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2009 FITEC Furniture Trainee of the Year finalists

2009 FITEC Furniture Trainee of the Year finalists announced

Finalists for the 2009 FITEC (Forestry Industry Training Organisation) Furniture Trainee of the Year have been announced.

The three finalists in this category of the 2009 FITEC National Training Awards are Eden Simpson from Natural Timber Creations in Kerikeri, Simon Bellamy of Di Rosa Cabinetry in Matamata and Ben Subritzy of Molloy Furniture in Auckland.

The unique pieces of furniture which the finalists created for the awards were all distinctive and very different. 17-year old Eden handcrafted a coffee table using a variety of rare New Zealand wood (Rata, Rewarewa, Kauri, Totara and Resin). 22-year old Simon created a dining room chair in Rimu which shows off the wood’s spectacular grain. 30-year old Ben created a distinctive bassinet in American Oak including some innovative design features, giving it a timeless appeal.

The award entries are on display in the Danske Mobler showroom in Mt Eden (983 Mt Eden Road, Auckland until August 28 2009.

“All three pieces of furniture reflect innovative design, great skill, attention to detail and creative use choice of timber,” says Ian Boyd Chief Executive of FITEC, “These young people will be designing for years to come and it really shows the quality of our young designers coming through.”
Furniture of Year finalists, their guests and industry professionals will attend a FITEC gala dinner and ceremony at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre on 10 September – where the winner of their category will be announced.

The FITEC awards are given in nine categories. The categories and their prizes are:

• Modern Apprentice of the Year (Forestry) – finalists $250, winner $1000
• Modern Apprentice of the Year (Wood Manufacturing) – finalists $250, winner $1000
• Trainee of the Year (Forestry) – finalists $250, winner $1000
• Trainee of the Year (Wood Manufacturing) – finalists $250, winner $1000
• Trainee of the Year (Furniture) – winner $1000
• Training Company of the Year (Forestry) – $1000 in FITEC training
• Training Company of the Year (Wood Manufacturing) – $1000 in FITEC training
• Outstanding Business Performance through People Development – $1000 in FITEC training
• FITEC Training Leader of the Year – $1000 travel voucher.

Ian Boyd says the awards play a crucial role in recognising individual and company achievements in the economically important forestry industry.

“Every year, we see amazing stories of personal and team achievement, in an industry where education is absolutely crucial,” he said. “And the awards help to highlight how companies that really commit to training their staff reap the economic rewards for years to come.

“This year is no different and the stories behind many of the finalists – both individuals and companies – are nothing short of inspirational.

“Forest products earn New Zealand more than $3 billion a year in export earnings and in 2007 employed more than 20,000 people. This is a nationally vital industry, and these awards are a vital component in ensuring the industry continues to go from strength to strength.”


Eden Simpson - Kerikeri
Originally from Te Puke, 17-year old Eden is currently in his second year of a furniture making apprenticeship (level four) at Natural Timber Creations in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands.
Eden handcrafted a coffee table for entry into this year’s awards. To ensure the table was unique with a distinct New Zealand feel, Eden used a variety of rare New Zealand wood including Rata, Rewarewa, Kauri burr, Totara and Resin.

Simon Bellamy - Matamata
After discovering his love of woodwork during his school days at Matamata College, 22-year old Simon is in his second year of a furniture making apprenticeship (level four) at di Rosa Cabinetry and Furniture in Matamata.
Simon decided to enter the competition after learning how to use the auto CAD to make a scaled down dining room chair. He chose to work with Rimu because of its spectacular grain, colour and durability.

Ben Subritzky - Henderson
Ben is a 30-year old trainee with the Molloy Furniture Company in Henderson, Auckland. His attention to detail and passion for crafting things with his hands prompted him to discover the furniture making industry. Molloy Furniture – renowned for using customised, high-end solid wood as well as indigenous and exotic timbers – has provided Ben with an ideal working environment.
Ben entered this year’s awards with a distinct American Oak bassinet. He chose American Oak due to its strength and timeless appeal.


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