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Electrician wins Rotary Club of Warrnambool East Apprentice Award

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Colac electrical apprentice John Douma took out the 2019 Rotary Club of Warrnambool East First Year Apprentice Award Thursday night.

John was shortlisted for the annual award which is donated by Rotary and awarded to a first year apprentice from South West TAFE.

John was one of nine students to be nominated by their teachers for excellence in their trades and commitment to their studies and it was his dedication and mentoring role which made him stand out as the winner.

He works as an electrical apprentice for Westvic Staffing Solutions and Australian Lamb Colac and was described by his teachers as being a dedicated and inspiring apprentice.

A mature-age apprentice with a wife and three children, John is always supporting and mentoring his classmates to succeed.

The runner-up award went to barbering apprentice Michael Meaola who is employed by Prominence Salon in Portland.

Encouragement awards went to engineering apprentice Lachlan Murray from Keppel Prince in Portland and plumbing apprentice Mitch Reed from McQuinn and Son Plumbing in Timboon.

The nine students were interviewed by Rotary club and South West TAFE staff members and shortlisted to four award winners.

The award was judged on how students were progressing in their course, their willingness to learn, how they positively represented their trade and how they could be encouraged to continue their studies.

The judging panel was impressed by all students and their focus on creating successful careers for themselves.

Rotary’s Youth and Vocation director Wendy Mitchem was assisted by Rotarian Paul Atack and said all the candidates showed incredible enthusiasm in their trades and had bright futures ahead of them.

She said it was wonderful to see the apprentices from all different backgrounds and ages, all succeeding in their chosen fields.

The Rotary Club of Warrnambool East has offered this award for many years and continues to provide ongoing support to training apprentices in the region.

South West TAFE CEO Mark Fidge said the organisation was grateful for the partnership with Rotary in supporting apprentices.

“It’s great to have the ongoing support of the Rotary Club of Warrnambool East and the encouragement this award gives to our first year apprentices is invaluable,” he said.

John Douma is the winner of the 2019 Rotary Club of Warrnambool East First Year Apprentice Award.