Malcolm Harris

Chief Executive Officer

Phone: 021 322 770

Malcolm joined WorldSkills New Zealand in early 2016. As chief executive Malcolm’s primary goals are to raise the profile of WorldSkills New Zealand, and, in partnership with industry training and trades organisations, build a high-performance environment for young New Zealander’s.

Malcolm is no stranger to the world of high-performance sport having led both Hockey NZ and, for a time, Netball NZ. Malcolm has also enjoyed positions on both the Trans Tasman Netball Board, the America’s Cup Sponsorship Committee, as well as management of a range of sport sponsorships.

Malcolm’s career began with Fisher & Paykel Appliances. In his nearly 30-year career there, initially as a design engineer, Malcolm held a number of senior positions culminating in Chief Operating Officer for Fisher & Paykel New Zealand. Malcolm has also led law firm Meredith Connell as its CEO.

Seeing young New Zealander’s succeed in their chosen vocation is a key driver for Malcolm, and he is looking forward to championing vocational skill development, and excellence, for WorldSkills New Zealand.

Malcolm holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Auckland.


Cherry Thelmo-Fernandez

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Phone: 021 217 0461

Cherry has always been passionate about the written word, and has consequently had more than a decade of experience as a journalist, from news to business and information technology stories to lifestyle magazines to hosting radio and TV shows.

Motherhood on made her switch gears and pursue a career in public relations that later on evolved into marketing communications and events management; while her affinity towards almost all things online has given her that edge in digital marketing.

Amidst working with corporate, education, and not-for-profits overseas and in New Zealand, she has been actively volunteering for several organisations over the years. Thus, Cherry finds working at WorldSkills the perfect set up, where she gets to give back and do what she does best.

The 2016 National Competition was Cherry’s first exposure to WorldSkills and had her first taste of the world’s largest skills competition in 2017 in Abu Dhabi, wherein she served as social media team lead.

Malcolm became “hooked” on the WorldSkills concept in 1998 when he judged the Automotive Technology skill at a regional competition. Since that time he has taken on a number of roles, including National and International Skill Manager for Automotive Technology. Malcolm was appointed Technical Delegate in 2010 prior to the International Competition in London. More recently, Malcolm has been appointed to the position of Jury President Team Leader and has become a member of the Technical working Group for WorldSkills International.

Malcolm sees being involved in WorldSkills as a way of giving back to a industry that has looked after him. He likes to see the young people “go further than they can imagine” when they are given a helping hand.

WorldSkills exists, Malcolm believes, to encourage and promote trade excellence.

Rick first became involved with WorldSkills in 2007 when he was asked to take on the role of Regional Chair for the NZ Defence Force. His first task was to work with the Wellington Regional Chair to organise joint Regional competitions. Rick was invited to become the Team Leader for the Tool Black Team in 2009 for WorldSkills Calgary. WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will be Rick’s fifth International competition.

It is because he likes to pass on his knowledge and experience to young people that keeps Rick involved with WorldSkills. He enjoys seeing the competitors grow in both confidence and ability as they prepare for the International competition.

Rick considers that an important reason for WorldSkill’s existence is to encourage vocational education in New Zealand and to show that it is a viable career option for young people. He sees one of our main roles to be preparing the future captains of industry to step into this role.

Amelia has always been drawn to art and creative based subjects so found that floristry was a natural fit for her. She was given a job opportunity at a local florist shop and my interest grew from there.
She was approached by Nina Stanely, WorldSkills New Zealand’s floristry skill manager, to enter the 2014 National Competition. It was then that Amelia leared more about WorldSkills and consequently won the gold medal for floristry in the competition.

She trained at work for her apprenticeship with the course work provided by Primary ITO for WorldSkills, as well as one-on-one training with her skill manager. Amelia later on was selected to be part of the Tool Blacks team, competing in the WorldSkills Oceania in 2015 and WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015.
Amelia describes her experience has been full on, learning so much more and approaching her craft differently. The competitions gave her perspective on her training plan and where she needed to change, as well as what areas she performed well in under pressure. Training helped her improve her skill and her mindset about competing.

“I really enjoy the atmosphere of WorldSkills events — it’s an extremely positive and supportive environment,” she states. Thus, why Amelia has not only come back to volunteer to help in competitions, but has now taken on a leadership role.