A willingness to learn and go further has rewarded Griffith student Declan Lynch, who claimed the School Based Apprentice of the Year 2017 in Wagga last Friday.
Declan was excited to win the award, to make his school, studio and family proud, after starting his school-based traineeship last year.
“It was pretty overwhelming, but I was really happy,” Declan said.
The NSW Training Awards are conducted annually by Training Services NSW to acknowledge outstanding student’s exceptional achievements.
A large number of entries each year means that Declan was chosen from the best of the best.
Most of the Awards are judged by ten regional VET promotional committees, comprising staff of a variety of stakeholders in the VET system such as Apprenticeship Network Providers (ANP), training providers, employers and employer groups, industry bodies and Training Services NSW staff.
Declan has been working for Bidgee Studios as part of a school-based apprenticeship, where he is committed to learning about the studio and making art.
Hape Kiddle, the owner of Bidgee Studios is proud of his young protegee’s achievement, but not surprised, as Declan has what he deems as all the positive attributes he associates with dedication.
Mr Kiddle said that he “wasn’t surprised by any stretch.”
“I mean obviously I'm proud of Declan for achieving this, for winning, but I’d be proud of him either way” Mr Kiddle said.
“I took Declan on, not because of the set skill base he had, but because of who he is, so for me this is just an acknowledgment of what I already know.”
Mr Kiddle nominated Declan for the award, who then followed up by an interview and a written report about himself, with questions relating to his work at the studio and community involvement.
“A lot of the stuff was about what I’ve done at school, for example we’ve made two googa (Wiradjuri term for goanna) sculptures.”
Mr Kiddle felt it was the perfect opportunity to have Declan recognised for his hard work an dedication to whatever he puts his mind too.
“His willingness to go further, to push himself, he doesn't fall apart at criticism, if anything it galvanises him.”
Declan’s wish for the future is to finish the last two years in his Anmore design course.
He hopes to then pursue a career in art.
“It means a lot to me, to make my family proud, and also for the community, it shows to other kids that they can do it too”.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.