2017 has been a tremendous year for Max Miegel.
The Murray Bridge teenager and his mother recently spent a week in Canberra in the lead-up for the Australian Training Awards on November 23 where he was awarded the runner-up Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year.
After previously winning two awards at the SA Training Awards on September 1, where the Glenbrook employee was named the School-based Apprentice of the Year and people’s choice award winner, Max said taking out this latest award would have seemed almost too perfect.
“I mean, I didn’t even think I would come in as the runner-up,” he said. “I was just happy to be in such good company after getting to know some of the other nominees and listening to their stories.”
Bethany Simpson from Mildura was given the top honour, and Max said she was a very deserving winner.
“Hearing about how she was helping run her family’s motel, while doing her business admin cert three and now all finishing off her studies, I was happy to come in second to her,” he said.
Besides receiving his award, Max had one particular experience that would stay with him for a long time.
“We had a private dinner in the War Memorial building, which was amazing.”
Max said he was almost glad he didn’t win, because it would have meant long stints away from the farm.
“I love what I’m doing and if I had to spend up to weeks at-a-time away from work I feel like I could fall behind where I’m heading,” he said.
Max had recently rented lots behind the Swanport Hotel and where he would run cattle and planned to slowly continue expanding his business until he was ready to run his own full-scale farming operation.
“Mum and dad keep saying to me, ‘take your time, remember that you’re still only young, you don’t want to burn out too early’,” he said.
Max started his school-based apprenticeship when he was 15 after struggling academically and found success in his passion for agriculture through Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses.
“There are plenty of other options besides uni,” Max said. “VET courses are a great way to still finish school, but get started in something you might really, really enjoy.”
“I really want to get the message out there for kids who might be struggling with school like I was.”