The Bendigo awards are one of five divisions of Master Builders Victoria’s Regional Apprentice awards that are celebrated across Victoria each year, including the Gippsland, North East, South East and Ballarat regions.

Vincent McLindon from Echuca was awarded the Bendigo Chairperson’s Award at a celebration on Thursday, February 22 at the All Seasons Resort Hotel which was attended by more than 150 guests.

Employed by Mitchell Homes and nominated by Bendigo TAFE, the judges in this year’s awards said Vincent who is a 4th year Carpentry apprentice had demonstrated great commitment and resilience in overcoming a variety of challenges during his apprenticeship.

“Vincent was a standout contender in this year’s awards and has shown great dedication to his trade and has developed key leadership skills,” they said. 

Fourth year Carpentry apprentice Emmie Banfield from Quarry Hill took home the Apprentice of the Year Bendigo, Developing Leader Award.

Nominated by her training provider, Bendigo TAFE and employed by Adrian Bassett Homes, the judges said Emmie had proven herself adept with both her skills and her project leadership.

“Emmie is eager to embrace future opportunities to expand her knowledge and skills over all aspects of the trade.”

The final award of the night, the Apprentice of the Year Bendigo, Junior Apprentice Award was awarded to Cain Berryman, a 4th year Carpentry apprentice from Mildura.

Cain is employed by JD Constructions Mildura and was nominated for the award by the Sunraysia Institute of TAFE.

The judges noted that Cain started his career as a Year 9 student when he began working with a local builder through a school-based apprenticeship.

“Cain is a hard worker with an obvious passion for his trade and great communications skills. Now he’s on his way to study his diploma to become a registered builder and run his own business.”

Apprentices nominated for the awards were judged on their preparation and presentation, work experience, knowledge and career plans, attitude on and about the job and industry representation by a panel of industry judges.

Master Builders Victoria CEO, Michaela Lihou congratulated Vincent, Emmie and Cain on their awards, noting the strength of this year’s nominations.

“It is genuinely inspiring to see the enthusiasm and commitment our apprentices bring to their work  and it’s important to recognize and celebrate their successes. My sincerest congratulations to all of the nominees and the winners for everything they bring to the building and construction industry,” she said.

The Bendigo region apprentice award winners will now go on to the overall Victorian State Apprentice of the Year Awards being held at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Thursday, May 9, 2024.