Capella man apprentice of year

Russell Bennett was surprised to take out the 2010 Apprentice of the Year award.
Russell Bennett was surprised to take out the 2010 Apprentice of the Year award. Lindsey Jackson

A TRIP to Milan is on the cards for electrician Russell Bennett, after he took out the electrical and communications industry’s Apprentice of the Year award.

The Capella local is just the type of employee any company would love to have on their books, which is why his boss, Craig Redman, nominated him for the state-wide award.

Mr Redman said Russell had shown great dedication to his apprenticeship since it began at Peak Downs Electrical in 2007 and he had achieved a majority of distinction and high distinction results during his TAFE course.

“I nominated him for his outstanding achievement at TAFE, the lowest grade he got was a credit,” Mr Redman said.

“He’s come good since he’s been a tradesman.”

The Annual Excellence Awards, which were announced last November, recognised outstanding individuals and businesses in the electrical and communications industry and Master Electricians Australia, in conjunction with the Electrical and Communications Association, honoured these outstanding achievements.

Russell said he was pretty stoked to win the award and said the prize was absolutely amazing.

“The boss actually tricked me and said he thought I’d come third in the competition and then I got the call to say I won,” Russell said.

“It was a bit overwhelming at the time.”

Russell was out with some mates for Melbourne Cup Day when he got the call to say he had won, which he said made the celebrations even better.

While Russell said he never had plans to become an electrician, he said he “just sort of fell into the trade”.

“I like the challenge of it,” Russell said.

“Every day is different.”

But he said the most dreaded part about being a sparky was test and tag.

“I hate it. It’s just monotonous,” Russell said with a laugh.

With big plans for the future, Russell said he hoped to start his own business.

“I want to make lots of money and be retired by the age of 50,” he said.

Russell, who has never been overseas before, said he would be taking a mate with him on his trip and planned to go towards the end of the year.

“I’m pretty excited,” Russell said.

“We’ll probably go for a couple of weeks.”

Russell was officially presented with his award last Friday night during the April Roadshow at Capella Coach Inn.

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