Apprentice Cody Cherry-Ackerly was "absolutely stoked" when he took home top honours at the TAFE Queensland 2023 Mount Isa Trade Excellence Awards on Thursday, September 7.
The 20-year-old emerged victorious, claiming trophies for both Diesel Fitting Apprentice of the Year and the night's top prize, Outstanding Apprentice of the Year.
More than 450 trade students are currently honing their skills at the Mount Isa campus. There were 37 students named as finalists for the awards, across 11 categories.
Mr Cherry-Ackerly said he was grateful to everyone who helped him pursue his trade career.
"I was a bit of a silly kid in school and if it wasn't for everyone who's been around me - my parents, teachers and supervisors - I wouldn't be where I am now," he said.
"My advice for anyone thinking about a trade career is to shoot your shot, you won't know if you're going to like it unless you try it."
Mr Cherry-Ackerly first developed his love mechanical work when he began his career working at a mechanic shop, while still in school.
"After two years of being at the shop I aspired to further develop my knowledge and I decided to apply for the Glencore apprentice intake," he said.
"I'm a third-year apprentice diesel fitter and it has led me down a path that I am absolutely enjoying every day and I'm learning so much.
"In the future, I hope to move into a dual trade, maybe be an auto electrical or a sparkie of some sort."
TAFE Queensland Director of Educational Delivery for Trades and Transport, Maree Butler, said the awards night shone a spotlight on the 37 deserving finalists who were recognised for their hard work and dedication.
"Every year we are blown away by the calibre of students who are nominated for the Mount Isa Trade Excellence Awards and I would like to congratulate all of the finalists and winners," Ms Butler said.
"Around 150 people attended the event and 11 trophies were handed out to celebrate the efforts of our most dedicated trade students.
"Outstanding Apprentice of the Year Cody Cherry-Ackerly was singled out for his exceptional work ethic, his enthusiasm for learning, and his willingness to share his knowledge to help his classmates.
"TAFE Queensland is proud to train more than 450 trade students at the Mount Isa campus who are helping to fill skills shortages across a range of industries, including construction, engineering, hairdressing, and diesel fitting."
TAFE Queensland 2023 Mount Isa Trade Excellence Awards winners:
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