Introducing the 2015 Skills Squad

Media Release

Skills Squad now to begin training in hope of representing Australia in Brazil!

WorldSkills Australia is excited to announce the 2015 Skills Squad, a team made up of Australia’s most highly skilled tradesmen and women across 26 skills.

Each member of the Skills Squad has earned their position following a rigorous selection process in conjunction with their medal winning performance at the 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition held in Perth from the 18-20 September.

These young champions will now undergo intensive training over the next six months with the ultimate goal of securing a position as a 2015 Skillaroo.

“The announcement of the Skills Squad marks a significant and exciting milestone in the lead up to the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in Brazil. These talented young Australians, together with selected industry experts, represent the high level of skills and skills training in this country and WorldSkills Australia looks forward to the support of all Australians as we aim to return Australia to a top ten ranking at the international level,” says CEO of WorldSkills Australia, Mark Callaghan.

The Skills Squad was introduced this year by WorldSkills Australia as a new concept which will involve the ongoing evaluation of each member to ensure they are meeting their training commitments. The goal of this new process is for Australia to achieve the best possible result at the international level, in a competition that now has 72 member countries.

Members of the Skills Squad will now work closely with their Training Manager and experts in their respective fields to refine their skills in the hope of being selected to represent Australia at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition, São Paulo, Brazil in 2015.

They will meet together as a team for the first time at the Skills Squad Training Camp to be held in Wollongong, NSW at the Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort from the 4-7 December, 2014.

The Skills Squad consists of 28 competitors and 29 Training Managers from across the country.

WorldSkills Australia is pleased to introduce the 2015 Skills Squad:

Kurt Trask, Tallai QLD – Automobile Technology, TAFE Queensland
Employer: Bruce Lynton
Training Manager: Grant Petch
Compatriot Support Expert: John Francis

Stacey Romanowski, Hazelbrook, NSW – Beauty Therapy, TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute, Katoomba College
Employer: Glenmore Beauty Salon
Training Manager: Christine Churchill

Sam Spong, New Berrima, NSW – Bricklaying, TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus
Employer: L & E McMahon Bricklaying Pty Ltd
Training Manager: Troy Everett
Compatriot Support Expert: Eric Davis

Karl Geue, Kingston SE, SA – Cabinetmaking, TAFE SA
Employer: Kingston Kabinets
Training Manager: Jason Hindes

Michael James, West Wyalong, NSW – Construction Metal Work, TAFE NSW Riverina Institute, Leeton Campus
Employer: CB Engineering
Training Manager: Craig McVittie

Joshua Mason, Concord, NSW – Cooking, TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute, Ryde College
Employer: Antoine’s Grill
Training Manager: Ianthe Smith

Jim D’Elboux, Cobar, NSW – Industrial Control, TAFE NSW Western Institute, Dubbo College
Employer: CSA Mine, Glencore
Training Manager: Dave Arnold

Emma Hillier
, Kirkham, NSW – Fashion Technology, TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute, Macquarie Fields College
Training Manager: Donna Kirby-Drain

Jessica Peters, Douglas Park, NSW – Floristry, TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute, Padstow College
Employer: Simply Unique Flowers and Gifts
Training Manager: Alan Randall-Smith
Compatriot Support Expert: David Berger

Hayley Parker, Grovedale, VIC – Hairdressing, Gordon TAFE
Employer: Salon Sojourn
Training Manager: Donna De Maria
Compatriot Support Expert: Alexis Scott

Jyothi Forman, Narooma, NSW – Jewellery, North Melbourne Institute of TAFE – Fairfield Campus
Employer: Georgies Fine Jewellery
Training Manager: Darren May

Nicholas Roman, Willow Vale, NSW – Joinery, TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus
Employer: Evalock – Windows & Doors
Training Manager: Dion Iori

Matt Sawers, Gerringong, NSW – Manufacturing Team Challenge, TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus
Employer: CSS Engineering
Training Manager: Martin Bezzina

Kelvin Marquand, Lismore, VIC – Manufacturing Team Challenge, Federation University Ballarat
Employer: Findlay Engineering
Training Manager: Martin Bezzina

Luke Schaenzel, Munruben, QLD – Manufacturing Team Challenge, TAFE Queensland
Employer: Electro Group Apprentices
Training Manager: Martin Bezzina

Sharlene Kidd, Middle Swan, WA – Painting and Decorating, MPA Skills
Employer: MPA Skills, host employer G.V. Painting
Training Manager: Ian Vickery

Dylan Di Martino, Hillside, VIC – Plumbing and Heating, Victoria University – Sunshine Campus
Employer: Paul’s Plumbing Service
Training Manager: Tyson Knight

Dale Fisher, Tyabb, VIC – Graphic Design Technology, RMIT – Melbourne City Campus
Training Manager: Sarah Jones

Beau Kupris, Old Toongabbie, NSW – Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute, Granville College
Employer: Amertec PTY Ltd
Training Manager: Chris MacDonald

Samantha Johnson, Wamberral, NSW – Restaurant Service, TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute, Ryde College
Employer: The Reef Restaurant
Training Manager: James Sun

John Reminis, South Nowra, NSW – Bakery, TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus
Employer: Bakehouse Delights
Training Manager: Ashley Schmidt

Adele Di Bella, Bonnyrigg Heights, NSW – Pâtisserie and Confectionery, TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute, Ryde College
Employer: Adriano Zumbo
Training Manager: Herve Boutin

Thomas Crittenden, Oakhampton Heights, NSW – Sheet Metal Technology, TAFE NSW Hunter Institute, Newcastle Campus
Employer: Quality Sheet Metal
Training Manager: Hilton Jones

Joseph Pauley, Albany, WA – Industrial Mechanics Millwright, Polytechnic West
Employer: Albany Engineering Company
Training Manager: Peter Buttenshaw

Blair Watters, Speers Point, NSW – Car Painting, TAFE NSW Hunter Institute, Glendale Campus
Employer: T&K Restorations
Training Manager: Brad Franklin

Daniel Picariello, West Beach, SA – Wall and Floor Tiling, TAFE SA
Employer: Sabcal Tiling
Training Manager: Ron Simeon

Harlan Wilton, Lawson, NSW – Web Design, TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute, Wentworth Falls College
Training Manager: Jarrad Langdon

Kallon McVicar, Farmborough Heights, NSW – Welding, TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus
Employer: Mainteck Services
Training Manager: Paul Condran

2015 Skills Squad Support Team:

Dave O’Donnell, Skills Squad Team Leader
Rachel Sullivan, Skills Squad Team Leader
Patrick Rawnsley, Team Leader Assistant
Brigitte Collins, Technical Delegate
Grant Stewart, Technical Delegate Assistant

The 43rd WorldSkills Competition will be held at the Anhembi Convention Centre in São Paulo, Brazil from the 11-16 August, 2015. The venue spanning over 75,000sq metres in size will see more than 1,000 competitors from up to 72 Member Countries/Regions converge on the international stage to compete for the coveted gold medal and the title of ‘World’s Best’ in what has become the largest Vocational Education and Training event in the world.

The official announcement of the 2015 Skillaroos who will proceed to represent Australia at the international competition will be made by WorldSkills Australia in May 2015.

For further information, images or to arrange an interview with a member of the Skills Squad please contact:
Elaina Pittas
WorldSkills Australia
P: (03) 9249 1000 E: