Indigenous student winner a role model for all

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A former Belmont scaffolder and rigger who developed a passion for the oil and gas industry has been recognised as a leader in his field.

Kevin Ugle’s dedication to his training saw him named as joint winner of Challenger TAFE's top student award and outright winner of the top aboriginal student award.

“I spent 3 years working offshore alongside oil and gas process operators and I realised that I wanted to make a career for myself in that field,” he said.

“Energy supply is such a crucial industry to our society and a central part of the economy, and I wanted to play a part in something that had that sort of impact.”

However, it wasn’t until Kevin undertook his training at Challenger TAFE's Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) that he knew he was on the right career path.

“The training was top level. It really gave me a good sense of direction and helped me develop the right kind of attitude needed for process operations.”

Kevin is employed by the group training organisation, Apprenticeships Australia, and has been working for Woodside off the coast of Karratha.

“It’s a highly demanding and challenging role with a greater level of responsibility and a big focus on safety and risk management. It’s certainly a much more fulfilling career for me,” he said.

The team leader responsible for Woodside’s apprentices and trainees on behalf of Apprenticeships Australia, Mel Oliveri, said the award was well-deserved recognition for an outstanding employee.

“Kevin has proven to be an exceptional asset for Woodside and they are extremely proud of his achievements,” he said.

“He has been integrated with the core crew on the Cossack Pioneer, where he receives tremendous support from his colleagues.”

“Not only is Kevin a fantastic role model for the indigenous community, he’s a shining example for anyone who sets a career goal and has the determination and application to not only achieve it, but to exceed it.”

Kevin was honoured to win the awards, and said he was ready to act as a role model within his community.

“I’m very proud of my indigenous heritage so it was a huge privilege to win the award and to be regarded so highly,” he said.

“I’d love to ultimately take on a role where I can mentor others and encourage more aboriginal people into training. I believe open and honest communication and leading by example are the best ways to achieve this.”

Kevin said the fly-in-fly-out lifestyle was perfect for him as it allowed him plenty of time to spend with his family and girlfriend, and also to indulge in another of his passions, fishing.

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