Congratulations to the medallists in the recent National finals for Worldskills, where vocations across the board were assessed and awarded and some emerging hairdressers were honoured for their talents.
Well done to gold medal winner and TAFE NSW student Hannah Gerritsen from Illawarra, as well as silver medallist Emily Geard from Tasmania and bronze medallist Tanika Zanghellini from Central VIC. Michael Blazevic from Sydney, Ruby Currie from Melbourne and Ana Catarina Mendonca from Perth received Certificates of Excellence.
Hannah is 19 years old and completed a TVET course while working as a salon assistant at BH Creations in high school. She then transitioned to a full-time apprenticeship after completing year 11 and is now fully qualified. This win puts her in the running to compete in the International Worldskills competition in 2024 in France as part of the Australian Skillaroos team.
“When I heard your name called as the winner, I was pleased and overwhelmed. I’ve been preparing for months with my boss and my TAFE NSW mentor. All that training in the lead up made me feel more comfortable with the competition,” Hannah said.
“I’m very proud to win, I’ve always wanted to be a hairdresser so it feels like a goal and dream come true. I have three sisters so I grew up doing their hair, so I was always passionate about it. I also like talking to people and don’t see myself as someone who could be more isolated at work,” she added. “I’m so thankful for all the support I’ve had along the way from my family and employers. It felt really good to win because they were all there watching and celebrated with me afterwards, which was amazing as well.”
The competition was comprised of two women’s colours and cuts, a men’s hair cut without clipper guards into a mullet with a perm and up styles, while being timed.
High school students who are studying hairdressing as part of their schooling also competed under the Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETIS) platform. In this field, Sophia Gooley from NSW won gold, QLD student Amy Pearson won silver, NSW student Jessica Nieradka won bronze and Louisa Daly from VIC was awarded the Certificate of Excellence.
“I would tell anyone at TAFE to participate if they get the chance,” Hannah said, adding that the platform is extremely well run and a great way to see what vocations are out there and could suit you. “For Nationals, there was Skills Camp and team bonding that we got to do together that was a really good opportunity. Even if I wasn’t successful at Nationals I would have been really glad to have done it for the experience along the way. For anyone who has the opportunity to get involved, even to just watch, it’s a great thing to do.”
For more information visit www.worldskills.org.au
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