Four of Benalla’s outstanding young apprentices were honoured last Thursday at the Benalla Lions Apprentice Encouragement Awards.
Winners Jessie Ryan, Brad Spencer, Jeremy Hyland and Judd Duscher received certificates and $500 gift vouchers from sponsors Mitre 10 and Delatite Steel.
The Lions Club of Benalla runs the awards ceremony every year to honour dedication, hard work and outstanding performance from local apprentices in their chosen field.
Goulburn Ovens Institutes of TAFE’s Brendan Rogash introduced the award winners to a packed room at the Benalla Bowls Club and discussed the process by which they were selected.
Hairdressing apprentice Jessie Ryan, who was cheered on by her mother Sarah and work colleague Shannon Goss, was awarded for her work at Hair Manor.
Brad Spencer, who is a Fitter and Turning apprentice at D & R Henderson, celebrated his win with partner Kim Howe.
Judd Duscher is an apprentice cabinet maker with Straitline Joinery. He was cheered on by his parents Terry and Jenny, and his partner Brianna McCall.
Jeremy Hyland is also a fitter and turning apprentice, he was joined by his employers Colin and Joy Desailly of Desailly Engineering.
Jeremy, who is halfway through the second year of his apprenticeship, said he did not expect to be winning any awards when he applied for the program.
‘‘When I took the job I just thought it’s a good opportunity to earn a ticket and it’s a trade that can get my life on track,’’ he said.
‘‘In the future I’d like to build on this and get more tickets, more trades and have more to fall back on.’’
Benalla Lions Apprenticeship Encouragement Awards coordinator Graham Milner said he was pleased with the event and proud of the winners.
‘‘I was pleased with how it all went, except for a dodgy microphone,’’ he said.
‘‘I like to make a bit of a song and dance about seeing so many partners and employers attending because it shows that they’ve got great faith in their apprentices.’’
Award winners are selected from a shortlist of apprentices supplied by GOTAFE.
‘‘Brendan Rogash has been assisting Lions for a number of years in asking the trainers for the names of apprentices who live and work in Benalla,’’ Mr Milner said.
‘‘That is supplied to us with a recommendation of suitable apprentices.
‘‘We select from that list four youngsters to receive our encouragement awards.
‘‘I’d like to say a big thanks to Mitre 10 and Delatite Steel and Engineering for their financial assistance in giving the $500 vouchers.
‘‘The intent of that $500 is that it goes towards the tools of trade that are needed by the apprentices.’’