Collision Features Prominently In Largest Ever MTA SA/NT Graduation And Awards

More than 500 guests gathered to celebrate the Motor Trade Association SA/NT’s 2024 Automotive Awards and Graduation Ceremony in June. In addition to the record number of attendees, the strength of collision repair was on display, with apprentices and industry representatives winning seven of the 16 award categories.

Darrell Jacobs, CEO of the MTA SA/NT, who praised the graduates and award winners, highlighted the importance of trade skills and continuous learning to keep pace with industry change.

“The rapid growth of EVs and hybrids, which now make up a quarter of new car sales, shows the need for skilled apprentices. By equipping apprentices to work with the latest technology, skills and knowledge, we prepare them to become leaders in the industry,” said Jacobs.

Addressing the strong showing by the collision repair sector, Jacobs said: “As the only training provider for collision repair apprenticeships in South Australia, the MTA is proud to see this vital sector flourishing.”

Blair Boyer, South Australian Minister for Education, Training, and Skills attended the ceremony to award graduate certificates. He also emphasised the importance of vocational education as pathways to rewarding and in-demand careers. “The work that the MTA does and the jobs that are available in automotive are a fantastic example for young people,” said Boyer.

Dario Tonon, Body Repair Division Chair at the MTA SA/NT, said: “It’s always great to see a young person come into the workplace with curiosity and enthuse people around them.

“I’d love it if every person in my position had the same enthusiasm for young people because they are the next generation of the workforce.”


  • Most Outstanding Second Year Apprentice Award: James Scullen-Howe, hosted at Mt Pleasant Crash and Mechanical Repairs
  • Bob Goldsworthy Award: Lachlan Brown, employed by JVS Bodyworks
  • VET in School Student of the Year: Elly Brake, hosted at Eblen Collision Repair
  • Commitment to Safety Award: Paul Greeney, employed by Capital Smart Repairs Holden Hill
  • Industry Employer of the Year Award: JVS Bodyworks
  • MTA Trainer of the Year Award: Stephen Richardson, Trainer; and Daniel Dusi, Team Leader
  • MTA SA/NT Host Employer of the Year Award: Mt Pleasant Crash and Mechanical Repairs
  • Apprentice of the Year Award: Eli Moss, employed by Emmetts – Crystal Brook
  • Female Apprentice of the Year Award: Paige Cole, hosted at Eagers Automotive (Adelaide BMW)
  • Royal Park Training Centre Apprentice of the Year Award: Jesse Medina, employed by The Glynde Garage
  • Bordertown Training Centre Apprentice of the Year Award: Brody Noack, employed by Tatiara Truck and Trailers
  • Cleve Training Centre Apprentice of the Year Award: Ethan Chemello, hosted at Daves Mobile Auto Electrical
  • Most Outstanding First Year Apprentice Award: Ashanyia Smith, hosted at North East Mitsubishi
  • Most Outstanding Third Year Apprentice Award: Ethan Lockwood, hosted at RMB Service Group
  • Most Outstanding School-based Apprentice of the Year Award: Shane Veale, hosted at Wakefield Trucks
  • VET Coordinator of the Year Award: Jayne Shortt, St Patrick’s Technical College