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MELBOURNE – June 20, 2013: VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, has urged state and federal Governments to focus on the automotive design sector, in a bid to preserve the country’s automotive industry.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s prestigious VACC Automotive Design Awards at Federation Square, Mr Purchase called on the industry and Governments to work in tandem to ensure Victoria becomes a global centre of automotive design excellence, with all the employment opportunities that it will create.

“The Awards are intended to encourage young people to consider automotive design as a career, but they are more than this. They are VACC’s attempt to generally focus on automotive design as a high value-add that could fill the void if, heaven forbid, we lose automotive manufacturing in this country,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.

“We are good at design and you should do what you are good at,” Mr Purchase said.

The VACC Automotive Design Awards is an annual automotive design competition for secondary and tertiary students in Victoria. Students compete in the design, model, and essay categories, with prize money awarded to the winners as well as their school or university. The Awards will be presented by Minister for Manufacturing, Major Projects and Ports, the Hon. David Hodgett.

Tonight, new presentations will also be made. Two secondary students will be selected by Ford for behind-closed-doors work experience at the Ford Design Centre and shortlisted secondary students will be invited to Monash and RMIT for an industrial design master class.

In the tertiary section, the recipient of the inaugural Overseas Scholarship, sponsored by the Victorian Government, will be announced. The scholarship will be managed by the Australian Overseas Foundation.

“We thank Minister Hodgett for his involvement and the three local automotive manufacturers for supplying display vehicles and representatives for the Judging Panel. This year’s designs are very good and will be displayed at Federation Square until Friday 28 June,” Mr Purchase said.