MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:13:01): I rise to update the house on Australia’s performance at the recent WorldSkills event in Russia, commonly known as the Olympics of skills and training. Recently our Australian representatives, known as the Skillaroos, including three Victorians, returned home after finishing eighth out of 63 competing countries. This is an outstanding achievement and represents an improvement, from 10th to eighth, compared to the last WorldSkills event, in Abu Dhabi in 2017. Four of Australia’s 15 Skillaroos returned home with medals, including one from Victoria, Patrick Keating, a plumber from Bendigo Kangan Institute of TAFE. Patrick was awarded a bronze medal in the plumbing and heating event after spending the last two years training and competing in regional and national competitions to qualify for the 45th WorldSkills International competition. Patrick spent 15 to 20 hours a week training in the lead-up to the four-day competition—hard work that has certainly paid off. His project included work on hot- and cold-water systems, heating pipes, gas and drain pipes, as well as bending copper and stainless pipes. Our other Victorian Skillaroos—Paul Coon, a bricklayer from Federation University in Ballarat; Andrew Brown, competing in cloud computing from Swinburne University; and Tom Neave, a Colac-based joiner from the Gordon—also performed exceptionally well. They were all awarded medallions of excellence for scoring more than 700 points in their competitions. The next international competition will be held in Shanghai in 2021, but regional and national competitions will begin to be held later this year and next year. I would like to congratulate all of our Skillaroos and all of those that supported them in what was a very successful WorldSkills for Australia and indeed for Victoria as well.
Tags: Ministers Statement