Croydon-based fitter and turner Melinda Lethbridge has been awarded the title of Victorian Apprentice of the Year at a ceremony held on Friday 26 September 2014.
Ms Lethbridge, 21, completed her Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade at Swinburne’s Croydon campus and now works as a Fitter and Machinist at Hargo Engineering based in Croydon.
Ms Lethbridge's fascination with how things work and hands-on approach to life is what led her to a career in Fitting and Machining.
“I began my apprenticeship the day after my final VCE exam. I’ve always been fascinated with how things work and found that an apprenticeship in Fitting and Machining provided a good balance between mental challenges and hands-on work,” Ms Lethbridge said.
Working within what is predominantly a male dominated trade, Ms Lethbridge is a passionate advocate for the promotion of apprenticeships in manufacturing as a career pathway, especially for young women.
Ms Lethbridge is a Young Industry ambassador. This year she placed first in the regional finals of World Skills Australia, and was awarded the title of Swinburne Apprentice of the Year in 2011 and 2013.
As the winner of the Victorian Apprentice of the Year Award, Ms Lethbridge will receive a $10,000 fellowship, and the opportunity to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards, to be held in Adelaide on 21 November 2014.