Major accolade for Tatel
Horsham Toyota can boast it employs the top Toyota technician in Australia.
Juncel Tatel, 30, won Toyota National Skills Competition’s technician category at a presentation ceremony in Melbourne last week.
Mr Tatel has lived and worked as a mechanic in Horsham for the past five years after emigrating from the Philippines.
He has represented Horsham Toyota at the skills competition for four years, finishing as a national finalist in 2016 and 2017 before winning the competition this year.
Mr Tatel was also previously the Philippines’ Toyota national skills champion in 2012.
He said he was thrilled to win the title, which comes with a week-long trip to Japan for an awards ceremony with other national champions next year.
“It is my passion,” he said. “It’s something I love to do. It was a big challenge for me and I’m very happy to win.”
The competition involves both a quiz and practical skills assessments in front of a panel of judges.
Three technicians from each region qualify for regional finals, with the champions of each region progressing to the national final.
Mr Tatel said he was excited to travel to Japan with his partner next year.
He said the couple would try to take its young son along as part of the experience.
Mr Tatel thanked his bosses, including Horsham Toyota service department manager Brad Dwyer, for helping him achieve the award.
Mr Dwyer said Horsham Toyota was proud of Mr Tatel’s achievements, describing him as a ‘fine technician’.
He said Mr Tatel wanted to continue to improve his skills and move into the master technician category at future competitions.