Whichever way you define it, WorldSkills has just got to be one of the country’s best kept secrets, and the National Collision Repairer is proud to continue our long-standing support to benefit the industry and contribute to enhancing the appeal of a trade vocation to our younger generation.
Dusti-Lee Franchi represented Australia the WorldSkills international event in Abu Dhabi in the four-day Car Painting category, competing with 27 of the world’s top young spray painters. The intensity and complexity of the challenge was that it covered the following modules: Touch-up/spot repairs, Vehicle masking, Plastic repairs, New OEM panel primer/colour application, Colour matching, Detailed design layouts, Buffing/polishing and Decal/transfer application.
The competition was intense, and Dusti-Lee received a Medallion of Excellence, which is awarded to the top percentile of the competitors – this was a great result for her, in a very competitive field, especially when we consider that some of the competing countries take their technicians into full time “WorldSkills Camps” many months ahead of the event. Dusti-Lee trained extremely hard with the support of her employer, local TAFE-WA trainers, BASF training staff and TAFE-NSW trainers.
Her mentor throughout the process was Brad Franklin, Technical Trainer for Valspar Automotive and former recipient of a Medallion of Excellence at WorldSkills in Switzerland in 2002. Franklin is now WorldSkills Australia’s Expert in Car Painting and WorldSkills International’s Deputy Chief Expert in Car Painting. With the support of Valspar Automotive, Franklin could volunteer his time to make it all happen.
“Dusti-Lee made a huge commitment to the challenge in Abu Dhabi following the Global Skills event held in Newcastle in July. She moved from Perth to Sydney to focus full time on this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ event. She can be very proud of her efforts,” said Franklin.
Dusti-Lee Franchi was recognised as a Future Leader of the Industry in the February 2017 issue of the National Collision Repairer following her win in the WorldSkills Australia National Championships. To go on and represent our country (and be awarded a medallion of Excellence) is a such a tremendous achievement.
Well done, Dusti-Lee – you have made us all proud!