Ovato apprentice named NSW LIA Graduate of the Year

Philippe Vu, an apprentice printer at Ovato in Sydney’s Warwick Farm, has been named the 2019 Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) and Heidelberg Graduate of the Year for New South Wales.

Vu began his career in print working as a young apprentice at TMA and Offset Alpine before settling at Ovato, gaining diverse experience operating offset and flexo presses. Vu currently operates a six-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster 106 with coater and says it has more automation than previous presses he has worked on.

LIA NSW committee member Angus Scott, congratulated Vu on the award and said the future of the printing industry lies in the hands of young graduates like him.

Scott lamented the declining number of nominees as well as the lack of any state sponsored print training programmes in NSW, adding it was left to companies like Ovato to train the printers and press operators of tomorrow.

Savas Mystakidis, Heidelberg sales and branch manager for the Northern Region, said Heidelberg takes great pride in continuing to sponsor the Graduate of the Year awards Australia-wide, as it had done since their inception. He said Heidelberg recognises the value of giving encouragement to the next generation of printers, not only for vocational reasons but also to secure trained staff to operate print technologies of today and tomorrow.

Nick Lane, general manager, Warwick Farm, said that Ovato recognises the importance of training the next generation of printers, be they destined for employment in prepress, press operation or finishing. Also on hand for the presentation and factory tour were Craig Dunsford, executive general manager, Northern Region; Michael Cooper, pressroom manager for Sheetfed and Packaging; and Simon Edwards, pressroom manager for Web, Ovato.

The LIA/Heidelberg Graduate of the Year award, awarded annually in each mainland state with plaques presented to the winners and certificates to their employers, dates back to 1972.

Major sponsor Heidelberg funds air fares and accommodation for winning state graduates to the National Print Awards with a national winner selected to receive the Visual Connections/LIA National Graduate Scholarship Prize.

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