Excellence Awards 2020: Our Apprentices and Trainees Rose to the Challenge

Charlotte BeveridgeApprenticeships, News, TraineeshipsLeave a Comment


The 21st NECA Education & Careers Excellence Awards were held on Tuesday 23 February 2021, with staff and guests relishing the opportunity to come together after the awards were postponed due to COVID restrictions.

Delaying the awards meant our teachers and Industry Careers Consultants could still nominate the apprentices and trainees to acknowledge the effort they put into their training, especially through the challenges of 2020.

GTO/Return to Work Coordinator Roxie Di Pastena and veteran teacher Neil Helsdon hosted the presentations with the charm and humour that makes them so popular with apprentices and trainees.

The awards began by recognising apprentices who attend trade school at NECA Education & Careers.

The first winner of the night was Adam Mulkearns for Pre-Apprentice of the Year. Adam’s teacher reported he completed his assignments to a high standard and was helpful to other students.

Next was 1st Year Student Apprentice of the Year, awarded to Jacob Horton for his initiative in preparing for his subjects. Solo Senda received an honourable mention for his knowledge in class.

2nd Year Student of the Year was Adrian Vallily for his high-quality practical work and positive attitude.

Presentation of the memorial award for former teacher Kevin Stevens is always a special part of the night. The Kevin Stevens Excellence Award for Academic Excellence commends a 3rd Year student who shares Kevin’s passion and willingness to help others.

John Stevens spoke about the values his father brought as a teacher, as an introduction for those students who wouldn’t have known him. Neil also spoke about the impact Kevin had on him. The Stevens family were touched to see that Kevin was still being remembered and his values still having an effect.

Nominees and presenters of the Kevin Stevens Excellence Award for Academic Achievement.
Back row: John Stevens, David Lane, Jack Blake, Thomas Zaradic, Melissa Crawford, Ryan Scott
Front row: McKinnon Heycox

Jack Blake won the award and mentioned in his acceptance speech that he had heard Kevin spoken highly of in the trade school. An honourable mention went to McKinnon Heycox, as he was first to arrive in class and last to leave.

Next were the awards for the apprentices and trainees employed in Group Training at NECA Education & Careers.

Trainee of the Year was Jackson Britt for his ability to adapt quickly to remote work and become the go-to person for remote set-ups at his host.

Joshua Hills followed his win at last year’s NECA Tasmania awards with Tasmanian Apprentice of the Year.

The judges found all three finalists for Junior Apprentice of the Year outstanding, so Chris Cozzio, Isobel Dakis Rofe and Jordan Flanders all received the award.

Senior Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Travis Spatari, a trusted team member on site, with Angus Maynard receiving an honourable mention for his drive to learn.

And of course, the success of these apprentices and trainees wouldn’t be possible without their employers.

Our Trainee Host Employer of the Year was the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, who have hosted 13 trainees across the department since 2019 as part of a supportive relationship.

Electrical Host Employer of the Year awards were presented to CR Thorn & Sons, Ion Electrical, and Nilsen representing our small, medium, and large hosts respectively. These hosts treat the apprentices as their own.

When announcing Teacher of the Year, Training Operations Manager extended his thanks to everyone involved in training for adapting to remote teaching, before announcing Aaron Walford as the deserving winner.

The team at NECA Education & Careers would like to thank our students, apprentices, trainees and employers for their ongoing support through 2020.

Congratulations to the Winners & Finalists

Pre-Apprentice of the Year Adam Mulkearns
Finalist: Connor Hobbs

1st Year Student Apprentice of the Year – Jacob Horton
Honourable Mention: Solo Senda
Finalists: Lachlan Smith and Luke Papamihail

2nd Year Student Apprentice of the Year – Adrian Vallily
Finalists: Mark Compton and Christian Reinhardt

Kevin Stevens Excellence Award for Academic Achievement Jack Blake
Honourable Mention: McKinnon Heycox
Finalists: Emily Cruickshank, David Lane, Melissa Crawford, and Thomas Zaradic

Trainee of the Year – Jackson Britt
Finalists: Healing Levi and Tia Walsh

Tasmanian Apprentice of the Year – Joshua Hills
Finalist: Zac Kregor

Junior Apprentice of the Year – Chris Cozzio, Isobel Dakis Rofe, and Jordan Flanders

Senior Apprentice of the Year – Travis Spatari
Honourable Mention: Angus Maynard
Finalists: Michael Opie, Vincent Fouquet, and Kyle Latu-Green

Trainee Host Employer of the Year – Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

Electrical Host Employer of the Year (Small) – CR Thorn & Sons

Electrical Host Employer of the Year (Medium) – Ion Electrical

Electrical Host employer of the Year (Large) – Nilsen

Teacher of the Year – Aaron Walford

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