Jesse Shepherd

Valley Locksmiths | SA

Please provide a short personal biography about yourself.
I grew up in country SA and had no idea what locksmithing even was until I was in the 10th grade when we had to complete work experience as part of the school curriculum. I was flicking through the yellow pages looking at businesses and stumbled across an advert for one of the larger locksmiths in Adelaide. I contacted them and they agreed to have me there for a week to experience the trade. I really enjoyed my time with them.

I did this again for a week when I was in Year 12 with another locksmith business. I left that week fascinated by locks and the technical skill of safe work. I bought a cheap set of lock picks on ebay and a few locks and started to practice picking. Word got around the class that I could pick a few locks and was contacted by the school to come in after classes and unlock a set of lockers that they had lost keys for (even though they were only basic wafer locks I felt like a superstar!)

After completing year 12 I went job hunting for a locksmith apprenticeship but with no success I ended up completing a diploma in Advertising and Marketing. I decided that this career path wasn’t for me and kept up the search for an apprenticeship. To my luck Valley Locksmiths had just had 2 locksmiths leave a few weeks before I handed in my resume in to the shop. Matt Ellis contacted me and I went in for a week and afterwards was offered an apprenticeship.

I really enjoyed my apprenticeship and have had exceptional training from the guys at work and Melbourne Polytechnic. I was fortunate enough to win the John Andrew Apprentice of the year test in 2019! I’m looking forward to the future of electronic security and the direction of the locksmithing industry. I’m really enjoying my career and can’t wait to see what is next in store for me!

What do you most enjoy about your work as a locksmith?
I really enjoy the variety of locksmithing work, one day you could be pulling an ignition off a classic car and the next you could be unlocking a safe for a client or surveying a commercial premises for a restricted key system. I also enjoy the service we offer to people and the feeling that I have helped them in their time of need, whether that be helping them after they have been locked out or securing their home after they have been broken into. Locksmithing for me gives me a high sense of job satisfaction.

What key issues do you think will affect the locksmith industry in the coming decade and how do you think these should be approached?
“Locksmith scammers” are a real threat to the industry and can damage the reputation of locksmith businesses. I feel that it is essential for all locksmiths to align themselves to an association such at the MLAA as they run campaigns that ensure the public can determine the difference between a scammer and a genuine locksmith.

A way to combat scammers is an introduction of a locksmithing license. This form of ID can prove that you are MLAA endorsed/approved and customers can trust you and your work.

What does winning the award of ‘Australia’s Best Young Locksmith’ mean to you?
Tough question to answer! I feel that there are many well trained young locksmiths that could easily gain this title and I would be honoured to even be considered. Even if I don’t get selected to become Australia’s best young locksmith I will always continue to keep learning as I have a genuine passion for this amazing industry and the rewarding career I have established.




Australia’s Best Young Locksmith recognises the outstanding achievements by young locksmiths who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their field.

The ABYL award was an initiative developed by LSC in 2012 to continue our heritage of fostering passion, skill and commitment to locksmithing.


The ABYL prize pack is received by the locksmith who most embodies the essence of the ABYL competition. The winner will receive the prize pack during their stay in Melbourne.

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