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Apprentice plumber Dylan Di Martino won silver at the Oceania WorldSkills competition in New Zealand last week, proving he’s one of the best in the region.
Worldskills – known as the Olympics of vocational training – showcases the talent of top apprentices and trainees nationally, regionally and internationally in about 50 categories ranging from hairdressing to welding.
The 22-year-old Hillside student earned gold last September at the biannual national titles in Perth.
He will now join the Australian team, the Skillaroos, on the world stage in August for the International Worldskills in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Dylan, who studies at VU’s Sunshine Campus, said he was surprised to earn silver in the Oceania titles during a close three-day contest.
It required competitors to install gas and water plumbing and drainage in a mock home, including underfloor hydronic heating – an uncommon feature in Australia.
“It was a tough competition and it was a real race just to finish it,” he said.
“Unfortunately, on day three I was a minute shy of being able to fully pressure-test my project so getting silver wasn’t too bad,” he said.
Dylan’s father Paul is a long-time plumber who inspired Dylan to follow his footsteps into his business.
“I’ve been working with him since I was little and am now showing him new tools and innovations in the profession,” he said.
“The whole family is more than blown away by my success but the internationals in Brazil will be the real test.”
Jack-of-all-(writing)-trades and storyteller Barry Dickins revealed in a wide ranging talk at VU at MetroWest on 21 April that it was his grandmother Gert who first got him into writing.
Dickins is a well known Australian author, artist and playwright whose work has been a feature on the Melbourne writing scene for many years. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and draw on his wealth of writing and performing work.
His tip to aspiring writers: "It’s good to be diverse in your writing. I could be writing a book about fairies one minute and interviewing Johnny Cash the next."
Dickins was born in Reservoir, Victoria, in 1949 and said he was largely reared by his storytelling grandmother.
She nurtured his imagination while shelling peas over a colander at the kitchen table and on frequent shopping trips to the local fruit shop in the early hours of the morning. On one trip, he recalled, a cherubic Italian baby was being weighed on the scales as shoppers guessed the reading while his grandmother assessed cauliflowers – always keen to get one without thumbprints on it – and protested, "I don’t like the look of that one".
Throughout his life as a writer quotes have come from all over the place and been recorded in a daily diary. He recalled that as a newly graduated teacher he asked a young girl drawing on the floor, "What are you up to?"
"At three and a half, I'm not up to much!" she responded. Young Dickins rushed to his locker to write down her words immediately.
For 14 years he worked for the Melbourne Times on crosswords, general stories, opera reviews and stories about Fitzroy Football Club.
He wrote the 30 minute movie 'Ruthven: The Story of Life and Dettol' and has written more than 50 plays.
His cartoons have regularly appeared in the Age newspaper and are in a number of his prose publications. His next book, A Line Drawing of My Father, is a memoir of his father Len Dickins and will be published in June 2015.
Dickins has won a number of fellowships and been a writer in residence at several theatres and institutions.
This one of a range of Footscray Uni Town events & activities brought to you as part of the ongoing Footscray University Town partnership between VU and Maribyrnong City Council.
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Medical artifacts and paraphernalia from the First World War – including a travelling dentistry chair, original medicine bottles and soldier cartoons – are on display at the University of Melbourne’s Medical History Museum.
First-hand experience working within an indigenous community
in the Northern Territory led Deakin University Associate Professor Emma Kowal
to ask: What "good" are well-meaning White Australians doing when it comes to