History Timeline

  • * Founded in 1981

    WorldSkills Australia, formerly known as the Work Skill Australia Foundation, was established in 1981 as part of the labour movement to endorse, promote and provide recognition for skills and trades, a mission which the organisation still seeks to uphold.

  • * The first WorldSkills Australia Regional Competition

    Held at the Town Hall in Bowral, Southern Highlands, NSW.

  • * The inaugural WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne

    Held at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

  • WorldSkills Australia sends first Australian Team to compete at the WorldSkills International Competition

    The 27th International Vocational Training Competition, Linz, Austria.

    Held at WIFI, Institute for Economic Promotion of the Economic Chamber, held from August 15th to 28th, 1983.

  • * Australia wins first international gold medal

    Glenn Brasen from Northern Rivers in Queensland competed for Australia in the Bricklaying category.

  • The 2nd WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Brisbane

    Held at the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Stadium, also known as the Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre, in Nathan, QLD.

  • The 28th International Vocational Training Competition, Osaka, Japan

    Held at Matsushita Educational and Training Centre, Higasi – Yodogawa Vocational Training College and the Kansai Skill Development Centre from October 10th to 27th 1985.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 5th

  • Australia awarded six medals at the WorldSkills International Competition in Osaka, Japan

  • * 1986 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Adelaide Showgrounds

    Held at Adelaide Showgrounds, Adelaide.

  • * In order to promote the upcoming “Skill Olympics” to be held in Sydney in 1988, WorldSkills held a promotional event in conjunction with the Rugby League Grand Final

    At half time a team of apprentices including the ‘88 WorldSkills Australia International Team, reconstructed the Sydney Harbour Bridge during halftime.

  • The 29th International Skill Olympics, Sydney, Australia

    WorldSkills Australia hosts first international event and competition.

    Held at Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre from February 7th to 24th, 1988.

    Australia received 12 medals at the WorldSkills International Competition in Sydney, Australia.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 3rd

  • * WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Perth, Western Australia held at the Burswood Superdome

  • The 30th International Youth Skill Olympics, Birmingham, United Kingdom

    Held at the National Exhibition Centre from August 19th to September 4th, 1989.

    Australia was awarded 10 medals at the WorldSkills International Competition in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 3rd

  • The 31st International Vocational Training Olympics, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Held at the RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre from June 20th to July 6th, 1991.

    Australia was awarded six medals at the 1991 International Vocational Training Olympics in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 8th

  • The 32nd International Vocational Training Competition, Chinese Taipei

    Held at the Taipei World Trade Centre and Sung-Shan Vocational School from July 19th to August 3rd, 1993.

    The Australian Team were awarded four medals at the 32nd International Vocational Training Competition in Chinese Taipei.

    Bronze

    Ranking 10th

  • The 33rd Youth Skill Olympics, Lyon, France

    Held at the Euroexpo Lyon from October 5th to 18th, 1995.

    Team Australia were awarded four medals at the International Competition in Lyon, France.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 12th

  • The 34th International Youth Skill Olympics, St. Gallen, Switzerland

    Held at the OLMA Exhibition Halls from June 27th to July 10th, 1997.

    The Australian Team received a total of five medals and the International Competition in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 6th

  • * The first Skills Across the World (SAW) project took place in the Makwe community, near the town of Gwanda in Zimbabwe

    Australia’s first WorldSkills International gold medallist, Glenn Brasen, led a team of five trade workers from around the world to construct a new amenities block, a classroom and an entire primary school equipped with desks and chairs.

    The main objective of the SAW project was to impart practical vocational skills to locals that could then be transferred onto other local communities and furthermore, future generations.

    SAW was a joint initiative with WorldSkills Australia and Dusseldorp Skills Forum.

  • * 1999 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne, Victoria

    The first National Competition held under one roof in 10 years.

  • * Jaclyn Pope, Graphic Communication, becomes the first Australian female to win an international gold medal

  • The 35th WorldSkills International Competition, Montreal, Canada

    Held at the Olympic Stadium from November 3rd to 17th, 1999.

    1999 Team Australia awarded four medals at the International Competition in Montreal, Canada.

    Gold

    Bronze

    Ranking 13th

  • * Establishment of the BBM and WorldSkills Australia Scholarship program

    The Scholarships, awarded biennially to National Competition gold medallists, help to enhance the career prospects of the recipients through both a development program offered by Mission Performance and international work experience.

    It is the aim of both organisations to provide young Australians with the opportunity of personal development through an international pathway.

  • * Quick Hut 2000

    In September 2000, Australian representatives participated in the 1st APEC Youth Skills Camp in Ulsan, Korea.
    Participants were involved in a Team Project – the Youth Skill Team Sculpture.

    Quick Hut 2000 was a joint initiative with WorldSkills Australia and Dusseldorp Skills Forum.

  • * Establishment of the Croc Skills program by the Dusseldorp Skills Forum

    The program objective was to introduce students to a variety of trades and jobs in a practical and engaging way.

    WorldSkills later adapted Croc Skills to what would be known as WorldSkills Try’aTrade or Try’aSkill.

  • The 36th WorldSkills Competition, Seoul, Korea

    Held at the COEX Convention and Exhibition Centre from November 11th to 18th, 2001.

    The Australian Team were awarded six medals at the International Competition in Seoul, Korea.

  • 2002 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Newcastle

    Held from 24th-26th October, 2002.

  • The 37th WorldSkills Competition, St. Gallen, Switzerland

    Held at OLMA Messen from June 18th to 25th, 2003.

    Team Australia received nine medals at the International Competition in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 10th

  • 2004 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Brisbane

    Held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from May 28th to 30th, 2004.

  • 38th WorldSkills International Competition, Helsinki, Finland

    Held at the Helsinki Fair Centre from May 26th to 29th, 2005.

    The Australian team were awarded with nine medals at the WorldSkills International Competition in Helsinki, Finland.

    Gold

    Bronze

    Ranking 9th

  • * Establishment of the Ern MacDonald Fellowship

    In memory of Ern MacDonald, the great industrial relations visionary and former Director of WorldSkills Australia and Dusseldorp Skills Forum

    The Fellowship is a project partnership between WorldSkills Australia, Dusseldorp Skills Forum and the MacDonald family.

  • * WorldSkills Australia hosts the International General Assembly consisting of the Leaders Forum and Youth Forum

    The biennial Forum brought together leading educationalists from 43 nations as well as youth representatives, to discuss and explore international training trends, policies and the future direction of the organisation. Countries in attendance included China, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Indonesia.

  • * WorldSkills Australia hosts the Skills Summit 2030

    The Summit, co-hosted by the Commonwealth, Australian Industry Group, Group Training Australia and the Victorian Government, provided an opportunity for representatives from government and industry to discuss issues relating to policy making in the area of vocational education and training.

  • 2006 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne

    Held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 5th to 7th, 2006.

  • Establishment of the ‘Skillaroos’

    “The Skillaroos branding came about because we wanted to embrace the principals of excellence in skills and to clearly identity ourselves as Australians. By putting the most powerful word – ‘skill’ with the most powerful icon of Australia – the Kangaroo, together we came up with the Skillaroos” – Bob Puffet, former Chair of WorldSkills Australia

    The Skillaroos branding was born with input of the minds of many proud “WorldSkillers” in Australia.

  • 39th WorldSkills International Competition, Shizuoka, Japan

    Held at Numazu-shi in Shizuoka from 14th to the 21st, 2007.

    The 2007 Team Australia Skillaroos received a total of five medals at the International Competition in Shizuoka, Japan.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 5th

  • * Establishment of the Green Team project

    Faced with the challenge of reducing the usage and wastage of water, energy and materials utilised at WorldSkills Australia National Competitions, WSA and Dusseldorp Skills Forum collaborated once again to develop the Green Team project.

    The inaugural 2008 Green Team comprised of TAFE NSW Event Management students and university Environment Management students trained to conduct an Environmental Review. An Environmental Management Plan (EMP) guided the review, allowing the Green Team’s work to conform to internationally recognised standards. The 2008 EMP provided WSA with an event sustainability blueprint for continuous improvement.

  • 2008 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Sydney

    Held at Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (SCEC) in Darling Harbour from July 11th to 13th, 2008.

  • 40th WorldSkills International Competition, Calgary, Canada

    Held at Stampede Park in Calgary from September 1st to 7th, 2009.

    The 2009 Team Australia Skillaroos were awarded 12 medals in total at the 40th WorldSkills International Competition, Calgary.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 5th

  • * Establishment of the Modelling of Vocational Excellence (MoVE) Australia research project

    An initiative which aims to identify, develop and promote the key characteristics of excellence in trades and vocational skills.

    The project involved the collection of data through a series of surveys conducted on WorldSkills International Competitors, their Experts, trainers, families, employers and judges.

    MoVE Australia is a project partnership with WorldSkills Australia, Dusseldorp Skills Forum and RMIT University.

  • WorldSkills Australia holds largest ever Try’aTrade event to date at the 22nd Australian Scout Jamboree

    Held at Cataract Scout Park in New South Wales from January 4th to 14th, 2010.

    The 2010 Scout Jamboree hosted over 10,000 scouts from all across Australia. As part of the 10 day event, scouts participated in a variety of skill displays including the construction of a picnic and barbeque area for future use by the Australian Scouting Movement.

  • The first inaugural WorldSkills Australia Youth Forum, Adelaide

    Held at the Adelaide showgrounds from October 21st to 24th, 2010.

    Over the two days, 25 Youth Forum delegates, representing a broad range of skill and regional backgrounds, shared and debated ideas, built friendships and workshopped suggestions.

    At the culmination of the two days, the attendees presented their ideas for the future of WSA – their vision, practical ideas and ways to implement them – before an audience of WSA’s main regional volunteers, State and Territory Managers and WSA Board Members.

  • * 2011 Global Skills Challenge, France

    On September 30th, the 2011 Team Australia Skillaroos travelled to the French provincial town of Villers-Bretonneux, to visit the site where Australian soldiers assisted the French from German invasion.

    Whilst there, the team visited the Australian National Memorial, the Military Cemetery and the ‘L’Ecole Victoria’ also known as the Victoria School, which was re-constructed with donations raised by Victorian schoolchildren.

  • 2010 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Brisbane

    Held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 7th to 9th, 2010.

  • The inaugural Global Skills Challenge, Wollongong, NSW

    Held at TAFE NSW – Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus from July 5th to 8th, 2010.

    WorldSkills Australia hosted over 100 international guests from 11 countries at the first Global Skills Challenge.

    The Challenge was established to aid the preparation of the Australian Skillaroos and other international competitors selected to compete in the 2011 WorldSkills International Competition, in London.

  • 41st WorldSkills International Competition, London, United Kingdom

    Held at ExCeL London from October 5th to 8th, 2011.

    The 2011 Team Australia Skillaroos received 10 medals at the International Competition in London.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking

  • 2012 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Sydney

    Held from 30th August – 1st September 2012

  • 42nd WorldSkills International Competition, Leipzig, Germany

    Held at the Leipziger Messe in Leipzig, Germany from 2 to 7 July, 2013

    The 2013 Team Australia Skillaroos received 4 medals at the International Competition in Leipzig.

    Gold

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking

  • 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Perth

    Held from 18th – 20th September 2014. The 2014 National Competition returned to Perth for the first time since 1989.

  • WorldSkills Australia sends 28 competitors to Hamilton, New Zealand, to compete in the inaugural WorldSkills Oceania Competition.

    Held at the Waikato Institute of Technology Hamilton, New Zealand from 13th -17th April

  • 43rd WorldSkills International Competition, Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Held at Anhembi Parque, São Paulo, Brazil from 11 to 16 August, 2015.

    The 2015 Team Australia Skillaroos received 5 medals at the International Competition in Sao Paulo.

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking

  • 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne

  • 44th WorldSkills International Competition, Abu Dhabi, UAE

    Held at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, UAE from 15 to 18 October, 2017.

    The 2017 Team Australia Skillaroos received 4 medals at the International Competition in Abu Dhabi.

    Silver

    Bronze

    Ranking 10th