Ai Group was thrilled to welcome William Angliss Institute of TAFE students to ConTech2022 last week.  

Owing to the support of the Victorian Government, a number of students were able to join us as guests. 

A highlight of the event, which is the biggest confectionery conference in Australasia, was the announcement of the winner of the annual Sollich Award for the top William Angliss confectionery student. 

Martin Crumpton, CEO of Allied Industries, presented a trophy and $2000 cash prize to Stuart MacQueen Thomson, a former chef who became a food technician through his studies at William Angliss.  

Sollich, a specialist in chocolate processing machinery, awards the prize every year to recognise the significance of knowledge and skills in the confectionery industry and to encourage students to establish a career in the sector.   

Tim Piper, who leads Ai Group's Confectionery Sector, said it was a pleasure to have so many William Angliss students in attendance. 

“It was a fantastic opportunity for the next generation of confectionery industry professionals to experience the excitement of the Sollich Award presentation,” Mr Piper said. 

“They also had the chance to hear our guest speakers talk about the latest trends and were able to engage with confectionery leaders.” 

The relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions meant this year’s annual ConTech, at the MCG in Victoria, marked the first time since 2019 that the event was held in person. 


Main picture: (L-R) Ai Group's Head of Confectionery, Tim Piper; teachers Suresh Vaidyanathan and Kris Wilson, of William Angliss Institute; Sollich Award winner Stuart McQueen Thomson; teacher Wendy Jarvis, of William Angliss Institute; and Sollich representative and Allied Industries CEO Martin Crumpton.

Second picture: Victorian Government representative Suzanne Walker, far left, and Lauren Kelly, behind her, join the ConTech2022 celebrations with William Angliss Institute teachers and Ai Group's Head of Confectionery, Tim Piper.

Wendy Larter

Wendy Larter is Communications Manager at the Australian Industry Group. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a reporter, features writer, contributor and sub-editor for newspapers and magazines including The Courier-Mail in Brisbane and Metro, the News of the World, The Times and Elle in the UK.