TAFE NSW and Kangan Institute apprentices have tasted success at WorldSkills Australia’s 2023 National Championships

The WorldSkills Australia National competition, which was held from the 17th to the 19th of August, saw more than 500 young competitors from across the nation showcasing their mastery at locations in Melbourne, including students from TAFE NSW and Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence in Docklands.
Seven TAFE NSW automotive students and four Kangan Institute apprentices brought home medals at the competition, as follows:

  • Gold: Joshua Anderson, Auto Electrical – TAFE NSW Ultimo
  • Gold: Ross Colquhoun, Automotive Mechanics – TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour
  • Gold: Dylan Cleaver, Automotive Refinishing – TAFE NSW Wollongbar
  • Gold: Robert Polito, Autobody Repair – TAFE NSW Ultimo
  • Silver: Dean Muscat, Auto Electrical – TAFE NSW Mount Druitt
  • Silver: Dylan East, Automotive Mechanics – TAFE NSW Ultimo
  • Silver: Tom Saxon, Motorcycle Mechanics – Kangan Institute
  • Silver: Dylan Hoskin, Automotive Refinishing – Kangan Institute
  • Bronze – Harrison Crawter, Automotive Mechanics – TAFE NSW Wollongbar
  • Bronze: Joshua Darmody-Schembri, Motorcycle Mechanics – Kangan Institute
  • Bronze: Ali Akber Rezaie, Autobody Repair – Kangan Institute

won the prestigious gold medal in the Automotive Mechanics category of what is Australia’s largest skills competition.
“I walked into the competition not with a winning attitude, but I wanted to learn something no matter what with no real expectations to be on the podium. So, when my name got called, it was pretty surreal! Honestly, I’m still trying to process it now,” Ross said.
“The most exciting part of the next step for me isn’t the international competition itself, I’m just keen to keep learning, honing my skills and meeting heaps of people from all different mechanical backgrounds.”
Ross is studying a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology at TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour Education Campus and is completing his apprenticeship at A1 Mobile Mechanical Services in Coffs Harbour.
“I couldn’t have even come close to the gold medal without the support network that has enveloped me in the last few months. My mum and brother came all the way to Melbourne to watch, my TAFE NSW mentors Dave Fogarty, Paul Richards, Kirk Trease, and Clint Flower. My boss Mark and good mate Cooper have taught me so much. And to Jenny Frost from TAFE NSW who is the most amazing WorldSkills regional manager in all of Australia,” Ross said.  
TAFE NSW Team Leader and WorldSkills Australia Experts Faculty Associate Member, Troy Everett, said TAFE NSW students are in high demand because of the quality of their education and ability to hit the ground running in the workplace. 
“Our students winning these awards demonstrate what is on offer for students if they choose a TAFE NSW education,” Troy said.
Kangan Institute Chief Executive Officer, Sally Curtain, said the WorldSkills experience offered competitors an avenue to progress their career.
“We are incredibly proud of the achievements of our eight Kangan Institute competitors, who have performed outstandingly as part of Team Victoria. The competition itself lasted three days, but the training and preparation began long before the big showdown,” Sally said.
“A massive congratulations to our medallists Tom, Joshua, Dylan and Ali – to come out on top against Australia’s finest apprentices is no small feat.
“The WorldSkills experience is an opportunity for our students to not only enhance their skills, but to also demonstrate their abilities to the wider nation. I am confident this experience will be a platform for our student competitors to achieve bigger and better things in their career.”
Top competitors at the National Championships will now have an opportunity to be selected for Team “Skillaroos”, who will represent Australia at the 2024 WorldSkills Competition in France.

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