhys completed his apprenticeship training in body making at Kangan Institute in February 2016. He then progressed into a full-time role as a body maker in Volgren Australia where he completed his apprenticeship.

Rhys said his award win was a pleasant surprise and expressed his passion for body making.

“I was quite surprised because I wasn’t really expecting it, so it definitely came as a bit of a shock. But overall, I’m pretty happy to win the award,” said Rhys.

“Body making was something different and I never really heard of anything like this before so I thought I’d give it a try. It is good fun and I enjoy what I’m doing at the moment. It’s what I wanted to do at the end of my apprenticeship.”

Jeremy Franciosa
Lionel Gell School of Instruction Award in Automotive

Sponsored by Lionell Gell

“Winning this award means a lot to me. It’s good to get a bit of recognition – I’ve been working hard for the last three to four years and it’s just a good thing to have,” said Jeremy.

Currently working at Harley City, Jeremy says that motorcycles are his long time passion.

“I chose this trade of motorcycle mechanics because it’s been a passion of mine for a very long time and still is today. The best part about my training was to come down and share experiences with other students, learn a lot from other people’s experiences and all the help from the teachers. I’d like to thank my motorcycle mechanic teachers who were in the class with me, the other students and my employer.”

Dean Farrugia
Apprentice of the Year: Motorcycle

Sponsored by Kawasaki Motors Pty Ltd

“Winning this award means a lot to me. I’m an older student and it took me a long time to realise what I wanted to do, and once I decided what I wanted to do, I put in a hundred per cent and it’s great to get recognised for that,” said Dean.

He expressed his passion for working on motorcycles and the benefits of training at Kangan Institute.

“I chose this trade because I tried the automotive trade with cars and I found that it wasn’t what I wanted out of a job or everyday trade. I’m into the older stuff and not current stuff. When I was working with motorcycles, I felt that I could work on some classic bikes and customise them,” he said.

“The best part about my training was definitely my teachers. They were real easy to get along with, easy to talk to, and if you had a question that were more than happy to answer, help you and lead you in the right direction. I would like to thank all the teachers. They were really helpful. Daniel, the teacher who I spent most of the time with, was amazing. He was really easy to talk to and I could ask him anything. He taught me a lot over the journey.”

Raed Esho
Pre-Apprentice of the Year

Sponsored by Rotary Club of Albert Park

Originally from Iraq, Raed moved to Australia with his wife and two young children. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Education and Psychology, but decided to commence a pre-apprenticeship in automotive to expand his working options in Australia.

“Starting the pre apprenticeship training program was very challenging because I had hardly any English. The staff were fantastic. They supported me to set up the systems that I needed to start work and they also helped me find a work placement,” said Raed.

“A few of the teachers spent extra time with me to teach me the words in English for different tools and situations. It was really hard but I really enjoy automotive mechanics and I managed to finish the training in the end.

Raed spent three months in a work placement where he received regular support on the job from teachers. He explained that teachers contacted him and his employer every week to ensure that he was progressing with the training and was feeling supported.

During the pre-apprenticeship training, Raed accessed numeracy and literacy skills training which he said helped him improve his English and gain more from his industry-based experience.

“It was like I was studying two courses because I was learning about automotive mechanics but I was also learning English and settling into the Australian culture. It was very hard. I found the literacy and numeracy training helped me a lot with my English and it made my training easier,” said Raed.

“Teachers spent extra time with me to explain things and help me find the words for things in English. They also supported me to navigate relationships with my employer and other people so that I could complete the course. I really benefited from their knowledge of the industry and they helped me keep a positive outlook about my training and the new career I was starting.”

Franco Lam
Apprentice of the Year: Automotive Electrical

Sponsored by Ashdown Ingram

“Winning this award means a lot to me. It shows that my hard work and passion has paid off. It’s a real honour to receive this award,” said Franco who currently works at Concept Auto Developments.

“I grew up around cars – all my friends are mechanics and I thought I’d choose something different. So I came up with auto electrical and it turned out pretty good.”

Franco expressed his appreciation for his teachers’ and fellow students support throughout his studies.

“The best part about the training is the teachers and the students around me. They always lead you and support you all the way through,” he said.

James Grant
Apprentice of the Year: Vehicle Paint Technology

Sponsored by PPG Industries

24-year-old James Grant of Altona North is currently an apprentice at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.

He moved to Melbourne from New Zealand for a wider range of opportunities and a better lifestyle, and started working as a tradesman at the shipping company within the vehicle paint department. Before this job, he worked as an electrical contractor for the police.

“I’m pretty proud and shocked to hear about the award. I like to help in the classroom whenever I can. I’ve been doing this for five years and if I can lend a help to anyone else, I’m happy to do so,” said James.

When asked what was the best part of training so far, James highlighted “the satisfaction of doing a better job and completion of the work.”

James will be graduating by the end 2016 and shares the value of learning at Kangan Institute.

“My teachers have a lot of knowledge and if you have questions, they are very helpful,” he said.

“I intend to keep upskilling and once my apprenticeship training is completed, I’ll continue with further shipping qualifications, which is pretty exciting. I’m looking at courses in supply chain and logistics management, and will most probably start at Kangan.”

Thomas Inkster (far left) and George Anastasopoulos (far right) receiving their awards.
George Anastasopoulos
Student of the year: Motorsport

Sponsored by Nissan Motorsport

George began his journey with an internship at Nissan Motorsport and progressed into a light vehicle apprenticeship with the Kelly Racing team.

“Winning this award just means to me how much everyone has recognised the hard work I’ve put in and everything behind the scenes that I’ve tried to achieve. Being recognised for that achievement is pretty awesome,” he said.

“I chose motorsport because my family (my father) had been involved in it before and it was just something that I wanted to achieve as a dream.”

Speaking about his training, he said “the best part of the training here at Kangan is the connection they have with Nissan Motorsport which has given me the ability to achieve what I have now.”

Thomas Inkster
Student of the year: Motorsport

Sponsored by Nissan Motorsport

“Winning this award means I’ve actually been recognised by other peers in my field. It means they’ve actually appreciated and understood how hard I’ve been working for this,” he said.

“I chose mechanics and especially motorsport because my dad’s been doing it since before I was born so I’ve been doing it and I thought that it was the only logical answer to what I could do. I’d like to be the number one mechanic in V8 Supercars.”

Currently completing his light vehicle apprenticeship at Nissan Motorsport, Thomas highlights the value of his Kangan Institute training.

“The best part of my training at Kangan has been that everything is so up to date. The facilities and all the equipment has been bang on,” he said.

Timothy Honey
Automotive Key Client of the Year

Sponsored by WPC Group

Timothy, who is currently completing a certificate III apprenticeship in automotive, works at Kmart tyre and auto service, Doncaster East.

“I chose this trade because I’ve always been passionate about automotive. When I was sixteen I learnt how to drive and I started wanting to learn more and more about it. I eventually started working at Kmart tyre and auto to get my qualification and one day open my own shop,” he said.

“Winning this award means a lot to me. It’s a good feeling. I was surprised to win this award and I think it’ll help me greatly in the future. The best part of training at Kangan was the facility, all the hands on equipment and the staff.”

Graeme Bramwell Le Lievre
Adult Learner of the Year: Automotive

Graeme, who currently works at JB Scott dealership in Geelong shared his thoughts on being awarded Adult Learner of the Year across automotive:

“Winning this award means through hard work, you can achieve something. I enjoy doing it and I enjoy the challenge, that’s why I chose to do this trade. The best part of my training has been my employer, Andrew Cleary, and Andrew Scott, who is my tutor. The schooling at Kangan Institute has been good too.”


Ashlee Poole
Apprentice of the Year: Automotive

Sponsored by SP Tools

Ashlee Poole is completing an apprenticeship at Nissan Traralgon Automotive Group through the WPC. The 23-year-old mum of two kids is currently working toward gaining her Certificate III Light Vehicle qualification and becoming a certified Nissan technician upon completion of her apprenticeship.

“Winning the award is such a great achievement. It’s something to put on my resume, something to tell to future employers just to help me along my journey,” she said.

“I chose this trade because I’ve got an interest in automotive. I grew up with two brothers so I’ve always had that car knowledge in the background and I just found it really interesting and there’s always something to learn in automotive. The industry is always going somewhere different everyday so I can never stop learning.”

Ashlee shared the best parts of her Kangan Institute training and the role her teacher George Orfanidis played in helping her to achieve her best.

“The best part of my training at Kangan is the teachers and the facilities. The teachers are just amazing. They’re always there to help – anything you need to know or want to know, they’re there to tell you. And the facilities here are just amazing… everything is up to date,” she said.

“I’d like to thank my teacher George for nominating me for all the awards I’ve won this year and for helping me get here. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to achieve the awards that I have,” she said.

Ashlee also expresses gratitude to her workplace “for giving me a go as a female and with children. For them to take me on was a big role and I’ve shown great success so far.”