2013 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant winners announced

2013 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant winners announced - Rheem

25 deserving Aussie apprentice plumbers recognised


25nd October, 2013

Twenty-five apprentice plumbers around Australia now have 1000 reasons to smile; they have been chosen as the recipients of this year’s Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants, worth $1000 each.

The grants, an initiative of Rheem Australia, aim to encourage apprentice plumbers to complete their training and work towards fulfilling their career goals by providing them with financial assistance. This year’s 25 grants follow the success of last year’s inaugural Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program, which saw 75 apprentice plumbers receive grants in celebration of Rheem’s 75 year anniversary.

“The calibre of apprentices we’ve discovered during the grants process this year has been outstanding,” says Rheem Australia ceo Matt Sexton. “The flood of entries we received for the inaugural Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants last year really showed us there is a huge need for financial support amongst apprentice plumbers.

“Our grants program has also shown that an impressive number of apprentices have stayed dedicated to their apprenticeship whilst facing all kinds of hardship, plus other apprentices are planning to use their skills to help others or to make a difference to the plumbing industry. This year we even had a couple of apprentices who have either created or are planning to create special tools to help them with their work.”

The industry experts that made up this year’s judging panel included Lyle Kelson from the South West Institute of TAFE, Phil Denman from the Plumbing Legislation & Standards Branch at Building Codes Queensland, and Tony Djodan, Rheem Australia sales manager.

The judges were particularly impressed by the standard of entries received this year, and have thrown their full support behind the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants.

“What Rheem is doing is fantastic,” says Lyle Kelson. “The plumber grants give a helping hand to committed apprentices in a very real way that allows them to strive toward reaching their potential as plumbers of the future. A very worthwhile program.”

Recipients of the 2013 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants were judged on whether they required financial help and also if they were helping in the community or have future plans to do so.

Some of the most outstanding entries from this year’s Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants include:


  • 27-year-old Jessica Gardiner from Darlington, NSW, who wishes to take her plumbing skills to remote areas of the Northern Territory to work with charity groups, providing those in need with better plumbing and drainage systems.
  • “I might go out to the Northern Territory on my own, or I will go with a group of tradies that take part in charity work in rural areas of Australia,” Jessica says. “It’s fantastic working with my mind and my hands each day.”
  • Matthew Gramellini will use the grant money to purchase the materials he needs to construct a tool he designed himself that will test and repair backflow devices in an efficient manner. The 21-year-old from Strathfield, NSW, will go far in the industry.
  • “I came up with the idea when I was with my previous employer,” Matthew explains. “The way we tested these devices was so time consuming and difficult, I just felt there had to be a more efficient way.”
  • As a young father, Timothy Evans, 26, from Tumut in NSW is determined to follow in his grandfather’s and father footsteps and establish himself as a successful plumber so he can support his two young children and partner. “My grandfather has been a plumber all his working life, and my father and two brothers have followed in his footsteps,” he says. “Customers are always grateful for a job well done, and you get a lot of self-satisfaction too.”
  • Blair Avery travels vast distances to trade school, which means he spends the majority of his wages on petrol and accommodation expenses. The 18-year-old from Horsham in Victoria is clearly committed to both the practical and theoretical sides of his apprenticeship. “I tried plumbing for a week of work experience and loved it,” says Blair. “I enjoy all aspects of the trade and want to learn as much as I can.”

About the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants
Launched in 2012 to celebrate Rheem Australia’s 75th Anniversary, Rheem’s Apprentice Plumber Grants program has continued into 2013, with a further 25 apprentices awarded $1000 each. These grants are designed to encourage apprentice plumbers to complete their training and strive to reach their career objectives by providing them with financial assistance.