Skillaroos and Team Australia announced

With just 86 days until the opening of the world’s largest skills competition taking place Abu Dhabi WorldSkills Australia has selected an elite team of 43 people including 18 competitors, mentors and officials who will represent Australia at the 44th WorldSkills International competition.

The 18 young men and women from across Australia, known as the Skillaroos, who will compete against the best apprentices and trainees from the 77 WorldSkills member countries are all dreaming of becoming the World Champion in their chosen trade or skill area. The Skillaroos are all aged 19 to 22, and represent a wide range of trades and skills, with the majority aligning with the National Skills Needs list. These include bricklaying, patisserie and confectionery, heavy vehicle mechanics, hairdressing, landscape gardening, refrigeration and air-conditioning, carpentry, wall and floor tiling.

The 44th WorldSkills International Competition, to be held in Abu Dhabi, October 14 to 19, will see more than 3000 participants including Competitors, Experts and Officials, from 77 countries compete in 51 skills. Australia, currently ranked 12th in the world, is aiming to finish in the top 10 in 2017.

WorldSkills Australia CEO Brett Judd congratulated the Skillaroos and Team Australia on their selection. He said they had been chosen following an arduous training regime and their success at the national WorldSkills championships held in Melbourne last year.
“This team has consistently shown the dedication, commitment and excellence we require of Team Australia when they represent our nation against the rest of the world,” said Mr Judd.

“I applaud their determination and congratulate them on their selection. But their success would not have been possible without the dedication and support of their skills mentors. The WorldSkills experts have been selected because they represent the best of their industry or skill category. They are also passionate about helping develop their industry and young competitor.”

Mr Judd said WorldSkills Australia was nurturing and developing the skills of young Australians, and highlighting the opportunities available to those pursuing a trade or skill.

“These young people are excelling in their chosen fields and many have already been rewarded with international experience and opportunities,” he said. “Their trades are really taking them places.”

Team Australia is:

3D Digital Game Art

Beauty Therapy



Car Painting


Construction Metal Work


Heavy Vehicle Maintenance

Industrial Mechanic Millwright


Landscape Gardening

Patisserie & Confectionery

Refrigeration & Airconditioning

Restaurant Service

Wall & Floor Tiling


WorldSkills Australia will also send seven category experts to Abu Dhabi to observe and network with experts from around the world. This gives Australia has the opportunity to learn about best practices from other WorldSkills member nations and bring this information back to Australia and use within our Vocational Education and Training sector. This will ensure that Australia remains competitive in these important industries.

  • Andrew Whalan Plumbing & Heating (NSW)
  • Ashley Schmidt Bakery (SA)
  • Darren May Jewellery (NSW)
  • Donna Kirby-Drain Fashion Technology (NSW)
  • Ian Vickery Painting & Decorating (NSW)
  • Ianthe Smith Cooking (NSW)
  • Brendan Hibbert Graphic Design Technology (WA)

Team Australia is supported by Didasko Learning Resources, Axalta, Dermalogica, Heatcraft, Pallion, Parex Davco, Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation Limited (ABBTF), Refrigerant Reclaim Australia, and the Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA).

About WorldSkills:

WorldSkills Australia is a social enterprise that passionately believes that skills drives your future and Australia’s prosperity. Since 1981 we have been the leading voice for skills excellence in vocational, technological and service oriented careers in Australia and have raised the awareness of hundreds of thousands of young Australians, as well as their parents, industry and employers that our nation’s future depends on an effective skills training systems. For more information visit