2023 Technician Awards Regional Finalists

Meet our 2023 Regional Finalists who are progressing through to the final stages of the Technician Awards program.

Parts Technician of the Year Finalists

James Andrew in front of John Deere equipment

Andrew James, RDO Equipment, Richlands, Queensland

Before starting as a parts technician at the John Deere RDO Equipment dealership in Richlands, Andrew James had managed retail department stores and been a retail manager within the automotive parts industry. His strong interest in automotive and mechanical applications meant he comfortably made the transition to providing parts advice for customers and working with John Deere equipment.  

Primarily supporting customers in the construction industry, Andrew says he has developed an extensive knowledge of John Deere products and is proud of his career progression in the two years since his career change. He enjoys the challenge and diversity of the role and relies on his excellent problem-solving skills to find solutions for his customers.

Jarred Bourke in front of John Deere equipment

Jarred Bourke, LandHQ Queanbeyan, New South Wales 

Growing up in a small country town in New South Wales, Jarred Bourke always had an appreciation for farming. After leaving school he initially pursued a different career path, completing his baking apprenticeship and working in that industry for several years. He then made a career switch, taking on a role as a parts interpreter servicing motorcycles and ATVs for the farming community surrounding Queanbeyan and Canberra for 11 years. After a break, Jarred was approached by LandHQ to become a John Deere Parts Technician, and says it was the best decision he's ever made and has never looked back.

Jarred has earned an excellent reputation with his colleagues and customers for his leadership and communication skills and loves that every day he is able to help customers who may range from the general public through to farmers running large-scale properties. He has been an integral part of the LandHQ team, recently helping to set the dealership up in a new and bigger location.

Mitchell Channer in front of John Deere equipment

Mitchell Channer, AFGRI Equipment, South Guildford, Western Australia

An obsession with the John Deere logo from an early age, and the reliability of the brand, were catalysts for Mitchell Channer embarking on his successful career as a parts technician. This enthusiasm was further strengthened by his belief being part of the Australian agricultural industry would mean always contributing to communities and the economy.

He is no stranger to the John Deere Technician Awards, having been named the Parts Apprentice of the Year in 2022 while he was still training for his qualification. Mitchell says the most rewarding part of his job is finding solutions for his customers, regardless of whether they are a hobby farmer, or a large-scale mining company. He takes pride in knowing if he can decrease their downtime, he is helping them to increase their revenue.

Mollie Clarke in front of John Deere equipment

Mollie Clarke, Brandt, Gisborne, New Zealand

Mollie Clarke has deep roots in the agricultural industry having grown up spending time working on her family's farm. After leaving school, she stumbled upon a parts technician position at her local John Deere dealership and, after her first few days at work, knew she had found the industry she wanted to not only be part of, but to excel in.

Mollie is renowned by customers for her excellent communication skills and extensive knowledge of John Deere equipment which she consistently develops by completing additional training offered through John Deere and the Brandt Gisborne dealership. During her day-to-day work, Mollie enjoys her interaction with customers and fellow colleagues. As someone who thrives in team environments, she is an avid hockey player, and currently represents her local country club, Ngatapa in the sport.

Sarah Lewis in front of John Deere equipment

Sarah Lewis, Brandt, Terang, Victoria

Sarah Lewis has deep roots in the agriculture industry, having grown up on a small farm in regional Victoria where she enjoyed riding dirt bikes, fishing for tadpoles and feeding calves. It was her formative years which instilled in her an appreciation of the importance of supporting agricultural industries and local communities, and the critical role machinery parts play in ensuring farming businesses thrive.

A qualified Parts Technician, Sarah is known for her excellent problem-solving skills and is committed to sourcing and securing parts in a timely manner for her customers. She has become a leader within the Brandt Terang branch and is passionate about mentoring and upskilling the next generation of techs to help them service customers throughout the region. After winning the Australian Parts Technician of the Year in 2022, Sarah is excited to again be nominated, and is proud to represent her dealership and the John Deere brand.

Kaylyn-Rose Netrval in front of John Deere equipment

Kaylyn-Rose Netrval, RDO Equipment, Taree South, New South Wales

Kaylyn-Rose Netrval joined RDO Equipment in 2020, and despite having no previous background with farming equipment, she quickly applied herself to learning and completed her apprenticeship two years earlier than expected. Becoming a fully qualified John Deere Parts Technician in March this year, she is well on her way to establishing herself as one of the best in her field.

Kaylyn-Rose is the first to confess when she started her career, she knew little about tractors and mowers, however she's now developed an extensive knowledge of John Deere products which she uses daily, sourcing and securing parts for customers. As someone who strives for greatness, Kaylyn-Rose's approach with each customer is the same – whether they are seeking parts for a ride-on mower or for a combine harvester during harvest season. She recognises everyone deserves the best of service, which gives her immense job satisfaction, knowing she is contributing to solving problems that have a big impact for customers.

As a parts apprentice finalist last year, Kaylyn-Rose is excited to make the finalists lineup as a qualified technician in 2023 and is hoping to make herself and her branch proud.

Jimmy O'Donnell in front of John Deere equipment

Jimmy O'Donnell, Drummond & Etheridge, Blenheim, New Zealand

After spending eleven years working as a service technician for a photocopier company, Jimmy O'Donnell saw a job advertisement in the newspaper for a parts technician at his local John Deere dealership and made the leap to switch careers. He secured the role and two years later is proud his enthusiasm and reputation has earned him a finalist spot at the John Deere Technician Awards.

Jimmy has been fascinated by machinery since childhood and growing up on his family's farm he loved seeing how the graders, snow groomers and tractors worked. The most rewarding part of the job for Jimmy is interacting with customers and his service technician colleagues. He enjoys the problem-solving aspect of the role and has earned a reputation for his extensive knowledge of John Deere machinery, with customers often asking for him by name to source and secure parts for them.