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LIA award winners make travel plans for drupa 2020

LIA Biennial Award winners Jason Turai (2017) and Jonathan Pitt (2019) have received their prize money and are making plans for the ‘trip of a lifetime’ to drupa 2020 in Dusseldorf, thanks to the sponsorship of industry groups the Print & Visual Communication Association (PVCA) and Visual Connections.

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 (l-r) LIA national president Mel Ireland, 2019 LIA graduate winner Jonathan Pitt and Visual Connections president Mitch Mulligan.

The trip is funded by the money the two received as part of their recognition in the national biennial LIA/Heidelberg Graduate Awards Program. 2017 winner Jason Turai’s prize is sponsored by the Print & Visual Communication Association, and Jonathan Pitt, the 2019 recipient, is sponsored by Visual Connections. 

“Donations and funding of prizes such as this are immensely gratifying, because we see in the recipients a vision of the future of our industry,” said Andrew Macaulay, CEO of the PVCA. “The PVCA works in many areas towards this consistent vision of building and maintaining a stable pipeline of young talent into our diverse and evolving industry. Support of the LIA Graduate program is only one of many areas that the PVCA contributes and expands its vision of a thriving print, packaging and visual communications sector.” 

As the peak body representing print, packaging and now the broader visual communication sector – the PVCA is consistently growing and evolving alongside its members and the industry it supports and leads, he said.

  “PVCA and our members are thrilled to contribute towards the further development of a talented young member of our industry, and we are looking forward to Jason’s report back on his exploration of  the amazing innovations and new technologies our industry has to offer,” said Macaulay, noting that the fact that the two young men will be travelling and learning together is an apt reflection of the collaborative relationship between PVCA and Visual Connections, across many projects including the PrintEx and PacPrint trade shows.

 “I have met many brilliant people in the industry,” Turai said. “The trip to DRUPA has been a dream and goal of mine, and will be a big step forward in my professional development. I thank the PVCA for  providing me with this opportunity and of course the LIA for providing the pathway that has led me here. Without the support of organisations such as these I wouldn’t have this chance at all.”

2019 winner Pitt said: "I would like to thank the LIA and Visual Connections for this wonderful experience, meeting young enthusiastic people in the printing industry, and for the new experiences I will gain in my travels overseas."

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 (l-r) 2017 award winners Jason Turai of Orora Group SA (winner of the 'LIA - Printing Industries Future Leader' award), with Chloe Rudd of Print DNA in South Australia, who took out the 'Visual Connections - LIA National Graduate Scholarship' prize. 

 Mel Ireland, president of the LIA, said it was exciting to hear the two were finalising their plans, knowing that their trip to drupa will be a career-defining experience that they will not only benefit enormously from, but will remember forever.

“It’s always fantastic to see capable young people who are dedicated to the achievement of excellence choose to join the print and graphic communications sector, and we are delighted to be able to recognise their skill and achievements through these Awards, and to see them develop into our industry’s future leaders,” Ireland said.

 “We are fortunate in the print and graphic communications sector to have passionate industry organisations and suppliers who are committed to investing in the future of our industry and working collaboratively on initiatives which further the interests of our sector, and we thank Heidelberg, the PVCA and Visual Connections most sincerely for their support.”

Since 1972, the LIA has recognised outstanding achievements of industry apprentices with the Graduate of the Year Award which, as well as attendance at the LIA’s Biennial Conference, also brings with it the Scholarship prize of $10,000, funded by Industry organisations, such as the PVCA in 2017 and Visual Connections in 2019. 

Peter Harper, CEO of Visual Connections, said the supplier association was proud to be associated with the LIA and delighted to be providing ongoing support for its National Graduate Scholarship Prize. 

“Visual Connections has always been committed to contributing to the sustainable future of our industry, and supporting excellent initiatives like the LIA Awards, which foster the education and career development of young people, is a wonderful way to do that. We congratulate both winners, wish them a safe journey, and are very much looking forward to hearing more about their experiences and to watching their career achievements over the coming years.”