WorldSkills gold for Sam in Melbourne

College student Sam Carty, wearing his gold medal, with proud agriculture faculty coordinator Col Hawthorn.
College student Sam Carty, wearing his gold medal, with proud agriculture faculty coordinator Col Hawthorn.

His skill servicing a tractor, fencing and building a set of sheepyards has won a local Red Bend Catholic College student a gold medal at Australia’s WorldSkills competition.

Sam Carty came home with the Vocational Education in Schools Primary Industries top award after nearly a week of competition in Melbourne.

Sam and other competitors were tested on:

Tractor servicing and operation;

Livestock handling and husbandry;

Chemical boomspray calibration and application;

Fence construction;

A group task including building a set of sheep yards.

It’s the sort of thing that’s all in a day’s work on the Carty family farm, which is between Parkes and Orange. 

Sam is looking forward to a future on the farm, a mixed enterprise with sheep and winter crops. 

“I enjoy the cropping, the sheep, pretty much all of it,” he said. 

The gold medal was a nice encouragement as he prepared for his HSC exams, but also gave him a chance to talk with others about the next steps to take. 

“We were discussing it while we were away, there’s a Certificate III and an advanced diploma,” he said.

Sam’s teacher Col Hawthorn said the HSC course – a Certificate II - expands students’ practical skills across a total 17 competencies, and a career in agriculture also requires business management. 

“Farms are multi-million dollar businesses,” he said. 

“There’s a huge future for kids interested in agriculture – at the moment there are five jobs for every graduate. With the new technologies such as drones and precision agriculture, it’s just amazing.” 

The national WorldSkills competition brought together more than 600 young people who had won 31 regional WorldSkills competitions.

WorldSkills Australia (WSA) promotes and build a skills culture by inspiring young people, celebrating skills excellence and providing them with an opportunity to showcase their trade and skill talent.

In Melbourne, students and apprentices competed across more than 50 skill areas ranging from hairdressing to butchery, welding, carpentry, baking and construction.

Sam was the fourth Red Bend student – studying under Mr Hawthorn – to win a Primary Industries gold medal. He follows Kate Sandford, Max Ridley and Todd Grace. 

For Sam and other VET in Schools students, they have reached the highest level of competition.

Stand-out national medallists from the WorldSkills open categories may be selected to represent Australia at the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in 2017.