And the winner is...

Nicholas McCallum

Twenty-year-old Queenslander takes out the first Apprentice of the Year award. 

The first Electrical Apprentice of the Year award went to a 20-year-old construction worker from Brisbane named Ariah Goodluck.

Ariah topped the field of an outstanding group of finalists from around Australia, each of them fantastic electrical apprentices and outstanding members of our union. 

As part of her prize, Ariah will soon head to London in October as the ETU’s Youth Delegate at the Global Power Trade Union Congress.

Following that conference, she will spend a week with Britain’s largest union, Unite the Union, to gain valuable insight into the UK’s union movement and learn about different aspects of her trade and the apprentice education system.

ETU Apprentice of the Year Ariah Goodluck and Queensland Secretary Peter Ong.

“To win this opportunity to head to London and learn more about our trade and the vital work of our comrades across the globe means I’ll come home with more strategies and experience to work on keeping the ETU strong and proud for years to come,” Ariah said after winning the top prize.

A strong candidate among many, one thing that made Ariah stand out was her dedication and involvement within the union – work she carries out with pride.

“My union gives me amazing support and opportunities to work with my union brothers and sisters, and the wider community,” Ariah said.

ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks said he too was filled with pride to see Ariah recognised and awarded for her amazing work and devotion to the union movement.

“Ariah is an outstanding apprentice and a dedicated member of the ETU who has earned this award through the hard work she puts in every single day,” Mr Hicks said of the first apprentice to claim the new award.

“She has an impeccable training record, strong union values, is committed to the ETU and shows remarkable leadership qualities in a male-dominated industry – and she is only 20.

“Ariah had some fierce competition from some highly capable and active apprentices, all of whom should feel proud of themselves for their work. They all had truly incredible applications.”

The National Secretary added that the “devotion on display” from the finalists left him feeling confident and comfortable that “the ETU and our industry will continue to be in some very strong and safe hands in the future”.

The 10 finalists headed to the nation’s capital where they attended the National Apprentices Conference to learn about their trade and the union movement.

And the winner is... The Apprentice of the Year finalists.


National Apprentice Officer Mark Burgess said the strong crop of applicants for award was confirmation that the union movement continued to play a vital role in foresting talented young Australian workers.

“These apprentices are the future of our movement and the future electricians of this country and I think Australians everywhere should be filled with confidence that the electrical industry will continue to be run by intelligent and highly capable tradespeople,” Mr Burgess said.

Mr Hicks said the finalists were all incredible emerging leaders within in the union, their trade and their studies – despite the Turnbull Government’s consistent cuts to our TAFEs.

“Our electrical apprentices show leadership qualities that far exceed those of the Turnbull Government,” he said.

“The Turnbull Government has cut more than $3 billion from our TAFEs and enrolments are down 38 per cent since the Liberals came to power.

“And while the Liberals are doing nothing to help our apprentices, these young people have risen to top their trade and studies, and we’re pleased they will be the potential future leaders of the ETU.”


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