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MEDIA RELEASE: Australian Refrigeration apprentice wins bronze medal at WorldSkills Kazan

From L-R: Carl Balke, Patrick Brennan, Noel Munkman


Pictured from L-R: Carl Balke, Patrick Brennan, Noel Munkman


Refrigeration and air conditioning apprentice Patrick Brennan has won the Bronze medal at the 45th WorldSkills International Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Russian champion Akeksandr Leushin took gold with 747 points, ahead of Korea’s JuHwan Go on 745 points and Brennan on 739. In total there were 28 competitors in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning skill competition.;

The four-day 23-hour refrigeration and air conditioning competition included the following tasks:

  • Heat exchanger fabrication
  • Refrigeration system installation and commissioning
  • Electrical fault finding
  • Refrigeration fault finding
  • Refrigerant recovery and charging

Brennen Region from Gympie, QLD is employed by Tony Stephens Refrigeration & Air Conditioning and was won the WorldSkills Australia national competition in May 2018. Since then he trained extensively with the refrigeration trainers at TAFE QLD Acacia Ridge campus managed by Carl Balke who was also one of the 29 Experts/Judges at the competition. They also received strong support from Kirby and Refrigerant Reclaim Australia to prepare for and participate in this competition.

Noel Munkman, Technical and Training Manager at the Australian Refrigeration Council was appointed by WorldSkills International as the Refrigeration Skill Competition Manager to design the test project and marking scheme and was part the Skill Management Team at the competition in Kazan.

Patrick Brennan is also currently the face of the Kirby Apprentice Fund Initiative and in 2018 Patrick Brennan was jointly awarded the AIRAH Award for Student of the Year – Trade.

Brennan, along with 14 other young Australian apprentices and tradespeople known as the Skillaroos, have been in Russia for the past week competing in the tournament. Crowds of more than 250,000 watched talented young people from 66 counties compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and the title of world champion in their skill.

The competition itself was held at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre, a purpose-built centre constructed specifically for WorldSkills International, on a plot of 74.8 hectares near the Kazan International Airport. Results were announced at the closing ceremony on Tuesday, August 27 at the Kazan Arena Stadium.

As a country, Australia placed an incredible eighth in the world overall. As well as Brennan, three of his fellow Skillaroos also came away with medals. Clinton Larkings won silver in the Industrial Mechanic Millwright category; Patrick Keating won bronze in Plumbing and Heating; and Maxine Colligan won bronze as well as the Best in Nation award (for Australia’s highest competition score) in the Car Painting skill.

“We are all very impressed with the performance of the team,” says WorldSkills Australia General Manager Brigitte Collins. “They showcased the power of excellence and demonstrated the strength of vocational education and training in Australia.

“Our internationally recognised experts demonstrated, once again, their capability and dedication. The Skillaroos, Team Australia and the volunteer workforce should all feel very proud of what they accomplished here in Kazan, Russia. Today we look toward the WorldSkills Australia National Championship and the 46th WorldSkills International Competition in Shanghai.”

More details about the 45th WorldSkills International Championships available here.


This story was provided courtesy of WorldSkills and the image was taken by TAFE NSW.

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