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WorldSkills success for talented student



State selection and gold medal skills from pursuit of excellence

Among the WorldSkills Team WA members announced at a gala breakfast event at the Crown Ballroom Friday November 25 2022, was South Regional TAFE student and former Pre-apprentice of the Year winner Rabia Choolun.

Rabia was thrilled to earn selection in the team, from her outstanding Gold Medal winning results in the WorldSkills Carpentry regional Open competition at Bunbury campus in September.

The second year apprentice who does her Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery training with SR TAFE entered WorldSkills thinking it would be a wonderful way to test her skills.

Read our story about all medallists and State reps (opens in a new tab)

She thanked her lecturers for helping in her preparation and being able to manage the pressure of competition.

“On the day, it was just like another day in the workshop with no pressure and I had fun,” she said.

“There was a moment of truth when I had to stand the saw horse I’d made upright and see if it wobbles – and there was no wobbles and I thought ‘oh yes!’.”

Lecturer Adam Mathews congratulated her, saying she did exceptionally well in a very high level of competition.

“Rabia continues to excel in her trade and watching her succeed in the future will be enjoyed by all of us here at South Regional TAFE,” he said.


Discovering a training pathway, and an early training achievement

Born in Mauritius, Rabia had career dreams of being an architect when came to Australia in 2016.

In high school she discovered she loved working with her hands and decided she’d rather be outside working in the sun.

Rabia began a pre-apprenticeship with SR TAFE in 2021 with the hopes it might lead to an apprenticeship.

Her lecturer Adam Mathews said Rabia proved to be a student who was a leader and a person determined to get an apprenticeship in carpentry.

“Rabia's eye to detail and passion for her trade coupled with her natural ability was not just observed at TAFE, but also in industry,” Adam said.

“After a short stint of work experience with one of the leading building companies in Manjimup and the South West, Karamfiles  Builders  would offer Rabia an Apprenticeship.”

Rabia knew straight away that she’d found a career pathway. “I love doing a bit of everything – renovations, extensions and roofing.”

She celebrated her first year with SR TAFE by winning the prestigious Pre-apprentice of the Year Award, for her training in Certificate II in Building and Construction (Pathway Trades) (Carpentry and Joinery Pre-Apprenticeship).

Rabia said she was very appreciative of the expertise from her lecturers Wayne Sidebottom, Colin Spalding. Greg Knobloch and Adam Mathews.

“They’re amazing lecturers, very patient and straight forward and I’ve learned a lot from every single one,” she said.


Making a career in the regions

Rabia enjoys hard work and new challenges and continues to build up her skills and strength to make the most of the training and employment opportunities.

“I love it, I love every single bit of it and all the challenges that come with it,” she said.

A potential career goals is to start her own business in the region one day, in an industry which is currently suffering from skill shortages.

“I love being down south, knowing everyone and being local,” she said.