Published on April 7th 2022 in

The 2022 Lifetime Achievement Awards

Following two years of virtual presentations, a full house of invited guests, including sponsors, collision repairers, suppliers, insurers and previous inductees all gathered at the Pan Pacific in Melbourne’s South Wharf to congratulate the four inductees for the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Awards. The guests took the opportunity to network prior to the event where it was evident that, in the spirit of celebration, they mixed and mingled freely in anticipation of the awards ceremony.

The event is of course to recognise the contributions of the inductees for 2022 and add them to the 50 existing inductees who have shaped, built, developed, influenced and more recently disrupted the collision repair industry since the second half of the 20th century. While there were 12 worthy nominations from around the country, once again there were four nominations that really caught the attention of the sponsors and the existing inductees.

Tony Cafasso

Steve O’Brien, managing director, DNS Technology announced that the first inductee for 2022 was Tony Cafasso, founder of Cafasso Motor Body Repairs in South Australia. Among other things, Steve shared that Tony worked tirelessly on his business and with other repairers to lift the standard of repairs across the entire industry.

Sadly, Tony passed away in 2013 and Steve accepted the award on behalf of Tony’s daughters, Tania and Michele, who were forced into isolation just prior to the event.

Michelle Morgan

Josephine McFadries, digital editor, The National Collision Repairer announced that the second inductee was Michelle Morgan, business development manager, Saint Gobain.

Josephine highlighted Michelle’s passion for developing pathways for the next generation of technicians, as well as being a strong advocate of women looking to enter the automotive industry, thus enriching the collision repair sector, bringing a different perspective and much needed diversity to our industry.

Peter Ruggeri

Geoff Gwilym, chief executive officer, VACC announced that the third inductee was Peter Ruggeri, director, M1 Autobody in Victoria. Geoff pointed out that Peter has mentored hundreds of others during his 39-year career, leading by example as a doyen of the industry.

He dedicated over 10 years to the VACC Body Repair Division Executive Committee and worked tirelessly to improve working conditions for collision repairers, including developing constructive working relationships with insurers, recognising their role in the industry.

Darren Wales

And finally, Kishen Khosa, Head of Coatings ANZ, BASF Australia announced that the final inductee for 2022 was Darren Wales, AMA Group, NSW.

Kishen highlighted that Darren was a driving force behind the formation of the Australian Heavy Vehicle Repairers Association, setting the standard for vehicle repair in commercial vehicles. With a lifelong commitment to coaching and mentoring, Darren has contributed the development of the industry and is a pillar of the community, having been involved in a plethora of charities throughout his career.

We congratulate Tony, Michelle, Peter and Darren on being recognised by their peers for a lifetime of achievement and contribution to the industry.

This initiative is only made possible through 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 May issue of the National Collision Repairer. In the interim here is a wrap up of the celebration: Lifetime Achievement Awards 2022.

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