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TAFE NSW apprentices sweep automotive awards in National WorldSkills Competition

TAFE NSW apprentices sweep automotive awards in National WorldSkills Competition

TAFE NSW Auto Mechanics medalists Dylan East, Ross Colquhoun, and Harrison Crawter with MTA NSW General Manager, Ian Price

TAFE NSW automotive students have excelled against hundreds of their peers from across the country and brought home seven medals at the WorldSkills Australia 2023 National Championships Closing Ceremony in Melbourne on Sunday.

Among the medal winners is Ross Colquhoun, who won the prestigious gold medal in the Automotive Mechanics category of Australia’s largest skills competition held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre last week. 

“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.”

Ross is studying a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology at TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour Education Campus and is completing his apprenticeship at A1 Mobile Mechanical Services in Coffs Harbour.

“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. 

The full list of TAFE NSW automotive competitors celebrating medal wins is as follows: 

  • Gold – Joshua Anderson, Auto Electrical (TAFE NSW Ultimo)
  • Gold – Ross Colquhoun, Automotive Mechanics (TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour)
  • Gold – Dylan Cleaver, Automotive Refinishing (TAFE NSW Wollongbar)
  • Gold – Robert Polito, Autobody Repair (TAFE NSW Ultimo)
  • Silver – Dean Muscat, Auto Electrical (TAFE NSW Mount Druitt)
  • Silver – Dylan East, Automotive Mechanics (TAFE NSW Ultimo)
  • Bronze – Harrison Crawter, Automotive Mechanics (TAFE NSW Wollongbar)

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​​​​.