Students showcase skills on national stage

Two Central Regional TAFE (CRTAFE) students had their skills put to the test at the WorldSkills Australia National Championship held in Sydney earlier this month.

Isabelle Croswell_2017.JPG

Isabelle Crosswell from the Geraldton Campus placed fifth in the Hairdressing competition and Travis Watts from the Kalgoorlie Campus placed sixth in the Automotive Open competition.

This is the second time a competitor from Geraldton represented Western Australia at the national competition and a first for the Goldfields region.

Both Isabelle and Travis competed in the regional competition for their respective trades and progressed to represent Team WA at the WorldSkills Australia National Championship (the nation’s largest trades and skills showcase) held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney on 1-3 June.

Participants from around Australia showcased their skills against others in their field by completing a series of projects and tasks throughout the three day event, whilst being scored and judged by experienced industry professionals.

Isabelle, who recently completed her hairdressing qualification and was announced this year’s CRTAFE Apprentice of the Year, said the once in a lifetime experience was exciting and rewarding.

“It’s a roller-coaster of emotions. One minute you’re confident then you’re a ball of nerves; it’s both physically and mentally challenging, especially because we don’t find out what the challenge is until five minutes before starting” Ms Crosswell said.

“I would 100 percent encourage others to give it a go. It gave me so many opportunities to network and meet new people from around Australia” she said.

“I also worked alongside world renowned hairdressers and stylists who were team mentors or competition judges, it’s really been a great learning experience” she said.

Travis Watts_2017.jpg

Travis, a third year Automotive Apprentice at Kalgoorlie’s Performance Gas Mechanical said the atmosphere at the national championship was fantastic and that the competition opened up new opportunities for learning and growth.

“The stress levels whilst competing go through the roof because you are under time constraints for each phase of the competition, whilst still having to worry about accuracy, solving problems and safety aspects” he said.

“There’s a lot of hard work leading up to each completion but it’s all definitely worth it when you get there” he said.

CRTAFE Managing Director Bill Swetman said both students did the college and WA proud.

“Isabelle and Travis have done exceptionally well and should be congratulated for the efforts they have made in preparing for each stage of the WorldSkills program and the professionalism they have demonstrated throughout the competition” he said.

“Their success is a great testament to the dedication they have towards their training and a credit to both their lecturers and employers” he said.

Mr Swetman added “WorldSkills competitions boost young people’s confidence and career prospects, challenges their skills on the national stage and allows them to gain valuable feedback from well-regarded industry professionals.”

Travis Watts_062018.JPG

This year’s championships was also particularly special for CRTAFE with Kalgoorlie Campus Automotive Lecturer Adrian Gooneratne invited to be one of the judges at the national event.

WorldSkills regional competitions will once again be held in 2019.

For more information please contact Central Regional TAFE on 1800 672 700 or email More information about WorldSkills Australia can be found at