The 2012 Victorian Furnishing Training Industry Awards were held at the Plaza Ballroom at the Regent Theatre on Friday 20th April 2012 and by all measures the night was a great success. Over 280 students, teachers, parents, employers and staff filled the Ballroom to hear the latest from industry leaders and to see the next generation of upcoming stars showcase their skills. The quality of the design and workmanship across all spectrums was outstanding with the levels raised higher than ever before in a night that has been touted as the “Brownlow” of awards within the industry. Giving some of the “Power back to the People”, the new “People’s Choice” award was very popular and went most deservingly to the Andrew Kossenas Award winner, Jesse VanEgmond from Wodonga TAFE.
Unfortunately, though the PFGA sponsors the Picture Framing Apprentice of the Year Award, there was only one entry and the item was not of a high enough standard to be judged as a winner. Next year there will have been 7 finishing apprentices and therefore the competition for the 2013 Picture Framing Apprentice of the Year award is expected to be high.
Congratulations go to Tony Stocks of Framing To A T, a PFGA member, who received the Employer of the Year – Picture Framing award. This award is presented in recognition of training support by employers in the furnishing industry.
The guest speaker, Mr Geoff Divko, is the founder of GDA Associates, manufacturers of bespoke furniture for architects and interior designers. With a passion for superior furniture design that started with a traditional apprenticeship, Geoff went on to study Furniture Design and Technology for six years at RMIT. Equally at home with both traditional and modern techniques, Geoff’s work has included restoration on such iconic buildings as The Royal Mint, The Melbourne Supreme Court and the Reading Room at the Victorian State Library as well as some of Melbourne’s finest private residences. His extensive knowledge of the Australian Manufacturing industry along with his love of native Australian timbers, gave all present a wonderful snapshot of the opportunities that are available to those just starting out.
Congratulations to all finalists, it was great to see so many attend the evening along with partners, families, friends and employers. Special congratulations to the major prize winners of 2012:
The Andrew Kossenas Apprentice of the Year 2012 – Jesse VanEgmond from Wodonga TAFE
The Floorcovering & Finishing Apprentice of the Year – Jayden Browell from TFIA Business Services
The Employer of the Year – Schiavello’s
The People’s Choice Award (a new award for 2012) – Jesse VanEgmond from Wodonga TAFE.
Joe Mimmo (President, Australian Furniture Association) and Mark Heydon (President PFGA)
From Left to Right – Terry Smythe (Box Hill TAFE), Bryan Langworthy (Box Hill TAFE), Tony Watson (Box Hill TAFE)
Tony Stocks (Framing To A T) and Mark Heydon (President PFGA)