In 1986, The Banner published a story about a young Werribee apprentice named Mark Walker.

At the time, Mr Walker – a third-year metal founding apprentice at the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation – had been selected to represent the state in the Australian Foundry Institute National Apprentice Competition.

Fast forward more than three decades, and Mr Walker is now working for the Growth Steel Group, as a business development manager and south-east regional manager for growth.

The Growth Steel Group supplies steel products around the world and has a foundry in Medan, North Sumatra.

Mr Walker said he spends about 30 weeks a year travelling back and forth to Indonesia for his job, which involves helping the company improve its technology, safety and environment.

“Since I’ve been with the company, we’ve updated the safety to Australian standards,” he said. “The best part is when I make a change and get to see the result, that’s job satisfaction.”

After he was featured in The Banner, Mr Walker went on to become a senior technical officer for BTR Aerospace, then worked at Vaughan Castings and at Foseco Pty Ltd, as a state manager.

He completed an MBA and volunteered as the Australian Foundry Institute secretary and vice-president for many years.

He also married, and has three children – Amy, Blake and Tanya – with his wife Deborah.

Mr Walker said if anyone had told him of his career success back in 1986 he would not have believed them.

“I always did my best, as taught by my parents,” he said. “I treat everyone the same and be honest with everyone.”