The Bendigo TAFE Apprentice and Industry Awards Night was held at the All Seasons Hotel on Monday night. The awards night acknowledged a record number of award recipients with more than 50 awards being presented.
The high point of the night was the presentation of the 2017 Apprentice of the Year. The award went to the inspiring Eliza Stewart of Bendigo, a Hairdressing Apprentice who impressed judges with and her strong work ethic, commitment to her studies and drive to succeed in the industry. Stewart is currently completing her apprenticeship with local hair and beauty salon, Flaunt It.
The record number of excellence awards covered a large number of TAFE courses, including engineering, construction, painting and decorating, electrical, plumbing, refrigeration, machine repair, automotive, parks and gardens, landscape construction, commercial cookery and hairdressing.
In attendance were the families and friends of students, Bendigo TAFE CEO, Trevor Schwenke and City of Greater Bendigo Mayor, Cr Marg O'Rouke.
Industry representatives were also in attendance to show their support for apprentices and trainees. The event highlighted the critical resource Bendigo TAFE is to the community by ensuring industries have access to well trained, highly skilled tradespeople.
The Bendigo TAFE awards night celebrates the vast network established by Bendigo TAFE with industry partners and employers across regional Victoria. By developing TAFE courses in consultation with industry partners, Bendigo TAFE is ensuring that pre-apprentices and apprentices gain the most current and relevant skills.
The process of shortlisting and choosing the award winners for over 50 awards, involved teaching staff from each TAFE course nominating the most outstanding apprentice from their study area for 2017. A panel then interviewed each finalist and made the difficult decision of selecting an overall award winner.
Award winning students were represented from across the region from Echuca, Dylan Edge winning "Best 3rd Year Light Fabrication" for Engineering, across to Warracknabeal, with Callum Zanker taking home "Best 2nd Year Apprentice" in Refrigeration.
Bendigo TAFE CEO, Trevor Schwenke described the evening as: "... a night of inspiring examples of personal achievement, in addition to their skills being recognised. The awards cover a wide range of industries with many students going on to permanent employment in their chosen trade."