Once again on the last week of summer, the Kangan Institute held its annual awards to recognise their elite apprentices across the full range of trades, and the National Collision Repairer was once again invited to this auspicious event to report on the young talent from the Automotive Centre of Excellence.
The event was held at Zinc in Melbourne’s Federation Square, beginning with cocktails and canapes to allow the guests time to mingle with the Kangan Institute’s staff, special guests and celebrities before the formalities got underway.
The MC for the evening was Mick Collis who noted that the evening would recognise 56 award winners who trained at campuses in Broadmeadows, Essendon, Moonee Ponds, Richmond and Docklands.
Interestingly, Collis’ own story illustrates that through sheer perseverance almost anything is possible. With a burning desire to represent his country, albeit with limited capabilities in the many sports that he loved, Collis finally represented Australia at the Sudoku World Championships in Goa, India.
Collis introduced the Hon. Gayle Tierney, Member for Western Victoria and Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Higher Education. Minister Tierney addressed the audience with a passionate call to bring pride back into vocational training, which she said is the basis for the Victorian government’s decision to bring back Trade papers, which are certificates that commemorate the completion of an apprenticeship.
Collis then introduced Bendigo Kangan Institute’s new CEO, Sally Curtain who congratulated all the award recipients, reminded them that this is but the first step in their journey and also recognised the support of friends and family and of course the dedication and commitment of their teachers, who go “above and beyond” to prepare the apprentices with job-ready skills.
The collision industry related Apprentices of the Year recipients were:
- Layne Siekman, Automotive Refinishing Technology, sponsored by PPG
- Sean Garvey, Automotive Body Repair, sponsored by Sheen Group
- Matthew St Jack, Automotive Inspirational Student, sponsored by 3M
- Zach Hoyle, Sheen Group Body Repair Apprentice of the Year
- Rosario Lucisano, Sheen Group Refinishing Apprentice of the Year
- Bradley Reynolds, Sir Henry Royce Foundations Excellence award
- Mehmet Topalhasan, Lionel Gell Automotive Apprentice of the Year