Awards postponed, but celebrations continue

Despite having to postpone our annual Michael Barnes Apprentice of the Year Awards due to coronavirus, AMCA South Australia congratulates our four finalists for their outstanding workmanship and commitment to excellence.

Despite the postponement of the annual Michael Barnes Apprentice of the Year Awards due to coronavirus, AMCA South Australia congratulates this year’s finalists, all of whom continue to honour the late Michael Barnes with their outstanding attitude and commitment to their personal and professional development. 

  • Cory Gamble, A.G. O’Connor’s
  • Brodie Haylock, DCM Services
  • James Opitz, D-Stal Electrical
  • Matthew Van Laatum, D-Stal Electrical

This year’s event was due to be held at the National Wine Centre on Friday, 20 November, and was to include our annual fundraiser for Childhood Cancer Association.

Though the decision to postpone the event was difficult, it was made in the interest of public health and safety, and we remain hopeful of hosting a smaller ceremony soon.

We thank our sponsors for their continued support and look forward to partnering again soon.

Remembering Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes was elected as AMCA South Australia’s youngest ever president in 2011, though resigned before the end of his term due to an aggressive form of cancer that ultimately took his life.

A loving husband and dedicated father to four children, Michael was a positive and unifying force within the industry, which earnt him the universal respect of his colleagues.

A prefect at Immanuel College and an outstanding state soccer player, Michael’s commitment, determination and energy were evident at an early age. He started his career in the HVAC industry as a refrigeration apprentice with Seasonair, before co-founding Promptair in 1998 and a sheet metal shop in 2011.

Throughout his involvement with the AMCA, Michael was always a strong proponent for the critical role of industry training and development.

Following his passing, AMCA South Australia established the Michael Barnes Apprentice of the Year Award, which continues to honour his personal commitment to excellence by fostering the next generation of industry leaders.



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