Young Gympie bloke Australia’s best chance at gold in Russia

Australia

GYMPIE apprentice and all round nice bloke Patrick Brennan doesn’t just go to the fridge for a midnight snack – he knows how they work, inside and out.

His skills in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning have scored him a spot on the WorldSkills 2019 Skillaroos, set to complete in Kazan, Russia, at the 45th WorldSkills International Championships this month. His parents Torren and Sue Brennan will fly to Russia with him.

Crowds are anticipated to reach upwards of 250,000 to watch young apprentices and trades people from 66 counties compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and the title of world champion in their skill.

Pie Creek apprentice Patrick Brennan poses with his WorldSkills Australia gold medal.

Pie Creek apprentice Patrick Brennan poses with his WorldSkills Australia gold medal. Contributed

Patrick is one of the most skilled WorldSkills competitiors that the competition has ever seen.

His study at TAFE Queensland, alongside the support and on-the-job training from his employer Tony Stephens Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, put him in a great position to take away a gold medal from the WorldSkills Australia National Championships 2018. Soon after, he not only won a gold medal at the WorldSkills Australia Global Skills Challenge 2019, but also was awarded Best in Nation.

TAFE teacher and Worldskills expert Carl Balke, Pie Creek apprentice Patrick Brennan and his employer Tony Stephens celebrate Patrick's gold medal win at the national championships in Sydney.

TAFE teacher and Worldskills expert Carl Balke, Pie Creek apprentice Patrick Brennan and his employer Tony Stephens celebrate Patrick’s gold medal win at the national championships in Sydney. Contributed

The 2019 Global Skills Challenge was the biggest international skills excellence event to be held in Australia in 2019 with 500 competitors, from 15 different countries taking part in 24 different skills competitions. The four-day competition simulated international competition conditions and was held in several Victorian TAFE’s. The event was the final training exercise for the WorldSkills Australian Skills Squad before the Skillaroo selection.

The Skillaroos are a month away from the 45th WorldSkills International Championship. The culturally diverse and historically significant city of Kazan will host this year’s exciting international event. WorldSkills International CEO David Hoey recently said, “Russia joined WorldSkills International in 2012, and 7 years later it is already organizing the WorldSkills Competition! This event contributes not only to our movement, but to the Russian market as well.”

Patrick Brennan when he won the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) Trade Student of the Year award for 2018.

Patrick Brennan when he won the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) Trade Student of the Year award for 2018. TAFE Queensland

To add to the excitement of the competition, the opening and closing ceremonies will be held at the Kazan Arena Stadium, which was also the location of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Competitors and team leaders will stay in the WorldSkills Village (the present-day Universiade Village), a unique residential complex with a well-developed infrastructure and capacity for 12,500 people.

Patrick is ready to go for gold in Kazan.

“There is no greater honour or feeling of pride in your country than having the opportunity to represent your country on the world stage,” he said.

”To gain selection in the Skillaroo’s team and to represent Australia is a great honour and I will give everything I have and more to make my family, my friends, my work place, my town and my country proud.”

Patrick’s journey has been guided by long-time WorldSkills volunteer, Carl Balke. Carl has given almost two decades of this spare time to WorldSkills helping run competitions at a regional and national level as well as mentoring countless students. All this is on top of this work as a lecturer at TAFE Queensland in Brisbane.

Local Gympie apprentice Patrick Brennan will represent Australia in the Russia WorldSkills international championships this month - and he is a good chance at gold.

Local Gympie apprentice Patrick Brennan will represent Australia in the Russia WorldSkills international championships this month – and he is a good chance at gold. TAFE Queensland

“It has been a long almost 18 months of organising regional competitions, training for the nationals, waiting for the result to be announced, then training for the next 10 months….to be only a couple of weeks away from seeing the results of all this effort, training and support from family and employer of Paddy,” Mr Balke said.

“Aiming to finish in the top 10 (a medal would be a dream) with the limits we have in Australia is challenging to say the least. But that Aussie fighting spirit that is evident in Paddy makes it all very worth it.”

Patrick’s WorldSkills journey is generously supported by Kirby.

Gympie apprentice Patrick Brennan will represent Australia in the Russia WorldSkills international championships this month - and he is a good chance at gold.

Gympie apprentice Patrick Brennan will represent Australia in the Russia WorldSkills international championships this month – and he is a good chance at gold.

About WorldSkills Australia

WorldSkills Australia is a social enterprise that passionately believes that skills drive your future and Australia’s prosperity. Since 1981 we have been the leading voice for skills excellence in vocational, technological and service-oriented careers in Australia and have raised the awareness of hundreds of thousands of young Australians, as well as their parents, industry and employers that our nation’s future depends on an effective skills training system. For more information, visit www.worldskills.org.au. Patrick’s WorldSkills journey is generously supported by Kirby. Kirby is committed to strengthening the HVACR industry through the continued support of apprentices. Our long association with WorldSkills Australia and the launch of the Kirby Apprentice Fund is testament to it. We wish Patrick continued success in Russia and congratulate him on all his achievements thus far.

About 45th WorldSkills International Competition

The 45th WorldSkills Competition – the leading international event of 2019 in Russia – will bring together more than 1,600 young professionals representing over 60 countries and regions who will compete in 56 skills. It will take place in Kazan, Russia on 22-27 August 2019. It is expected that more than 250,000 spectators will attend the Competition and associated events. For more information, visit: https://worldskills2019.com/en/.

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