Former motorcycle mechanical technology apprentice Sam Fry was presented with the honour at a Ulysses Club rally in Melbourne on Saturday 2 March 2019, in front of a crowd of more than 1,500.
The 24-year-old Harbour City Harley Davidson employee, who completed his apprenticeship through TAFE Queensland in February last year, was the winner of the Queensland and Northern Territory zone of the competition. He then beat three other zone winners for the title, which he said he is honoured to receive.
“I was absolutely stoked to win. The whole experience has been unreal,” said Sam.
“It’s awesome to be recognised for what I’m doing. It doesn’t seem like a big deal – I’m just doing my job – but to have people appreciate the work you’re doing is an incredible feeling."
In addition to being flown to Melbourne for the presentation and put up for the weekend by Ulysses Club, Mr Fry was awarded a Suzuki motorcycle which he was excited to add to his collection.
“Now I’ll have to make some room in the garage,” he joked.
“I’d definitely like to thank Ulysses Club and Suzuki for the honour, as well as my teacher Jeff Morris from TAFE Queensland – I couldn’t have received this award without him,” he then said.
Sam used to be a diesel mechanic but after being drawn to the idea of building performance engines decided on a motorcycle mechanical technology apprenticeship. It was Sam's Hervey Bay based TAFE Queensland teacher, Jeff Morris, who nominated him for the accolade, with Sam's dedication impressing him during his workplace visits.
“It’s so great to see Sam getting the recognition he deserves,” said Mr Morris.
“Sam is very passionate about what he does and it shows in his work.”
National Vice President of Ulysses Club Peter Baulch said it was this very passion that made Sam Fry a stand out for the judging panel.
“Our selection process is detailed and we conducted substantial interviews with each nominee, their supervising registered training organisation, and their employer. Sam interviewed incredibly well, and when we spoke to his employer and his teacher it became evident that he was exceptional,” said Mr Baulch.
“The fact he’d already completed an apprenticeship in diesel fitting before and was willing to undertake another apprenticeship so soon in order to do what he’s really passionate about shows he has strong commitment, which is something to be commended,” he said.
The Ulysses Club Motorcycle Apprentice of the Year Award was first presented in 2003 and it has been awarded annually to outstanding apprentices in their final year of study. The accolade was introduced to acknowledge quality motorcycle mechanics and encourage those entering the industry.