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Hyne mill saw doctor finally receives his award

Steve Arnold

Tumbarumba apprentice Steven Arnold has won an award for being a doctor, but a doctor of a very different type. Source: Tumbarumba Times

The Hyne Timber Tumbarumba Mill worker received the Saw Doctor Apprentice of the Year award from Tumut TAFE when he attained his certificate in Saw Doctoring.

Although Mr Arnold won the award in 2020, he only received it last week due to Covid delays.

Mr Arnold said he was surprised to have won the accolade but was pleased that he decided to embark on completing an unusual trade.

“I was looking at getting a trade and a saw doctoring apprentice was advertised,” he said. “I visited the saw shop at Hyne to see what was involved in the trade and I liked the variety that was involved to become a saw doctor, so I went for it.

“It`s a privilege to receive the award as the course can be challenging but also rewarding at the end.

“I think that it is a great achievement, not only for myself, but from my workmates who have given me lots of information and experience in all aspects of saw doctoring.”

The 31-year-old, who has worked with Hyne for five years, said he would continue to strive to “work to a high standard to achieve high sawing accuracy and efficiency”.

Mr Arnold’s supervisor Garry Elliott said he was proud of Mr Arnold and his accomplishments.

Mr Elliott said Mr Arnold was part of a team of seven saw doctors and was a worthy recipient.

“Steven’s hard work, his high marks in his studies, his initiative, his respect and professional courtesy when engaging with other people and his dedication to the trade has placed him in the position to be awarded apprentice of the year,” Mr Elliott said.

“Steven has been exceptional in his training; he is eager to learn and to try new challenges.

“He has initiative, a strong desire to produce a quality product and is a great team player.”

Mr Elliott said Mr Arnold was now a tradesperson, a “slightly seasoned saw technician” whose important job in the mill was basically to take care of all the cutting tools, band saws, circular saws and chipping knives.

“From my own perspective, Steven has really taken the step up since completing his apprenticeship, to being a senior member of the trade team, including leading new apprentices and sharing knowledge and skills with the next generation of Saw Technicians,” he said.

Mr Elliott said the name saw doctor would change this year and the tradesperson would be called a “Saw Technician”.

There are currently 13 apprentices undertaking saw doctor apprenticeships.