As with last year, in the last week of summer, the Kangan Institute held its annual awards to recognise their elite apprentices across the full spectrum of trades, and the National Collision Repairer was once again invited 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. The formalities got underway with an Acknowledgement of Country, recognising the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation at the traditional owners of the land on which the event was held.
The MC for the evening was TV celebrity and successful businesswomen Elise May, who spoke about her background and drew parallels between her journey and that of an apprentice highlighting the sacrifice, dedication and commitment required to be successful in the modern world. May also thanked the sponsors, business owners and of course Kangan Institute for their support of our next generation of tradespeople.
May introduced Bendigo Kangan Institute’s new CEO, Sally Curtain who congratulated all the award recipients, acknowledged the challenges of 2020 and recognised how important it was to have the support of friends and family. She also highlighted the dedication and commitment of the teachers and trainers, who go “above and beyond” to prepare the apprentices with job-ready skills. Curtain also reminded the apprentices that this is just one of the steps on their journey during their careers, wherever that may lead.
On to the main event. The collision industry related Apprentices of the Year recipients were:
- Braydon Dekert, Automotive Refinishing Technology, sponsored by PPG
- Matthew Bowers, Automotive Body Repair, sponsored by Sheen Group
- Lachlan Cheney, Sheen Group Body Repair Apprentice of the Year
- Dylan Hoskins, Sheen Group Refinishing Apprentice of the Year
- Patrick Gammoh, Sir Henry Royce Foundations Excellence award
Keynote speaker was Josh Richards, one of six Australian’s on the short-list of 100 potential astronauts to go on a one-way mission to colonise Mars. Richards spoke about the many roles he has had in his career, all of which contributed to his ultimate selection for the Mars Mission. He encouraged the Kangan apprentices to find their passion and chase their dream: “Remember, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”
We will have more on Josh’s story and this great event in the April issue of the National Collision Repairer. We congratulate all the award recipients, the teachers, and the support staff at the Kangan Institute for what was, once again, a truly inspirational experience and an extremely professional awards evening.