BRIGHT FUTURE: Richard O'Brien was awarded the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year at the Queensland training awards on Saturday.
BRIGHT FUTURE: Richard O'Brien was awarded the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year at the Queensland training awards on Saturday. STRONG IMAGES

Rio Tinto Yarwun employee 'proud' of big award

A RIO Tinto Yarwun employee was "proud” to be named Central Queensland's 'apprentice of the year'.

Richard O'Brien was awarded the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year at the Queensland training awards on Saturday.

"I was surprised, proud and honoured to have won,” MrO'Brien said.

"(It) is a special award and it was a very exciting moment.

"I definitely didn't expect to win but I know how much effort has gone into my training and hoped that would speak for itself.”

That effort included completing an Associate Degree of Electrical Engineering while completing an electrical and instrumentation dual trade qualification.

He was also offered a trade role at Rio Tinto Yarwun as a fourth-year apprentice.

"Family and friends were so happy for me and there was joy, celebration and congratulations when I won,” he said.

"They said it was a well-deserved award.”

He said the secret to his achievement was communication and relationship building.

"Forming strong, honest and lasting relationships with my colleagues, peers, teachers and leaders has been immensely beneficial,” he said.

Moving forward, MrO'Brien plans to continue to learn and grow in his role as an electrical and instrumentation technician.

"I'd also like to explore further engineering or leadership practices,” he said.

He encouraged others to apply for the award in future years.

"As well as being a great event and a chance for recognition, these awards offer an avenue to meet and network with people from across not just mining but other industries,” he said.

Mr O'Brien will now compete for state honours in September in Brisbane.