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Stronger together

Celebrating the many and varied ways that our members contribute to the automotive industry, from panel beaters to dealer principals, apprentice mechanics to marketing managers, CEOs to rally champs... here are their stories.

To nominate a woman, email us at  hello@womeninautomotive.com.au

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Samantha Rogers

Owner, Drive Creative

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Monique Cotton 

From trainee sales consultant at the number 1 Volkswagen dealership in Melbourne, to the current Victorian, Tasmanian, and South Australian Regional Manager for Gumtree Australia's Motors team, Monique's path and progression in whatever role she puts her mind to is just the tip of her professional success.

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Natalie Ajay 

This month, we are featuring Natalie Ajay. In her Q&A, she talks about her experience racing with the Monash Motorsport Team, both in Australia and abroad. 

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Carol Albisser-Bennett 

This month, we are featuring Carol Albisser-Bennett. In her Q&A, she shares her journey from being a petrol station attendant to owning her own mechanic workshop.

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Shai Copelin 

This month, we are featuring Shai Copelin.
Shai currently works for the Product Group at TAFE in the automotive section. In her Q&A, she talks about her early experiences in the automotive industry and the challenges she's faced, such as pay inequality.

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Alex Monahan 

This month we are featuring Alex Monahan.

 

Alex tells us about her current role as the Business Relations Manager for Smart Repair Australia, her career to date and shares some exciting words of encouragement for women in the automotive industry. 

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Ajay Hammer 

This month we are featuring Ajay Hammer from Aylmore Motors Workshop in Albany, Western Australia. Finding her passion and drive for automotive at 11 years old, Ajay has had a career spanning 12 years across multiple sectors of the automotive industry and has been competitive speedway racing for 17 years.

 

Coming up to a year in her dream role in the industry, Ajay balances her love for Speedway and champions women in automotive in all areas of her life.

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Nadine Armstrong 

This month we are delighted to feature Automotive Journalist Nadine Armstrong.

 

With a love of cars and motorbikes her entire life, Nadine had only dreamed about turning her passion into a thriving career.  

With a unique voice and a passion for the Automotive Industry, Nadine forged her career over 15 years ago when she started working for Fairfax Media’s Drive team in Melbourne. Nadine is now one of Australia’s leading Automotive journalists, freelancing for various publications and is the longstanding Consumer Editor for carsales.com.au. 

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Adiba Fattah 

This Month, WinA is proud to feature automotive franchising researcher and PhD candidate, Adiba Fattah. Currently researching in Queensland, Australia, Moroccan native Adiba’s first taste of the industry came while working as a research assistant at Indiana state University. Adiba’s work was focusing on the impact of Tesla’s historic decision to sell directly to market, gaining immense insight as it was happening.

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Frances Palmer 

With a career covering multiple sectors and levels of automotive, and almost 20 years of experience, we are proud to feature Frances Palmer as our first Women in Automotive Member of the Month for 2021. Whether you're wanting to learn more about automotive product design engineering, the farm machinery industry, or her current role in in Brand Management at Bapcor, Frances' feature is not one to miss.

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Blaire Race 

Progressing from admin assistant to national events manager at Mitsubishi Motors Australia is just the beginning of Blaire Race's auto journey - but a mighty beginning at that.

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Jacqui Carroll 

Whether it was owning a panel shop with her husband back in the late 1970’s, or her current role working in a commercial repair shop & also restoration shop, or even her involvement with motor racing from a grassroots level, Jacqui Carroll's life in automotive is more diversified and active than ever!

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WinA's International Women's Day Motorsport Breakfast Event

Featuring a panel of the finest talent currently gracing the Australian Motorsport industry.

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Susan Butler

Mercedes-Benz Toorak

Dealer Principal

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Hazel Lee Ling

European Prestige Auto Service

Director

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Read more about Hazel

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Yvette Thompson

Melbourne City Holden

Apprentice Mechanic

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Read more about Yvette

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Andrea Matthews

Motoring Editor, RACV

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Ashley Beeby 

From graduating in the top 5% of the state, to qualifying as a heavy vehicle diesel mechanic 7 months early, and now working on her first fiction novel, Ashley Beeby is carving an amazing path as a young woman in automotive.

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Kristy MacPherson 

This month, we are featuring Kristy MacPherson. In her Q&A, she talks about her passion for all things "two and four wheels".

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Melissa Toffolon 

This month, we are featuring Melissa Toffolon.  Melissa is a Mechanic at Mercedes-Benz. In her Q&A, she talks about her passion for drifting. 

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Menka Michaelides 

This month, we are featuring Menka Michaelides. Menka is a co-owner of Prorepair Auto Care Centre. In her Q&A, she talks about finding inspiration from the 2022 Signature Luncheon event.

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Kelly Van Blommestein 

This month, we are featuring Kelly Van Blommestein.

 

Kelly is the Director and Chief Operations Officer of Werribee and Western Automotive Group - Dealer Principal of Werribee MG and Werribee Nissan. She shares with us the steps she's taken to learn the ins-and-outs of the entire business, not just from a management level. 

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Reem AL - Smeirat 

This month, we are featuring Reem AL-Smeirat, an inspiring business owner and the first female car designer in the Middle East as awarded by the European Board of Design.

 

Reem recently launched her own automotive design studio and has been supporting women starting their careers in the automotive industry. 

 

With a love of automotive and a mission to support and help other women in the automotive field, Reem continues to build a community of passionate women with the aim of helping them follow their dreams. 

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Andrea Mendoza 

This month we are delighted to feature Andrea Mendoza from Surfside Motorcycle Garage – a Royal Enfield Dealership based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Starting her career in Auckland 25 years ago, Andrea has been championing women in the automotive industry for many years.

 

Andrea’s unique voice and passion for the industry has led her to achieve many milestones, such as leading an education-driven automotive business in New Zealand and helping other women who have a passion for motorcycles.

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Shelley Jones 

This month we feature Shelley Jones as WinA Member of the Month. Shelley's candid honesty about how hard it is to be a female mechanic is backed up by her gushing about how rewarding it is if you can tough it out.

 

From growing up on a dairy farm in West Gippsland, Shelley's love of all things tractors and mowers drew her to complete her Mobile Plant apprenticeship. This led her to working in quite the niche world of small diesel tractors, mowers and pumps. Shelley is now a wellness facilitator for the VACC, travelling around the State visiting workshops and implementing a mental health and wellness program.

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Women at the front of pandemic led online car purchasing boom

A new research report by Gumtree Cars, Connect with the New Digital Car Buyer, digs into the automotive zeitgeist of the year that was. It shows a change in pace, preferences and a shift in power as a new breed of buyers emerge – with an empowered female cohort front and centre.  Women in Automotive talks with Monique Cotton of Gumtree Cars to find out more.

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Tara Absolom 

We spoke to Tara about her decision to move back into the automotive industry after briefly exiting the industry to start her own successful event business. Now thriving in her role as Front of House Service Manager at Frankston Toyota, Tara tells us how her goal is to now open doors for other women in the industry, who cannot yet open them for themselves.

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Linzi Eccles 

Through the support of mentors and a dealership where women currently make up 35% of the workforce, Linzi’s journey from salesperson to full-time New Car Assistant Manager is certainly one to inspire many.

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Things You Can Do to Maximize Car Tire Usage - Rosette Monell

As our first WinA guest contributor, experienced tire industry specialist, Rosette Monell, has detailed the basic essentials needed to ensure you're getting the most our of your car tires, and the things to avoid a short tire lifespan.

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Denise McMaster

Current lifecoach for automotive business owners

Previous co-owner and operator of Midas Hobart

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Read More about Denise

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Narelle D'Alberto

D'Alberto Motors, Bellmont Nominees and Centaur Products Australia

Southern Region Sales Coordinator

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Julie Numanoglu

Brighton Panel Works

Business Manager

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Read more about Julie

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Samantha Wolfe

Peninsula Volkswagon & Skoda

Car Care Consultant

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Read more about Samantha

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Monique Holmes-Richardson

When it comes to defining the word determined, Monique Holmes-Richardson should be pictured next to it.

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Hayley O'Grady 

This month, we are featuring Hayley O'Grady. In her Q&A, she talks about how her job as a teenager at an Auto One store foreshadowed her career in the automotive industry. 

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Hayley Conway 

This month, we are featuring Hayley Conway. In her Q&A, she talks about her early love for Supercars and how that led her to work at the biggest-ever British Grand Prix. 

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Luisa Pardo 

This month, we are featuring Luisa Pardo. Luisa is a Mechanic in Melbourne. In her Q&A, she talks about her favourite automotive resource. 

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Vesna Vrankovic 

This month, we are featuring Vesna Vrankovic. Vesna currently works at Peter Warren Automotive Holdings Limited as the Head of People and Culture. In her Q&A, she talks about  how important it is to have a can do mindset, especially as a single mother.

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Masika Green 

This month, we are featuring Masika Green.

 

Masika tells us about her current role as a Service Manager with Tilford Auto Group at the new Cambridge Express Service Centre, her exciting achievements, including winning the Ulysses Apprentice Motorcycle Mechanic of The Year award in 2021 for the Tasmania and Victoria zone.

Masika also shares the challenges she's faced as a woman in the automotive industry with some advice for fellow women.

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Nyree Johnson 

This month, we are featuring Nyree Johnson, a small business owner, writer and ambassador for women in business and small business.

 

Nyree also works as a Workforce Planning Advisor for an electricity distributor and is passionately committed to her family and her community through volunteer activities.

 

With a dedication to empowering those around her, supporting her community, and promoting diversity and equality, Nyree works to instil and inspire confidence and promote resilience to those around her, in an effort to inspire success now and into the future.

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Emma McIndoe 

This month we are featuring Managing Director of AA Recycling P/L & Pick-A-Part, Emma McIndoe, as our Member of the Month. Emma has been immersed in the industry her whole life and recently taken over her family’s business. 

 

With a passion for the industry ingrained in her since childhood, Emma talks fondly of her experiences throughout her career and enjoys educating those around her about gender diversity in the industry. 

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Sarah Connell 

This month we welcome Sarah Connell as WinA Member of the Month. Passionate about motorsport and cars from a young age, she took her interest and chased it as a career. When Sarah's dream of becoming a race car driver seemed outside her reach, she decided to find a way to work with cars regardless and in 12 years has progressed from the call centre at BMW Australia, moving across the world for a stint at BMW in Munich, to being a sales person in dealerships, working in marketing and now to her current role as Corporate Sales Manager, Southern Region for Mercedes-Benz Australia.​

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July Aye 

As a thriving and inspiring woman in STEM, July Aye’s experience as a Supercar Body Systems Engineer is just the beginning of her ever impressive journey in automotive and engineering.

Currently working in the Aerospace industry in California, July’s passion for the world of automotive continues to grow vocationally, as well as an even stronger passion for supporting the women who pursue it professionally.

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Body Repair Division's path to equal representation

As the first VACC division committee to reach equal gender representation, we spoke to BRD Committee Chair, Carly Ruggeri on the achievement, and what it means for the body repair industry.

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Priyani Withanaarachchi 

Falling into the industry in a temporary role after the birth of her second son, Priyani's journey to General Manager of Regional Governance and Strategy at Nissan’s Asia Oceania Regional Headquarters in Bangkok is certainly, a story to inspire.

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The Race to Triple the Engineering of Ventilators

How COO Jessica Dane led the team at Triple Eight Race Engineering in adapting their efforts during the Covid-19 crisis.

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Kathryn Adams

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia

Southern Region Sales Coordinator

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Christa Croker

Millard Caravans

Retired Owner

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Alex Roy

Hume Bodyworks

Vehicle Body Refinishing Technician

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Read more about Alex

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