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Keeping his cool to snag bronze

Representing Australia as a Skillaroo in refrigeration and air conditioning, Gympie local Patrick Brennan has kept his cool and won a bronze medal at the 45th WorldSkills International Championships.

Along with 14 other young Aussie apprentices and tradespeople, the 21-year-old spent a week in Kazan, Russia, where crowds upwards of 250,000 watched talented young people from 66 counties compete for medals and the title of world champion in their skill.

Patrick was thrilled and honoured to walk away with the bronze medal at the international competition.

“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 hope I’ve made my family, my friends, my work place, my town and my country proud.”

In the lead up to the international event Patrick's training at TAFE Queensland, and on-the-job support 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 in 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’.

The 2019 Global Skills Challenge (GSC) 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. This event was the final training exercise for the WorldSkills Australian Skills Squad before the Skillaroo selection.

His journey to the international bronze has also been guided by long-time WorldSkills volunteer and TAFE Queensland Leading Vocational Teacher, Carl Balke.

“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… but that Aussie fighting spirit that is evident in Paddy makes it all very worth it,” said Carl.

Patrick’s WorldSkills journey is generously supported by Kirby.

As a country, Australia was placed eighth in the world overall, an incredible achievement that comes as a direct result of Team Australia’s dedication and hard work.