Apprentice cabinet maker takes out two top awards

Zach RelphSouth Western Times
Apprentice Nicholas Johnston was overjoyed to win this year’s Overall South Regional TAFE Student of the Year award.
Camera IconApprentice Nicholas Johnston was overjoyed to win this year’s Overall South Regional TAFE Student of the Year award. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Apprentice cabinet maker Nicholas Johnston says a one-on-one work environment and passion for woodwork contributed to him winning two major gongs at this year’s South Regional TAFE awards.

The 20-year-old claimed the South West Regional TAFE Student of the Year and the Overall South Regional TAFE Student of the Year titles at the awards night on March 10 at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre.

Mr Johnston was presented with the TAFE’s highest overall achievement after edging out students from the South West’s 12 campuses.

Mr Johnston, who works at Studio Milton in Dardanup, said winning both awards at the event was unexpected.

“It was a surprise. I didn’t expect to win either award,” Mr Johnston said.

Mr Johnston is scheduled to complete his apprenticeship at Studio Milton in September this year.

The former Australind Senior High School student said working in a small team, which only included himself and boss Paul Milton, helped him develop his cabinet making skills.

“Being one-on-one each day you learn a lot – it’s been really good,” Mr Johnston said.

“Thanks to Paul, my TAFE lecturer Joe Estermann and my family for their support.”

Mr Johnston is a member of the WorldSkills team jet-setting to Manchester, England, on Sunday to compete in a week-long competition against fellow cabinet making apprentices.

Mr Johnston said he was looking forward to the event and was grateful for the many opportunities his apprenticeship had provided.

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