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Mid North Coast TAFE NSW students excel at WorldSkills Australia 2023 

Mid North Coast TAFE NSW students excel at WorldSkills Australia 2023 

TAFE NSW students from the Mid North Coast and Coffs Coast have excelled against more than 400 of their peers at the WorldSkills Australia 2023 National Championships Closing Ceremony in Melbourne on Sunday.

Among the six Mid North Coast TAFE NSW medal winners is Ross Colquhoun, who studies at TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour Education Campus. Ross won the prestigious gold medal after competing in the Automotive Mechanics category of Australia’s largest skills competition hosted at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Thursday to Saturday.

“I walked into the competition not with a winning attitude, but I wanted to learn something no matter what with no real expectations to be on the podium. So, when my name got called, it was pretty surreal! Honestly, I’m still trying to process it now,” said Ross.
“The most exciting part of the next step for me isn’t the international competition itself, I’m just keen to keep learning, honing my skills and meeting heaps of people from all different mechanical backgrounds.  
“I couldn’t have even come close to the gold medal without the support network that has enveloped me in the last few months. My mum and brother came all the way to Melbourne to watch, my TAFE NSW mentors Dave Fogarty, Paul Richards, Kirk Trease, and Clint Flower. My boss Mark and good mate Cooper have taught me so much. And to Jenny Frost from TAFE NSW who is the most amazing WorldSkills regional manager in all of Australia,” said Ross.

Other Mid North Coast competitors celebrating medal wins are:

  • Silver - Lestatt Hammond-Hurst, Retail Baking (TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour Education Campus)  
  • Silver - Carlos Bovey Mendez, Graphic Design Technology (TAFE NSW Port Macquarie)
  • Bronze - Tori McCombe, Construction Steel Work (TAFE NSW Kempsey)
  • Bronze - Maclain Coleman-Locke, Welding (TAFE NSW Kempsey)
  • Bronze - Kyle Polidano, Electrical Installation (TAFE NSW Port Macquarie)

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 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.

To request interviews with any of the above students, please contact the TAFE NSW Communications team.


Media contact: Lauren McAllister | TAFE NSW Communications Specialist | | 0432 929 941