10 May 2023

Weipa tradies claim TAFE awards

| Matt Nicholls
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WEIPA automotive mechanic Nevi Pratt was the toast of the trade community after claiming two trophies at the TAFE Queensland Cairns Trade Excellence Awards.

The annual event shines a spotlight on the region’s best apprentices and trade students, recognising their dedication to their training and industry.

Thirteen award categories were announced with Mr Pratt claiming the Automotive Apprentice of the Year Award and the coveted Outstanding Apprentice of the Year Award.

Mr Pratt, who works at Diesel Field Services in Weipa, said his passion for his trade began at an early age.

“I’ve always had a fascination with cars and growing up I loved tinkering with cars and machinery,” he said.

“I enjoy travelling to Cairns for automotive training and interacting with other apprentices who are doing the same thing.

“I’m constantly learning in my trade and I like that I can use what I’ve learned to help my family, friends and customers at work.”

Mr Pratt, who was nominated for the awards by his employer, was singled out for his positive attitude, superior standard of work and leadership skills.

“It was exciting when I found out that I had been nominated for the Cairns Trade Excellence Awards,” he said.

“I was not expecting my name to be called out as the winner of the Automotive Apprentice of the Year and I was definitely not expecting to win two awards! It is a great accomplishment and it’s great that my boss believes in me.”

Another Weipa man, Wilfred Bowie, took home the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Trade Student of the Year award.

Two more Weipa residents were also honoured – Tyrone Chinfat won Engineering Apprentice of the Year and Emily Bowden won Female Trade Student of the Year.

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