23 February 2016

Chas Cook, Canberra Citizen of the Year 2000

An electrical mechanic by profession, Charles (Chas) Cook has dedicated most of his life to helping young apprentices and trainees to realise their full potential. He became the founding chairman and coordinator of the Canberra Regional Committee of the Work Skill Australia Foundation in 1982 and continued in this role until 1992.
He was instrumental in establishing the Canberra Regional Competitions of Work Skill Australia, and responsible for its growth from eight trade categories to twenty-eight, and encompassing both the various designated Skill Olympic categories and demonstration trades.
Chas moved to Canberra from Yass in 1962, in part, so that that his daughter could attend school. A foundation parent, member and representative of the Canberra Opportunity for Deaf Children’s Parents Group, he played an important part in this voluntary organisation’s role in supporting a new experiment in deaf education in Australia, the integration of deaf students into mainstream schools.

Throughout his many years in the ACT Chas Cook has made an outstanding contribution to our community.
Chas Cook was named Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2000 for his work with Workskills Australia in encouraging apprentices to showcase their work.
Further biographical detail about Chas Cook is available on our website, as is a history of the Canberra Citizen of the Year Award and a full list of awardees.
The 40th consecutive Canberra Citizen of the Year will be announced by the Chief Minister during Canberra Day Celebrations in March 2016.

Image source:  Author photograph in Cook, Chas, Where's that bloody rabbit?: a book on the training and employment of Australia's youth, Wanniassa, ACT, Solar Techniques, 1996