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The winner of the coveted 2016 Steve Hornery Award is Matthew Wills, who recently competed in WorldSkills Australia in Melbourne in the cooking category.
Matthew lives with Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic condition that affects the lungs and digestive system. His decision to become a chef was in part motivated by his heightened awareness of the necessity of a nutritious diet.
Throughout the WorldSkills training and competition periods, Matthew was observed to always be professional and cheerful. This was in spite of the difficult daily circumstances his illness entailed. Matthew also experienced breathing difficulties and stomach cramps, which necessitated him leaving the competition area for 15 minutes, without asking for extra time afterwards.
In spite of these ongoing difficulties and setbacks, Matthew came to within a whisker of achieving a gold medal, eventually being awarded silver. This was still the highest scoring result of any of the competitors in his module.
The Steve Hornery Award is presented to a NSW competitor who demonstrated total commitment and dedication, managed to overcome an obstacle or adversity of some kind, was unfailingly professional and a quiet achiever. Matthew is certainly a worthy recipient and is proud and honoured to have been named the 2016 winner.The presentation ceremony will take place on Tuesday 29 November at the Ambassador Restaurant at Ryde Campus.