Young Aussies off to WorldSkills
After two years of intensive training and competition, WorldSkills Australia has officially announced the names of the 25 competitors comprising the Skillaroos team – a talented group of the trades and skills apprentices, trainees and students who will represent their country at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in Brazil this August:
John Reminis, Bakery
Sam Spong, Bricklaying
Karl Geue, Cabinetmaking
Blair Watters, Car Painting
Adele Di Bella, Pâtisserie and Confectionery
Michael James, Construction Metal Work
Emma Hillier, Fashion Technology
Jessica Peters, Floristry
Dale Fisher, Graphic Design Technology
Hayley Parker, Hairdressing
Jim D’Elboux, Industrial Control
Joseph Pauley, Industrial Mechanic Millwright
Jyothi Forman, Jewellery
Nicholas Roman, Joinery
Matt Sawers, Manufacturing Team Challenge
Kelvin Marquand, Manufacturing Team Challenge
Luke Schaenzel, Manufacturing Team Challenge
Sharlene Kidd, Painting and Decorating
Dylan Di Martino, Plumbing and Heating
Beau Kupris, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Samantha Johnson, Restaurant Service
Thomas Crittenden, Sheet Metal Technology
Daniel Picariello, Wall and Floor Tiling
Harlan Wilton, Web Design
Kallon McVicar, Welding
The WorldSkills Competition occurs every two years and is the biggest vocational education and skills showcase in the world. This year’s competition will see 59 countries represented by 1,176 experts and over 1,200 competitors competing in 50 skill categories. Held from 11-16 August at Anhembi Exhibition Centre in São Paulo, Brazil, the competition will utilise 213,000m² of competition space – equivalent to the size of 17 Olympic sized swimming pools. The Skillaroos will compete in 23 skills categories in the hopes of taking home a gold medal for their country.
Aged between 18 and 25 years, the Skillaroos have been through an intensive two years of competition and one-on-one training. Their journey started with their medal-winning performance at the regional level, advancing them to the National Competition held in Perth last year. After being named the best in the country in their respective trades and skills, these talented individuals were selected to be part of the Skills Squad – a new concept first introduced in 2014 involving the ongoing training and evaluation of each member with the overarching goal of bringing the best team possible to the international competition.
The Skills Squad recently returned triumphant from the inaugural WorldSkills Oceania Competition, competing against New Zealand, Korea, Malaysia, China, India and Canada. Months of intensive training with dedicated Training Managers paid off when the team received a combined total of 10 gold, 10 silver and 6 bronze medals. This competition was the deciding factor in determining which Skills Squad members would be selected for the 2015 Skillaroos team.
“To be chosen to represent your country in any discipline is a tremendous achievement, and those who have been named as a 2015 Skillaroo should be incredibly proud. While they have endured many hours of training and preparation to get to this stage, it is only the tip of the iceberg as they now hone their skills to take on the best of the world,” says WorldSkills Australia CEO, Mark Callaghan.
Callaghan maintains that trades and skills competitions play a unique role in emphasising the importance of vocational education and training to local economies.
“Each member of the 2015 Skillaroos will not only represent their country, they will also represent their respective industries and collectively, will showcase the high quality of vocational education and training that exists in Australia.”
The Skillaroos will continue their training regimes over the coming months before WorldSkills Australia sends the team off to Brazil in style at a Farewell Function to be held on 4 August 2015 at Turner Hall, TAFE NSW Ultimo College.