Last Friday night I headed to the Migas 2016 QLD Final and National Gala Dinner Excellence in Trades Awards.
It’s a bit of a mouthful to type and write.
But it was a night to honour and celebrate trainees and apprentices who have excelled in their training.
Last year when I attended the awards, I had the honour of presenting the Female Excellence in Vocation Award. This year, there was no pressure to present, only to be present to congratulate the achievements of the Migas trainees and apprentices.
The night was off to a good start as I could fit into a dress I had bought pre-Phoebe and Maggie. Walking Esther to and from school most weeks has been helping my waistline.
The awards night was being held at the Hilton in the city. The last time I was there, I attended a blogging function organized by Nikki from Styling You for the two year anniversary of #everydaystyle.
Philip Marwedel, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Migas recognized me as soon as I headed towards the board showing the seating arrangements. He ushered Jacob and myself to meet his wife, who I had met briefly at last year’s event.
Jacob and I were introduced to other guests sitting at our table. And they were delightful. Ironically, one of the guests recognized me as the Plumbette who advertised on 96.5FM. Her husband worked for a law firm in Waterfront Place and Jacol Plumbing had done the plumbing in their tenancy. #smallworld
The biggest surprise of all was to see a friend (and client) from the past who was also attending the awards.
The doors opened to the Ballroom and our table was right in front of the stage.
Tom Thum started the night with some awesome beat boxing. If you follow me on Snapchat (I’m theplumbette), you might have seen some footage of what we heard.
Food was served and speeches were made.
The most inspiring speech of the night was made by Australian of the Year, David Morrison.
I felt like his speech was specifically for me – although, it was applicable to everyone in the room.
There was so much gold in David’s speech, but what I remember the most was when he explained how none of us really know where our training will take us. We ask ourselves if the apprenticeship (or studying or training) will take us to where we want to be. We don’t really know if it will.
But we make plans and takes steps in anticipation it will.
David then shared a quote from John Lennon.
Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
The reason David’s speech resonated with me was because I never imagined my apprenticeship bringing me to where I am now. Life has definitely happened while I’ve been busy making plans. And even though my plans have changed and I might not be on the tools at present, the blog makes me accessible to encourage and advise where needed.
Just last week I had a first year plumbing apprentice ask me a question he couldn’t find the answer to. I was able to answer him straight away on Facebook. He thanked me, saying, ‘You’re the best. Wish they’d explain it like you at TAFE.’
And yet, despite the enquiries and the encouragement from others, I still doubt whether I’m doing enough.
But as David said, what we do in the present, paves a way for the future and this is what creates our legacy.
David was so humble when I met him. I told him how his speech encouraged me. It felt like he was genuinely thrilled to speak to me and to hear parts of my story. He asked me if I’d encourage my girls to take up a trade and that’s a question that I will dedicate a blog post to. He also asked me how long I had been a plumber and when I did the math in my head I realized I started my apprenticeship ten years ago.
So much has happened in those ten years.
What if I didn’t take the risk of leaving my sales executive job to be a plumber all those years ago? What if I gave up and never completed my training? There were plenty of times when I wanted to chuck the tools down and quit.
But I didn’t and my determination paved the way to where I am now.
As I clapped for each apprentice and trainee that walked across the stage to receive their award, I wondered if they had ever thought of quitting? What was their motivation? Some shared they wanted to be managers or run their own business one day. No matter what their dream is, their present training and support from Migas is paving the way towards their future. And even if they are to walk away from their trade, they are learning vital skills that can be drawn on in any season of their life.
Who knew I’d walk away from an awards night inspired and encouraged, even though I didn’t win anything or contribute in any way?
Special thanks to Migas for inviting myself and Jacob as guests. The event was brilliantly presented and the work you do in supporting apprentices and trainees is creating a legacy for their future and the future of our trades industry.
When was the last time you were encouraged about what you do in the present? Do you ever visualize the future ramifications of the work you do now?
I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.