Emerald-Based Plumbing Apprentice Leads the Way as Future Professionals are Celebrated at Industry Awards

Pictured – Drew Hughes, D and P Plumbing, winner of the MPAQ Third Year Apprentice of the Year (Non-EBA) award and the Reece Queensland Apprentice of the Year award

Six plumbing and gas apprentices were recognised across seven categories for their outstanding plumbing and gas knowledge, ability, and growth at the 2021 Plumbing and Gas Industry Awards, held on Friday 12 November at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Drew Hughes of D and P Plumbing took home the Reece Queensland Apprentice of the Year Award and the MPAQ Third Year Apprentice of the Year (Non-EBA) Award after beating all other apprentice winners by showcasing his reliable and punctual attitude and exceptional recall skills.

Working in the regional Queensland town of Emerald, Drew has been able to experience a wide range of work from mining sites to domestic properties and has a natural ability to understand plumbing concepts, show initiative, and communicate, and he is an asset to his employer and the plumbing and gas industry.

Jarrod Pienaar, who studies at the Australian Industry Trade College while completing his apprenticeship with Up A Creek Plumbing on the Gold Coast, took home the Australian Industry Trade College School Based Apprentice of the Year Award.

Jarrod is passionate about the plumbing and gas industry and works hard to establish and foster new relationships with customers to achieve business growth for his employer. In his short time within the industry, Jarrod has demonstrated strong leadership skills, gaining recognition from his teachers at AITC and even winning their coveted Plumbers Award.

The Construction Skills Queensland Merv Harris Memorial Bursary Award was won by Jack Hardie of Prime Plumbing, who is looking forward to completing his apprenticeship in early 2022 before continuing his training with a Certificate IV in plumbing.

Jack Hardie started his apprenticeship in 2018, after his hard work and tenacity led to him gaining work experience and a school-based apprenticeship while he completed high school in central Queensland. Jack is described by his employer as a driven, confident, and enthusiastic team player with a great attitude and good communication skills.

Bailey Hodges, who studies at TAFE Queensland, having now moved on to the third year of his apprenticeship, won the Second Year Apprentice of the Year Award.

Working with Cahill Plumbing and Gas in Brisbane, Bailey is learning to provide quality plumbing services to new units, schools, and townhouses in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. His employer describes him as a punctual, positive, and hardworking individual who is supportive of his fellow employees, is always keen to learn new things, and works at a level well beyond his years.

The Plumbers Union Queensland Third Year Apprentice of the Year (EBA) Award was presented to an apprentice in Queensland under an EBA agreement and was won by Andrew Thompson.

Andrew is currently employed by Cooke & Dowsett and has shown an exceptional desire to learn and further his studies throughout his apprenticeship. Having undertaken his training at the Service Trades College, as well as completing a project management course this year, Andrew has now set himself goals to expand his career in the plumbing industry and eventually move into a managerial role.

William Cross, who is currently working for Slade Brothers Plumbing, took home the Service Trades College Fourth Year Apprentice of the Year Award.

William entered the plumbing industry with a desire to follow in his father’s footsteps. Since beginning his plumbing apprenticeship, William has made significant waves in the industry and celebrated immense success by winning several awards, including School Based Apprentice of the Year, the ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award, and Second Year Apprentice of the Year.

Hosted by Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) in partnership with Event Partner Reliance Worldwide Corporate (RWC), the Plumbing and Gas Industry Awards aim to highlight the hard work and dedication invested into the industry by apprentices, plumbers, gasfitters, hydraulic consultants and other industry individuals.

This year, the sold-out event recognised individuals and companies in 16 award categories, and hosted VIPs including the Hon. Mick de Brenni MP, Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement of Queensland, the Hon. Di Farmer, Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development, the Hon. Scott Stewart, Minister for Resources, Tim Mander, Shadow Minister for Housing and Public Works and Shadow Minister for Sports and Racing, and Gary O’Halloran, State Secretary of the Plumbing and Pipe Trades Union Queensland.

– ENDS –

For further information:


Laura Allen
Events and Sponsorship Coordinator
Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland
07 3273 0800

Summer Adams
Projects and Events Manager
Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland
0439 480 676

Editor’s note:            Photographs and interviews are available and can be organised with the winners.

Please contact Laura Allen or Summer Adams for more information.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: