skip to content

National Skills Week & WorldSkills Australia

National Skills Week and WorldSkills Australia highlights the talents, skills, career pathways and value of apprentices and trainees across Australia to the wider public and employers. Throughout this time, The Gordon is raising the status of practical and vocational learning by sharing the stories of our past and current students.

Matthew Ellison, City to Surf SolarMatthew Ellison, Certificate III in Electrotechnology student at The Gordon
Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician)
Gordon WorldSkills team member

“Throughout high school I was really interested in physics and maths, but I also had a desire to live an active lifestyle, work in a physical job and learn in a practical way. That is why I chose to become an electrician. Once I was in the industry I was exposed to solar and renewable technologies (batteries). I have been passionately working in this field ever since.”

Employed at City to Surf Solar, Matthew’s role continues to fuel his passion and challenge his knowledge.

“My role includes planning, designing and installing residential and commercial solar and battery systems. It is a very broad and evolving job which requires constant learning and development of technical, physical and critical skills to achieve required outcomes.”

Matthew has worked hard throughout his apprenticeship so it wasn’t surprising to see him awarded the Licensed Trades Apprentice award at the Gordon Awards for Excellence earlier this year.

“The Gordon has given me a very solid foundation of knowledge and skills to build my career, as well as being well equipped to take on future courses (Grid Connect PV and Battery Course), which will allow me to further develop my skills upon the completion of my Certificate III."

Matthew has greater ambitions and a desire to continue developing his craft, yet while he approaches the completion of his training with The Gordon, he is passing on his wisdom to other apprentices in the workplace.

“My future career goal is to become more involved in emerging renewable technologies and be on the forefront of design and installation here in Australia and around the world. In the future I would like to take the knowledge I have gained at The Gordon and apply it to a university degree in Electrical Engineering with a strong focus on batteries and renewable technologies.”

Matthew will shortly represent The Gordon at WorldSkills with fellow electrician, Sheree. The pair have been training for the upcoming mechatronics competition, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. 

“Preparation for WorldSkills has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, as I was reliant on using The Gordon facilities to up my skills since I am not competing in my regular field. However, The Gordon has made special arrangements for my partner and I to train at home which has helped immensely.”

We asked Matthew how he felt about the opportunity to compete in the national competition.

“It is a great honour to be given the chance to represent both The Gordon and myself at WorldSkills, and one that I will be forever grateful for.”

Sheree Leen, Iris IntegrationSheree Leen, Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician) student at The Gordon
Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician)
Gordon WorldSkills team member

“I chose to become an industrial electrician because I wanted a job that involved theoretical and practical elements, yet I wanted a career that I can continually expand in as technology and automation develop further.”

Sheree completed a Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician) at The Gordon recently and now joins our WorldSkills team in partnership with fellow electrotechonology student, Matthew. 

The pair will represent The Gordon in the mechatronics event which challenges the team’s skills in fault finding and PLC programming. Sheree shared how she was training for the event and what it means to her to participate.

“I have prepared myself by fault finding PLC programming at work, in addition to programming equipment in my own time during lockdown. As well as the ability to display the competition as an achievement, it’s an incredible opportunity to expand your skill set and network.”

Sheree agrees that to succeed in her line of work one needs to have a good work ethic, willingness to learn, ability to problem solve and mechanical aptitude to understand how machinery operates.

“The Gordon prepares students to have a well-rounded skill set in their chosen industry to allow them to have a long and successful career.”

With both Sheree and Matthew shortlisted as finalists at the Gordon Awards for Excellence in the category of Licensed Trades Apprentice Award earlier this year, the formidable force are going to be hard to beat at the 2021 WorldSkills competition.

After completing an apprenticeship with Asahi Beverages where she engaged in everything from fault finding electrical automation equipment and preventative maintenance, to project installation and delivery, Sheree is now advancing her career with Iris Integration and focusing on completing a Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control, allowing her to undertake work as a dual trade electrician and instrumentation technician.

Lachlan Noble, BC Garden ConstructionLachlan Noble, Landscaping student at The Gordon
Certificate III in Landscaping
Gordon WorldSkills team member

Lachlan will shortly represent The Gordon at WorldSkills in landscaping construction, alongside his team mate and fellow Gordon student, Liam.

"I love being out in nature and I love learning all the new aspects of the job every day."

Working in the great outdoors was a major drawcard for Lachlan in choosing a landscaping career, who has enjoyed his time training at The Gordon.

"The teachers made it easy to learn and made it worth while being at trade school. I found it really good meeting new people and sharing our skills."

Lachlan has recently completed his training and is keeping busy working for BC Garden Constructions, a Geelong based landscaping company delivering design, construction and maintenance services.

"My job involves commercial projects as well as some domestic. I really enjoy it and BC Gardens provides a professional workplace as well as a good, hard working culture. There is always plenty of different aspects to learn day-to-day while running smaller projects."

While The Gordon has taught Lachlan the appropriate skills to perfect his understanding of all areas of landscaping, he acknowledges that time and experience are key to becoming an accomplished landscaper. Looking to the future, Lachlan's has some inspiring aspirations.

"I hope to own my own business and push myself outside of my comfort zone to succeed and fulfil my potential."

WorldSkills offers the ideal opportunity to do exactly that!

Luke McCully, Sodi Cafe and Doni Bar
Certificate III in Patisserie

Luke qualified as a chef but wanted to expand his skillset and chose The Gordon to continue his studies in patisserie.

“I had always heard great things and experiences from friends and family that have studied at The Gordon. Now for me, it's great to be able to get involved and learn with such a fantastic team of teachers in a great training environment.”

Under the watchful eye of Brendan Hill, The Gordon’s highly acclaimed patisserie teacher, Luke is honing his skills and putting them into practice in the workplace.

“I am able to really learn hands-on with my trainers at The Gordon. For example, having Brendan Hill as a mentor and being able to learn so much in such a short amount of time has really shown me I am able to use these skills I am learning and adapt these to my current work.”
Luke is employed at the Sodi Café and Doni Bar in Geelong West, a popular café with locals, offering a large variety of dishes to suit all dietary requirements. It’s even dog friendly!

“I am a chef at SODI and I help coordinate all the in-house baked goods, pastries and so forth, as well as the weekend service periods. 

“Undertaking a Certificate III in Patisserie has given me a much better understanding of patisserie itself and how I can really showcase these skills and apply these to my current work, expanding my career and possible outcomes for the future.”

Luke realises that to be a great pastry chef you need excellent knowledge of pastry making techniques – both classical and contemporary, time management skills, precision to detail, patience and most importantly, creativity. Yet it is other aspects of Luke’s job that he finds most rewarding.

“Personal growth, being able to learn quickly and effectively while providing a service that I am proud of and able to share with the community most excites me about my role.”

So what does the future hold for Luke?

“Expanding my knowledge by studying patisserie has really helped me to gain more experience in the hospitality world and showcase my talent and passion for pastry.

“I plan to continue with my studies and undertake a Certificate IV in Patisserie as soon as I can. From there I want to gain the highest position I can within the industry, potentially opening my own bakery and café.”

John Hull, Gforce - Deakin UniveristyJohn Hull, Certificate III in Horticulture student at The Gordon 
Certificate III in Horticulture - Parks and Gardens

John Hull who is currently studying a Certificate III in Horticulture – Parks and Gardens at The Gordon was named Apprentice of the Year at the recent 2020 Victorian Apprenticeship Awards.

We caught up with John and asked him what it was like to win such a prestigious award.

“It’s an honour to be nominated let alone win the award. I feel very thankful and proud of myself for doing the best I can, and for that to be recognised by others is great.”

John previously worked in a retail management role, but found the work unfulfilling. Deciding it was time to pursue his passion John commenced a career in horticulture. Now employed by Gforce, John is hosted by Deakin University where he is a part of the grounds team.

“Day-to-day my job consists of gardening maintenance such as brush-cutting, pruning, edging, spraying and mowing. I also do a large amount of designing, plant selection and planting.  

The Gordon has played an important role in John’s training, setting him up with a career pathway.

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of studying with The Gordon is the constant support of knowledgeable and patient teachers, along with the access to state-of-the-art equipment to provide me with the best opportunity to learn.” 

With a clear vision for his future, John now has big aspirations for the industry that he loves!

“Moving forward, I would like to continue my training by going on to study a Diploma of Horticulture. Further into the future, I’m aiming to own my own business, taking care of client’s gardens and hopefully training the next generation of apprentices.”