James found school a challenge, but always had a passion for cars and mechanics, working every day after school at Best Automotive in Grenfell.
He commenced his automotive apprenticeship at 15 years old, thanks to The Henry Lawson High School and the support of his employers. Not only did he complete this with stellar grades, he went on to do a Certificate II in Automotive Electrotechnology (Air-conditioning) with TAFE NSW.
Then in 2021 at the age of just twenty, James used his learning and qualifications to realise his dream and open his own business, Anderson’s Mobile Auto Repair, working from the backyard of his home.
Academics isn’t for everyone however learning and education is. James displays his belief in the power of education through his commitment, attitude and encouragement of others.
His success shows that with the right support – and a lot of hard work – that vocational training is a pathway that provides the best results for the person, and for the community.
We asked James about his experiences with learning, about CEF and what is next for this awesome Young Achiever who has made all that know him so proud.
I always enjoyed fixing things at a young age and had a passion for cars and how they work.
Congratulations on your CEF Alumni Award. How does it feel to be recognised as an CEF Alumni Award winner?
I was honoured and surprised when I found out I was receiving an award and not just any award! I felt proud to have been recognised for my work and acknowledged for what I have achieved.
Can you tell us a little about your life growing up?
I grew up in the small country town of Grenfell in rural NSW with my Mum. As a youngster I never really connected with the idea of schooling so with support from my local school and a local business owner, I began an apprenticeship as a light vehicle mechanic at the age of 15.
Some people that I would like to thank and acknowledge are, Carol Hargraves and Jenny Armstrong for their constant support and encouragement throughout the years.
What do you remember most about receiving support from CEF Grenfell? What did it mean and how did it help you?
Receiving grants from CEF Grenfell gave me the opportunity to develop and enhance my skills.
I could complete the auto electrical course through TAFE without having to worry about finding the money to pay for the training and travel.
I remember the CEF Grenfell members being extremely helpful throughout the process of receiving the grant and the course.
How important is the work that CEF does in your opinion?
I feel that the Country Education Foundation is a very important and valued organisation within our community as it gives opportunities to the youth within regional areas to access further educational studies.
I know that the local CEF Grenfell support a lot of young people and it’s great how they check in personally just to see how things are going and make sure all is okay.
Completing my apprenticeship as an automotive mechanic as well as auto electrician and air conditioning technician was a dream come true but, being able to start up my own business, Andersons Mobile Auto Repair, would have to be my proudest moment.
What advice would you give young students in rural and regional areas who are unsure or worried about study after school?
Sometimes things don’t always work for you or suit you but there is always a way to do what you want to do. I guess I was lucky that I always knew what I wanted to do even at such a young age, and I had the support and the drive to get me to where I am today.
My advice to young students is that you are never too young to start planning for your future career and there is always support and advice available. Don’t be afraid to ask!
What is next for you?
What is next for me? To continue to grow my small business. I have just recently been able to upgrade my work vehicle which is more suitable for travelling on country roads and farms and is fitted out to carry all the necessary tools I need to operate my business successfully.
TESTIMONIALS FOR ANDERSON’S MOBILE AUTO REPAIR
As part of James’s nomination for the 2022 Alumni Awards, a number of testimonials about his work ethic and professionalism were included.
With feedback like this, we feel it is safe to say that he will be run off his feet with an incredibly successful business in no time at all!