The judging is over, the wheat sifted from the chaff and - cue drum roll please - here they are, the 2008 regional AAMI/Australasian Paint&Panel Autobody Repairer of the Year award winners.
Now in its 13th year the awards that recognise bodyshop repairer excellence have been determined for the best small (under 15 employees), large (15 employees or over) and new (built or substantially re-built over the past 18 months) shops.
Only one state could not nominate a winner in the new category and that was Western Australia where a severe workforce shortage has led to a shrinkage of the industry (for the full story check out page 6 of your September/October issue of Paint & Panel magazine)
The scoring criteria was established several years ago and has been gradually modified with every awards since.
To help with the exhaustive judging process Paint & Panel had the excellent technical support of two judges.
Neil Powell, a technical expert from the Institute of Technology, Sydney, judged in NSW, SA, WA and Victoria.
Cecil Wright, a teacher with more than 30 years' experience with the Brisbane TAFE, judged in Queensland.
Paint & Panel Editor Will Tuck rounded out the judging team.
Go to our comprehensive awards wrap in the September/October issue of Paint & Panel for full details, including extensive editorial coverage, including photos, on each of the regional winners, the highly commended autobody shops and extra editorial on both the quality and the quirky the judges found around the bodyshop traps.
So, without further delay, here are the 2008 regional winners.
Best Large: Peter Wilkinson and Co
Best Small: Nova Smash Repairs
Best Large: Smithfield Crash Repairs
Best Small: Monza Crash Repairs
Best New: Norwood Panel Works
Best Large: Le Mans Accident Repair Centre
Best Small: Ultra Finish Accident Repair Centre
Best New: Wantirna Body Works
New South Wales
Best Large: Callaghan Collision Centre
Best Small: Pat Coles Autobody
Best New: Batkin and Damme Smash Repairs
Best Large: Shipstone Accident repair Specialists
Best Small: Stephen Goodall, Specialist Spray Painter
Best New: Eastside Collision Facility.
The Awards will be presented at a special luncheon at the Riva Restaurant, St Kilda Marina, Melbourne on 24 October. Following the presentation of the regional awards, the national winners will be announced and presented in each of the Large, Small and New categories to wrap up the 2008 program.