Last week, over 300 industry representatives descended on Glendale as the much-anticipated Hunter TAFE Trade Night kicked off under the guidance of Brian Johnson, Head Teacher Autobody Repair, Protective Coatings and Manufacturing. The TAFE campus was the ideal venue for such an event as the facility is already fitted out with premium equipment from the likes of Lowbake and Car-O-Liner, which is most appropriate given that the theme of the evening was “New Technologies and Trends”.
From the outset, it was clear from the high levels of engagement that people were there to network, share their own latest offerings and find out what everyone else has on offer. The extensive array of displays from 35 organisations was outstanding and suppliers were only too happy to interact with the crowd and show off their latest toys. Anyone who was interested was encouraged to “get their hands dirty” with the many interactive displays.
Active participation was the order of the day and this was embraced whole-heartedly by 3M, AkzoNobel, Autolac, Axalta, BASF, Car-O-Liner, Fix Auto, iBodyshop, I-CAR, Lowbake, Nippon, PPG, Thatcham, Valspar, Wagner and Wurth – to name just a few.
The global coatings companies once again excelled themselves by conducting live demonstrations throughout the evening and the results were nothing short of spectacular. Glendale TAFE now has a collection of freshly painted front guards! There were also live demonstrations covering welding, autobody realignment, polishing, abrasive blasting and even aircraft surface finishing. In addition, there were several educational seminars from I-CAR, Thatcham, iBodyshop and PPG, although it’s fair to say that the networking got the better of the attendees as the seminars could have been better attended.
There was a formal side to the evening with the presentation of several awards to young technicians in auto body repair and refinish. The full story can be found in the upcoming November issue of the National Collision Repairer magazine.
Overall, the evening was a great success, with the last word going to Brian Johnson, who specifically acknowledged Suncorp Insurance for supplying damaged vehicles for use in the training programs. “I am overwhelmed by the support of the industry and continue to be thrilled by the quality of technicians we at Glendale TAFE are turning out,” he said. “It is a credit to my team and the drive and commitment of our students,” he added.
Editor: The National Collision Repairer congratulates Brian Johnson and the team at Glendale TAFE. Once again, they have exceeded all expectations. It is easy to see why Johnson was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.