Mark Nugent shares his fellowship experience...
17 Dec 2018
In support of the NEW Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowship to increase expertise and knowledge for the benefit of the automotive sector and allied industries
What was your Churchill Fellowship topic?
To study the techniques used by traditional coach building firms to design and fabricate the bodywork on vintage and classic cars. I travelled to the U.K., Italy, France, and Germany.
What motivated you to apply for a Churchill Fellowship?
After completing my apprenticeship in the 1990s in one of Australia best restoration and coachbuilding shops I moved to London and worked for one of the U.K.’s premier coachbuilding shops and was there for a number of years. I came back to Australia and went into business in 2001. In 2005 I was watching ABC’s Australian Story and the Bruce Tully “Romancing the Stone” Churchill Fellowship story was on. I was truly inspired by his story and knew I had to apply.
How did the Churchill Fellowship benefit you?
Even though I was already skilled in coachbuilding/restoration the Churchill Fellowship allowed me the visit the many coachbuilding workshops I never got to see whilst I worked in London. I was able to further my understanding of the history of the trade and the different techniques passed down through generations of craftsmen.
In addition to making many more connections in the industry, I also now have life-long business and personal friends which I still talk to today.
The Fellowship from the Churchill Trust has very much helped me to be in a position to elevate a traditional trade amongst young crafts people that is at risk of disappearing.
What major achievements or milestones have you reached since going on your Fellowship?
The achievement would be staying in business for all these years in a rare trade in a regional area of Australia. Like any rare trade these days you don’t do it for a financial gain as there is not a lot of money in them, but it can be a good and fulfilling life.
What's next for you?
To keep building and restoring vintage and classic cars along with warbird panels to the best of my abilities and keep the trade alive.
More about Mark Nugent
Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowship
In 2019 the new Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowship will be offered annually for projects that aim to increase industry expertise and knowledge for the benefit of the automotive sector and allied industries in Australia. Fellowship Applications open on 1 February 2019 and close 30 April 2019.
Find out more about the Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowships.
Find out more about how to apply for a Churchill Fellowship.