A surprise beginning leads to a secure future
Unexpectedly becoming a father at 16 was the surprise catalyst that propelled Tasmanian Benjamin Standen to discover his passion for cooking.
Now, his career has reached great heights as a qualified chef in one of the state's best restaurants, Lebrina.
"Growing up, it was never my intention to be a chef," Benjamin said.
"Meals at home were always considered a form of sustenance and never much more.
"I think because of this I developed a sense of curiosity about food.
"When I was 16, my partner and I became parents to our daughter Kate.
"With our wonderful but life changing addition I needed to make sure I had a viable income.
"I realised that I could take that curiosity I had for food, and turn it into a career by starting an apprenticeship."
With the support of his award winning employer, Benjamin has been able to build his skills by attending special events like the Symposium of Australian Gastronomy and Crown Casino's Chefs in the City Program in Melbourne.
Benjamin has received many awards for his achievements.
In 2011, Benjamin became the Tasmanian Apprentice of the Year, and was the runner-up in the Australian Apprentice of the Year category in the Australian Training Awards the same year.
"My apprenticeship really has set me up for the future," Benjamin said.
"It is exciting to think about all the possible opportunities ahead, whether it is travelling and working overseas, owning a business, or further studies.
"Combined with hard work, an Australian Apprenticeship really does make for endless possibilities."