Young butcher named North Coast Apprentice of the Year
APPRENTICE butcher Kelly Bryant has achieved another milestone in her budding career after being named North Coast Apprentice of the Year at an awards ceremony in Byron Bay.
The Tatham-born farm girl was one of three finalists vying for the title, with the finalists selected from apprentices from Taree to Tweed and from all trades.
Kelly had no idea she was the winner until the awards ceremony held last month.
"I went down there not thinking I was going to get anywhere, I didn't think that I had a chance," she said.
"They invited us all on to the stage, said a little bit about us and then announced that I was the apprentice of the year."
Kelly said her success still hasn't completely sunk in, although the massive trophy sitting atop the counter at the Country Meats Goonellabah butchery is a good reminder.
"It is a huge figure, I didn't realise how big it was," Kelly admitted.
"Through the butcher shop I've had a lot of people asking whether I won, and a lot respect is coming through the shop."
"My employers Mel and Scott plastered it all over social media as soon as they could."
The award recognises Kelly as one of the state's top apprentices but not one to rest on her laurels, she has already switched her attention to the state awards to be held in Sydney on September 9.
First however she will need to progress through the interview stage with a panel of judges set to test her industry knowledge.
The panel will also quiz the other 10 regional winners before announcing the finalists.
"From what I've been told they will pick six to attend the awards night in Sydney," Kelly said.
Kelly will fly to Sydney on July 27 for the interview process.
"It's a little bit daunting but I have nothing to lose," she said.
"For me to work on any-thing, it's just to be focused on my trade, keep doing what I love and keep bringing people into my shop to show how a good local butcher works.
"Whatever comes out of it is awesome."