On 12 November, Australian Paint & Panel held their annual Paint & Panel Bodyshop Awards via livestream. Hosted by Australian comedian, Tahir, the event was watched by more than 1000 people.
There were only two independent South Australian businesses which won awards on the night, both of which are MTA members!
Award nominees are judged on a number for factors, such as customer facilities, staff welfare, investment in repair technology and improvements made to the business.
The award for Best Large Shop in SA went to Walker Crash Repairs, located on Churchill Road, Prospect.
“It’s good to be recognised, and to know that all our hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and that the changes we’ve implemented in our business are being recognised,” said owner Sean Walker.
Walker Crash Repairs has recently refreshed their look, with a new logo visible on uniforms, vehicle branding and signage. They also renovated their shop, installing roller doors to let in natural lighting, and fitting the rest of the shop with bright LEDs.
“It’s nice and bright, a better work environment, with a better mood,” explained Sean.
The Walker Crash Repairs team watched the livestream in their workshop, making an event out of their evening.
“They could see us as well as we could see them. We had some pizzas and a couple of beers − it was a pretty good way to relax after the week, having a bit of bonding while watching the awards,” Sean said.
The award for Best Country Repairer for SA went to JVS Bodyworks at Renmark.
“There’s a lot of awesome country shops out there, so it was quite humbling,” said owner Jason Gordon.
JVS Bodyworks employs a team of eight to help with all sorts of general crash repairs in the Riverland area.
“We haven’t got the option to farm a lot of it out, we have to do everything in-house,” Jason said.
“The judging process was all done via Zoom. We set up a camera, then toured the workshop and went through all the things that we do and how we do it, all on a Zoom call − it was quite unique.”
Unlike the Walker Crash Repairs team, Jason and his crew didn’t have the option to watch the livestream from their workshop.
“We were down at Tailem Bend racing in a 24-hour MeLonAid endurance event to raise money for kids with cancer,” explained Jason.
“We raced a Mitsubishi Magna. The RedBook value of the car wasn’t allowed to be over $5000.
“You put all of your safety gear into the car, and then you’ve got to race it for 24 hours straight.”
On top of their Paint & Panel award, Jason and his team won third place at this event.
It proved to be a big weekend for the Gordon household, with Tracy, Jason’s wife, winning the Backbone Award: People’s Choice at the 2021 SA Woman Awards on the same Friday night.
The award is presented to a woman in business who is the backbone of the family business or place of employment. It recognises the valuable contributions of women – even if they aren’t the listed business owner.
“It’s a real validation of what I’m doing personally, and what we’re doing as a team in our business. It’s something that both Jason and I have a lot of pride in,” said Tracy.
“We work incredibly hard to make it successful, and it’s nice to have that recognition out of a really awesome group of women who were nominated for those awards.”
While Tracy still doesn’t know who nominated her for the award, she would sincerely like to thank them.
“The Paint & Panel awards and the SA Woman awards were both on the Friday night, as was the start of the race, so unfortunately we weren’t able to go to the gala dinner,” said Tracy.
“Carly, the founder of SA Woman had flicked me through a message on the Saturday to say congratulations. It was really lovely for them to reach out.”
“I’d like to thank those that support both Jason and I for both awards. It’s our customers, it’s our suppliers, it’s all of those people that are sitting in our corner cheering us on, that helped us to get to where we are now.”
“It was a pretty good weekend all-round,” said Jason.
“At the moment all the trophies are on our front counter, we might have to look at building a cabinet!”
The MTA would like to congratulate Sean and Mark Walker and the Walker Crash Repairs team, as well as Jason and Tracy Gordon and the JVS Bodyworks team. We recognise the hard work and dedication which has gone into earning your awards.