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www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS July 18, 2013
LSIS Helen Frank
JUST one day short of serving four
years in the Navy, ABATV Justin
Macey, of 723SQN, was award-
ed Apprentice of the Year for the
Illawarra/South East NSW region.
Before joining the Navy AB
Macey worked in a variety of jobs
from selling menswear and driving
trucks to owning his own coffee
"I joined the Navy at a mature
age of 34 and can now say I've
experienced life on both sides," he
said.AB Macey was nominated for
Apprentice of the Year by Training
Authority-Aviation after he suc-
cessfully completed his competen-
cy log 13 months ahead of sched-
ule and to a high standard.
"From the start of my training
at RAAF Base Wagga, I found the
more often I used my competency
log, the easier it became," he said.
"When I arrived at HMAS
Albatross, getting the training
briefs and being reminded that it
was my own responsibility to com-
plete it within the required time
frame, I again committed myself to
maintain a daily review of my log.
"I soon realised that the most
difficult part of our competency log
was making the time to write the
entries. With my experience and
dedication to that already having
been tried and tested, I just contin-
ued to maintain a consistent work
ethic and the entries continued to
accumulate. Before I knew it, I was
well and truly on my way to com-
pleting the log."
The Illawarra Vocational
Training Committee interviewed
AB Macey and he was selected
for a certificate of excellence as
the highest performing apprentice
in the Certificate IV in Aircraft
Maintenance Engineering category.
He was also shortlisted for
the overall Apprentice of the Year
"I was quite surprised and very
humbled at the shortlisting as I
never considered an award existed
let alone that I'd be nominated,"
AB Macey was up against a
strong field from a variety of trades
including hairdressing, electricity
supply and also Australian repre-
sentatives in the World Workskills
He had also done some reading
up on the previous year's winner
and concluded that he was unlikely
"It wasn't until at the presenta-
tion dinner that comments were
made that the winner would prob-
ably have to make a speech," he
"That got me thinking 'What
if I did win and then didn't know
what to say?' So from that moment
on, I tried to maintain involvement
in table conversation and at the
same time I was working out who
to thank if by chance I won."
By the time the presentation
started AB Macey said he was a
stressed and a quivering mess.
"I was saying things to myself
like 'Yes, how good would it be,
no I can't get up there, please don't
say my name, it's okay the other
finalists deserve it more than me'
but I thought it would be nice to
win," he said.
"When they said my name, I
In his unrehearsed acceptance
speech, AB Macey paid trib-
ute to Navy for the training he
had received, the mentoring of
CPOATA Russ McIntosh and the
support of his wife and children,
noting that in four years he had
spent 28 months away from them.
Air engineering officer 723SQN
LCDR Ian Napthali said it was
exceptionally pleasing to see AB
Macey rewarded in this way.
"He has been one of my highest
performing maintainers at 723 and
to see this recognised by an exter-
nal organisation is great," LCDR
"Hopefully he will go on to win
the NSW and national awards dem-
onstrating the high level of skill
and commitment of Navy main-
AB Macey is now a final-
ist for the NSW State Apprentice
of the Year Award, which will be
announced in September. If suc-
cessful, he will go on to represent
NSW in the national awards in
Perth in November.
Apprentice scoops award
Winner of the Illawarra/
Apprentice of the Year
ABATV Justin Macey
on a Squirrel.
Photo: ABIS Sarah Williams
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