Angus McGrath wins Visual Connections/LIA scholarship 

Note Printing Victoria graduate printer Angus McGrath has won a $10,000 Visual Connections/Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) scholarship after being named Graduate of the Year at Visual Impact last night.

Multicolor Queensland’s Bradley Powell (2023 state winner from Queensland) was announced as the winner of Ball & Doggett’s Future Leaders Award, and received a $5,000 voucher.

LIA Future Leader winner Bradley Powell with Tony Bertrand

McGrath, who was exhilarated by his win, said “I’d like to thank everyone at LIA, predominantly those that have helped us out so much, like Andrew Reynolds, Rob Black and other mentors that aren’t here tonight, as well as my crew at work. Also a big thank you to Visual Connections. This week has been great and I have loved meeting all of the other finalists as well”.

The cocktail party event was held at Visual Impact last night to honour the graduates of the 2022 LIA Graduate of the Year award and announce the winners.

Apart from McGrath and Powell, the other finalists were:

  • Jervis Tsui, Frontline Print
  • Martin Grogan, PSI Screenprinting
  • Nicole Jesenko, Tafe SA
  • Christine Gardiner, Studio Labels
  • Paul Plunkett, Pakaflex
  • Syed Ahamed, Orora Group, WA
LIA finalists with Tony Bertrand (left), Ben Eaton (right) and Dierk Wissmann (back row, middle)

LIA federal president Mel Ireland welcomed guests to the event, confirming that the volunteer organisation has been around for 65 years. She acknowledged the traditional owners of the land, and thanked the committee, sponsors (Visual Connections, Heidelberg and Ball & Doggett), and judges for their support. 

Mel Ireland (LIA)

“As we all know, everyone’s screaming for skills and there is a great need to fill many jobs in this industry. But more importantly, it’s about getting good training behind us so that we can just keep this industry thriving,” she said. 

Heidelberg, she said, deserved a special mention as a company that has continued to support apprentices for many years, before introducing Heidelberg national sales manager Dierk Wissmann to the podium, who congratulated the finalists.

“You are all already winners in your own right,” he said, and went on to thank the LIA and volunteers, highlighting the importance of apprenticeship programs in the industry.

Ireland then announced the LIA Associate Fellowship awards, which went to Andrew Reynolds and Gordon Wilson, both from South Australia.

Ball & Doggett national marketing manager Tony Bertrand took to the floor towards the later part of the evening, saying he had met the graduates and taken them on a tour of the Ball & Doggett stand.

“I’m really pleased to be part of the LIA in this program. I don’t think that our industry needs people to join by chance. I think young people coming through need to decide to be involved in the graphic communications industry. This is such an exciting industry that we’re in,” he said, encouraging more leaders to support the program.

“There are a lot of people who make money out of this industry and they should be supporting these sorts of initiatives, so I am calling on all of them to do just that.

“Ball & Doggett is absolutely committed to the education and to the growth of our industry. So, thank you Mel and everyone at LIA for the support and for providing us with the opportunity to sponsor.”

Ben Eaton at the lectern

In his talk, Starleaton’s Ben Eaton – who is also VP at Visual Connections – said has a very strong focus on education, highlighted the fact that new future leaders and young people need to be attracted into the industry.

“As I look around here, I see how much effort has been put into this award, which has been supported for over 20 years. I’m fairly new to the whole LIA world, and it’s just remarkable how much weight this prize holds. So congratulations to all of the winners,” he said.

Here are some pictures of people from the industry who came to support the event:

Nicole Jesenko, Gordon Wilson (LIA SA), Mel Ireland (LIA) and Christine Gardiner (Studio Labels)
Anita White (Penrith Museum of Printing), Kylie Harker (Squirrel Business Solutions), Bob Lockley (Penrith Museum of Printing)
Andrew Reynolds (Note Printing Australia), Robyn Frampton (Visual Connections) and Larry Safaya (Note Printing Australia)
Gary Bowles (Ball & Doggett) and Tony Bertrand (Ball & Doggett)
Adam Todd (Konica Minolta), Martin Grogan (Psi Screenprinting) and Paul Bartolo (Ball & Doggett)
Vic Tsacoounis (TAFE NSW), Jervis Tsui (Frontline Print) and Flora Chen (UTS)
Campbell Drummond (Print Training Australia), Mel Ireland (LIA) and Chris Dean (MCC)
Steven Hawley (Spectra Training) and Syed Ahamed (Orora Beverage Cans WA)
Grant Churchill (Smartech Business Solutions), Dierk Wissmann (Heidelberg) and Mitch Mulligan (LIA)
The LIA team
Paul Collins (MCC QLD), Bradley Pow (MCC) and Peter Wellings (Spectra Training Australia)
Alan Dove (Mal Graphics Australia), Peter Munro (LIA) and Emmanuel Buhagiar (Imagination Graphics)
Andrew Reynolds (Note Printing Australia) and Larry Safaya (Note Printing Australia)
Angus McGrath (Note Printing Australia) and Paul Plunkett (Pakaflex)
Robert Black (LIA) and Dean McGrath (Note Printing Australia)
Mark Wilton (Fujifilm Business Innovation) and Ray Berwick (Smartech Systems)
Emmanuel Buhagiar (Imagination Graphics), Anita White (Penrith Museum of Printing) and Carmen Ciappara (PMG)

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