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Local butchery apprentice takes gold in WorldSkills Australia 2023

TAFE NSW Granville

Local butchery apprentice takes gold in WorldSkills Australia 2023

TAFE NSW Granville student and local butchery apprentice Zane Cunico was awarded a gold medal in front of hundreds of his peers from across the country, at the WorldSkills Australia 2023 National Championships Closing Ceremony in Melbourne on Sunday.

Zane, 20, took out the prestigious award after competing in the Retail Butchery category of Australia’s largest skills competition hosted at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Thursday to Saturday.

“I put in countless hours of practice after work and at TAFE NSW to prepare for the competition, so I’m very relieved that it’s paid off. Now I just need to get used to the feeling of being a national champion!” he said.

The Cecil Hills local is completing an apprenticeship at Joe Papandrea Quality Meats in Wetherill Park, where he’s lucky enough to be trained by previous WorldSkills champions and TAFE NSW Granville graduates: 2012 gold medalist Matt Papandrea, and Zane’s brother, 2016 silver medalist Josh Cunico.

“My win is a testament to the hours of hands-on application I’ve had from my boss and my brother at my workplace, and the practice I was able to put in using the equipment at TAFE NSW Granville,” he said.

Zane’s skills in butchering beef, lamb and pork were put to the test against the country’s best butchery apprentices over three days of rigorous competition.

“The competition was challenging because it takes a lot of precision, but you also need to work quickly while under the added pressure of judges watching your every move over your shoulder.”

TAFE NSW Team Leader and WorldSkills Australia Experts Faculty Associate Member, Troy Everett said TAFE NSW students are in high demand because of the quality of their education and ability to hit the ground running in the workplace.

“Our students winning these awards demonstrate what is on offer for students if they choose a TAFE NSW education,” Mr Everett said.

Gold medal winners are eligible for consideration for the Australian Skillaroos team who will compete with the world’s best at the WorldSkills International Competition finals to be held in France in 2024.

Media contact: TAFE NSW Media Centre,, 02 7920 5000​​​​.