John Andrew Apprentice of the Year Competition

Recognising the next generation of locksmith high achievers

The John Andrew Apprentice of the Year Competition recognises excellence among Australian and New Zealand locksmith apprentices. It also acknowledges the important relationship between an apprentice and their mentor, whose support is a key part of apprentices’ entry to the award.

The winner of the competition, and their mentor, receive a fully-funded trip to Europe to visit the Silca factory in Italy and the ABUS factory in Germany, both world-class manufacturing facilities. This is, without doubt, the best prize in locksmithing anywhere in the world.

The award is run by the Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia (MLAA) and generously supported by sponsors LSC, Silca and ABUS.

It honours the memory of the late John Andrew, who was the MLAA’s inaugural Life Member and a winner of the AL Chantry Memorial Award for the Pursuit of Excellence.

What the award tests

The competition tests a range of locksmithing skills, including:

  • Lock picking
  • Lock impressioning
  • Lock fitting
  • Master keying
  • Safes – mechanical & electronic
  • Automotive – mechanical & transponder
  • Electronic security

Applicants are tested on these skills in person at the premises of K.J.Ross Security Locks in Knoxfield, Victoria. The MLAA covers the cost of airfares, accommodation, transfers and meals for finalists and their mentors.

Eligibility criteria

  • The entrant must be an employee of a current Business Member of the Association
  • The entrant must have the support of the Business they are employed by
  • The entrant must have completed (or be in the process of completing) a recognised apprenticeship in Australia (TAFE) or New Zealand (Competenz)
  • Any entrant who has completed their apprenticeship must have done so within 12 months of entering the competition
  • The entrant must have been under the age of 25 at the time they commenced their apprenticeship
  • The entrant must not have completed another trade-based apprenticeship or trade certificate
  • The entrant agrees to travel to Melbourne (travel and accommodation costs to be covered by the MLAA) for testing at a K J Ross Security Locks in Melbourne at a date determined by the Association

All eligible locksmith apprentices across Australia and New Zealand are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Entries for the John Andrew Apprentice of the Year Competition for 2022 will open mid-year.

Past winners

“It’s a real honour to win the award. The testing was actually really fun, and it was great networking with the other contestants. I think we all came out of the weekend really good mates.

I would 100% encourage apprentices to apply for the competition in future. It really opens your eyes to the industry, gives you a chance to see what other locksmiths are doing, and build on your ideas for the future.”

David Cowley
Precision Locksmiths
2020/21 John Andrew Apprentice of the Year

Pictured: David Cowley (right) receiving his award with mentor Walter Mioch.

“I found the John Andrew Apprentice of the Year Competition to be a great opportunity for me to meet fellow locksmiths from all over Australia and to not only compete against them but network with them. It was an awesome experience to participate in the test at the KJ Ross factory and to have the honour of getting shown how the Ross locks are manufactured. Everyone was friendly and it was very easy going. It was a chance to get to show off the skills that I had gained, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking about entering to give it a crack.”

Jesse Shepherd
Valley Locksmiths
2019 John Andrew Apprentice of the Year

Pictured: 2019 John Andrew Apprentice of the Year Jesse Shepherd (left) with his mentor Matt Ellis (right).

John Andrews Apprentice of the Year 2018 Riley Davidson from ASAP Locksmiths in Windsor - JAAOTY

Year Apprentice of the Year  Branch Employer
2000 Chris Verbolle VIC Stewarts Security Specialists
2001 David Overend NZ James Bull & Co
2002 Eric Yorsten NZ Armstrong Locksmiths
2003 Nathan de Rooy NSW Brian Preddey Locksmiths
2004 Andrew Worsfold QLD Northside Locksmiths
2005 James Methven VIC Echuca Locksmiths
2006 Shane Cook VIC Echuca Locksmiths
2007 Bradley Wheeler VIC East Gippsland Keys & Locks
2008 Adam Burling WA SAS Locksmithing Services
2009 Robert Jeges VIC API Security – Moorabbin
2010 Kyle Bevans VIC Bendigo Locksmiths
2011 Nicole Bornis QLD Ruswin
2012 David Monahu VIC Omega Corporate Security
2013 Daniel Kolosi VIC Corporate Locksmiths
2014 Nicholas Smith QLD Keycut Services Pty Ltd