Gilmore College Year 12 student James Langeard has put Kwinana on the map by winning gold in the WorldSkills Australia National Championships for VETis Metals & Engineering.
The 17-year-old was one of two Western Australians to compete in the metals and engineering field of the competition, which had competitors from every Australian state except Victoria.
James said competitors were given six hours to complete two projects and although he knew he had done a good job he had not expected to win.
“We had to make a toolbox out of sheet metal and a V block,” James said.
“I was definitely not expecting to win, I thought I did well but definitely wasn’t expecting it,” he said.
James said he was excited to be announced as the winner and know that all his hard work had paid off after having practised under the guidance of North Metropolitan TAFE lecturer Alan Edwards every Tuesday for the past few months.
He also attributed his success to Gilmore College Design and Technologies Teacher Robert Guest and his father Chris Langeard.
“Mr Guest helped me do extra work to prepare and allowed me to practise during my recess and lunch breaks,” he said.
“My father was also a big influence, he is a mechanic by trade and I grew up around tools my entire life.”
Gilmore College Industry and Enterprise Coordinator Patrice Kilpatrick said staff at the college were “over the moon” about James’ win and described him as a role model to other students.
“Mr Rob Guest chose James to compete based on his outstanding ability and attention to detail,” Ms Kilpatrick said.
“James is a quiet achiever who is so focused on the task at hand he hardly realises anyone else is watching. Mr Guest described him best while competing saying he was simply ‘unflappable’,” she said.
As well as a WorldSkills gold medal, James’ hard work and talent has also resulted in him being offered a Mechanical Fitting apprenticeship at Alcoa Kwinana, which he will start in the new year.