2017 Apprentice of the Year Announced for Wangaratta and Benalla Campuses


GOTAFE’s Wangaratta and Benalla Campuses held their annual Trade Awards on Wednesday 6 December at the Gateway Hotel, Wangaratta. The awards were attended by over 220 apprentices, employers, sponsors and GOTAFE Trainers.

50 awards were presented to outstanding pre-apprentices, and apprentices in their first, second, third and fourth years from the Automotive, Building and Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Hairdressing and Beauty, Hospitality, Baking and Plumbing learning areas.

Matthew Shipard from Brocklesby, NSW took out the top prize when he was announced as GOTAFE’s 2017 Apprentice of the Year for Wangaratta and Benalla Campuses. Matthew, an Engineering Apprentice, was one of the eight final year Apprentices who were awarded the Outstanding Apprentice Achievement Award for their respective learning areas.

Matthew recently completed Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (MEM30305) with GOTAFE and works with Ai Group Training Services and Nestle – Uncle Tobys.

“When I was 15 I completed pre apprenticeships in both Automotive and Engineering then during Year 12 I was working as a Shearer. I started working at Nestle and studying a certificate in Fitting and Turning which I fast tracked in two and a half years at night school and have just completed my second qualification, Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade in under 12 months.”

“GOTAFE has taught me a lot about fabrication and turning, both theory and practical. I now have a broad range of skills in fitting and machining.”

GOTAFE Trainer Greg Keane describes Matthew as an extraordinary student.

“Matthew is focussed and has a willingness to succeed that I haven’t seen in a student for a very long time. He has an unwavering desire to get work done.

“If I had a class full of Matthew Shipard’s I’d be a very happy camper. Whatever Matthew does I am sure he will succeed.”

Matthew recently won the Wodonga Council Red Carpet Youth Awards. In 2016 Matthew was named the Ai Group Apprentice of the Month. Matthew is a volunteer firefighter, part time firefighter, enjoys tennis and in 2016 joined a mission to Papua New Guinea

Matthew plans to one day set up his own business and continue working on the family farm. GOTAFE wishes him the greatest success.

GOTAFE also celebrated the achievements of their Apprentice students from Seymour and Shepparton Campuses on Monday 4 December at the GV Hotel, Shepparton.