WorldSkills 2019 team of talented young Aussies to ‘go for gold’ in International skill competition in Russia

After months of preparation across the nation, a team of 15 young apprentices and trainees will soon represent Australia at the upcoming 45th WorldSkills International Championships. The championship will be held in Kazan, Russia this August 22-27, where an anticipated audience of 250,000 will watch competitors from 66 countries compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and the title of world champion in their skill.

The Skillaroos are WorldSkills Australia’s international team. They will compete against top skilled representatives from across the world, including: United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and China. The 2019 team hail from various Australian towns and , and will be supported by world-renowned experts, education institutes and industry in their particular skill areas.

It has been a year since the national competitions and the team has been training hard to get ready for their global debut. From the early stages of the competition, Experts are assigned as training managers for competitors and accompany the Skillaroos to the international competition. They also are judges for competitors in their particular skill (the 2019 ‘experts’ are listed below after each Skillaroo team member).


The 2019 Skillaroos and Team Australia are:

  • Andrew Brown (Cloud Computing), Melbourne – Jeffrey Nugent (Deputy Chief Expert), Melbourne.
  • Anthony Cobb (Electrical Installation), Central QLD – Joshua Kleinig (Expert), Macquarie.
  • Anthony Ters (Automobile Technology), Sydney – John Francis (Expert), Ballarat.
  • Clinton Larkings (Industrial Mechanics Millwright), Macquarie – Peter Buttenshaw (Chief Expert), Illawarra.
  • Courtney New (Fashion Technology), Sydney – Donna Drain (Chief Expert), Illawarra.
  • Christopher Matkowski (Cookery), Sydney – Ianthe Smith (Expert), Sydney.
  • Joshua Boon (Cabinetmaking), Tasmania – Jai Maluga (Expert), Tasmania.
  • Maxine Colligan (Car Painting), Sydney West – Bradley Franklin (Deputy Chief Expert), Sydney.
  • Hayden Dillon (Carpentry), Sydney West – Allen Hill (Deputy Chief Expert), Sydney West.
  • Indy Griffiths (Graphic Design Technology), Sydney – Brendan Hibbert (Expert), Perth.
  • Nathan Kettle (Jewellery), Sydney – Jyothi Collins (Expert), Illawarra.
  • Patrick Brennan (Refrigeration and Air Conditioning), South West QLD – Carl Balke (Expert), Brisbane.
  • Patrick Keating (Plumbing & Heating), Central Victoria – Andrew Whalan (Expert), Illawarra.
  • Paul Coon (Bricklaying), Ballarat-Wimmera – Troy Everett (Chief Expert) Illawarra Eric Davis (Compariot Support Expert), Brisbane.
  • Thomas Neave (Joinery), Geelong – Thomas Ryan (Expert), Ballarat.


To increase networking opportunities and professional development for WorldSkills volunteers, Experts without competitors attend the international program to retrain or obtain additional skills themselves and knowledge.

The additional Experts are:

  • Herve Boutin (Patisserie and Confectionery), Sydney – (Chief Expert).
  • Naomi Zadow (Beauty Therapy), Riverina Murray – (Expert).
  • Donna Demaria (Hairdressing), Sydney – (Chief Expert).
  • Mark Williams (Welding), Macquarie – (Expert).
  • Peter Steinweiss (Wall and Floor Tiling), Sydney (Expert).
  • Troy Pretty (IT Network Systems Administration), Melbourne (Expert).
  • Hannah Terry (Mechatronics), Melbourne (Expert).

The 2019 Skillaroos and Experts are supported by a management team in the lead up to and at the Competition in Kazan, Russia, and they are:

  • Rachel Sullivan, Dave O’Donnell and Matt Barratt (Competitor Team Leaders)
  • Brigitte Collins, John Shiel, Jason Hindes (Technical Delegate/Technical Delegate Assistants)
  • Kevin Harris (Official Delegate).


The culturally diverse and historically significant city of Kazan will host this year’s exciting event. WorldSkills International CEO David Hoey recently said, “Russia joined WorldSkills International in 2012, and 7 years later it is already organizing the WorldSkills Competition! This event contributes not only to our movement, but to the Russian market as well.”

“It is a leverage to increase the standards of vocational education in the country, as WorldSkills is directly related to industry. The Competition delivery requires considerable resources, but ultimately it fully pays off,” Mr Hoey said.

To add to the excitement of the competition, the opening and closing ceremonies will be held at the Kazan Arena Stadium, which was also the location of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Competitors, team leaders and experts will stay in the WorldSkills Village (the present-day Universiade Village), a unique residential complex with a well-developed infrastructure with capacity for 12,500 people.

In our Skillaroos team, Christopher Matkowski (Cooking) will be up against 46 competitors from around the world, the largest pool of opponents in the entire competition. Similarly, Anthony Cobb will challenge 40 competitors in Electrical Installation with the average 30 competitors in most skills. The competition will be fierce, but our Skillaroos are well equipped to handle whatever obstacles come their way.

Chair of WorldSkills Australia, Kevin Harris, said “WorldSkills Australia has a critical leadership role in the development and promotion of excellence of Australia’s skills, particularly now as Australia responds to global competition in the 21st Century and the challenges of the Industry 4 revolution.

“WorldSkills Australia is an amazing organisation led by a volunteer governance board and a small but very dedicated executive team. WorldSkills is powered by thousands of volunteers and contributing Australian enterprise and industry association partners, training institutes and government. All demonstrate in real terms, their passion and commitment to the purpose of WorldSkills Australia, the development and promotion of skills excellence,” Mr Harris said.