Kristie Pate from Kingswood Smash Repairs in Penrith, NSW has been selected at the overall winner of the 2015 Paint &Panel/NRMA Women in Smash awards.

Pate was presented with her trophy along with other finalists from the 2015 awards programme, Donna Robson from The River Group, QLD and Ruth Barnard from Smithfield Collision in SA.

They joined Paint & Panel editor Sam Street and publisher Helen Davies as well as Mark Gold from NRMA for lunch at the beautiful Morning Star Estate in Mount Eliza, Victoria on Friday 20 November.

Unfortunately Samantha Leonard from Forbes Smash missed her connecting flight to Melbourne and Sharon McHugh from Miami Smash was unable to attend.

IAG's senior manager of industry development, Stephen Palmer said: "Women are undoubtedly the unsung heroes of the smash repair industry. IAG is delighted to be part of a program which recognises the important contribution women make to the industry, in the back office, working on the shop floor and managing smash repair businesses.

"These awards go from strength to strength and I congratulate this year's finalists on their achievements and dedication to getting people back on the road safely, and quickly."

From left: Helen Davies; Donna Robson; Kristie Pate; Ruth Barnard; Sam Street

All are deserving winners and each receives a trophy. Talking over lunch it was once again apparent that our winners face the same battles and victories in their businesses. The seeds were sown for a Women in Smash seminar for 2016.  In the two years of the awards programme there has been such a positive connection when women discuss their shop and career issues.

Nominations for the 2016 Women in Smash Awards will reopen in January. This year's finalists will decide on next year's finalists and select the overall winner.


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