WSA competitors win three out of four scholarships awarded by QOF

It is with great pleasure that we announce that WorldSkills Australia medallists have won three of this year’s scholarships awarded by the Queensland Overseas Foundation (QOF). Established in 1976, the QOF scholarship provides recipients with the opportunity to work at the overseas destination of their choice by funding their return airfare and initial expenses.

The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland presented this prestigious award to Timo Pretorius, Russell Routledge and Byron Allsopp during a ceremony held at Parliament House in Brisbane on 19th March.

Timo Pretorius won the Bronze medal in Electrical Control at the 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition in Perth. Timo said that he was very honoured to receive this award. “It definitely made my day! I was very excited – it’s an opportunity that not many people get.” He is still finalising the details of his overseas work experience, but he is hoping to work for a company in Germany.

Brisbane-based Russell Routledge has been involved with WorldSkills Australia since 2009. After winning the Gold medal in Sheetmetal Work at the 2010 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Russell represented Australia as a Skillaroo at the 41st WorldSkills Competition held in London, UK, where he received a Medallion of Excellence. Since then, he has volunteered with WorldSkills Australia on a number of projects including the WorldSkills Australia Try’aSkill program and as a guest speaker at the Australian Government’s Jobs & Skills Expos in 2013. Russel was also selected to judge the Sheetmetal Work category at the 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition.

2015 has been particularly successful for Byron Allsopp, who has managed to secure two international pathways this year. In addition to receiving the QOF scholarship, he has also been chosen to participate in the 2015 BBM Skilled Futures Program in the UK after winning the Gold medal at the 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition.

“I had no sooner walked out of the Parliament house Brisbane, when the phone rang and it was the BBM Scholarship as well.  My plan is to continue working all around the UK in different butcher shops that are beneficial and finishing up in some countries in Europe where I can learn more traditionally made products like smallgoods,” said Byron.

Medallists of WorldSkills Australia have been recognised by the Queensland Overseas Foundation for several years. Since 2012, ten Queensland-based WorldSkills Australia medallists have been awarded the scholarship.

More information about the Queensland Overseas Foundation scholarship can be found on their website: