Photograph by Paul Jeffers Nestle 20 Oct 2017

HARD-WORKING students of Kangan Institute were celebrated at the Excellence Awards night last week and included students from Pyalong, Broadford and Mernda.

Mitchell Ryan of Pyalong was awarded Apprentice of the Year in Engineering for his interest in the field because of his experience working on farming machinery.

Mr Ryan started an engineering mechanical apprenticeship at Nestle after completing high school.

“The training at work and at TAFE has helped to develop my skills and knowledge in the trade,” he said.

“I am extremely grateful for this award. For a kid that comes from Pyalong, a small country town, to have my hard work and persistence over the past years formally recognised is a great honour.

“I would like to thank my teacher Alex for his support and guidance over the past few years in helping me to develop into a tradesman.

Kym Raphael from Broadford was also awarded for her excellence as the Apprentice of the Year in Bakery.

Ms Raphael worked as part of a dessert company for 11 years before training as a bake at TAFE.

“My TAFE training has given me the opportunity for a new start in my life. I am now a qualified baker, something I thought I would have never done. The training has given me new skills and knowledge that I can use alongside what I have already learnt,” she said.

“I needed a change, I needed to do something for me and I have loved baking all my life.”
The overall Apprentice of the Year Award was presented to hairdressing apprentice Christine Daoud, of Mernda.

Despite having to take time off work after a car accident, Ms Daoud stayed committed to her work.

“Having this time off really made me think about how much I loved being at work. And with the support of my educators I was able to get back on my feet really fast and get back to work,” she said.

Ms Daoud works at Joey Scandizzo Salon and said she has a love for creative hands-on learning.

“I’m fortunate enough to be given many opportunities where I work, whether it be competitions such as HBIA (Hair & Beauty Industry Association), photo shoots, and events such as the Brownlow or working at the Melbourne Cup,” she said.

Kangan Institute chief executive congratulated all award winners for their hard work.

“Congratulations to all our award winners. The awards are recognition of our students’ hard work and commitment to education, and provide a platform for them to achieve bigger and brighter futures from here on,” she said.