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Articles / Best of Australia

Announcing the Winner of the O’Brien Best of Australia Competition!

22 February 2022

Announcing the Winner of the O’Brien Best of Australia Competition!

Last week, we brought you the news about the return of the O’Brien® Best of Australia competition.

After the event was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, we finally got the chance to see our six expert O’Brien® vehicle glass technicians from around the country go head-to-head to decide who would claim the title of Best in Australia.

And what an event it was!

Held virtually for the first time this year, the competition took place over two days, with the winner seizing the chance to represent Australia at the Best of Belron event in Barcelona, Spain in June.
Now, we’re proud to announce that the winner of the O’Brien® Best of Australia competition for 2020 is…

Phil Cole from O’Brien® AutoGlass Osborne Park, WA!

Congratulations, Phil!

This is Phil’s second time competing for the Best of Australia title, having represented his region in Sydney in 2018. This time around, he’s come away with the top prize, and we couldn’t be happier for him.

We spoke with Phil after the event to find out more about his story and what this win means for him.

Phil’s story

Phil began his career as an Auto Technician with the Belron Group in the UK, when he was just a teenager. He’s now notched up more than 31 years in the industry and still loves his work as much as the day he started.

“The thing I love most about my job,” Phil told us, “is the diversity and the opportunity to work on so many new, different and challenging vehicles. I also love being able to provide great service to my customers each and every day.”

What does being the Best of Australia mean for Phil?

“This is something I’ve been wanting for a long time,” Phil tells us.

“It’s my life. I’ve been doing this for the last 30 odd years, since I was 17, and I’ve been with the Belron Group all that time, so this reinforces my dedication to the tasks I do everyday and to my customers that I help.”

For Phil, winning this competition is like a pat on the back for all the years that he has spent perfecting his craft as an Auto Technician. “I didn’t compete for any other reason other than to prove to myself that I’m good at what I do. I enjoy pushing myself and testing my skills.”

It’s also reaffirming for Phil to know that his customers – his main priority – are getting the quality of service that he works so hard to provide for them. While he doesn’t intend on telling too many of them about his crowning achievement, he’s hoping that this will provide added reassurance for those that do know about it.

How was this year’s competition compared to 2018?

This time around, the event was held virtually, with each finalist completing their tasks from their own O’Brien® AutoGlass workshop, with a judge in each region, and a second remote judge on camera to oversee and ensure continuity across the board.

While Phil loved competing, he said that the one thing he missed most this year was the crowds and the atmosphere of Sydney.

“In saying that, I liked the way that the competition was put together given the circumstances this year,” Phil said.

The remote judging and the camera technology used, especially the RealWear Headsets, was a new experience for everyone involved, but this allowed the competition to go ahead and even be live-streamed for O’Brien® employees all over the country to enjoy.

“While the camera may have added a little more pressure, it kept me on my toes and made me more determined to do the best I could the entire time.”

Next stop, Spain

Now that Phil has been crowned the Best of Australia for 2020, he will go onto Barcelona, Spain in June to compete against 30 of the best Auto Technicians in the Belron Group to decide which of them is the Best of Belron.

Naturally, he’s a little nervous, but he’s also quite excited and looking forward to the challenge.

“One of the first things I thought when I won was, ‘What have I done?” he laughed.

Phil’s expecting the competition to be harder and more intense this time around. He also suspects Belron will throw in some curveballs too.

“I’m going to make sure I’m as prepared as I can be. I’ll take a bit of a break from training for a couple of weeks and then I’ll get back into it.”

While he works as an Auto Technician every day, Phil still needs to make sure that he’s up to speed with all 42 steps of the Belron Way of Fitting. These steps must be completed in the correct order for the competition, which he admits is probably the hardest part.

That’s why Phil’s family, which he refers to as his support network, helps him with his training and tests his knowledge regularly to keep him at his best.

He jokes, “I think my family know the Belron Way of Fitting just as well as I do now.”

We wish Phil all the best for the competition in June, and we congratulate him once again on his amazing achievement.

At O’Brien®, we’re proud to have so many outstanding Vehicle Glass Technicians working for our company right across Australia. We continue to provide each of our technicians, and all our team members, the opportunity to improve their technical and service skills every day. We want to ensure that our staff are not only helping O’Brien® grow, but we’re also helping them grow together with us.

It’s this attitude that differentiates O’Brien® and helps us offer the high level of customer service and quality of work that we provide to Australians every day.

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