Team Illawarra named to compete at Australian WorldSkills

Team Illawarra named to compete at Australian WorldSkills

Team Illawarra named to compete at Australian WorldSkills

A group of 25 young Illawarra professionals are set to compete against Australia’s best tradies at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne – the country’s largest trades and skills showcase.

The TAFE Illawarra trained students have been chosen to represent the region at the National Competition, 6-8 October 2016 in Melbourne.

Close to 500 young apprentices, trainees and students from all corners of Australia will compete for the coveted title of ‘National Champion’ in over 50 skill categories, including Vehicle Painting, Bricklaying, Hairdressing, Programming, Cookery, Welding and more.

Figtree’s Billy Fox, a 19 year old apprentice chef, is thrilled to be representing the Illawarra in the Cookery category.

“This is my first time competing at the national level for WorldSkills Australia, so I’m both nervous and excited.

“I won silver at the Regional Competition in 2013. Bringing home the gold and being named in Team Illawarra this time around is awesome.”

Billy says it’s his passion for cookery and the thrill of the contest that inspires him to challenge himself.

“I’ve loved cooking since I was young. I spent a lot of time with my Nan baking lemon meringue pies, working with the ingredients and enjoying the sensory side of cooking.

“I enjoy the experimental side of cooking too, which is often a big part of competitions. I’ll take up any opportunity to test my skills and imagination.”

Troy Everett, WorldSkills Australia Illawarra Region Committee Chairperson, says: “We’ve had our first of many team training sessions and I’m pleased with the level of talent we have in this year’s team.

“For the competitors, the focus is now on training and preparing themselves for the tough competition.

“TAFE Illawarra competitors will come together again in Tamworth this June, where all competitors representing their regions from across NSW will meet to work on training projects and get advice from experts in their field in preparation for the national competition.”

Lucy Arundell, TAFE Illawarra’s Relieving Institute Director says: “I am proud of the extraordinary talent that will be on display at WorldSkills Australia thanks to the hard work of both students and teachers involved with preparing for this important event.”

Team Illawarra comprises:

  • Autobody Repair: Jaye Docker of Lake Illawarra
  • Automotive Mechanics: Tobias O'Brien of Moss Vale
  • Bricklaying: Jacob Ostridge of Thirlmere
  • Business Services: Courtney Jackson of Albion Park
  • Carpentry: Rhys Coulson of Kanahooka
  • Construction Steel Work: Brett Mcpaul of Albion Park
  • Cookery: Billy Fox of Figtree
  • Fitting: Jake Cunningham of Corrimal
  • Fitting (Manufacturing Team Challenge): Timothy Mitchell of North Wollongong
  • Hairdressing: Taylah Jones of Albion Park
  • Heavy Vehicle Mechanics first competitor: David Slater of Crookwell
  • Heavy Vehicle Mechanics second competitor: Louise Azzopardi of Londonderry
  • Joinery: Spencer Mueller of Fairy Meadow
  • Painting & Decorating: Jordan Fletcher of Shell Cove
  • Plumbing: Bob Sheridan-Gimmel of Kianga
  • Refrigeration: Daniel Smith of Bermagui
  • Restaurant Service: Cameron Thomas of Thirroul
  • Retail Baking – Bread: Aaron Bond of Mount Warrigal
  • Retail Baking – Pastry: Troy Hindmarch of Welby
  • Retail Butchery: Hamish Gibbs of Crookwell
  • Signage: Taryn Kearney of Wagga Wagga
  • Signage: Jake Heffernen of Kiama Downs
  • Turning: Zak Anderson of Kiama
  • Welding: Kane Robinson of Shellharbour
  • Welding (Manufacturing Team Challenge): Will Storm of Windang

About the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne

The three day event will showcase the skills of 500 of Australia’s best trainees, apprentices and students competing for the prestigious title of ‘Nation’s Best’ in over 50 skill and trade areas ranging from the traditional trades such as Plumbing, Bricklaying and Hairdressing to the more contemporary professions of Web Design and Fashion Technology.

In 2016 the scale of the National Competition will be significant. Over 40,000 spectators – including many school children considering their future career options – are expected to witness the competitors take over 25,000sqm of floor space – roughly the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 300 judges, 100 volunteers and $10mil worth of materials and equipment will make the competition possible. The competitors will utilise an impressive number of resources including 8 tonnes of steel, 10 km of cabling, 80 mannequin heads, over 600 kg of flour and close to 3,250 stems of flowers and foliage.