‘Inspirational female Arborist Trainee takes out three prestigious awards’ – AEN Awards

Published by Green Skills on

  • Trainee of the year
  • Inspiration Award: Women in Trades
  • GAN International Apprenticeship Scholarship

Katharine Starting her traineeship with Maroondah City Council in 2019.

On the March 11th 2021, WPC Group Arboriculture trainee Katharine Knapman took out three awards at the catch-up dinner for the 2020 Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) awards – the GAN Australia International Apprentice Scholarship, Inspiration Award: Women in Trades and Trainee of the Year.

The AEN Awards celebrate the achievements of apprentices, trainees and group training organisations in Victoria annually and this year they did not disappoint.

Starting her traineeship with Maroondah City Council in 2019, Katharine turned her passion for nature into a career. Maroondah City Council gave Katharine her start in the industry, introducing her to the trade where she gained confidence and met new people who shared her passion for the environment.

During her time with Maroondah City Council, Katharine proved her dedication and commitment to Arboriculture and her traineeship, by pursing her education outside of work, spending time with arborists who mentored her, showed her new skills and passed on their knowledge.

Now hosted with McLeod Trees, Katharine has had the opportunity to expand her knowledge further and work in different environments, undertaking new exciting tasks that will take her career to new heights.

Katharine is no stranger to winning awards. In 2019 she won the Outstanding First Year Student in Arboriculture at Holmesglen TAFE, which lead to her nomination for the 2019 Percy Moore Award with Holmesglen. Katharine also won the Timmy B Award at the VITO Climbing competition in 2019 for her attitude throughout the competition. WPC Group also nominated her for trainee of the year at the 2019 AEN awards.

When asked what winning the $12,000 scholarship means to her, Katharine says, “I will be able to further my education and career, going on to study higher certificates. Being able to continue my studies is just amazing.”

Winning Trainee of the Year, the Inspiration Award: Women in Trades and the GAN International Apprenticeship Scholarship gives Katharine the chance to promote Arboriculture, a trade that is still a new industry. Katharine is proud to show other women that they any do anything, that they can be part of a trade and pursue their dreams, “It would be really cool to see some more women to start trades and be part of the industry.”

Katharine thanked her employers; Maroondah City Council and McLeod Trees, WPC Group and her WPC Group mentor and her husband for supporting her throughout her traineeship.

Pictured left to right: Dean Luciani – AEN Chair, Tim Owens – WPC Group  Industry Consultant, Katharine Knapman – Trainee of the Year, the Inspiration Award: Women in Trades Recipient and the GAN International Apprenticeship Scholarship Recipient, Frederick J Maddern OBE – WPC Group Chairman and Gary Workman – AEN Executive Director.

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