World Champions

Jessica Martin

Restaurant Service Region - Sydney

“When I look back I see so much self-development in such a short period of time. WorldSkills Australia has pushed me to reach new levels in my skills and career.”

Since winning silver at the 2013 WorldSkills International Competition in Germany, Jessica has received a whirlwind of opportunities from around the globe. She appeared on an episode of Channel Ten’s The Living Room and in 2013 travelled to India to speak at the 2nd India Australia Skills Conference. Jessica volunteered at the renowned MAD Food Symposium in Copenhagen, Denmark, with celebrity chef and fellow Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador, Neil Perry, who attended alongside other famous chefs from around the world. When she arrived back to Australia

Jessica returned to work at Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo, owned by world famous chef and restaurateur, David Chang. In the future, Jessica hopes to establish her own restaurant or vineyard. She is also interested in taking on the profession of teaching in the hope of passing on her skills and knowledge to other aspiring fine dining waiters.

Alexis Scott

Alexis Scott

Hairdressing Region - Western Australia

Hairdressing is in Alexis’ blood, her aunties, sister, cousin and grandmother are all hairdressers.  From an early age she set out to achieve her goal of becoming a world-class hairdresser, a goal which was achieved in October 2011 at the 41st WorldSkills International Competition, London.

Alexis started her WorldSkills journey in 2007 at the WA Regional competition, where she came first in the Ladies’/Men’s Hairdressing category.   She went on to compete in the 2008 National Competition where she walked away with a silver medal.  Alexis competed again at the 2010 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Sydney, but this time walked away with a gold medal and place in the 2011 Skillaroos.

Through training, passion and dedication, Alexis was awarded the bronze medal at the International Competition, positioning her as one of the best young hairdressers in the world.

Ben Houghton

Ben Houghton

Electrical Installation Region - Macquarie, NSW

Ben is WorldSkills Australia’s all-round golden boy. The Dubbo electrical apprentice first competed in WorldSkills Australia in 2009 at the Macquarie Regional competition. His first place results lead him to the 2010 WSA National Competition where Ben won gold in his category, Electrical Installation Systems.

Ben went on to become a member of the 2011 Skillaroos. He and 27 other competitors, including Alexis and Kye, took part in the 2011 WorldSkills International Competition held in London. After four days of gruelling competition Ben won not only the gold medal for Electrical Installation, but the right to call himself the best Electrician in the world.

Katherine Howden

Katherine Howden

Painting & Decorating Region - Melbourne, VIC

After completing a Diploma of Interior Design through RMIT, Katherine decided it wasn’t for her. Katherine’s passions for painting lead her to an apprenticeship in painting and decorating, a decision which she has never looked back on.

Since winning gold in the Painting and Decorating category at the 2010 National Competition, Katherine was awarded a Scholarship through BBM Ltd.  The scholarship required her to travel to the United Kingdom for a two week leadership course through Mission Performance, an experience which Katherine describes as “the best experience of my life.”

Kye Szeniak

Kye Szeniak

Car Painting Region - Sydney West, NSW

A love for cars and a passion for spray painting secured Kye’s entrance in the car painting trade. His interest developed from his father, who was also involved in the trade, he grew up in and around ‘hotted up’ cars and he knew from an early on that it was what he wanted to do.

Unlike the rest of his International teammates who each had 18 months to prepare for the London competition, Kye had less than eight months to train for what lay ahead of him.  After placing fourth at the 2010 WSA National Competition, he was a long way from being accepted into the 2011 Skillaroos, however his commitment and talent secured his position in the Skillaroos, following a withdrawal in the team.

Despite a shorter training period, Kye’s outstanding performance at the International Competition earned him the silver medal in the Car Painting category.

Travis Duff

Travis Duff

Fitter/Machinist Region - Brisbane, QLD

Growing up, Travis enjoyed learning about and understanding the mechanical aspect of how things worked.

He was lucky enough to receive an apprenticeship through Mendham Engineering, the same company which encouraged him to take part in the Brisbane WorldSkills Regional Competition in 2009.  Travis’ high level of training got him through to the 2010 WSA National Competition in his hometown, Brisbane, where he won the gold medal for Turning.

Travis joined 12 other National competitors for a trip of a lifetime to Wales as part of the BBM Skilled Futures Program. Activities undertaken during the two week leadership course included a sinking ship simulator, mountain climbing, mountain biking, rock climbing and other team building exercises.