Industry & Trade |
Master Builders Association of Victoria


EMBARGOED until 9pm, Tuesday 13 March 2018

13 March 2018

Carpentry apprentice Joseph Brakels from Mansfield was named the Master Builders North East Section Apprentice of the Year at Raffety’s restaurant in Benalla this evening.

Joseph was among three apprentices from the North East region to be recognised for their dedication, skill and hard work.

The other two winners on the night were Employer-Nominated winner Patrick Bourke from Moama and Chairman’s Award winner Seth Diffey from Bowna.

Master Builders’ Careers Manager Ingrid Mountford said this year’s nominees demonstrated exceptional determination, focus and maturity in building their careers.

“Apprentices have to work very hard for this recognition, so there is a great deal of excitement that builds up when they make it this far,” she said. “They are genuinely excited about the directions of their careers.”

“What began as casual work soon became an opportunity for Joseph to demonstrate natural talent,” Mountford said. “He demonstrates meticulous attention to detail.”

“His advice to other apprentices is to make every effort to stick with it during the first, difficult 12 months, and to explore as many aspects of building as possible,” she said.

Employer-nominated winner Patrick Bourke was headed for university when he realised a more hands-on career held a much greater appeal for him. He also views helping to supervise less-experienced apprentices as an important part of the learning process,” Ms Mountford said.

Chairman’s Award winner Seth Diffey’s advice is to find a good employer and give them everything you’ve got to contribute. “As a builder, you can actually look at what you’ve accomplished every day and feel good about it,” he said.

Master Builders Chief Executive Officer Radley de Silva emphasised that apprentices are essential to Victoria’s building industry.

“We have a strong need to grow our skilled workforce in the building and construction industry so that it will continue to provide the homes and infrastructure Victoria needs,” Mr de Silva said.

“Apprentices help to build our communities,” he said. “Acknowledging their hard work and dedication encourages apprentices across Victoria to continue their career path to achieve bigger and greater things in our industry.”

Regional winners are selected after an interview with a panel of three judges. Once awarded, they will be invited to attend the State Apprentice of the Year Awards on 11 May in Melbourne where the overall winners will be announced.

Media welcome – interviews and photos of winners available upon request.

What: Apprentice of the Year Awards (North East region)

When:  Tuesday 13 March 2018 from 7pm to 9pm

Where: Raffety’s, 55 Nunn Street, Benalla VIC 3672


Media enquiries:            

Peter Sackett, Media Adviser, (03) 9411 4534, 0466 777 059,