It was our biggest and best Women in Collision event yet. Around 170 people gathered at the funky venue Number 10 in Sydney’s Darlinghurst. 

It certainly got off to an unexpected start with a fire alarm and everyone mingling on the street. Once everyone was inside there were drinks and canapés and plenty of networking. The event kicked off with an introduction from yours truly with a couple of reflections of how far the recognition of women’s vital role and achievement in the industry had come over the last decade of these awards, with of course acknowledgement there is still a way to go.

Our keynote speaker Lucy Bloom was a blast. Her story is truly inspirational, starting out with a motorbike wipeout on the Harbour Bridge and nearly losing her leg. By embracing a positive mindset of thinking about best case scenario outcomes she made a full recovery and started her own advertising agency. She then went onto philanthropic work as the CEO of a charity which raised money for African initiatives. Her presentation made everyone laugh and all the people I talked to afterwards commented on what an amazing speaker she is.

We were very fortunate to have Michelle Klein from IAG as a speaker. Klein is the Chief Customer and Marketing Officer and has worked all around the world including being vice president of global business marketing at Meta (Facebook). Klein shared her journey and also talked about the customer journey and how important it is to IAG. 

George Manos IAG's Manager Industry Risk and Governance and a truly enthusiastic supporter of the Women in Collision Awards spoke briefly about why IAG is the Platinum Sponsor and how this program aligns with IAG's values around diversity. 

Sarah Moynihan of Fortress Collision Repair Group and board director of the Australian Collision Industry Alliance gave a brief presentation about the not for profit’s aims and about the activities of her working group within it - the diversity and inclusion group. 

After dessert is was time to reveal the two winners in the five categories. All the winners gave acceptance speeches. There were a few tears and so much humility and surprise. Thank you to all of the many sponsors who are so enthusiastic about their support for these awards, especially to Platinum Sponsor IAG. All big thanks to Carbiz for shouting the well attended kick on event at a lovely venue nearby.


Congratulations to all of the finalists, you are all stars.

Technicians/Estimators finalists

Kim Black Mikes Panel and Paint Repairs QLD

Caitlin Brodie JV Crash Repairs SA

Jordan Lavergne Alexander Bodyworks QLD

Cahrin Rattenbury Gemini Mitchell ACT

Mia Simione Campbelltown Smash Repairs NSW

Jessica Smith TNT Motor Mechanics and Spraypainters WA

Technicians/Estimators winners

Mia Simione Campbelltown Smash Repairs NSW

Jessica Smith TNT Motor Mechanics and Spraypainters WA

Owner/Manager Finalists

Leah Cahill Northside Smash Repairs QLD

Michelle Febrache Essendon Panel Service VIC

Kristy Fragomeni Everything Automotive WA

Clarissa Iacobucci DSI Panels Group VIC

Sally O'Meara Bendigo Accident Repair Centre Vic

Helena Willmot Willmot Smash Repair Specialists QLD

Owner/Manager Winners

Leah Cahill Northside Smash Repairs QLD

Clarissa Iacobucci DSI Panels Group VIC

Admin / Customer Service Finalists

Taleena Fitz Gemini Townsville QLD

Chantel Griezans Action Smart Group NSW

Chantelle Grills Wales Truck Repairs NSW

Jacqui Meadows Vanderpoel Smash Repairs NSW

Sara Metcalfe Gemini Pinkenba QLD

Olivia Ott Tony Farrugia Bodyworks ACT

Kate Quinn Cuthbert Automotive VIC

Jemen Wong Quest Collision Centre NSW

Admin / Customer Service winners

Olivia Ott Tony Farrugia Bodyworks ACT

Chantel Griezans Action Smart Group NSW

Parts Manager finalists

Rebecca Bencich DSI Panels VIC

Chelsea Donges Fortress Collision Repair Services QLD

Carlie Martin Gemini Rockhampton QLD

Juliet Muncunabitu Action Smart Group NSW

Vicki Pryor Gemini Pinkenba QLD

Nicole Tukavkin Fix Auto Somerville VIC

Parts Manager winners

Chelsea Donges Fortress Collision Repair Services QLD

Carlie Martin Gemini Rockhampton QLD

Industry Supplier Representative finalists

Ria Anderson Sherwin-Williams Automotive NSW

Rachel Daly Work Skills QLD

Charlotte Decker Compass NSW

Debbie Evans Wallaby Crash Supplies NSW

Dawn Lim sia Abrasives WA

Melanie Swift Axalta NSW

Industry Supplier Representative winners

Dawn Lim sia Abrasives WA

Rachel Daly Work Skills QLD

Quotes from people who attended Women in Collision

"Thank you Sam and your team for hosting a wonderful, inspiring and fun event.  We all had such a marvellous time celebrating such a meaningful occasion. I look so forward to being a part of next year’s event by being a judge and reading everyone’s submissions."

Olivia Ott, Tony Farrugia Bodyworks

"We had a great afternoon celebrating all the fantastic women in our industry, guest speakers were awesome, finalists and winners were deserving, after party drinks function a bit of a blurr! Lots of fun.– looking forward to going again next year!"

David Iacobucci DSI Panel Group


Congratulations to all the amazing women in collision – not only the winners, but finalists as well. An amazing achievement from a very talented group of people. An exceptionally well-run event by Sam and the team at Paint and Panel.”

Darren Wales AMA Group

"I attended the Women in Collision Awards event for the first time last Friday. The support provided by the Collision Repair Industry to women was amazing. It was inspiring to see the passion and emotion of the finalists and winners. I spoke to some young finalists about their career choices, and it was very motivating. One of those young ladies won in her category and was astounded. Her mother was with her and so proud. As Executive Administrator at the Australian Collision Industry Alliance, I felt privileged to be a part of such an inspiring event."

Hiliary Bradbury Australian Collision Industry Alliance




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