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Bittersweet win for RMIT student in national competition

Friday, 24 January 2003
By Print 21 Online Article

Fellow RMIT student, Sarah Jones who came second, is taking his place. She will follow in the footsteps of Marcus Kostalac, also from RMIT, who won a Gold Medal at the finals in Seoul, last year. The two RMIT International Centre of Graphic Technology (ICGT) prepress students took first and second place at the National WorldSkills Finals in NSW.

The national winner, Mark Macdonald (24) (pictured) an apprentice with James Yeates Printers in Bairnsdale, Gippsland, admits to being disappointed with the result. “It’s like winning the race but not getting the prize,” he said.

According to a press release from Robert Black, Program Manager-Operations
RMIT, there was less than a percentage point separating the two Victorians.

“This was a fantastic result, highlighting that the skills of the Victorian students were well above the national levels and in fact, were setting a new benchmark. The efforts of all concerned with the competition, students, employers, teaching staff at the ICGT, and the organizers are to be congratulated as it was no doubt a team effort,” said Robert Black.

Second placegetter, Sarah Jones, (pictured) an apprentice (and part owner) at Kudos Graphics in Eltham, Melbourne will represent Australia at the International WorldSkills final in St Gallen, Switzerland on June 12-28.

The National World Skills competition is a three-day event where prepress competences and skills are thoroughly tested in a production and competitive environment. The students are given live briefs and are required to produce designs, layouts, proofs and printed products to predetermined standards under stringent time-lines.

Three Days of Competition

Sarah Jones gives an insight into the proceedings and the pressures of the competition.

“With the images supplied, colour correct and supply for correct printing specs. Design brochure for Passion Photography to attract newly engaged couples that are looking for the right wedding photographer. Aesthetics and the use of typography were the main focus for this marking. We were given five tasks to complete.

“On the first day we were allowed to know only three of these tasks and had to have the first task handed in by the end of the day. It was up to you to allocate your time wisely. It was hard because we weren’t sure what was coming to us. The next morning we were given another task and told that the remaining three tasks had to be handed in at the end of the day.
“This was the day that I started to panic. I had completed the first two tasks and I was pretty confident that I would get the third task done in a few hours and then I would have the rest of the day to do the fourth task.

“The day didn’t work out as I planned. At 3.00pm I had almost finished the third task. After our break I had one-hour 45 mins to start and complete the fourth task that was worth the same number of points as the one I had just completed! I had to somehow relax and just get something completed in that time. I was surprised by the result! It turned out quite well, although I knew that’s where I was going to lose my points.

“The final day was much less hectic. We were given one task to start and complete that day. At least you were able to plan out your time. I had one major disaster that day. I accidentally flattened the image in Photoshop that I had been working on for a few hours. I was devastated! I couldn’t change any of the layers I had been working on. But the final file came out well in the end. So I did manage to hand in all tasks completed by the set times.
“The next afternoon was the presentation ceremony. We even got a speech from the Prime Minister. The categories were called out alphabetically, we were under Printing and Graphic Arts, so we were pretty much at the end of the night. All of the competitors went up on the stage and my name was called out for second place. I was very happy, a bit upset that it was only second but when Mark Macdonald came first I realised that he wasn’t eligible to go to the Internationals so I would be heading off to Switzerland. I was in shock for the rest of the night.
“When we went back to our seats, Jane Stokie (Judge for Nationals/ Internationals) came and handed out our certificates and marking scales and she sat next to me. I looked at the marking scale and that’s when I got pretty upset, I had come second by half a point!

“Thank you to all at RMIT and to the teachers who have taught me so much over the past few years. I couldn’t have achieved so much without your support.”

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