Dacoda was awarded Apprentice of the Year in 2018 at the Mudgee Clock Awards. Extremely driven, innovative and Automotive Spray Painter Goals all-over, she shares what it’s been like to go from Leven Smash Repair Apprentice to fully qualified spray painter in under five years.
What made you decide to pursue an apprenticeship in spray painting?
I have always had a passion for old cars and from a young age I was in the shed helping my dad and my uncle sand down cars they were building. I watched our family’s hot rod be painted at LSR in 2005 and 10 years later I started my career there. Deep down I think I always wanted to have something to do with that field of work but it wasn’t until I was in year 11 that I really started to look into the trade and learn what it truly had to offer.
What (if any) hurdles did you face while studying to become a fully qualified tradesperson?
I believe my biggest hurdle I faced and overcame was my confidence in myself. Being afraid of not knowing enough, making a mistake or answering something wrong held me back at the beginning, but I quickly learnt through my team that the only way to learn and to get through these barriers is to listen to each other and learn from your mistakes. You never stop learning.
How did LSR support you along the way?
Whether it’s business or personal, LSR is always there to support you in any way. Every team member is treated with the same amount of respect and we are all encouraged to achieve our goals, big or small. We truly have each other’s backs.
What advice do you have for women thinking about entering the smash repair industry?
If you have passion in something, then go for it. Don’t let stereotypes dictate what you can and can’t do. Sure, some people may doubt you and it can be tough, but by staying committed and true to yourself, it’s such a rewarding career.
What’s been your proudest moment at LSR so far?
In 2018 I was awarded apprentice of the year, and to me that was such a great personal achievement and I am so grateful that I was given that opportunity.
As a business that is rapidly growing and expanding, what would you like to see LSR do next?
I would love to see LSR succeed in every way they aim to. There is so much commitment and drive that comes from the management team and every goal is achievable with the support of the team behind them.
What’s your favourite thing about living and working in the Mudgee Region?
My favourite thing about the Mudgee Region is the community support and willingness to come together in times of need and celebration.
Top place to travel to in NSW?
I can’t go past a family favourite, Valla Beach.