Mark Doughty’s passion for all things outdoors has landed him one of the state’s highest awards for trainees.
The McCarthy Catholic Trade Training Centre student was last week named School-Based Apprentice of the Year at the NSW Training Awards.
Mark, from Mount Druitt, has proven himself to be driven beyond his years.
He started his own lawnmowing business at 14 and has continued to grow his side project while studying at school and TAFE, and working one day per week for Skyline Landscaping Sevices.
“I was always outside gardening with the family as a kid,” Mark said.
“At first I didn’t really like getting my hands dirty, but I ended up doing landscaping and greenkeeping for work experience and loved it.”
The 18-year-old finishes up at school next week, and thanked his teachers for allowing him to pursue his passion alongside his studies.
He said working outside in the elements was one of his favourite parts of the job
“I take great satisfaction in the transformative nature of my work,” Mark said.
“Comparing my before and after images drives me to gain more experience and knowledge.
“At the end of the day it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.”
Mark also donates his time to maintaining his school’s garden and at St Vincent de Paul church. He also chips in at his grandparent’s house on weekends.
“One of the students passed away at our school earlier this year. The school set up a memorial garden that was overgrown,” he said.
“I wanted to help keep that under control. That’s how it started.”
Mark has also acted as a mentor to fellow students unsure about the career path they’ve taken.
McCarthy Catholic College TTC assistant principal John Wills said the school “couldn’t be prouder” of Mark and his achievements.
“It is a clear demonstration of the work he has carried out both here at the college and in the workplace,” he said.
Mark is now focused on establishing himself in the workforce.
“I want to thank everyone who was there supporting me all the way,” he said.