Blogs (Media Centre)

Heiko Reicken (right). Photo courtesy of Print21.

Lithgow local Heiko Riecken is keeping the fine art of printing alive and has just been named the 2020 Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) and Heidelberg Graduate of the Year for New South Wales. 

As one of the largest manufacturing sectors in Australia, the printing and graphic arts industry is a significant contributor to many aspects of the Australian economy and workforce, with an estimated 6,500 businesses in operation and almost 27,000 people employed in related occupations.  

The TAFE NSW graduate said he was thrilled with the win and hoped to inspire more young people to join the trade. 

“The world of print is a fascinating field of employment with changing technology and machinery and appealing products, coupled with diverse challenges each day. We have to make decisions about efficiency, quality, resources, production processes and how to be part of a team of co-workers.” 

“I enjoy printing and the challenge of making decisions about each job, how to produce it fast with good quality, little waste and maintaining the machine for reliable and repeatable outcomes.” 

After spending 30 years working in the printing industry, Heiko enrolled at TAFE NSW Ultimo in 2019 to brush up on his knowledge and consolidate his considerable years of experience. 

President of the LIA, Angus Scott, said printers like Heiko were pivotal in maintaining the longevity of the industry and to train other young apprentices in the art. 

“TAFE NSW plays a big role in equipping students and apprentices with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the industry. 

“I congratulate Heiko on his achievements and encourage others to consider a career in the printing and design industry.” 

The LIA/Heidelberg Graduate of the Year award, awarded annually in each mainland state with plaques presented to the winners and certificates to their employers, dates to 1972. 

Heiko will now advance to the National Print Awards in 2021 where a national winner will be selected to receive the Visual Connections/LIA National Graduate Scholarship Prize.  

Enrolments are now open for semester two at TAFE NSW. To learn more about printing and graphics courses, visit or call 131 601. 

Media contact: Emma Curtis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, (02) 6338 2509, mobile 0427 901 515.