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Mechanics can win big with Rising Star Award

Mark Smith, an auto-electrician with The Battery Terminal in Belconnen, Canberra, was the first-ever winner of the Capricorn Rising Stars Award, in 2018.

At the time, his prizes included an all-expenses-paid trip to the Gold Coast to watch the Supercars race and a customer service training package from The Workshop Whisperer for The Battery Terminal — his parents’ business. But the real prize was something far less tangible.

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“I got a lot more respect from a lot of peers and from the businesses that we deal with,” Mark said. “But the main thing for me was just the confidence from knowing that everyone had respect for me at such a young age. It allowed me to learn off a lot of other people who wouldn’t normally talk to an apprentice from another business. Business owners of other mechanical shops were actually talking to me about electrical problems, rather than always going straight to dad.

“So, that’s one of the biggest things Rising Stars gave me—just the confidence. Now I’m sort of second in charge, and in charge when Dad’s not there, and it’s definitely given me the confidence to do that.”

It’s a boost Mark said every business owner can give their apprentice by nominating them for this year’s Capricorn Rising Stars Award. Nominations are now open for 2024.

The prestigious achievement award recognises talented apprentices who show initiative, thirst for knowledge and commitment. The competition is open to all Capricorn Members.

Capricorn Group CEO David Fraser is proud of the competition.

“Encouraging and acknowledging future leaders is an important part of growing and supporting the automotive industry.

“We know that finding and keeping apprentices is one of the big challenges for the industry. By celebrating apprentices like Mark, we hope to encourage more to join, and stay, in the industry,” David said.

Over $27,000 shared cash and prizes is up for grabs for the top five apprentices, overall winner and nominating workshops. Capricorn thanks long-term program sponsors Castrol, Repco and The Workshop Whisperer for taking part in this most valuable automotive aftermarket industry recognition program.

Mark was nominated for the Capricorn Rising Stars by his parents, Capricorn Members Steve and Julie Smith, of The Battery Terminal.

If you’d like to nominate your apprentice and give them the kind of confidence boost Mark talks about, visit

2024 Capricorn Rising Stars Terms and Conditions apply, visit
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