Over the past week brickies from all over have converged on Melbourne showgrounds to fight it out for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the National WorldSkills Australia Competition. The calibre of bricklaying competitors was extremely high and all competitors put all they had into producing their best in the three days of the competition. Further to this, all of the judges were extremely impressed by how each of the bricklaying competitors conducted themselves and promoted the trade to the huge crowd that came through.
The competitors had three complex designs, the first being a curved wall with a shield and trowel displayed in it. The second project was based on a set of goal posts and an AFL ball as a feature of the city hosting the event. The final project had a return corner with a mixture of blocks and bricks displaying the year.
In the end Trystan Sammut of Ballarat-Wimmera Region won the Gold from Conrad Yeeles (Perth North) and Jae Edwards (Adelaide). Trystan will now come into consideration for the Australian Team contesting the International Worldskills Competition “the Skill Olympics” in Abu Dhabi, October 2017. If chosen, Trystan will benefit from the $20,000 ABBTF Bricklaying scholarship which is designed to ensure he has the best chance possible to bring the Gold home from the international event. Congratulations to Conrad Yeeles for also winning the ABBTF Gun Trowel by building the best pier in the speed test.
The purpose of the event was to not only determine the rankings and present medals but also to show the true craftsmanship required at the advanced level of the trade. It is hoped that some of the 6,000 school kids that came through will be attracted to choosing bricklaying as a career based on what they saw. It was also great to have the crew from Better Homes and Gardens there to film numerous segments for their show and to promote the trade even further.
The other great ambassadors at the event were the judges who worked extremely hard in the set up and bump out of the competition as well as conducting the extremely difficult judging. Eric Davis from Queensland was the Chief Judge and led the team extremely well. A special mention should go to Andrew “Tiger” Hosking who mixed all the mortar and was affectionately known as the Minister of Mud. Credit should also go to Duncan Todd who did a lot of work in sourcing gear and materials for the competition as the convenor.
All competitors should be very proud of themselves and I am sure they all would have learned a lot from the experience and also enjoyed being on the national stage with their team mates.
It all happens again next year when the regional competitions kick off across 30 regions Australia wide and it is hoped that we can grow the competition further and get even more bricklaying apprentices engaged in the competitions.
These events would not be as successful as they are without the generous support of the ABBTF who share the goal of attracting more people into the great trade of bricklaying.
International Chief Expert: Bricklaying