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Members of the automotive industry donned their finest attire in November to attend the MTAQ's annual President's Ball.
Held at the Brisbane Hilton Hotel, the event was a celebration of a challenging and rewarding year - one that saw the MTAQ work successfully on a number of issues in support of the industry - and more than 200 guests enjoyed an evening of fine food and entertainment.
The evening was hosted by MC Peter Kelly and speakers included David Fraser, President of MTAQ; Suncorp Group's Brett Wallace; Dale Durden from the Capricorn Society and Leeanne Turner from MTAA Super. It was a most enjoyable evening, with guests enjoying a three-course meal and drinks while being entertained by the band Groove Elements.
While the accomplishments of the MTAQ were mentioned during the evening, the night also focused on the legacy of Sir Jack Brabham.
A short video was played, highlighting the wonderful accomplishments of the great Australian, and marking the Association's acknowledgement of his passing and the role Sir Jack played in inspiring young Australians and the MTAQ itself.
It was also a night at which the extremely high calibre of students training with the MTA Institute of Technology was recognised and honoured with the announcement
of the 2014 Apprentice of the Year.
Ms Leeanne Turner, CEO of MTAA Super was on hand to announce the recipient of the award and the honour, and the $2000 prize money, went to Sarah Gale, a 23-year-old second-year light vehicle apprentice from Rego's Mobile Mechanical Services in Atherton, North Queensland.
The delighted Sarah said she would spend the award money on a new toolbox, but to warm applause from those in attendance Michael Kennedy, from Brisbane Motor Auctions, offered to supply her with a new toolbox so she could spend the $2000 on something not work-related. (Read more about Sarah on page 22).
The night also saw MTAQ introduce two new awards - the Innovation Award and the Community Award.
The Innovation Award was created to recognise MTAQ members who had introduced new ideas into their business, be it novel incentive programs or efficiency methods, new products or services or new building or environmental projects.
The nominees were A1 Mobile Mechanics, Currumbin Paint and Smash Repairs, Gold Coast Suspension Steering and Brakes, Motorcycles R Us and Gemini Accident Repair Centres, with the award going to Frank Teggart from A1 Mobile Mechanics for his cutting-edge CM4000 jump start pack.
The Community Award was created to recognise MTAQ members
involved in their community beyond the boundary of their business - be it via charitable works, fundraising, volunteering or direct work in the community.
The nominees were Brisbane Motor Auctions, Cricks Auto Group, Dalby Engine Rebuilders, Gemini Accident Repair Centres, Planet Smash Repairs, Sommerville Smash Repairs and Maranoa Mechanical, with the award going to Crick Auto Group for their two major initiatives - the Crick Eastham Foundation aimed at raising funds for charities that support children, the community or the fight against cancer; and the 'Crick 12 Lives' initiative that aims to help change the life of someone in the community.
Keeping to the charitable theme, the generosity of members was on show during the auction of a signed 2014 Qld Maroons jersey, proceeds of which go to Youngcare, a charity which offers support for young people with care needs. Some vigorous bidding resulted in Michael Kennedy snapping up the jersey for $2850 with Joe Walsh from the Gemini Group pledging to match that amount.
It was a magnificent night and a fine way to celebrate another extraordinary 12 months for the industry.
See you all again next year!
Awarded to A1 Mobile Mechanics for the CM4000, a jump start pack developed by business owner Frank Teggart.
Taking into consideration all the new technology used in vehicles today, the CM4000 has built-in surge and spike protection and has the ability to jump start cars even when the clamps are placed back-to-front.
Awarded to Crick Auto Group for the two major initiatives they launched to support their local communities. The Crick Eastham Foundation is committed to raising funds for charities that support either kids, the community or the fight against cancer. The ‘Cricks 12 Lives’ initiative aims to help change the life of someone in the community. Members of the public nominate people in need, and Cricks 12 Lives chooses one person every month to help.
SARAH GALE IS MTAQ's APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR
For 23-YEAR-OLD SARAH Gale, to say being announced as the MTAQ Apprentice of the Year for 2014 came as a shock is to make a severe understatement.
The second year Light Vehicle apprentice with Rego's Mobile Mechanical Services travelled from Atherton in north Queensland to take her seat at the President's Ball and wait nervously to see if her name was called.
"It was pretty amazing," said Sarah of the announcement. "I was hoping I would get it but it was a shock!"
And it wasn't just Sarah who sat nervously. Her parents and her boss Clint Reghanzani, with partner Nicole, had made the trip, and there was family who couldn't make it to the Ball who were waiting anxiously for news.
"Mum was smiling from ear to ear when they called my name," said Sarah. "But when I got back to the table Dad had disappeared. He'd gone outside to call my family in Tasmania who were all at my Granddad's house!"
For Sarah's boss, Clint Reghanzini, to see his charge take out the award was a proud moment and one he said recognised Sarah's commitment to work and training.
""It was a great feeling," he said of Sarah's win. "Her work ethic and commitment is unbelievable. She just won't give up - she'd stay at work until midnight to get a job done."
For Scott Buckley, Sarah's trainer at MTA Institute of Technology, her award is well-deserved.
"I was very happy when I heard," said Scott. "She has a great knowledge base, Clint is a great teacher and, importantly, she asks questions. She's easy to train!"
A $2000 prize was part of the Apprentice of the Year Award and when accepting the money Sarah mentioned she would likely spend it on a new toolbox.
Michael Kennedy, from Brisbane Motor Auctions, generously offered to buy Sarah a toolbox so she could spend her winnings on something else but the young apprentice was non-commital on what she might spend the money on now - something work-related still seems the clear favourite.
As for where she goes next, Sarah has plans for her long-term future.
"I want to stay with Clint for a few years - to learn more and say 'thank you' for giving me an apprenticeship," she said. "One day though, I would like to start my own business."