Change of fortune reaps reward

Daniel Fortune. Photo: Damjan Janevski.

By Jessica Micallef

Daniel Fortune is the king of the garden.

Mr Fortune, 44, has been shortlisted for the Victorian Apprentice of the Year award, as part of the Victorian Training Awards.

“To be honest, it’s a little embarrassing,” Mr Fortune said.

“It’s good recognition for the hard work I have put in over the three years of the apprenticeship.”

Mr Fortune has been working at Sacred Heart College Kyneton for four years as one of the school’s groundskeepers, while studying at Bendigo TAFE.

“Originally when I started here, the job was advertised as an apprenticeship,” Mr Fortune said.

“I did three years at Bendigo TAFE to get qualified in a certificate three in horticulture. It was a little bit daunting at first, being 40 years-old and going back to school. But I found it really interesting and they were fantastic educators.

“It reinforced the skills and the knowledge that I had already.”

Mr Fortune is hoping his achievement encourages men and women, regardless of age, to pursue a university degree.

“Me being as old as I am just proves you’re never too old to do it,” he said.

“Hopefully it might convince a few people who aren’t really sure what they want to do to maybe follow through on something. Just give it a go.”

Mr Fortune is one of three finalists for the Victorian Apprentice of the Year award. The winners will be announced on Friday, September 6, at the Crown Palladium.