Last Friday night, when joinery apprentice Danielle Shedden was announced as State Apprentice of the Year, the reaction from the audience was unrestrained. Hoots, whistles and cheers of congratulations filled the ballroom of The Pullman Hotel in Albert Park as Shedden took the stage to receive the event’s ultimate award—her third for the evening.

For the second time in as many years, a female tradie had been given top honours at Master Builders Association of Victoria’s Apprentice of the Year Awards. Cranbourne West local Danielle Shedden, 24, received her award in front of 920 guests, winning $10 thousand worth of tools, work wear and vouchers.

Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert MP was present on the evening to recognise the achievements of this year’s apprentices.

“Creating opportunities for people to develop their vocational skills is critical to the future of our economy, as our skills base is built on apprenticeships and traineeships,” Minister Herbert said. “The Andrews Labor Government understands and values the importance of apprenticeships, and I congratulate the outstanding achievements of Victorian building and construction industry apprentices and their employers tonight.”

Master Builders CEO Radley de Silva said Danielle exemplified the skills, work ethic and positive attitude required to be a successful tradesperson in the building and construction industry.

“It is very rewarding to see such a gifted and dedicated pool of building talent among our apprentices in Victoria. The challenge to select only one winner gets more difficult every year,” Mr de Silva said.

Danielle, who was also named Metropolitan Apprentice of the Year and Joinery Apprentice of the Year, has been described by her trade school, Chisholm TAFE, as demonstrating maturity beyond her years and an impressive eye for detail.

“We are delighted to see more women entering the building and construction industry. It reflects increased diversity, a strong appeal for young professionals, and our eagerness to see both women and men thrive in this industry,” Mr de Silva said.

“Danielle is an ambassador and role model not only for women entering the building industry but also anyone considering a career change and especially young people considering a career in building and construction,” he said.

Danielle will now represent Victoria at the annual Excellence in Building and Construction Awards to be held at Jupiters Hotel Convention Centre, Broadbeach, Gold Coast on Saturday, 14 November where the National Apprentice of the Year will be announced.

The event at The Pullman recognised a number of other winning apprentices. A list of names, TAFEs and employers appear below.

Metropolitan Apprentice of the Year
Danielle Shedden, Cranbourne West, employed by Whytehall Shopfitters, attends Chisholm TAFE.

Regional Apprentice of the Year
Daniel Carroll, Bendigo, employed by David Clouston Builders, attends Skill Training Victoria.

Female Apprentice of the Year 
Daniela Lopez, Point Cook, employed by Joncol Building Services, and attends Victoria University.

Employer Nominated Award Winner 
Bryce Alexander, Long Gully, employed by SAS Constructions, attends Skill Training Victoria.

Diploma Student of the Year 
David Vastbinder, Blackburn South, employed by DPV Constructions, attends Swinburne University.

Florence M Taylor Award Winner 
Nathan Cartledge, Highton, employed by Wilmoore Allstone, attends Holmesglen.

Presidents’ Award Winner
Ashley Heffernan, Sebastopol, employed by Rhino Build Construction, attends Skill Training Victoria.

Brick and Blocklaying Apprentice of the Year
Matthew Baxter, Pearcedale, employed by C&S Lightweight Building Specialists P/L, attends Holmesglen.

Carpentry Apprentice of the Year
Keegan Whitbourn, Kilsyth, employed by Marshall Pro Carpentry, attends Swinburne University.

Joinery Apprentice of the Year
Danielle Shedden, Cranbourne West, employed by Whytehall Shopfitters Pty Ltd, attends Chisholm TAFE.

Solid Plastering Apprentice of the Year
Jason Blick, Somerville, employed by Australian Rainbow Render, attends Holmesglen.

Stonemasonry Apprentice of the Year 
Nathan Cartledge, Highton, employed by Wilmoore Allstone, attends Holmesglen.

Wall and Ceiling Lining Apprentice of the Year
Stewart Hindley, Mornington, employed by South City Plaster, attends Skill Training Victoria.

Painting and Decorating Apprentice of the Year
Chris Parkinson, Epping, employed by Colour-Dec Painting Services Pty Ltd, attends Melbourne Polytechnic.

Roof Tiling and Slating Apprentice of the Year
Kieran Schultz, Kew, employed by E&S Roofing, attends Holmesglen.

Wall and Floor Tiling Apprentice of the Year 
Jessica Ross, Bendigo, employed by Trevor Showell Tiling, attends Skill Training Victoria.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation Ltd
Apprenticeships Group Australia
Beaumont Tiles
CVGT Australia
Dulux AcraTex
Foundation Technologies Australia
Gorilla Ladders
Irwin Tools
James Hardie
Paz Stone
Position Partners
Steel Blue
United Tools
Victorian Building Authority