- Memorial award established in 2015
- Awarded to one learning fabricator or designer each year
- Milwaukee Tool to offer $4,000 of course fees
Milwaukee Tool has thrown its support behind the annual Laurie Starling Memorial Scholarship, which helps budding fabricators and designers pursue their dreams.
The company will offer $4000 of financial support for course fees to a person undertaking a Certificate III or IV, diploma or degree, plus tools to the value of around $3500.
In 2014, Laurie Starling was establishing himself as one of Australia’s premier fabricators at The Chop Shop. Tragically, his life was cut short at just 29.
Laurie’s death came mere months after his design and fabrication work helped Henry Parry’s ‘Old Love’ FB Holden take out Grand Champion at Street Machine Summernats 27. The FB would also go on to win Street Machine of the Year, while Laurie was posthumously awarded the John Taverna Sr Memorial Master Fabricator award at Summernats 28. In 2017, he was immortalised in the Mini-truck Hall of Fame at SEMA.
The Laurie Starling Scholarship for Innovation and Excellence in Automotive Fabrication was launched in 2015 by Laurie’s parents, Rob and Julia Starling. It aims to support a person undertaking a degree related to automotive fabrication or design, and until provides a $4000 grant to a winner chosen by the Starling family.
“We’re extremely proud to work with the Starling family to honour Laurie’s values and to support the next generation of automotive fabricators,” said Tom Mathiesen, National Business Manager – Brand for Milwaukee Tool.
“The effort that the Starling family has invested in setting up the scholarship has allowed many young fabricators the opportunity to continue or further their studies and build successful careers, including some who have gone on to start their own successful businesses.”
Rob echoed the sentiment, expressing his excitement at Milwaukee Tool coming on board. “Our values are aligned, and their support will help us nurture the careers of the next generation of automotive fabricators,” he said.
Rob also acknowledged others who have backed the scholarship along the way. “Over the journey, we’ve received a stack of support from Telfo at Street Machine and Owen Webb, head judge at Summernats, as well as members of many mini-trucking clubs,” he said. “Without their ongoing support, raising the profile of the scholarship would have been an even bigger task, and for that, we’re truly thankful.”
The inaugural prize in 2015 was granted to Tom Saunders of Derwent Park, Tasmania. He’s now the owner-operator of Hobart’s Handmade Metal & Performance.
2016 saw two winners, Mick McCallum and David Scenna. Mick has turned his hand to a number of stunning hot rod and street machine projects, while David keeps busy as the operator of Arc Up Garage.
Michael Anstey earned the prize in 2017, followed by Corey Lepe the next year.
Mini-truck enthusiast Shaun Lizza was a fitting winner in 2019, as was 2020’s Jasmine Green.
Most recently, our own Expression Session prodigy Aidan Donald was granted the scholarship.
For more information about the Laurie Starling award and entry details, head to laurieaward.com.