Tamika Mackrell – The florist who continues to bloom

Tamika first got involved with WorldSkills Australia in 2009 when she competed in a Regional Floristry Competition. “I was in the second year of my apprenticeship and my college [Majorie Milner College] was hosting WorldSkills Australia Regional Competitions, I was encouraged to give it a go and I’m glad I did” said Tamika.

After receiving a gold medal at the Regional Competition, Tamika was selected to represent the Melbourne Region at the 2010 WorldSkills Australia National Competition in Sydney, where her skills triumphed yet again and she took home another gold medal.

Her gold medal success and passion for her skill granted her the opportunity to represent Australia as a 2011 Team Australia Skillaroo at the 41st WorldSkills International Competition in London, “I felt extremely proud to represent Australia and the floristry industry, it was a great privilege and I will never forget the experience,” said Tamika.

Although Tamika wasn’t awarded a medal, she went home with more confidence, passion and drive to achieve her goals, “after I came home from London I knew I had to keep pushing myself with my career. I knew I had always wanted to travel with my job and WorldSkills really gave me the push I needed to get out there and see what new places could bring me, which is why my partner and I left our jobs and went on a road trip and came across beautiful Port Douglas.”

In 2012 Tamika and her partner moved to Port Douglas and were shortly after joined by her sister Candace. In April 2013, Tamika and Candace opened a florist called ‘Floral Edge’.

“We have been going for over a year now and just love it, we are very overwhelmed with how great we are going. All my experiences with WorldSkills have helped me with being confident enough to reach any goal I work towards.”

Following her WorldSkills journey Tamika continued to test her skills in floristry competitions and in 2012 she was named Interflora’s Florist of Future.

Tamika says, “My WorldSkills experience has helped with a huge amount of confidence, and professionalism. We had a lot of responsibility put on our shoulders throughout the journey, and being so young and taking part in countless meetings, interviews, travelling about really made me grow as a young professional. I always recommend WorldSkills to young trades men and women. Why not give it a go; it is such an amazing opportunity.”

Her advice for the 2014 National Floristry competitors is to “have fun. Try not to stress too much, have a good plan, write down your plan of attack. Have a time plan, enjoy and interact with fellow competitors because they are going through exactly what you are. Enjoy the beauty of the flowers and create from your heart and practice, practice, practice. Talk to your trainers to get ideas rolling and get a plan in place.”

Tamika’s advice for young apprentices and trainees who may be considering taking up the WorldSkills journey is “don’t be afraid to try new things, get out of your comfort zone, it is so rewarding and fun. Anything is possible, with the skills you’ll gain through WorldSkills.”