Keith Buckley – The Accomplished Audio Apprentice

When a person ponders what the ultimate WorldSkills Australia experience would entail, Keith Buckley’s journey can easily be a contender.

After winning gold in the IT Software Solutions (now Programming) for the Computing and Business cluster at both the 2011 WorldSkills Australia Regional Competition and the 2012 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Keith was offered a spot on the 2013 Skillaroos team. We were proud to watch him represent Australia in Leipzig, Germany, and win one of only eight Medallions of Excellence in his category. Keith still remembers the International Competition fondly.

“The final day of competition and the Closing Ceremony were both big ‘Oh My!’ moments for me, as I realised that I had just been competing in Germany for Australia and it was all almost over … happy tears!”

Keith’s journey didn’t stop as soon as he came home to Australia. As a result of his excellence in the WorldSkills competitions, he was awarded the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) where he participated in a week long personal, leadership and community development program. Having his self-confidence boosted even further by this experience, Keith was ready to leap forward and happily grasp the opportunity to become an Assistant Crew Leader for his Rover Crew and Committee Chairman for his local Scout Group in Epping, NSW.

Nowadays Keith is an apprentice audio engineer at Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup, the Australian branch of a reputable multinational audio engineering firm. With a particular passion for this field, spending his days working with a team of professional engineers to deliver large-scale public address systems is a perfect fit for Keith. He credits his experiences competing in WorldSkills Australia competitions with his success in both his career and personal life.

“I have no doubt that through the friends I made with fellow competitors and the skills that were passed onto me, both for computing and in life, were invaluable in helping to get me where I am now … Had I not competed in the competition, I would probably still be working casually, have a far smaller group of friends and be substantially less confident in my abilities – both in what I know about my trade and in my abilities as an individual.”

With the 2015 WorldSkills Australia Regional Competitions fast approaching, Keith urges other students, trainees and apprentices that are considering participating to go for it.

“To compete in the Regional Competition was the first stepping stone to where I am now … The opportunities before you have almost no bounds. If you have the skills, someone will find a way to help them flourish.”

Regardless of the final outcome, Keith maintains that you “have nothing to lose”.

“If you’ve given your best and that wasn’t enough, you’ll still be leaps and bounds ahead of anyone who passed up this experience.”