ARMY VETERAN Benjamin Lye has been crowned the winner of People's Choice Award for Apprentice of the Year in the NSW Training Awards.
Mr Lye, who works for Tamworth Regional Council, said he couldn't be prouder to be given the title.
"I'm very proud of where I got to and thankful for everyone who voted for me," he said.
After being medically discharged from the army with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Mr Lye said gardening gave him a renewed sense of purpose and the award was a recognition of how far he had come.
"I'm glad that people got behind me and my story."
In his mid-thirties, Mr Lye took on the challenge of an apprenticeship while managing a young family, and graduated from TAFE NSW with a certificate in Parks and Gardens.
"I'm proof that a veteran can start again and find happiness," he said.
Mr Lye's manager Paul Kelly said the council was extremely proud of his achievement.
"Ben is an asset to the team and a role model for other employees," he said.
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