Bridie’s Brilliance a Perfect Match for Sam’s Steely Resolve


STAR Australian athlete Samuel Rizzo always goes the extra yard – just ask his employers at Astec Equipment Services and the person responsible for the job placement – Sarina Russo Apprenticeships Industry Consultant Bridie Smolenaers.


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A member of the Australian Paralympic Squad where he puts his body through torturous daily training sessions is his customised wheel-chair, Samuel is also an equally valued team member at Astec Equipment Services.


Born with spina bifida, Samuel, 19, commenced his Apprenticeship in Certificate III Engineering – Fabrication Trade in January and he is now making wheelchairs for his fellow disabled residents of Ballarat.


“Samuel also studies Trade School a Federation University Ballarat and his employer and TAFE have both made modifications to support Samuel’s learning and make the experience more comfortable for him,” Bridie said.


“He is such a dedicated young man who is really going places and we are all very proud of him and what he has achieved – good on you Samuel.”


Samuel’s employment success story mirrors the sensational sporting season he has had since making his international debut at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in front of a huge home crowd and he’s adamant what his next track dream is.


“My goal is to win a Gold Medal and set a new world record at the Paralympics in Tokyo in August next year,” he said.


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