National, global awards piling up for Gympie wonderkid
THE accolades keep rolling in for Gympie fridgie Patrick Brennan, with the 21-year-old adding yet another national award to his already-stacked trophy cabinet last week.
Mr Brennan, an R&A apprentice at Tony Stephens Refrigeration in town, received the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) Trade Student of the Year award for 2018 at a Melbourne ceremony last Thursday night.
"Paddy”'s latest award comes on top of his selection as Australia's refrigeration category representative at next year's 45th WorldSkills International Competition in Russia after he defeated friend and competitor Chris McNally to claim the final "Skillaroo” spot.
READ MORE ABOUT PADDY'S IMPRESSIVE RESUME
In June he won R&A gold at the WorldSkills Australia National Championships Awards Ceremony in Sydney.
"It's pretty crazy to think about getting on a plane and going to Russia but I've done a bit more flying here and there this year so I'm a bit more used to it,” Mr Brennan said of his "Skillaroo” selection.
"I'm going into the competition next year just wanting to enjoy the experience, you only get one crack at something like this so I definitely want to make the most out of it and represent my country and my trade well.”
He thanked employer Tony Stephens and his wife Judy for the time they had invested in him as an apprentice, as well as his TAFE Queensland refrigeration and air conditioning teacher and WorldSkills international mentor Carl Balke.
A TAFE Queensland statement commended Mr Brennan's commitment, which includes "travels to Brisbane to undertake his trade training at TAFE Queensland SkillsTech, a five hour return trip and true testament of his dedication to his trade”.
TAFE Queensland SkillsTech Acting General Manager John Tucker described Mr Brennan as a "very skilled tradesman” who had "worked extremely hard to have achieved so much at just 21 years of age”.
"Patrick continues to show a high level of dedication and skill towards his trade which is evident not only from his achievements but through his training here at TAFE Queensland SkillsTech,” Mr Tucker said.
"We wish Patrick all the best when he competes in Russia next year and see a bright future ahead for the young trades professional.”