Congratulations to all the 2014 Automotive Design Awards winners

Young Victorian automotive designers on the road to success

Young automotive designers in Victoria are confident the automotive design industry will continue to provide exciting careers. Winners, and school and university entrants, of the 2014 VACC Automotive Design Awards said they were as determined as ever to work as professional automotive designers, despite previous announcements that car making, in Australia, will cease.

At the presentation ceremony, Aman Bhatti, Lavalla Catholic College, Traralgon was named Best Designer, Secondary School Category and Merric French, Monash University, won Best Designer, in the Tertiary Institution Category. Minister for Manufacturing, Major Projects and Ports, the Hon. David Hodgett presented the Awards at Deakin Edge, Federation Square. More than 200 guests attended, including Heads of Design from Ford, Holden and Toyota, and members of their design teams, car companies, industry organisations, education institutions, students, parents and teachers. 

“I am thrilled to win an Award and can’t thank VACC enough. I am passionate about vehicle design and can’t wait to become a professional designer. I also want to thank Ford to picking me for their Internship Program for the second successive year,” Aman said.

“Design is my passion. It’s demanding and at the same time exhilarating. I’m confident about the industry’s future and this Award strengthens my desire to be part of it,” Merric said.

“Congratulations to the 2014 VACC Automotive Design Awards winners and well done to all the student entrants,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase said.

“Given the closure news from the car companies, it was important this year to promote the automotive design sector. The evening contained a discussion with the Heads of Design from Ford, Holden and Toyota who were put on the spot about the future of their design departments. It was good for students, parents and teachers to hear that Australia’s automotive design sector, which is based in Victoria, will continue to require aspiring young designers.

“We thank Minister Hodgett for his ongoing support of the Awards, Ford President and CEO, Bob Graziano for announcing in person the internship program for two secondary school students at the Ford Design Centre and we thank the members of the Judging Panel, namely, Andy Collinson, Exterior Design Manager, Ford; Richard Ferlazzo, Design Director, GM Holden; Nic Hogios, Corporate Manager, Toyota and Chairman of the Panel, Paul Beranger,” Mr Purchase said.

The VACC Automotive Design Awards is an annual student vehicle design competition for Victoria’s secondary and tertiary students. Now in its ninth year, the Awards is an education program and promotes skills, training and careers in the automotive design industry. VACC donates $18,000 in total prize money with the winner’s school and/or university also benefiting financially. This year, the Awards reached a milestone presenting the 50th and 51st Awards since inception. All shortlisted secondary entrants were invited to Monash University for an automotive design Master class and, for a second year in succession, Ford invited two secondary students onto its Ford Internship Program.

2014 VACC Automotive Design Awards – Roll of Honour

Secondary Schools Category
Winner – Aman Bhatti, Lavalla Catholic College, Traralgon
Runner up – Tom McCausland, De La Salle College, Malvern
Highly Commended – Alexander Holmes, Girton Grammar School, Bendigo

Tertiary Institutions Category
Winner – Merric French, Monash University
Runner up – Kouhei Kawakami, Monash University
Highly Commended – Dennis Yu, Monash University

Ford Internship Program
Aman Bhatti, Lavalla Catholic College, Traralgon
Alexander Holmes, Girton Grammar School, Bendigo



The VACC Automotive Design Awards mean exposure, networking and introductions

Guests attending the Awards Night include :
  • Professional Automotive Designers
  • Automotive Industry Members
  • Government Ministers
  • Lecturers and Trainers
  • Employers
  • The Media



Student winners receive cash prizes for themselves and for their school, college or university.

find out more about prizes


Are you the best Automotive Designer in Victoria? First, second and third placed Awards will be presented at Secondary and Tertiary levels.
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