2021 HVIA Apprentice of the year nominees announced

The HVIA has announced nominees in its annual Apprentice of the Year competition

2021 HVIA Apprentice of the year nominees announced
National Apprentice of the Year Joel Dunstan (2nd from right) with his supervisor at Brown and Hurley Cameron Behn, pictured with award sponsor Doug Warby (left) and HVIA CEO Todd Hacking (right)

The HVIA Apprentice of the Year is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated advanced ability as they undergo their apprenticeship in a discipline related to heavy vehicle repair, service or the manufacturing sector. 

The 2020 winner was Joel Dunstan of the Brown & Hurley Group – Yatala.

Nominees will have demonstrated high level performance, an enthusiastic attitude and will be able to articulate their future industry employment goals.

Regional and national winners will be announced at the HVIA Gala Awards Breakfast in Brisbane on Friday 19th November 2021.

Read about all the nominees below.

Brett Haylock of Cummins South Pacific – Adelaide
Jack Dennis of Penske Australia Brisbane
Jake Strooband of Daimler Trucks Brisbane
Glen Battershill of Daimler Trucks Brisbane
Tristan Steele of Brown & Hurley Group – Coffs Harbour
Harry Dudley of Tefco Trailers
Daniel Steuten of Royans – Melbourne
Oliver Burey of Volvo Commercial Vehicles Brisbane South
Dylan Johnston (Byrne) of Cummins South Pacific – Campbellfield
Wayne Taradel of Drake Trailers (Apprenticeships Qld)
Jayden Breuker of Daimler Trucks Mt Gambier
Christopher Nash of Graham Lusty Trailers
Harrison Berlin of Cummins South Pacific – Brisbane
Jarrod Mihalj of Cummins South Pacific – Laverton
Logan Ellis of Cummins South Pacific – Devonport

Brett Haylock

Cummins South Pacific – Adelaide

Haylock joined the Cummins Adelaide team as a mature age apprentice in 2018. His passion for the heavy vehicle industry is very clear to anyone that interacts with him. He has always put his hand up for opportunities to support field service, including travelling to mining customers.

Haylock has a thirst for knowledge, and with his sights set on joining Cummins’ field service team, he is determined to learn more. Brett has ambitions to become a truck shop supervisor. His current mentors have no doubt that he is destined for a leadership position: "Brett is an absolute asset to have in our team," they told us.

Jack Dennis

Penske Australia Brisbane

Dennis has consistently demonstrated many key qualities of an efficient and reliable technician over the four years he has been with Penske Australia.

His skills have developed quickly over his apprenticeship, from starting with basic service and minor repair work in his first year, to now working independently and carrying out major repairs including: in-chassis & out-of-chassis engine rebuilds, chassis rail replacements, engine swaps, warranty work, and carrying out diagnostic procedures.

Dennis has also completed numerous factory training courses with Detroit and Western Star, along with finishing his TAFE courses. He is highly regarded amongst the qualified technicians on his crew and has the ability to work effectively by himself or in a team.

"I love talking to the field or breakdown guys and hearing the issues and problems they face and how they fix it," Dennis said.

"I aspire to be in that position one day and be able to hand my knowledge down to apprentices like myself at the moment."

Jake Strooband

Daimler Trucks Brisbane

Strooband started with the company as a first year junior apprentice, he decided to pursue his apprenticeship opposed to further training in university training, in light of recent events his wise decision and determination to succeed has meant within his family he is the more successful sibling.

He takes pride in his work and is very humble.

"I see myself progressing into further and higher levels of training, after completing my heavy apprenticeship I will move towards a dual trade as an auto electrician then onto specialisation of engine diagnosis and rebuilds," Strooband said

Glen Battershill

Daimler Trucks Brisbane

With a few years experience working on cars already under his belt, Battershill brought a strong knowledgebase into his heavy vehicle apprenticeship.

He has a meticulous approach to the process he uses in his daily work especially diagnosis jobs. He follows step-by-step procedures to consistently produce accurate results and adapts previously learned techniques to aid his progression and proficiency.

Battershill aspires to be regarded as one of the most knowledgeable mechanics in the workplace.

"I aim to be able to help any team member in the work place and be efficient at my job by having the ability to find information," he said.

Tristan Steele

Brown & Hurley Group – Coffs Harbour

Recognised for his maturity and a skill-set equivalent to a tradesman with a decade’s experience, Steele ’s mentors say he is a stand out from the rest.

Steele is the first person to put his hand up to help out and his supervisor says other departments are keen to poach his skills to their own teams.

He says he has developed a passion for the transport industry and is looking to add an advanced diploma in mechanical technology. By completing his auto-electrical trade that will give Tristan enviable duel trades.

"I plan on this giving me the experience and knowledge required to begin taking on a more leadership focused role, in the workshop and community," Steele said.

"Putting me a position to inspire and guide other apprentices and school leavers to pursue a career in our industry."

Harry Dudley

Tefco Trailers

Dudley’s quality workmanship speaks for itself, but it is his diligence and problem-solving skills that make him stand above the rest according to his supervisors.

He is always thinking of ways to improve the builds.

Always thinking about the quality and how to do things faster. He will be one of the future leaders in our business.

Dudley is obviously ambitious and sets the bar high.

"I’m preparing myself to be a helpful fellow worker who will be able to share my knowledge and time with the people that surround me in my daily work in the industry," he said.

"I love to keep following a path of learning and passion to find myself taking on new responsibilities and be driven to continue forward with my trade."

Daniel Steuten

Royans – Melbourne

Steuten has had an interest in the automotive field from a young age and spends every spare minute modifying his cars.

He has shown exceptional understanding during the four years of his mechanical apprenticeship coupled with a "can-do" attitude.

"His attitude and commitment have been flawless," his supervisors said. "He is a joy to have around the workshop.

"We have been extremely happy watching Daniel progress into a skilled tradesperson. He has shown skills across all areas of the smash repair process and continues to surprise us with his capabilities and knowledge."

Having recently completed his mechanical apprenticeship, Steuten now intends to take on an auto electrical apprenticeship.

"Royans has been highly supportive of my will to continue my training and gain more qualifications," Steuten said.

"I would like to continue my work here at Royans and move through the ranks as time goes by."

Oliver Burey

Volvo Commercial Vehicles Brisbane South

His supervisors reckon Burey is "the new standard" for what a fantastic apprentice should be for Volvo Commercial Vehicles.

"He has all the qualities an employer would wish for and is just as important as a five-year post-trade key technician for the business," they said.

Adjectives used to describe Burey include punctual, efficient, dedicated, flexible, adaptable and safe.

Burey is interested in doing a dual trade in auto electrical building on the skills he already uses in diagnosing vehicle faults.

Beyond the dual trades, he dreams of one day opening up his own transport repair business so he can give the opportunity he had to learn his trade to other kids.

Dylan Johnston (Byrne)

Cummins South Pacific – Campbellfield

Johnston began his apprenticeship as a School Based Apprenticeship and quickly moved into a full-time apprenticeship at Cummins Campbellfield.

While his time at Cummins started with plenty of turbulence and some adversity, Johnston established a steep learning curve which has seen him excel in his apprenticeship.

He is looking forward to gaining further experience in field service and mining.

"Some of the differences in machinery and being out on the road in more difficult scenarios excites me," Johnston said. "Wherever the world takes me with Cummins."

Wayne Taradel

Drake Trailers (Apprenticeships Qld)

Taradel has been an outstanding apprentice throughout his entire apprenticeship.

He has consistently exceeded expectations during his daily duties and has always completed his training to an exceptionally high standard.

Taradel ’s unwavering commitment in all aspects of his working life, his friendliness and helpfulness with both his workmates and management has made him a popular and valued member of Drakes workforce.

Combine his exceptional performance with the value and popularity he has earned within the Drake team and he is a more than worthy nominee for Apprentice of the Year.

Jayden Breuker

Daimler Trucks Mt Gambier

Breuker was a qualified diesel technician when he joined Daimler Trucks, already with a real desire to learn more. He jumped at the opportunity to dual trade and undertook his Cert III in Automotive electrical technology.

While successfully complete his second trade, Breuker has also been completing Fuso, Mercedes Benz, Freightliner, Allison and Detroit training and has been promoted to Workshop Supervisor, all by the age of 25.

"In an ever evolving industry, he epitomises the kind of people we need to be attracting and retaining to the heavy vehicle industry," his supervisor said.

Breuker already sees a pathway to one day become branch manager.

"Initially my goal is to keep improving and learning more so I can be the best I can be," he said.

"I also will be working on empowering my crew to be the best they can be, so we can offer our customers the best service experience possible."

Christopher Nash

Graham Lusty Trailers

Nash is in his final year as an apprentice at Graham Lusty Trailers. When he first arrived at the factory wanting to undertake his apprenticeship, his eagerness to learn shone through immediately.

He was assigned under Roger Hill to work on the Red Bull Holden Racing Team transporter. It didn’t take long before Roger could see Chris’ commitment, passion and natural talent.

Founder and chief executive Graham Lusty said self-belief and the fact that he doesn’t limit himself is what makes Nash a standout apprentice.

"Chris is always smiling, even when we ask him to do a challenging task, he smiles and says yes," Lusty said.

"He has an outstanding work ethic, listens to those around him and absorbs those lessons to excel at his trade."

Nash sees his future in Australian manufacturing.

"I think we should build more things locally and create more jobs for the industry," he said.

"I hope to keep developing my skills and knowledge in fabrication, engineering, welding and other aspects of business."

Harrison Berlin

Cummins South Pacific – Brisbane

Berlin lives and breathes the Cummins values in everything that he does.

He  was nominated to undertake the Automotive Industry Ambassador Program in 2020 as he demonstrates and continues to demonstrate his leadership qualities.

This has been seen by his ability to lead and mentor other apprentices through the early stages of their journeys.

"Junior apprentices look up to Harry for guidance and reassurance and Harry has always taken the time to talk with them and offer his insights which shows that Harry is able to lead from the front," his mentors said.

"His attitude and ability to work outside the norm never goes unnoticed and it is what has made him into the technician he is today."

Berlin has a desire to work in field service, to learn more about power generation equipment and to continue to hone his skills so that he is able to work autonomously.

Jarrod Mihalj

Cummins South Pacific – Laverton

Throughout his apprenticeship, Mihalj has displayed exemplary work ethic. This has resulted in his early release from his apprenticeship.

He won the 2020 Cummins Laverton "apprentice of the year" award.

He is highly capable and always shows great initiative towards all types of work. According to his managers, Mihalj shows a sense of ownership and pride that is rare to come by.

"He demonstrates his ethic with his peers both older and younger," they said. "Jarrod is respected amongst the team due to his highly motivating attitude."

Mihalj wants to continue his career by building his foundations in the workshop before moving into either a field service or a supervisor position.

Logan Ellis

Cummins South Pacific – Devonport

Ellis started with Cummins Devonport in 2018 as a first year where he was eager to learn everything he could. His hunger has stayed with him over his apprenticeship where it has morphed him into a high level technician.

His managers said he thinks outside the box when jobs get tough, especially when he is completing them on his own in a field service role.

"He has sound knowledge of many sectors from marine to forestry to on highway to power generation and everything else in between," the managers added.

"Logan has a fantastic sense of humour and can light up a room with his laughter. He truly is an asset to our business."

His managers were proud to tell us that Logan will soon be Cummins’ Hobart based technician – just four months after completing his apprenticeship.

Ellis has ambitions to progress through the company – first by taking on a supervision role, leading into a service manager/operations manager role, then progress from there.


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