Tradie Tales: 2017 Skillaroo Nick Johnston travels to Cambodia for World Wood Day

For West Australian Cabinetmaker, Nick Johnston, a trip across the country from Perth to Melbourne in 2016 to compete in the WSA National Competition has resulted in him part filling his passport in just 2 years.

Nick went on to win the 2016 gold medal in Melbourne and with his trademark enthusiasm and dedication to his craft and the task at hand, he set about qualifying to become a 2017 Skillaroo.  Preparations included a trip to Manchester for the UK selection event and a further training event in China later the same year. Hard work and support from his employer, Studio Milton, his family and friends and his WorldSkills support network saw his dream come true and Nick went on to represent Australia in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

Nick reflected on the many weekends he devoted to additional training leading up to the event and affirms that his Medallion of Excellence earned at the International Competition was worth every minute.

Just as life seemed to be heading down the “normal” track, Nick has just received an invitation to represent Australia and WorldSkills Australia at World Wood Day celebrations in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap Cambodia as an Invitee to the International Young Adult Furniture Making Invitational, IYAFMI.

The invitation is a for a fully funded travel experience. Nick will be taking a project of his own design and just a bag of hand tools to the event and will display his talents over the 5-day event, which also features wood turners, carvers, marionette makers, sculptors and all manner of things wood.

“[I’m excited] to be deeply immersed in another culture, catching up with friends made in Abu Dhabi and to experience work methods and designs from a dozen different countries will be a unique experience.  I have heard about the event in previous years and I hope to enjoy it fully and grow the high opinion the host organisation, the International Wood Culture Society, already has of Australian tradies.  This is going to be a sensational experience, not possible unless I had first become involved with WorldSkills.”

World Wood Day is March 21st.