OFPANZ (Outdoor Fabric Products Association of NZ)
Tier 1 Apprentice of the Year The Tier 1 Award is for apprentices who have been enrolled in the traineeship program for less than 15 months. MAST Academy was a principal sponsor for Tier 1.
Serena Foote from Duncan’s Canvas won Tier 1 for 2023.
Serena's project was a messenger bag made from polycotton canvas with various features like a shoulder strap, handle, pocket for a cell phone, and shoulder padding for comfort. The biggest challenge she faced during the project was binding the corners.
Richard Simonsen from Sunshade Group Ltd received a highly commended in Tier 1.
Tier 2 Apprentice of the Year The Tier 2 Award is for apprentices who have been enrolled in the traineeship program for more than 15 months. Tier 2 entries had to be the apprentice's own design and have commercial appeal. The two entries for Tier 2 were Georgie Fry's "Millie’s Multi Harness" and Emma Conayne's "Camo Bow Bag."
Georgie Fry won the Tier 2 Award with her project "Millie’s Multi Harness," designed to cater to the specific needs of a dog named Millie. The harness included features like strong handles, interchangeable design, removable carry bags, and more. The project used acrylic canvas for outdoor fabric, polyester fleece for lining, and heavy polyester webbing for straps and handles. Georgie faced challenges with measuring and templating, especially because this project involved a moving subject (the dog).
Overall Apprentice of the Year: The overall apprentice of the year was selected from the winners of Tier 1 and Tier 2. The award celebrated the skills and achievements of apprentices in the outdoor fabric industry and was supported by various sponsors including Carr NZ, W Wiggins, MAST Academy, and Hanga Aro Rau.
Georgie Fry was the overall Apprentice of the Year winner. Georgie received the OFPANZ Apprentice of the Year Trophy and a framed certificate. She also received $500 sponsored by MAST Academy, a Triac AT from Carr New Zealand, and was reimbursed for flights and accommodation for the OFPANZ conference and Trade Show thanks to Hanga Aro Rau.
OFPANZ Event Photography by Marty Brown Portraiture