Being ‘like a sponge’ is good

KATIE Smith does not really know why she was chosen to win two accolades at this year’s Wide Bay Group Training Awards but she’s stoked nonetheless and says the recognition is fantastic.

The 19-year-old was awarded outstanding apprentice stage 2 and construction apprentice at the ceremony on Saturday night at the Brolga Theatre.

“I don’t know how I won it or why I won it. They said something along the lines that I’m like a sponge; easy to absorb,” she said.

Ms Smith, a painter/decorator, has been working with the Maryborough company since 2007. She accepted certificates and trophies for her awards and said the recognition gives employees more drive.

Joining her from Downer EDI Rail was Benjamin Munford who won outstanding apprentice stage 4. The company also took out employer of the year; while its partner Downer EDI Engineering Electrical grabbed some accolades too.

Wide Bay Group Training CEO John Fordyce described the night as an opportunity to acknowledge the dedication, commitment and enthusiasm of the region’s apprentices, trainees and host employers.

“The night was an outstanding success with over 280 people helping celebrate the successes of the past year.”

Echoing his words was Fraser Coast councillor with the economic portfolio Gerard O’Connell: “It’s the best public recognition that’s currently available. The pride is palatable quite frankly.”

  • Alana Aspinall – Hervey Bay Regional Award – Wide Bay Group Training
  • Karen Sandoz – retail/tourism trainee – Boundary Oasis General Store
  • Katie Smith – construction apprentice and outstanding apprentice stage 2 – Downer EDI Rail
  • Benjamin Munford – outstanding apprentice stage 4 – Downer EDI Rail
  • Jenna Thorburn – outstanding apprentice stage 1 – Downer EDI Engineering Electrical
  • Joshua Barham – electrical apprentice, apprentice of the year and Maryborough Regional Award – Bombardier Transportation/Hyne Timber
  • Robert Melnyk – Andrew Milu Memorial Award – Hervey Bay RSL
  • Downer EDI Engineering Electrical (Maryborough) – Host Employer of the Year (medium)
  • Downer EDI Rail Maryborough – Host Employer of the Year (large)

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