BASF’s premium paint brand Glasurit is an official sponsor of the 'car painting' category of the upcoming WorldSkills competition in Kazan, Russia. Ahead of the event, we caught up with Maxine Colligan, Australia’s spray painting representative and graduate of the Glasurit EDUCATE program.
When Maxine Colligan finished high school she had no idea what she wanted to do next. After receiving an ATAR she "didn’t feel like [she] could do something with” Maxine was at a standstill until her friend’s boyfriend- a first-year spray painting and panel beating apprentice- suggested she look in to studying the same TAFE course he was undertaking.
“I didn’t know that this trade really existed prior to doing the course,” Maxine recounts. “I wasn’t interested in cars or anything. As a kid I used to go to the drag races with my dad, that was about as far as I ever went”. Despite her lack of prior interest in the industry, Maxine decided to take her friend’s advice and enrolled in an automotive refinishing course at TAFE. To her own surprise, she fit right in. “It was kind of strange looking back at it now,” she says, “I came from an all-girls, Catholic private high school, to being in a male dominated trade- you couldn’t get two more different experiences but I felt like I fit straight in.”
This TAFE course proved to be a “big foot in the door” and introduced Maxine to the Glasurit Refinish Competence Centre, where she would spend days refining her skills in the state-of-the-art facility. It was here that Maxine first met Peter Jones, Glasurit National Head Trainer, who would later become instrumental in her competitive spraypainting journey. “Maxine’s progression has improved greatly from when we first started training,” recounts Peter. “She has a passion to excel and improve with every task she does, always trying to aim for perfection and precision”.
As Maxine’s skills and confidence grew, her TAFE teacher suggested she enter the WorldSkills competition: the Olympic Games of TAFE trades. This decision was the start of a whirlwind of regional, then national, WorldSkills events which would eventually lead to Maxine earning a position on the Australian Skillaroos squad representing Australia at the WorldSkills International Championships in Russia.
The magnitude of this opportunity is not lost on Maxine. “I’ve never actually been overseas, so I’m really looking forward to just experiencing another culture and seeing their way of living. I’m also really looking forward to the competition, everyone has put in so many hours of training and I’m really excited to see where they end up,” she said.
As Maxine will be competing with Glasurit products, she is also grateful for her early exposure and experience with the range. “I’ve been absolutely, super grateful for the opportunity to train at the Glasurit training centre because I don’t think I would have been in the position that I am in without it. Having Glasurit sponsor the international competition and being able to learn how to use the paint ever since I was a first year has dramatically helped me”.
Peter, who continues to work closely with Maxine in the lead up to Russia, has no doubt Maxine will do well in the competition. “Maxine has a positive attitude about everything she approaches. She is driven to ensure that she can do or be the best she possibly can be. I can’t wait to see how she goes at the International Championships in Russia, we’ll all be cheering her on from Sydney”.
The International WorldSkills Competition will take place in Kazan, Russia from August 22 to 27.