LIA award winners score drupa trip

The winner of the 2019 edition of the LIA-Heidelberg Graduate of the Year Award, Jonathan Pitt, and the winner of the 2017 LIA-PVCA Future Leaders Award, Jason Turai, will soon be on their way to Germany for drupa 2020, courtesy of prize money provided by the Print & Visual Communications Association (PVCA) and Visual Connections.

Since 1972, the Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) has recognised the outstanding achievements of industry apprentices with the Graduate of the Year Award which, as well as attendance at the LIA’s Biennial Conference, includes a scholarship valued at $10,000. Industry associations representing print business owners (PVCA) and suppliers (Visual Connections) fund the initiative which allows the industry as a whole to educate its young people.

Sprinter had spoken to Pitt following his win at the state level, beating out other South Australian graduates.

Mel Ireland, national president of the LIA, said it was exciting to hear Pitt and Turai are finalising their travel plans, knowing the trip to drupa in Messe Düsseldorf will be a career-defining experience that they will not only benefit enormously from, but will remember forever.

“It’s always fantastic to see capable young people who are dedicated to the achievement of excellence choose to join the print and graphic communications sector and we are delighted to be able to recognise their skills and achievements through these awards and to see them develop into our industry’s future leaders,” Ireland said.

“We are fortunate in the print and graphic communications sector to have passionate industry organisations and suppliers who are committed to investing in the future of our industry and working collaboratively on initiatives which further the interests of our sector, and we thank Heidelberg, the PVCA and Visual Connections most sincerely for their support.”

On the trip to Germany for drupa 2020, 2017 Future Leader winner Turai said: “I have met many brilliant people in the industry. The trip to drupa has been a dream and goal of mine and will be a big step forward in my professional development. I thank the PVCA for  providing me with this opportunity and of course the LIA for providing the pathway that has led me here. Without the support of organisations such as these I wouldn’t have this chance at all.”

Jason Turai, Orora Group (l) with 2017 National Graduate of the Year Award winner, Chloe Rudd, of Print DNA (r)

Pitt, who was named 2019 Graduate of the Year at the PVCA National Print Awards, said: “I would like to thank the LIA and Visual Connections for this wonderful experience, meeting young enthusiastic people in the Printing Industry, and for the new experiences I will gain in my travels overseas.”

PVCA chief executive officer Andrew Macaulay said it was gratifying to see prizes awarded to the industry’s future leaders.

“Donations and funding of prizes such as this are immensely gratifying, because we see in the recipients a vision of the future of our industry,” Macaulay said.

“The PVCA works in many areas towards this consistent vision of building and maintaining a stable pipeline of young talent into our diverse and evolving industry. Support of the LIA Graduate program is only one of many areas that the PVCA contributes and expands its vision of a thriving print, packaging and visual communications sector.

“PVCA and our members are thrilled to contribute towards the further development of a talented young member of our industry, and we are looking forward to Jason’s report back on his exploration of  the amazing innovations and new technologies our industry has to offer” Macaulay added, noting that the fact that the two young men will be travelling and learning together is an apt reflection of the collaborative relationship between PVCA and Visual Connections, across many projects including the PrintEx and PacPrint trade shows.

Peter Harper, CEO of Visual Connections, said the supplier association is proud to be associated with the LIA and delighted to be providing ongoing support for its National Graduate Scholarship Prize. 

“Visual Connections has always been committed to contributing to the sustainable future of our industry, and supporting excellent initiatives like the LIA Awards, which foster the education and career development of young people, is a wonderful way to do that,” Harper said.

“We congratulate both winners, wish them a safe journey, and are very much looking forward to hearing more about their experiences and to watching their career achievements over the coming years.”

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