The latest Future Leader of the Industry presentation was made to 26-year-old third year refinish apprentice Nicole Tukavkin at Bill Kubeil’s Fix Auto Somerville facility.
After a brief introduction, MC for the occasion, George Manos, IAG’s manager, industry risk and governance, welcomed the guests and thanked Bill Kubeil for hosting the event. Manos then invited Fix Auto Network’s Steve Taylor to say a few words.
“When we reflect on Nicole’s journey, it is so great to see her commitment and dedication to developing her skills and capabilities. She is a credit to young women everywhere and an inspiration to others across our network. She is a great talent, and we recognise that she represents the future of our industry. Congratulations,” said Taylor.
Bill Kubeil, who was willing to employ Nicole as an adult apprentice in 2019, added: “We jumped at the opportunity to welcome Nicole to the team. She has an incredible eye for detail and is extremely conscientious in everything she does. We are all so proud of her.”
Gary Wood of I-CAR Australia presented Nicole with two I-CAR training vouchers and added that I-CAR was honoured to support this incredibly important initiative. “Having made the choice to join our industry is a real credit to your desire to learn and grow, and we have no doubt this award is just the beginning of many more to come,” said Wood
Manos returned to “the podium” and invited Nicole to come forward for an impromptu interview:
GM: I believe you initially went into business with your mum in the hospitality sector. How did you become interested in the collision repair industry?
NT: I have a real creative side, so when I was in a local collision repairer for a minor repair, I saw the spray painter in action and I was hooked.
GM: And how did you find your way into Fix Auto here at Somerville?
NT: Initially, it was tough, but my local panel beater passed my resumé on to Bill Kubeil, who was looking for an apprentice – and the rest is history.”
GM: Tell us a bit about your experience in the business?
NT: It’s such a great place to work. The whole team is so supportive, and when I paint a car, and the customer sees the result, I know it’s a real team effort.
GM: What can you tell us about your TAFE experience at Chisholm?
NT: The classroom environment builds on my work here in Somerville. My teacher, Ben Raulin, and the facilities at Chisholm are excellent.
GM: So, what do you do when you’re not working?
NT: I spend time with my family, friends and my dogs, as well as staying in touch with my passion for arts and crafts.
GM: And where do you see yourself in, say, five years’ time?
NT: For the foreseeable future, I want to be the best spray painter that I can be and ensure our customers get the best repair we can give them.
GM: And finally – what is your dream car?
NT: I actually have my dream car, which is an HSV Maloo.
Manos then congratulated Nicole on her achievements and presented her Future Leader of the Industry certificate. He said: “IAG is proud to continue its long-standing partnership with the National Collision Repairer on the Future Leaders of the Industry initiative, which is strongly aligned with IAG’s own values.”
On receiving her award, Nicole said: “I am extremely grateful to Fix Auto Somerville, Fix Auto Australia and, of course, I-CAR Australia and IAG for their support of this award.
Editor: IAG’s ongoing support and sponsorship of these awards is greatly appreciated. We congratulate Nicole and wish her every success in her career.