Tony with Blake Collings (L) and Jayden Battaglene (R)
Blake Collings and Jayden Battaglene are the joint winners of the 4th Annual Casey Apprentice/Trainee of the Year Awards held in Montrose last night.
In 2009 I initiated the Awards to recognise and reward excellence and achievement and to encourage careers in local trades and small business.
Four local prominent business leaders again kindly volunteered their time to sift through the nominations and select those they thought most deserving.
Phil Munday of Phil Munday’s Panel Works chaired the independent judging panel, that included Sue O’Brien of Chateau Yering, Nick Fraraccio of Stevens Glass and Clive Larkman of Larkman Nurseries.
Industries represented this year included horticulture, landscaping, carpentry, electrical, glazing and hairdressing.
From the applications received, the judging panel decided upon 10 finalists.
From the ten finalists, the panel chose two Overall Winners of the 2013 Award - 18 year old Blake Collings from Wesburn, who is a Horticulture apprentice at Oz Watergardens in Monbulk, and 17 year old Jayden Battaglene, from Chirnside Park, who is a Landscape Construction apprentice at Coolabah Landscaping in Rowville.
The Runner-up Award was won by 20 year old David Graham from Monbulk who is an apprentice electrician with Everyday Air & Electrical Solutions in Seville.
The panel chose 21 year old Ryan Adams from Mooroolbark, who is an apprentice carpenter with MN Constructions in Warrandyte to receive the Encouragement Award.
Congratulations again to all finalists, the award winners, and the panel who gave generously of their time to choose some young locals who are excelling in their chosen field and deserve the recognition and encouragement the Awards provide.