One School One Country & Opening Ceremony!

Yesterday, the Skillaroos visited EE Carlos Maximiliano Pereira dos Santos, a local middle-school in São Paulo, as part of the One School One Country programme. The program seeks to introduce young students to the world of skills and learn about different countries and regions around the world.

The team were greeted with cheers and friendly faces as they entered the school grounds. The corridor walls were posted with pictures of Australian animals, popular landmarks and the iconic Vegemite jar. The students from 6th – 9th grade had been learning about Australia, its history and culture over the past two weeks.

“The students had been very excited in getting the Skillaroos here. We studied about Australia so we showed them some videos, some pictures, the important aspects of the cities, the states and the country itself. They were enthusiastic, asking questions and wanting to learn more about the Skillaroos” said school teacher Fabiana Vicentin Garcia about the experience.

The Skillaroos were invited into the school hall where they received a welcome reception from the school principal and a song and dance performance by the students. Adele Di Bella representing Patisserie & Confectionery and Thomas Crittenden, representing Sheet Metal Technology, answered the students questions about Australia. The students said they were keen to participate in their local WorldSkills Competition when they reach the suitable age requirement in fields of gastronomy and biology.

“The One School One Country programme is a tremendous initiative by WorldSkills and is always a highlight of the Skillaroos journey. While the welcome they received from the school children makes them feel like ‘rock stars’, perhaps the most important aspect of the programme is the ambassadorial role that they play. They act as ‘real’ role models for the local school children highlighting the opportunities that exist in VET. A role they will continue to play on their return to Australia” said Mark Callaghan, CEO of WorldSkills Australia. The students will visit the 43rd WorldSkills Competition tomorrow to watch the Skillaroos in action. Check out the video and photo highlights.

Later that evening the Skillaroos attended the Opening Ceremony at Ibirapuera Gymnasium to officially open the largest WorldSkills Competition in history. The spectacular event demonstrated the influence the five continents have had upon the language, arts, music, cuisine, and industry in Brazil, through a performance of over 400 dancers combined with special image, sound and light effects.

Joseph Pauley, representing Industrial Mechanics Millwright from Polytechnic West, Midland Campus, was selected by his fellow teammates earlier that day to carry the Australian flag during the Parade of Nations. It was a proud moment for all Skillaroos, experts, partners, family and friends as the team formed a circle, raised their flags and chanted “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, OI, OI, OI!”.

The competition is expecting to see 200,000 visitors witness over 1,200 competitors from different cultures, speaking different languages, aspiring to different careers unite through the firm belief that they can contribute to their community and improve our world through the power of skills. Follow the Skillaroos in action over the next four days via our social media channels.