Austin Asche Apprentice of the Year

Sponsored by the Gil Court Memorial Fund.

Winner: Taylor Fishlock - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

Employer: M&K Lee Electrical Contractors
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

After growing up on a remote cattle station in the Northern Territory (NT), Taylor Fishlock was keen to pursue a trade that could take her anywhere she chose to go. She identified electrical work as the path to new opportunities and gained an apprenticeship with her Katherine-based employers.

Taylor describes herself as having a strong work ethic and drive. This has seen her dedicate herself to her studies and resulted in her winning the NECA Australian Electrical Apprentice of the Year. Taylor is also breaking down gender roles in her work field, being the first woman to win a NECA Australian Industrial Award.

As well as studying her Certificate III in Electrotechnology, Taylor has also gained other work-related qualifications such as First Aid. She intends to continue her studies and focus on the small business skills sector, with the aim of opening her own electrical contracting business in the future.

Runner up: Liam O’Reilly - Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade (Maintenance - Diesel Fitting)

Employer: Hastings Deering (Aust) Ltd
Registered training provider: Hastings Deering Institute of Technology

An interest in agriculture and aquaculture led Liam to consider how to combine the two into a future career path. After completing a science degree in Aquaculture, Liam decided to undertake an apprenticeship in diesel fitting at Hastings Deering in Darwin. He sees an opportunity to use both qualifications in the future, aiming to own an aquaculture farm and have the skills, knowledge and abilities to repair and maintain all his equipment.

Liam says the relative isolation of the Darwin branch has given him the opportunity to learn on a wide variety of equipment, from smaller farm machinery to civil road work equipment, moving further up to the mining industry and in some cases, power generation, marine, plus the oil and gas industry. It has given him exposure to a range of industries and developed his technical skills.

Liam says the communications, team and leadership skills he learned during his apprenticeship facilitated opportunities to undertake work internationally. He accompanied a field service fitter to a job on an oil rig off the Timor Leste coast. With a multinational crew on the rig, Liam had to ensure he communicated effectively with the team to successfully complete the task. He has also been sent by his employers to work in the field at locations such as the Granites Gold Mine.

Liam has supervised other apprentices in the work place and is described by his employers as a proactive high achiever. Liam is proud of reaching his personal milestone of having two qualifications before he turns 30.

Last updated: 24 June 2019

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