How Andrew’s hobby became an award-winning career

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Challenger TAFE/Rotary Club of Cockburn 2008 Apprentice of the Year, Andrew Wright, was guided by his passion for marine mechanics when he swapped his university studies for a trade at the College’s WA Maritime Training Centre – Fremantle.

Andrew turned his hobby for tinkering with outboard motors into a successful and rewarding career.

“I was studying Civil Engineering at university but was finding it increasingly difficult to maintain motivation because all I wanted to do was work on boats,” he said.

“Once I started training in Marine Mechanics at Challenger TAFE I knew I was on the right career path, and I haven’t looked back since.”

Andrew is thrilled with his role as a Lead Technician with Chivers Marine, and ultimately has his sights set on running his own mobile marine mechanics business.

He praised his training at the College as having instilled the perfect blend of practical skills and a theoretical approach to diagnostic work.

“My training taught me broad-based skills that you can’t learn in an on-the-job environment alone. In particular, I developed the right thought processes needed to troubleshoot and diagnose problems,” he said.

“My lecturer, John Watson, was great. He had so much time for everyone in the class that it felt like you were getting one-on-one training.”

The Director of the WA Maritime Training Centre – Fremantle, Kingsley Waterhouse, said Andrew reflected well on the College and was a deserving winner of the $1500 prize.

“Andrew impressed his lecturers with a maturity beyond his years and an excellent aptitude for the trade. He’s now in a position where he is able to mentor up and coming apprentices, which will undoubtedly yield positive outcomes for the industry,” he said.

The judges were also impressed with Andrew’s community spirit, which he displayed throughout five years of volunteer work with the Fremantle Sea Rescue, where he often worked up to 20 hours per week.

And, if there was any doubt about his love of all things maritime, in his spare time he likes relaxing on the water or over at Rottnest Island.

With this all-encompassing love and commitment for boating, his chosen path is more of a lifestyle than a career choice, and one with an exceptionally bright future at that.

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