The Skillaroos have returned home from competing at the WorldSkills International Competition in São Paulo, Brazil with three silver and two bronze medals, a Best of National medal and a cluster of medallions of excellence.

Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham has congratulated the nation’s most skilled tradespeople who represented Australia across 23 trades and skills categories.

“Australia was well represented by the 25 Skillaroos who demonstrated individual and collective technical skills to perform specific tasks for each of the professional skill,” Senator Birmingham said.

“The Skillaroos are living proof that vocational skills are a key to success, not just for individuals, but for the entire economy.

“These young people are an inspiration to all young Australians as they demonstrate what can be achieved through a skills-based career.

“There is an increasing global demand for skills and young Australians today are well placed to take advantage of this demand.

“Vocational education and training (VET) is an alternative to tertiary education not a second choice. There is enormous value derived from the many VET graduates, including these Skillaroos, who bring so much to the community.”

Skillaroo Joseph Pauley, who took home the Best of Nation medal, shares Senator Birmingham’s optimism for skills training. His passion for his trade speaks volumes through his determination and tireless training regime.

Joseph received his Certificate III in Mechanical Trade qualification at Polytechnic West, Midland in Western Australia.

He said there have been many benefits of pursuing a career via vocational education and training.

“There will always be jobs for skilled tradespeople, and there are opportunities to be paid well for your job,” Joseph said.

“It is great for people who don't want to be stuck behind a desk or go to university.”

Media contact: Caitlin Keage 0427 729 987

The participants who took home medals:


Harlan Wilton

Jyothi Forman

Joseph Pauley


Dylan Di Martino

Sam Spong

Best of Nation:

Joseph Pauley

Medallion of Excellence:

Kallon McVicar

Nicholas Roman

Hayler Parker

Emma Hillier

Adele Di Bella

Karl Davies

Samantha Johnson

Blair Watters

Beau Kupris

John Reminis