CDU Trades student wins national award 

PPG’s Ray England (left) and CDU lecturer Grant Mauger congratulate Billy Baker

A student from CDU’s School of Trades has won a national competition for apprentice spray painters.

Billy Baker outpointed finalists from all other states and territories to become the first Territorian to win PPG Industries’ annual Colour Matching Competition in Melbourne.

The Certificate III in Automotive Vehicle Body – Vehicle Painting student said he had surprised himself.

“I really just went for the experience,” he said.

“The NT had never won a place [in eight years] and I wasn’t expecting to get a place at all.”

Participants were required to match two colours – one solid and one metallic – in a challenge designed to bring out the best in each apprentice.

Each student was provided with an identical workstation, including all equipment and tinters necessary to match the colours.

Billy Baker, an apprentice with Streamline Collision Repair Centre, said: “There were no formulas. We had to match colours by eye, in a given time.”

Vehicle Body / Paint lecturer Grant Mauger said it was an outstanding result for CDU’s Trades Division.

“Billy showed outstanding skills in August when he won the Territory colour matching competition, which served as the qualifying event for the nationals.

“He showed he could see and match colours really well and I thought then he might be a chance at the nationals.”

Billy will hold the national trophy for 12 months and has received $4000 in prizes, including several state-of-the-art industry tools.