Issue 10
Monday, 02 December 2019
Charles Darwin University
Australian Training Awards Apprentice of the Year Rory Milner
Australian Training Awards Apprentice of the Year Rory Milner

Outstanding VET student crowned Apprentice of Year

By Patrick Nelson

Outstanding VET graduate Rory Milner has added another trophy to his already impressive collection after being named Apprentice of the Year at the Australian Training Awards in Brisbane recently.

The win marks the culmination of an exceptional 12 months for the former Certificate III in Carpentry student, who earlier this year won the Austin Asche NT Apprentice of the Year award, and last year won three Master Builders awards, including Australian Apprentice of the Year.

Rory, a site supervisor with Sunbuild, had begun a career as an engineer before a change of heart prompted a new direction in life.

“I decided that I wanted to be in construction rather than behind a desk, so I pursued an apprenticeship with Sunbuild, leveraging my engineering background to fast-track the qualification,” he said.

He is now the site supervisor of the Yarrawonga Bunnings project, and was responsible for disassembling Big Kev the dinosaur, which he said was one of his career highlights.

“I’ve been on a great journey these past couple of years; I’ve met a lot of wonderful and interesting characters and I’m most grateful to a lot of people who have helped me along the way.”

Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology graduate Jack Short was named runner-up Trainee of the Year at the Australian Training Awards. And for the second time in the past three years, the CDU VET team made the top three for Large Training Provider of the Year.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks described the results as stellar.

“My warm congratulations to Rory, Jack, and the VET team for taking the Territory to the top,” Professor Maddocks said.

“The outstanding quality of the training delivered through our VET courses was validated at these national awards. I have the utmost respect for the efforts of every one of our VET staff and their efforts in training and mentoring young Territorians.”

Rory’s win was the third time that a student of CDU (or predecessor Northern Territory University) has won the coveted Apprentice of the Year prize since they were first issued in 1994. The previous winners were Jason Jones in 1997 and David Hodges in 1999.