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MTA Queensland 2015 President's Ball

INDUSTRY CELEBRATES AT MTAQ PRESIDENT’S BALL

Members of the automotive industry donned their finest attire to attend the MTAQ President’s Ball on October 31. Held at the Brisbane Hilton, the event was a celebration of a challenging and rewarding year and more than 200 guests enjoyed an evening of fine food and fine entertainment.

Hosted by Brisbane radio personality Paul ‘Campo’ Campion, speakers included Suncorp Group’s Rob Bartlett, Dale Durden from the Capricorn Society, Leeanne Turner, CEO of MTAA Super, and MTAQ Chairman David Fraser, who made an important announcement in his opening address, launching the concept of the Professional Circle.

Representing the benchmark of industry standards, Mr Fraser said that, in 2016, the Professional Circle would bring a new level of connection between the MTAQ, its Members, the industry and the public, and reinforce the great value of both the benefits available by being a member of MTAQ and of using the training services of the MTA Institute.

Check out the image gallery below. 

Mr Fraser also introduced a video presentation to the gathered guests that explained more fully the Professional Circle concept.
This video can be seen at www.mtaprofessionalcircle.com.au

As well as looking forward to initiatives to come, the President’s Ball was an event at which the quality of students training with the MTA Institute was recognised and honoured with the announcement of the 2015 MTAQ Apprentice of the Year. There were seven outstanding nominees this year and the award, and the cheque for $2000, was won by Luke Roxburgh - a 28-year-old light vehicle apprentice from Absolute Car Care in Brisbane.

Having battled serious injuries after a near-fatal accident when he was just 17 Luke, now 28, is excelling in his apprenticeship, his enthusiasm and determination impressing everyone. Asked what he would do with the $2000, Luke didn’t hesitate when he said he would be spending the money on tools.

Other awards presented on the night included the MTAQ Community Award, celebrating the involvement of MTAQ member businesses in their communities, and the MTAQ 

Innovation Award, recognising the creative thinking of MTAQ members in developing their businesses through new technologies or practices.

The 2015 MTAQ Innovation Award winner was Chip Tyre. The company is involved in the recycling of end-of-life tyres, breaking down the tyres to create rubber crumb that can be used in a wide range of applications, from tile adhesive glue to children’s playground matting. Using equipment that is capable of shredding 25 tonnes of tyres per hour, Chip Tyre is the only producer of rubber crumb in Queensland, processing in excess of 2000 tonnes per month.

The MTAQ Community Award was presented to the Bruce Lynton Automotive Group, recognising the generous and ongoing support from the Group to a wide range of charities and community initiatives.

Included amongst the charities that the Group supports are 4 ASD Kids – a charity founded by Chloe and Mat Rogers, which focuses on caring for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) - Guide Dogs Queensland and Cancer Council Queensland.

The MTAQ was involved in some fundraising on the night too, auctioning a Rugby League Ball and a Queensland Maroons jersey, both of which had been signed by the victorious 2015 Maroons team.

Vigorous bidding saw David Kemp from the Capricorn Society claim the State of Origin ball, while Michael Carr from Centro Management bid the highest for the Maroons' signed jersey. The auction raised nearly $4000 for Youngcare, the charity that assists young people with full-time care needs.

The 2015 MTAQ President’s Ball was a magnificent night and the Association thanks our guests, our students, friends and sponsors for making the evening so memorable.
We look forward to celebrating another fine year at the 2016 Ball. 

INNOVATION AWARD

Awarded to Chip Tyre. The company is involved in the recycling of end-of-life tyres, breaking down the tyres to create rubber crumb that can be used in a wide range of applications, from tile adhesive glue to children’s playground matting. Using equipment that is capable of shredding 25 tonnes of tyres per hour, Chip Tyre is the only producer of rubber crumb in Queensland, processing in excess of 2000 tonnes per month. 

COMMUNITY AWARD

Presented to the Bruce Lynton Automotive Group, recognising the generous and ongoing support from the Group to a wide range of charities and community initiatives. Included amongst the charities the Group supports are
4 ASD Kids (a charity founded by Chloe and
Mat Rogers, which focuses on caring for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
(ASD)), Guide Dogs Queensland and Cancer Council Queensland.

LUKE ROXBURGH NAMED MTAQ APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR

Luke Roxburgh, a 28-year-old second-year Light Vehicle apprentice with Absolute Car Care in Brisbane, is the MTAQ Apprentice of the Year for 2015. Presented with the award, and the $2000 prize, at the MTAQ President’s Ball in October, it was, said Luke, a tremendous surprise to hear his name called out as this year’s winner.

“I was shocked,” said Luke. “I wasn’t expecting it. When they made the announcement I wondered if it was my name I heard! I was surprised I could go up on the stage and say anything because my knees were shaking!”

Joined by his mum, step-dad and work colleagues, it didn’t take long for the news of Luke’s success to spread, and by the time he had returned to his table, excited friends and family were calling him.

“Mum posted something on my Facebook page right after the announcement was made,” said Luke. “My friends and family found out that way and began calling me!”

Being named the Apprentice of the Year is a remarkable achievement for Luke, for there was a time when he thought a career as a mechanic would be beyond him. At the age of just 17, and in his first year as an apprentice mechanic, he suffered dreadful injuries when he was hit by a train before being trapped beneath it after being dragged along the tracks. He was extremely fortunate to survive what happened that day, though he has been left with permanent physical impairments.

"I was trapped for about an hour-and-a-half and emergency services were considering removing my legs," said Luke. "Fortunately, they were able to get me out. I was in a coma for a month and had skin, muscle and bone grafts but thanks to great doctors I was able to keep my arm and my legs."

Luke subsequently spent eight months in hospital, another year wheelchair-bound, and had to teach himself to become left-handed.

His career as a mechanic appeared to be over before it had started. However, fast forward ten years and Luke picked up his apprenticeship once more after being offered work experience with Michael Georgas and his team at Absolute Car Care. And after two years of hard work and graft, that commitment has resulted in the Apprentice of the Year Award - a result that has given Luke extra motivation to battle through and accomplish his dream of becoming a tradesman. 

“Some days I do get down because I know I could do so much better if I didn’t have these injuries,” he said. “But I know I just have to move on and move forward and this has just made me more determined. I know that no matter how hard things get I am definitely going to finish.”

For Michael Georgas, Luke’s boss at Absolute Car Care, news of Luke’s win made for a very proud moment.

“All the nominated apprentices were great candidates,” said Michael. “But Luke has so many good attributes that I always thought he was a chance. I’m not a betting man but I thought he was up there!

“We’re all proud of him and the result has really lifted the whole team. Everyone is striving just a little bit harder to improve themselves. Luke’s circumstances inspire you to do better as an individual because of the adversity he has faced and the pain he still feels every day.”

James Dixon, Luke’s trainer at MTA Institute, was similarly proud of Luke’s achievement.

“I’ve been training Luke for just over two years and his progression has been great,” he said. “And to see the expression on his face when he won was terrific.

“I think he will become an excellent role model, especially to new apprentices,” added James. “I am sure he will become a real inspiration for everyone in the industry.” 

For Luke, being named the MTAQ Apprentice of the Year has been a great thrill and the $2000 prize has enabled him to buy some new Snap-On tools, but it hasn’t changed his priorities or his goals. They are still what they were when he walked back into a workshop two years ago.

“I haven’t thought past finishing my apprenticeship,” he said. “That’s my goal and that’s all I’m determined to do at the moment."

MTA QUEENSLAND

The Motor Trades Association of Queensland (MTA Queensland) is the peak body representing the interests of over 2,500 employers in the retail service and repair sectors of Queensland's automotive industry.

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