May 02, 2019

Award sees Tom break long drought for Hastings Deering

Award sees Tom break long drought for Hastings Deering Tom Bourne has been named Australia's best apprentice diesel fitter.

Tom Bourne is the cream of the crop when it comes to apprenticeships.

Mr Bourne, from Toowoomba, has won the CAT Top Dealer Apprentice of the Year title, beating competition from throughout Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

The event included a range of tests, including nine practical skills stations with fault code diagnostics, data mining, inspection, procedural testing and soft skills for CAT machinery.

The diesel fitter won the Skills Olympics competition and was also the overall competition winner, earning a ‘CAT passport’ and the chance to work anywhere in the world where there are CAT machines.

The win broke a 19-year drought in the competition for Hastings Deering.

The former Toowoomba Grammar student had already won the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year title in the 2018 Queensland Training Awards. 

Unlike his other two siblings, who opted for university, Mr Bourne, 21, always knew he would take this path after a week of work experience with the company when he was in grade 10.

“My dad has a fuel injection/pump business here in Toowoomba, so I have always been interested in engines and how they work,” he said.

“Machine complexity and technology will continue to develop. Often you will find yourself at a remote mine trying to fix a problem, so your knowledge has to be extensive. 

“There is such a variety of work, from mining trucks and dozers to machines for civil construction and even the marine industry.”

Mr Bourne is now based at QCoal’s Byerwen Mine in Central Queensland.

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