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How to paint your way into an award-winning career

01 Aug 2016

Finding the right career can take a bit of trial and error. A good first step is to identify what you like doing – maybe travelling to a new overseas destination every year, or working with your hands. And it also helps to know what you don’t like doing…say, working inside in an office.

Eltham resident Ryan Czerneckyj, this year’s Painting and Decorating category winner in the Master Builders Association of Victoria Apprentice of the Year awards, tried a few different jobs before finding the perfect one for him.

“I was working for a hotel group and felt stifled; I wanted to get out of an office, into the fresh air. I tried Parks Victoria but no luck there,” he says. “I knew I wanted to do something with my hands and then my uncle referred me to Higgins Coatings.”

Despite Ryan’s lack of formal qualifications, the good people of Higgins Coatings, who operate nationally in Australia and New Zealand, must have seen something they liked, because Ryan was hired and given the opportunity to complete his Certificate III in Painting and Decorating.  

Ryan attributes his success to his energetic approach to life and work.

“I love what I do, I give maximum dedication. I’m willing to keep learning and I like to be challenged; I go after what I want,” he says.

Painting and decorating suits him to a tee, because he gets the opportunity to work outside, he has a wide variety of jobs all over Victoria, and he can fit in his mid-year jaunts overseas when the building industry is quiet. But what does the future hold?

“I’ve been at Higgins for four years now, and it’s great. I am currently being trained as a foreman, and in a couple of years I’ll look at more serious training. I might then aim to be a repaint supervisor,” says Ryan. “They’re a great group of people, and I really respect the team, I love being part of it.”

He was pleased to receive the award from the Master Builders Apprentice of the Year awards (Victoria) in the Painting and Decorating category

It’s clearly the first of many successes that Ryan is going to have in his career, and we wish him well. 

Pictured, left to right: Rowan Galbraith, General Manager of Higgins Australia and New Zealand, with Ryan Czerneckyj


Media enquiries should be directed to Melbourne Polytechnic Communications Officer, Anita Coia, on 03 9269 1251 or ua.ud1556193150e.cin1556193150hcety1556193150lopen1556193150ruobl1556193150em@ai1556193150dem1556193150

Melbourne Polytechnic operates across six campuses and five specialist training centres throughout Melbourne. The institute delivers high quality vocational and higher education in industry-standard facilities.