LIA-Heidelberg state graduates embark on Blue Star facilities tour

The Visual Connections Suppliers Association and the Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) recently took the state winners of the LIA–Heidelberg Graduate of the Year Award on a Blue Star facilities tour.

Six of the nine state winners took the trip to Blue Star’s Print and Web facilities in Silverwater, Sydney, where they learnt about its various business divisions, state-of-the-art printing technology, as well as the operations and production of print materials for its clients.

These nine state winners were picked from nominations by training providers. Every second year, these winners get flown by Heidelberg to an event.

This year’s graduates consisted of Multi-Color Corporation’s Jonathan Pitt and Print SA’s Rebecca Wright (representing South Australia); Ovato’s Andrew Flett and QLM Label Makers’ Ryan Robinson (representing Queensland); Vanguard Press’ Bradley Fenner (representing Western Australia); Visy Industries Smithfield’s Frankie Abraham and Ovato’s Philippe Phuoc Vu (representing NSW); and Label Makers’ Guillaume Hintzy and Chapel Press’ Nicole Danger (representing Victoria).

Phuoc Vu and Abraham were not in attendance, while Hintzy joined in via a Skype call.

According to the LIA, the objective of the scholarship is to provide incentives to graduates of printing, graphic arts and related studies throughout Australia and to promote aspirations to further the technical and business administration skills necessary to maintain the high level of the graphic arts industry.

Blue Star Print NSW general manager Simon Bailey said the tour was a good opportunity to show the site off to young talent in the industry.

“It is nice to provide exposure to young energetic people joining our industry, outside of their own four walls,” he said.

“I myself love to see printing and manufacturing sites and I hope they have seen what we do that is different, and have learnt from it.”

Robinson, who spoke on behalf of the group that took the tour, said there were plenty of takeaways from the visit.

“We had a site tour of the company’s magazine production plants, how the magazines are made, the applications, the way they’re stored, run and processed, and all the different kinds of workflow that goes into it,” he said.

“From a flexo perspective – I come from a flexo background – the equipment that Blue Star has is a whole new world for me. The machines are about four times the size, the applications are more versatile, so it was exciting for me to be able to see all of it, considering my background.”

The national LIA–Heidelberg Graduate of the Year Award was handed out at the 36th National Print Awards to Pitt. He took home $10,000 in scholarship prize for the win.

The scholarship usage must be pertinent to the graphic arts industry and be directed towards further technical and business management study, either in Australia or overseas.


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