On Thursday, November 23, RMIT held its Vocational Education Student Awards at the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne. The awards ceremony was the first of its kind, bringing together students from all streams of VE to celebrate the institute’s highest achievers in 2023.
Deputy Vice Chancellor of Vocational Education and Vice President of RMIT University Mish Eastman gave the introductory speech at the event.
“RMIT has a long history of traditional trades, with its start as a working men’s college. In our new era of applied and vocational education, we’re proud to be continuing that tradition by recognising excellence in our trades students,” Eastman said.
“We’re also doubling down on this strength through a major investment in a new Trades Innovation Centre at RMIT’s Bundoora East campus, set to open at the end of 2024.”
Making fridgies proud
Notably, for the first time in several years, one of the finalists in the trades section of the awards came from the Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. Shannon Hammer, who works as an apprentice refrigeration technician for Alantin Services, was recgonised for his outstanding dedication to his work and studies.
Hammer – who did pre-apprenticeships in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing before settling on HVAC&R – loves the wide-ranging and interesting work he gets to do every day.
“For me, it’s always about challenging myself and pushing to learn something new,” Hammer says. “There’s a broad horizon of things you can do in this industry, and a lot of people just don’t know about that.”
He also acknowledges the support he has received from the RMIT staff throughout his journey.
“It’s a very welcoming place,” he says of the institute. “All the teachers … they’ve helped me so much along the way. Sometimes where I’ve looked at maybe turning away, they’ve helped me forward and pushed me to strive further.”
Samim Sultani took out the highest honour at the event: VE Student of the Year.
Image shows Deputy Vice Chancellor of Vocational Education and Vice President of RMIT University Mish Eastman presenting finalist certificate to Shannon Hammer. Courtesy of RMIT.