Competitor Spotlight: Dusti-lee Franchi

For vehicle painter Dusti-Lee Franchi, an unexpected passion led to a great career opportunity and bred an industry champion.

At just 20 years old, Dusti-Lee didn’t originally have her sights set on a career in vehicle painting, having first decided to pursue hairdressing. After realising a career in client services wasn’t for her, she had a revelation.

“I thought, ‘Let’s give fixing cars a go!’” says Dusti-Lee. “I went and asked for work experience at a panel and paint shop every Thursday and Friday while I was at school. They put me in the spray painting side and I absolutely loved it!”

That experience sealed Dusti-Lee’s fate: With her parents support she pursued an apprenticeship whole-heartedly. Having recently completed her apprenticeship and a Certificate III in Automotive Vehicle Body (Spray Painting), she is now happily working at her local panel and paint shop. She hopes to open her own painting business and mentor other young people one day.

Dusti-Lee’s lecturers introduced her to WorldSkills Australia after she won the PPG State Colour Matching Competition and progressed onto the national final. “My lecturers gave me a form for the WorldSkills Australia Regional Competition, so I gave it a go when I got back from the 2015 PPG National Colour Matching Competition, where I came in third. Not long after, I found out I got gold medal in the WorldSkills Australia competition and was over the moon!”

Now, Dusti-Lee is ready for her next big challenge: The 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne. “I couldn’t be more proud to be representing my region. It just shows that hard work pays off. No matter what happens, I will continue to work hard and give the National Competition all I have.”

Dusti-Lee is just one of over 500 young competitors preparing for their shot at greatness at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne. The National Competition will be held from Thursday, 6 to Saturday, 8 October at Melbourne Showgrounds. Register for your FREE tickets via the WorldSkills Australia website: