WA Cabinet Maker Carves Out Success in Tokyo

Bridgetown, WA, cabinet maker and WorldSkills National Championships alum, Kevin Dirks, has been selected to represent Australia for World Wood Day at the International Young Adult Furniture Making Invitational (IYAFMI) held in Tokyo, Japan.

As Australia’s sole representative, Kevin will be highlighting and showcasing his design and construct talents alongside 20 of his young international colleagues. The event is a feast for wood enthusiasts with woodturning, carving, instrument making and all things wood as the central theme. WorldSkills Australia has been represented in six of the past seven annual events, with any summary of our involvement always including the word “magnificent”.

“My nomination for an invitation came completely out of the blue,” says Kevin. “I knew very little about the event but I watched their video and decided there and then that I wanted to give this my best shot.”

Employed by Glen Holst Furniture and attending South Regional TAFE in Bunbury, Kevin has achieved success and exemplified excellence in both his private career and through public competitions. Kevin won a regional gold medal in cabinetmaking and progressed to represent WA at the Sydney 2018 National Championships, where he narrowly missed gold to take home the silver medal.

After the National Championships, he continued training for the chance to represent Australia as a Skillaroo, in Kazan Russia. In a skill-off with the national gold medallist, Kevin narrowly missed out again by an even more slender margin. IYAFMI, Tokyo, provides Kevin a chance to be once again recognized for his exceptional talent.

The Tokyo event is only the 10th time the International Wood Culture Society has awarded this fully-funded opportunity to an Australian WorldSkills ‘Woodie’. As part of WWD and the IYAFM, Kevin Dirks is set to carve out a name for himself and Australian craftsmanship on a global stage.

World Wood Day is an annual event held around March 21st every year and has been celebrated in Tanzania, Turkey, Kathmandu, California, Cambodia, and Graz Austria. Video of the Graz 2019 event, featuring former Skillaroo Nick Johnston, can be viewed here. 


Thank you to Sam Bulman from Westside Joinery for submitting this story.