Our Students

Paddy Adeney

Paddy Adeney enrolled in Melbourne Polytechnic’s Certificate III in Cabinet Making after realising that his love of fine arts could be translated into another medium, wood. With a hunger for learning, Paddy has found a better suited workplace in which to develop his skills.

“Persistence and hard work is making me realise this is what I love doing, although I’ve definitely had moments when I’ve wanted to give up!”

Paddy Adeney enrolled in the Certificate III in Cabinet Making after taking a chance on the Certificate II in Furniture Making and loving it!

Paddy came to his apprenticeship in Cabinet Making after taking a break from studying a degree in Fine Arts.

With a father who was an artist and a grandfather who was a carpenter as well as an artist, Paddy says he always knew he was going to be on that path. After a successful first year studying a degree in Fine Arts at another tertiary institution (where he lived on campus), Paddy’s motivation levels started to wane in second year.

“When I was unhappy at uni, I didn’t know what to do. My tutors said to stop painting and do something different. I started sculpting with red gum timber and it was a bit of a change. But it was my mum who suggested I look at other training courses.”

Paddy began looking at furniture courses but was reluctant to do another three years of study based on lectures and books. He stumbled across Melbourne Polytechnic’s Certificate II in Furniture Making and was impressed by the short modules and hands-on focus of each subject.

“The whole summer I was reading books, getting pumped. When I got there, I loved it. Everyone was really friendly. They were all different types and ages.”

With a soaring sense of purpose and curiosity, Paddy began scouting for work opportunities.

“Things progressed well. I knew from the start what I wanted. I knew I wanted to learn to find an employer. I wanted to make furniture.”

One of Paddy’s teachers told the class of an opportunity at Period Wardrobes, where its two workers were straining under a growing workload and looking to take on someone new.

“I was ready to go! I was almost starting to feel a bit lethargic towards trade school and wanted hands on experience. We decided on a two-week trial period. My first day, I was on site, installing cupboards. I’d never done anything like it before!”

Paddy credits his Melbourne Polytechnic teachers with welcoming him into a new career and providing him with the perfect platform in which to succeed.

“When I first enquired, my teachers told me to come in for an interview and have a chat. Their commitment to the culture of the place and finding us a place to work… I owe everything to them.”

While the industry feels like a good fit, there have been challenges along the way.

“It has been a real struggle to live out of home and support myself on an apprenticeship wage. I can’t wait until I’m qualified, when things will improve dramatically I hope!”

His advice to prospective students is to do some research, go and talk to people who are already working in the industry and try not to “be deterred by one negative story.”

“Despite the struggles, this is exactly what I needed to focus me.”


Certificate II in Furniture Making, Certificate III in Cabinet Making