Worldskills Silver Medallist - Penny Duggan

Penny Duggan from MacKillop College Bathurst is to be congratulated for achieving a Silver Medal in the Worldskills Competition where she showcased her skills against students from all over Australia.

Worldskills Australia showcases vocational education and training pathways and equips young Australians with the skills required to compete in the globalised economy of the future.

Over three days of intense competition, each of the competitors was required to complete a range of challenging tasks pertaining to their specific skill areas. Qualified experts from across the nation have judged and scored the competitors’ work against national training packages and employability competencies.

Penny Duggan, the youngest competitor, began what was to become a long, long journey just over a year ago. She competed against eight other MacKillop Hospitality students for the opportunity to be sent to the Regional Finals in August 2011. She won and the next hurdle she faced was the NSW State Competition held in May 2012. After months of preparation, and with the generous assistance of her Hospitality classmates and teacher and mentor Mrs Ximena McPhillamy, Penny performed brilliantly on the day and finished with Silver in this competition.

Penny then faced the Worldskills National Competition which was held over three days at the end of August. In preparation for this Penny called upon friends and family, classmates and Hospitality staff to support her as she tried out and refined her recipes. This preparation culminated in catering for a function with 20 special guests where she was generously assisted by the Hospitality Extension girls.

The first day of the National Competition required Penny to prepare a High Tea for four people. She prepared tea sandwiches, scones, mini cupcakes, blinis, and a chocolate hazelnut slice.

Day two was more challenging again as Penny prepared Minestrone soup, tapas which included calamari with aioli and meatballs in a tomato sauce, Spanish tortilla and a vegetable platter.

Day three allowed Penny the chance to wow the judges with her own recipe creations that she had crafted over the previous months. She prepared a braised chicken dish and a baked dessert with a sauce. The judges were keen to taste these as Penny had swapped the ingredients around. She used fruits with the chicken and vegetables with the dessert dish. Astonishingly the dessert consisted of Cauliflower served with chocolate Mousse!

The judges were suitably impressed because Penny was awarded the Silver Medal at the Capitol Theatre on Sunday 2nd September before a panel of dignitaries from World Skills Australia.

Grateful thanks need to be directed towards many people who supported Penny on her journey. Mrs McPhillamy and the Hospitality staff and students at MacKillop College, and Mr Steve Mitchell, the Registered Training Organisation Manager whose support included supplying valuable contacts, funding and practical assistance.

According to a teacher from another participating school, “To achieve a Silver Medal in your first attempt was outstanding. Success can be partly attributed to the facilities in the Trade Training Centre, the wonderful mentoring of her teacher and to the student herself.”

Mrs Linda Aldwinckle

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