Top Gong: Rachel Crawford

Top Gong: Rachel Crawford

Rachel Crawford and mentor John Reminis at the WorldSkills final

Rachel Crawford is back in Australia after a successful WorldSkills run that saw her come fourth and win a Medallion for Excellence.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I started my apprenticeship in patisserie when I was 17, in my final year of college. Once I graduated, I went straight to full-time work and going to classes each week for my certificate. After I finished my certificate in pastry, I began my classes to acquire my certificate 3 in bakery. It is through this I got involved in WorldSkills.

How did you get into baking?

I started cooking from a very young age, my parents both used to be chefs, so I was always around food. The passion grew from there and eventually turned to a love of making sweet things and bread!

To get into the team sent to the International WorldSkills Competition, you had to go through various competitions here in Australia. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? What prompted you to start competing?

My regional competition was in 2019, while I was still undertaking my bakery certificate. It was after much persuasion from my teachers and peers that I entered the competition, so I finally caved and did it, and it turned out to be a lot of fun!

After placing second in the regional round, everything suddenly became a lot more real when I received the email saying I would be competing in the nationals. I was training two days every week until my national competition in 2021, which was postponed several times due to COVID.

It was such an amazing feeling to win gold at the nationals after such a long run of training and planning. And then to be accepted into Team Australia to compete at the internationals was even more exciting and nerve-wracking!

Well done on you results at WorldSkills International this year! What did it mean to you to get that result and a Medallion for Excellence?

It was such an emotional day, there were many tears of joy! It made me so happy to bring home a medal and 4th place for Australia, I worked so hard to achieve the best result I could, not just for me, but for everyone who helped and supported me during my training. My main goal for the competition was to make them all proud!

What was it like competing in the International WorldSkills Championships this year?

It was such a surreal experience. It feels like a dream! I met so many amazing people and made heaps of lifelong friends. I got to learn so much and experience so many new things that I never would have been able to. It was definitely scary, but it felt great to push myself and get out of my comfort zone!

What have been your biggest takeaways from the competition?

If you’re willing to put in the hard work and keep learning, there is no limit to how far you can go!

How did you prepare for the competition?

I was training weekly in preparation for the internationals. After receiving the list of products we had to produce, I worked very closely with multiple amazing bakers to finalise my recipes and designs. In the final month leading up to the competition, I quit my job and spent the whole month training with my expert John Remis at his bakery in Nowra. It has been an absolutely crazy few months, but I’m so thankful to everyone for their help and support.

Is there anyone in particular who’s helped you out a lot along the way?


I simply could not have got this far without the help of John and his family. He not only put up with me for a whole month, but also introduced me to many industry legends who were more than happy to share their expertise with me.

I’d like to give a shout-out to those businesses, because they are truly doing so much for our industry:

And finally, the team at CIT in Canberra have had my back through this entire WorldSkills journey, I would like to give a special thanks to Nichole and David for all that they’ve done for me.

Where to next? What are your plans heading into the future?

I would absolutely love to travel some more and see some of the beautiful patisseries and bakeries the world has to offer. I don’t think I’m done with competitions just yet, so hopefully there will be some opportunities for me to do a few more in the future!

For now, I’m so excited to start this new chapter at Doughcraft. I’m looking forward to creating many delicious pastries and cakes for everyone!

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