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Pat Conaghan MP

Port youth wins national apprenticeship award

Port Macquarie youth Arcadia Meldrum has won the prestigious Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said the award was a boon for both Miss Meldrum and the Port Macquarie vocational education and training (VET) sector.

“To be selected as a national award winner at the Australian Training Awards is an outstanding achievement and Arcadia has shone the light on the great tourism offerings of our city,” he said.

“Well done Arcadia and Newman Technical Senior College for providing great vocational training modules and good work placements with local businesses.

“The pathway to a meaningful career is different for every young person and whether it is discovered through VET, university or something altogether different, it doesn’t matter.

“What matters is that young people try their best at something. Arcadia has certainly done that and it is her worth ethic and attitude to life that has impressed me the most.”

Miss Meldrum this year completed her higher school certificate with Newman Technical Senior College in Port Macquarie. She also completed a Certificate III in Tourism and said she just loved working in event management at Rydges Hotel on the foreshore.

“I worked one day a week as an apprentice at Rydges and then, when they had events on the weekend, I often picked up some casual work,” Miss Meldrum said.

“I helped set up for weddings, corporate events and charity gala dinners. Probably my favourite job was escorting brides from their bridal suite to the Sails’ pavilion chapel, helping them to calm their nerves before walking down the aisle.

“I’m now doing a Certificate III in Sport, Life and Recreation at Newman College. I want to work at the Olympics in 2024 – running a big event at the Olympics or working with the Australian team at some of their events would be an absolute dream for me.”

The Australian Training Awards were held in Brisbane on Thursday 21 November 2019. The awards are an initiative of the Australian Government to celebrate the dedication, skills and passion of the students, trainers and employers who make up Australia’s VET sector.

When speaking on the importance of the awards, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships Steve Irons said: “Their achievements will inspire the next generation of women and men whose skills will keep our economy going strong.

“Looking at the list of this year’s very impressive winners and finalists, you can see the breadth of rewarding career opportunities offered by vocational education and training, providing real skills for real careers.”

To see a full list of winners visit www.australiantrainingawards.gov.au

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