Students win gold at WorldSkills national championships


St Norbert College students Michael McLevie and Matthew Hodges are national champions, after winning gold at the 2018 WorldSkills Australia National Championships.

Michael, 17, was the gold medallist in the Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) Business Services category, while Matthew, 16, took home the gold in the VETiS Information Technology competition.

The pair of Year 12 students were among just eight gold medallists for WA from the 50 competition categories, but their efforts helped their State win the VETiS Shield for the first time.

The students were part of a team of 50 West Australians who took part in the WorldSkills competition, which was held in Sydney from June 2-4.

Matthew said he was “surprised” when he found out he had won gold in his competition.

“It was a tough challenge and I am happy that I did well,” he said. “Being chosen to compete in the National Championships was a real honour.”

After meticulously studying the tasks required in his category at the 2016 national championships, Matthew said he felt confident in his skills heading to Sydney.

“[But] this year’s competition pack was totally different to what I had studied, so my Certificate II and Certificate IV Information Technology studies helped me with some of this year’s tasks,” he said. 

Held every two years, the WorldSkills competition aims to find the best young apprentices, trainees, tradespeople and VET graduates in Australia. It brings together competitors who have previously won regional competitions, as both Michael and Matthew did in 2017.

St Norbert College principal Simon Harvey said the school community was excited to hear of Michael and Matthew’s success.

“We are delighted with the achievements of Matthew and Michael at the WorldSkills event, it is such a testament to their own hard work, the strength of our vocational pathways program and the mentorship provided by our teaching staff,” he said.

“We are always immensely proud of our students when they are recognised for their talents and we couldn’t be anymore prouder of Michael and Matthew achieving such esteemed awards.

“To be acclaimed national champions is something very special for us all to celebrate and acknowledge.”

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