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The Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowships are available nationally for projects that will provide clear benefit to the future of the Australian automotive and allied industries. Two to three Fellowships will be awarded annually.

The Automotive industry is broad and encompasses a variety of activities and businesses. This includes the manufacturing, retail, service, repair, recycling, administration and management of, and infrastructure to support light and heavy passenger and commercial vehicles (cars, buses, trucks and trailers); specialised vehicles such as fire engines, emergency service vehicles and street sweepers; heavy vehicles used in mobile plant machinery (mining and construction), agriculture and road transport; and bicycles, motorcycles, marine, and outdoor power equipment.

Projects may include research, investigation and observation of automotive industry practises and processes that are not readily available in Australia. The undertaking of training and skills development that is specific to the automotive sector and not available in Australia will also be considered.

Fellowship recipients will have access to the Churchill Trust’s Learning Framework, which includes foundation skills training, ongoing support, mentoring, and financial assistance for disseminating findings when they return.


The Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowship was established as a perpetual Churchill Fellowship in 2018 to carry forward the legacy of Auto Skills Australia and support the ongoing success of the automotive industry in Australia. Two to three Fellowships will be awarded each year.

Auto Skills Australia (ASA) was the body responsible for the development and maintenance of nationally accredited automotive training qualifications in Australia from 2011 to 2016. ASA was directly funded by the then Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), and worked with industry bodies, unions and enterprises to ensure that workforce development plans equipped automotive businesses with the skills needed for today and for the future.

This Fellowship is funded through the assets remaining from the dissolution of ASA, and supported through ongoing engagement with various networks within the Australian automotive and allied industries.

Through this Fellowship, we hope to encourage the attitudes and attributes that have underpinned Australia’s success in this industry, and inspire, facilitate and celebrate ongoing innovation, quality, productivity and resilience as the industry continues to expand into the future.

The first two Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowships were awarded in 2019 to Paulo Borges to bridge the gap between autonomous vehicles and individuals with mobility difficulties, and Alison Morley to examine installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in low population areas.

Past Churchill Fellows working in the automotive industry profiles/stories

Many Australians have travelled overseas to increase their knowledge of various aspects of the automotive sector and allied industries as Churchill Fellows. Read more about some of their experiences below:

Liam O’Keefe, (VIC, 2016) To investigate the management and recycling of waste tyres to identify how we can better use this vast resource in Australia - USA, Canada, UK, Belgium, France, Portugal, India.

Mark Nugent (NSW, 2007) To study the techniques used by traditional coach building firms to design and fabricate the bodywork on vintage and classic cars - U.K., Italy, France, Germany

Joe Wilson (QLD, 1992) To obtain hands-on experience at the National Motor Museum and Mercedes Benz and to observe crafts used for motor vehicle restoration - UK, Germany

Kate Cole To investigate best practice to prevent illness and disease in tunnel construction workers - Norway, Switzerland, UK, USA (Tunnel Boring Machines)

Marilyn Di Stefano (VIC, 2013) The Jack Brockhoff Foundation Churchill Fellowship to examine advances in vehicle technology/rehabilitation applications to enable independence for drivers with disabilities - UK, Sweden, Italy, USA, Japan

Bernie Riegler (WA, 2002) To research the automotive service industry's cleaner production initiatives and implementation strategies for practical application in Australia via the "Green Stamp Programme" - U.K., Germany, Austria

Jo Cruickshank (NT, 2017) To investigate successful cycling policies and programs in regional centres and smaller cities" - UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, France, Norway"

Kip McIntyre (QLD, 2016) James Love Churchill Fellowship to research and master the rare craft of traditional restoration in coach-building and panel beating -USA, the UK, Italy and Germany.

VIEW A NEW VIDEO REPORT of Kip McIntyre's Churchill Fellowship to research and master the rare craft of traditional restoration in coach-building and panel beating, travelling to the USA, the UK, Italy and Germany. Be inspired by Kip's exciting experiences with a variety of leading automotive artisans and aficionado's across the globe, his joy at discovering the Pettingell power hammer, getting Burger King with Jay Leno in his new Tesla, following a Ferrari across the Swiss Alps and more...

Talk about your application with one of our Industry Contacts

To support this new Fellowship, a number of industry representatives have offered to talk to applicants about their ideas before they apply, providing their thoughts on how a proposed topic might be relevant to current issues and trends in the automotive industry. If you are thinking about applying we encourage you to reach out for advice on your topic. Find out more about our Industry Contacts here.

Industry Views on the Auto Skills Churchill Fellowship

"VACC welcomes in the establishment of the Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowships, dedicated to benefitting the automotive industry. Australia has a great talent pool across automotive technologies and we can enhance this further through the international experience in other countries. The fellowship program will provide great opportunities to expand the knowledge base of personnel in Australia’s automotive community, to prepare them for a great future in one of the world’s fastest moving technology sectors. Bringing back learnings from the global automotive community will not only enhance each individuals skills and knowledge base but will also help build our collective automotive capacity in Australia." [Geoff Gwilym, Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce]

“We are excited by the diversity of opportunities and future benefits this new Fellowship provides for allied industries (which includes bicycles, motorcycles, boats and small engines). With changing technologies, knowledge from international experience is something that can drive and support the industry to achieve its potential. With the integration of different supply chain models we need the leadership that can be achieved through this type of research." [Peter Bourke, General Manager, Bicycle Industries Australia]

“Truck manufacturers have made great advancements in truck technology, and design, making them safer, cleaner, greener, and more productive. The latest trucks are more ergonomically appealing in design for users and certainly, the trucks of the future will be even more technologically advanced, featuring alternative fuel propulsion systems to further improve efficiencies, and offer a far more interesting vocation than ever before. We are very pleased to see the investment in this sector that is being made with the new Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowships, giving Australians the opportunity to stay at the forefront of international developments to support the future growth and sustainability of Australia’s crucial transport infrastructure." [Tony McMullan, Chief Executive Officer, Truck Industry Council]

Download the 2020 Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowship Brochure

Applications open on 1 February 2020 and close 30 April 2020. Find out more about how to apply

Fellow Year Category Media
Paulo Borges, Paulo 2019 Technology
Transport And Infrastructure
Alison Morley, Alison 2019 Technology