Kempsey student wins Worldskills gold medal

HARRY MAINEY: "We were tested on livestock handling, machinery operations and fencing"
HARRY MAINEY: "We were tested on livestock handling, machinery operations and fencing"

A KEMPSEY High School student literally has the world at his well worn boots after snatching a gold medal at an agriculture competition at Lismore – where they were just wild about Harry.

The 17-year-old St Paul’s College product was a rookie when it came to the Worldskills test, but handled fencing, tractors and livestock like an old hand.

After a day of examinations in the field, Harry Mainey was adjudged winner of the Worldskills Australia 2017 Regional Competition at Woodlawn College.

The Year 12 student told the Argus it was the first time he had entered the Worldskills event – indeed, it was St Paul’s first tilt at the program as well, as a small and enthusiastic team travelled north to roll the dice.

Graham Bramley, Harry Mainey and Belinda Allman

Graham Bramley, Harry Mainey and Belinda Allman

College Primary Industries teacher Belinda Allman was delighted with the results, as was VET coordinator Graham Bramley who took the students to Lismore and helped judge at the competition.

“It was great to see that the kids wanted to have a go, and four of them placed in the top 10 out of about 24 students,” Belinda said.

Harry, who comes off a beef cattle property at Clybucca, explained the exam:

“We were tested on livestock handling, machinery operations and fencing – and I hadn’t done much fencing before,” he said.

The Worldskills Primary Industries competition was a first and a success for St Paul's College

The Worldskills Primary Industries competition was a first and a success for St Paul's College

“They were looking at our ability to handle livestock with low stress methods, calibrating drench guns and tractors and implements.”

Harry has now qualified for the nationals in Sydney next June, where he’s not too sure what awaits.

“I guess there might be a lot of sheep as it wouldn’t be easy to get big cattle inside at Darling Harbour,” he said.

Without a moment of hesitation, Harry said he’d like to forge a career in agriculture, and the stock route to that goal could be tertiary study in the Rural Sciences, perhaps up the hill at the University of New England at Armidale.

For now, he’ll be keeping his game face on in Primary Industries classes before the great experience of the Worldskills finals on June 2.