For the second consecutive year, the Lifetime Achievement Awards was held as a virtual ceremony and once again we were able to extend our invitation to a broader audience. We welcomed a full complement of attendees from our sponsors, previous inductees, international guests and a whole raft of identities from across the collision repair industry, who all “dialled-in” to be part of this great event.
Following a brief introduction of the program where we once again acknowledged the support of our sponsors, we broadcast a slideshow highlighting some of the great events and initiatives that here delivered in Australia over the past 12 months. Appropriately to the music of Men at Work’s “Down Under” the presentation received great live feedback.
This event is of course to recognise the contributions of the inductees for 2021 and add them to the 46 existing inductees who have shaped, built, disrupted, influenced and developed the collision repair industry since the second half of the 20th century. This year there were nine worthy nominations from around the country, although four in particular attracted the attention of the sponsors and existing inductees.
David Rundle of AkzoNobel announced that the first inductee was Steve Economidis from Gabba Collision Repair Centre. David shared that Steve’s innovative approach to customer service and commitment to delivering safe and proper repairs made him a local industry icon. Sadly, Steve passed away earlier this year and in an understandably emotional setting, Steve’s wife Jennifer and son Paul accepted the award on Steve’s behalf.
Jeff Williams of Specific Prestige and 2020 inductee announced that the second inductee for 2021 was Peter McMahon, Car Craft WA. Jeff highlighted Peter’s enormous contribution to the MTA in South Australia before moving to Perth to develop the national footprint for the Car Craft group. Mark Brady, Chairman of Car Craft in WA made the presentation in the presence of several of Peter’s colleagues at the Car Craft head office in Perth.
2015 inductee, Phil Nixon announced that the third inductee was Garry Maher of L&M Smash Repairs who in his early years brought international knowledge to our shores, became certified as a technical trainer and OH&S instructor and went on to become one of the first to hold I-CAR Gold Class certification, which he holds to this day. With NSW still in lockdown, Garry’s son Daniel made the presentation at their facility in Seven Hills.
And finally, 2009 inductee, David Newton-Ross, announced the fourth inductee for 2021, was Rob Mildenhall of Capricorn Society. David spoke of Rob’s contribution to the industry at an international level in Rob’s early years, his transition into Australia and the huge impact Rob has had on the development of Capricorn’s panel business in Australia in the past 10 years. Again, as the result of the NSW lockdown, David made a virtual presentation to Rob who shared the moment with his partner Angela.
We congratulate Steve, Peter, Garry and Rob on being recognised by their peers for a lifetime of achievement and contribution to the industry.
Of course, this initiative is only made possible by the support of our sponsors, who you will find on our website, together with the updated Lifetime Achievement Award Honour Roll.
The full report with all the pics will be in the upcoming November issue of the National Collision Repairer.