End of the #roadtorussia

Like all good things, they come to an end. Worldskills Kazan 2019 ended with a bang, a flood of social media posts, Flickr accounts bursting with photogenic young people and the almost instant regional competition cycle on the return home. A great place to start is Adam Lucas’ photoset for example.

Two outstanding memories worth sharing would be the warmth of the young Russian volunteers and translators. Russia really mobilised a volunteer army and this helped make it a success from start to finish. Random young people standing at the Kazan Expo with over-sized foams fingers, happy to point in the direction you needed to walk and our dozen on-skill print-running girls was heartwarming.

Secondly, the feeling watching Team Australia parade out in to a packed Kazan arena and infront of the world really makes you proud that we can organise local TAFE’s to host regional competitions, take these young students to a national competition and then train them for 12 months (including several ‘friendly competitions in NZ and Russia prior). Everything our young Skillaroo Graphic Design competitor Indy Griffiths did, came from a place of focus and awareness to get the job done. Her performance was spot on, she finished everything, coped with a high exposure seating position at the venue and remained grateful at every step along the way.

Our lead up included participating at the New Zealand nationals; Digital Skills in Kazan before Christmas; returning the favour and inviting eight other countries to our Global Skills event in Melbourne; another trip to Moscow for a friendly competition months prior and of course the main event in Kazan. The results were unexpected, and the field wildly split by an ambiguous marking scheme that didn’t necessarily reward creativity, but that forms part of the fun in the end. Having Indy receive a Medallion of Excellence and her efforts improve Australia’s Worldskills rank to 8th in the world is a job well done.

I’m a huge fan of Justin Fox and his words seem apt here to sign off this Kazan competition cycle :

What advice would you give students starting out?

I always tell students to make the course work for themselves. Answering the briefs they get in order to get as many points as possible is a waste of time. Fact is when they come out their folios probably look the same as every other student in their year. That A3 poster, with the guide dog clip art image… it’s not hard for an interviewer to see what schools kids come from, but the one student who said fuck the brief, I want to create something amazing for my folio, well that guide dog poster is surely going to stand out come folio time!

I’m also a believer in self love. Each and every individual is just that, an individual. You’re different to everyone else so if you were to take inspiration from your self, your past, hell whack a photo of your grandma on a photoshop layer and work it in, it’s going to be a part of you, it’ll potentially be more original than copying someone else’s work.


What Indy achieved, her journey, her story and what awaits the next young Australian creative to stand ‘infront’ of the world at Shanghai 2021, really comes down to creating inspirational work at speed and embracing the Worldskills journey. There isn’t anything else like it for young tradespeople. Graphic Design is in a period of change and growth and Skill 40 Graphic Design Technology is responding to these changes.

The Perth regional competition kicks off on Friday 20th of September at North Metro TAFE – Make sure you are there and who knows where design will take you.

Some collected highlights across the week are below: