Nedeljko (Ned) Mitrovic joined Sinclair Meats when he was 15 years old and looking for part-time employment to earn some extra pocket money.
He later discovered however, there were other reasons to work at the Ballarat butcher shop, including independence, an increase in self-confidence, a greater appreciation for hard work and leadership experience. Ned completed his apprenticeship in early 2017 and became a qualified butcher in 2020 at the age of 19.
"The first year-and-a-half of my apprenticeship was school-based, after which I knew butchering was something I wanted to pursue and so I went into a full-time apprenticeship for my remaining years," he says.
Now the head butcher in Sinclair Meats' retail store, Ned says there have been many highlights during his time with the business, from learning the many skills of the trade to forming customer relationships.
Indeed, Ned says these connections are the most valuable skill you could bring to the business.
"The one-on-one encounters and conversations between customers and myself are times when I love to listen to their needs and preferences so I can deliver a unique and individualised experience," he says.
One highlight that stands out for me would be the early mornings, when there is a fridge full of meat to be processed and prepared.Nedeljko Mitrovic, Sinclair Meats
While there may be daily struggles and gruelling, physical work to be done, Ned accepts these difficulties are all part of his role. "All I can do is my best, and face hard work with eagerness so that these hard jobs become as easy as possible," he says.
"One highlight that stands out for me would be the early mornings, when there is a fridge full of meat to be processed and prepared."
Inspired by the supportive workplace culture, Ned says he loves everything from the early mornings, to the late nights, the customer relationships and working with a quality team.
"Sinclair Meats is a business where I love to be involved and deliver excellence to the business."
The future at Sinclair Meats looks bright, with Ned seeing himself as the manager one day, leading the team to achieve even more success.
"My dream is to have the chance to own my own business and achieve something similar," he says. "I want to grow within this industry and create something special."