Hastings Deering 2021 Apprentice of the Year

28 February 2022

Hastings Deering’s winning diesel fitter competing with the best 

Evan Crisafulli has been named Hastings Deering’s 2021 Apprentice of the Year (AOTY) pipping six other finalists in the prestigious annual competition.

The 21-year-old diesel fitter is now in Melbourne this week taking on the best Caterpillar apprentices from dealerships across the rest of Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia in the final of the annual competition.

No one was more surprised to win than Crisafulli. Hailing from Ingham, Crisafulli completed most of his apprenticeship in Townsville, before moving to Mackay to graduate and achieve his ambition of working on large mining vehicles. 

“I was only in the competition by chance,” he said. “Initially when Hastings Deering announced the finalists, I was not in the bunch, then when someone couldn’t make it, I was next on the list. I was just so excited and thrilled to be included and to fly to Brisbane for the judging, let alone to believe I would actually win it.”   

Evan Crisafulli and Katrina Shaw

The competition, held in Brisbane last week, usually culminates with a presentation lunch, but Brisbane’s wild weather put paid to that. 

This is the 44thyear of the award which is a prelude to entry to a global competition by machinery giant Caterpillar to celebrate the very best in training. Crisafulli is spending this week, in the back-to-back competition: the next round of competition against Caterpillar apprentices from dealerships across the rest of Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. 

With international borders now open – if he wins, Evan will travel to the United States for specialist training. 

Hastings Deering’s chief executive officer Mark Scott said the competition acknowledges the hard work the apprentices put in across their years of training: the friendly rivalry between workshops creating a high-level skills’ contest.

Mr Scott said apprenticeships continued to be highly sought after with record applications expected for the 2023 apprenticeships when they open later this year.

“We continue to be one of the largest trainers of diesel fitter apprentices in Australia,” Mr Scott said. “In the past 19 years we have trained more than 2000 apprentices. The diesel fitter continues to be our applicant’s preferred trade across all our locations. 

“Evan impressed trainers in the way he was focussed and methodical in following procedures that are critical when problem shooting machinery.”


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