10 May 2023

Awards night: Future generation in good hands

| Cape York Weekly
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TYRONE Chinfat was in his late 20s and working as a labourer in Townsville when he decided to apply for an apprenticeship with Rio Tinto Weipa.

“I saw it advertised on Seek and applied. There were 476 people who went for the apprenticeship and only two of us got a spot,” he said on Wednesday night, where he was crowned apprentice of the year at the MRAEL Western Cape Apprentice and Training Awards.

Tyrone and his family packed up and moved to Weipa and they haven’t looked back.

Deep into his second year as an engineering apprentice, Tyrone said he loved the Weipa lifestyle and the work culture.

“I love fishing, camping and hunting, so it’s perfect for me,” he said with a smile.

“I need to thank a few people because I’ve had some help along the way. Warren Jamieson, Laurie Raleigh and Geoff Daniels have been great to me.”

Rio Tino Weipa acting general manager Dan Kelleher paid tribute to all the apprentices and trainees working at the mining company.

There are more than 100 of them on the books, he said.

A former apprentice himself, Mr Kelleher said completing a trade was a great life skill to have and urged the young people in attendance at the Albatross Bay Resort to go on with it.

“Finishing your apprenticeship is not the end, it’s the start. Just be open to change and new experiences,” he said.

Another feel-good story on the night was the gong for Aurukun apprentice Darrus Wolmby.

He won the Combined Trade Apprentice of the Year award.

Emily Bowden was presented with the Murphy Rehn Award for being the Most Outstanding First Year Apprentice.

Summah-Roze Ludwick took home the perpetual shield as the winner of the Allan Sarago Trainee Award.

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