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Recent blog posts

Education by definition, “Involves teaching people various subjects, usually at a school or college, or being taught.” (Collins dictionary)

Building by definition, “A person who constructs something by putting parts or materials together.” (Oxford dictionary)

When we look at our role in the industry, we are here to form a blend between both definitions, ‘to teach a person various subjects to construct something by putting parts and materials together at our college or school’.

As an educator nobody tells you that you will become attached, that you will grow with your students and that you will learn from them. That if you engage, you too will be become a part of their journey.

The day you see the light turn on; you finally hear them answer a question with complete confidence; you see them walk in with their eyes hanging from their after working on their assignment all night; the day you know they finally feel proud of themselves and all that they are achieving, and you can’t help but smile.

We can all remember one teacher that made a difference in our lives, one that went that extra mile, and one that inspired us to learn and make us a bettered person.

As educators we’re not always prepared for the simpler things, the interaction that exists in a class; birthdays, kids parties, weddings, Christmas, work and sport injuries, along with Easter, Anzac Day, holidays, current workplaces and new business ventures. The list is endless and ever changing - it all forms part of the educational experience.

But the classroom should become an experience and an environment that breeds understanding, nurturing and support, but most of all an educational outcome that proceeds past the final session and into the student’s employment career.

As the educator, we are blessed to be able to capture that moment in the student’s life to impart knowledge, create opportunity and form a part of that journey. It’s not based on a financial exchange, it’s not a right nor is it an entitlement, it is a privilege.

So, we will keep valuing the journey as educators and try to remember that our words, the education delivered and our own experiences as professionals could possibly bring comfort and options to our students later when the journey away from the classroom feels lonely and confronting in their chosen profession or newly formed business.  

We must always keep the lines of communication open both now, during and long after the education is delivered. Constantly value that our students hang off every word and retain the knowledge if we get it right.

Embrace that learning environment and enjoy every moment for that brief period in their lives they attend our classrooms.  


Very much inspired by the loss of a young carpenter and student of ours in rural NSW. RIP mate.  

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Posted by on in Education

Remember these words: The pen is mightier than the sword.


If we were gauged on our ability to build, most builders would be extremely successful. Unfortunately, building the structure is only one element of the seven processes in construction.


Below I will outline the essential elements that constitute to a successful construction process…

 1. Infrastructure: It is important that you have the support networks in place to be able to service the project. As the builder, having the right tools to do the project is a given, but do you have the right support networks? Below is a short list to consider:

  • Compliance – the right licences, insurances and approvals in place.   
  • Financials – adequate capital or access to credit, a bookkeeper and accountant to manage payments, creditors and debtors along with ATO obligations, etc.    
  • Legal – a legal practitioner savvy in Construction Law to help with contractual obligations. 
  • Marketing – the team behind you that generates the interest and leads for the next project whilst you are busy working on the current build.  
  • Educational – the right knowledge to complete the project or task.  
  • Emotional – your ability to commit to the project for a period of time, as well as support staff in place to help out when the pressure is on.  
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Posted by on in Education

TAFE -  Its a Service that must remain untouched - My Experience

Im going to forget for a minute I am in the Private Educational Sector..................

"When did education become a business"- slightly cynical coming from myself I guess but at what stage do us in the Private Educational Sector stand by and support the sustainability and existence of the a educational icon in NSW. 

When did the State Government cross the line from providing a service to seeking a short term gain from educating the youth and unskilled.  


TAFE - their education in my opinion is second to none - quality outcomes from passionate trainers with the purists of intentions - to gain and deliver a educational outcome that benefits the student , community and satisfy the requirements of the unit or qualification, regardless of time, effort or profits.


So why would such a service to the industry not be given the opportunity to reform, streamline and finetune its expenditure to satisfy the states bottom line, but be given a helping hand by the people of the State to remain as a service.  

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Christmas and Construction

Christmas  - the time where every builder shuts down and a good 5 weeks of before returning to work after Australia Day. The phones are put in the draw and replaced with a fishing rod, a tent, a plane ticket or car boot full of sand. Its the time we remember we are human again , not 24/7 on call to the client, the supplier, the employee and the regulator. The time for no apparent reason we are given allowance to not answer the phone and go missing, ignore your business and enjoy a break - so why are you choosing to work  

Below is a list of the reasons why and how we can change our practices to reward ourselves and remember what its like before you swung the hammer  

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Public & Web Image is everything? Or is it  


Steps on how to design and benefit your Business from implementing Construction Website that meets your client’s expectations and showcases your talents/experience.   

As established, we are busy and have few little hours of the day to be promoting our business. Below is a step by step guide on how to establish an online and public presence and the contact details of our Web / Business marketing designer that may help you get a start.

Enjoy the read, establish your own requirements and view the examples, I have been working with Mark for over ten years and recommend his words of wisdom and his ability to relate to the construction industry.


A simple guide to marketing basics:
Written by Mark Sorensen – Business owner of ARTBYMARK. “A local graphic design & Website Agency dedicated to helping small to medium sized businesses grow and establish their footprint in their local and emerging areas”.

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Marketing for the new Builder on a budget  -

You don't have to spend a fortune to be able to put the word out there - your work will sell itself but that will take time and you will need time. Your new to being a builder , your going to make mistakes (small ones if you trained with us) so less is best , small is safe and baby steps even in Marketing and budgeting is the key to a successful construction business

Below are short  and long term tips for marketing your business -


10 Tips to promote your business in the Short term

No 1 - Send the apprentice walking  - every project create a letter addressed to the neighbour introducing yourself and your services, tell them you are local and available to quote , invite the neighbours (from a distance) to view your works and create a conversation. Put a sign out front and tell the neighbourhood your open for business. The job site is your office - put your sign out

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Diploma .... why would I keep studying ?

This question is asked daily to most construction institutions - Why would I study in my Diploma of Building and Construction , CPC50210 when I have just achieved my Certificate IV and I can apply for my licence - Lets see if I can simplify the Qualification that I view as essential for every new Builder to consider as it solidifies the teachings of Certificate IV and allows the Builder to see construction from a management perspective 

So you have completed a Certificate IV in Building and Construction ...... Hopefully you enjoyed the experienced and learnt a lot of information that will become your educational toolbox to trade with.

More than likely it became a lot of information to take in over 32 weeks , 22 weeks 16 weeks or even 12 weeks. You may of completed your qualification via the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL process)  where no training was delivered and you were able to draw on your years of industry experience to gain Qualification. Now all these methods to achieve Qualification have there merits and are aimed to cater for each learners experienced as long as they are matched with the correct educational pathway.

This brings us to why would you continue training  after you have achieved enough to apply for your licence..... 

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Posted by on in Uncategorized


How can we create the support needed - a Builders perspective

At the end of the day , when your in your office, estimating a project, reconciling the accounts or just planning out the next schedule of works it all come down to you.

Your family will rely on you, your workers families are relying on you, the client relies on you. You have to be an accountant, a lawyer, a builder, a compliance officer, an administer of a lot of money, a bookkeeper, contracts administrator, marketing expert, whs consultant, social media guru, understand how to employ,  purchasing officer, interior designer , emotional consultant ...... the list goes on and on ....... but most of all you have to be a functioning human that can juggle all these pressures and still provide quality time for your loved ones , your families and your children.

So I ask the Question , what support will I have. No course can train you for all of this, no one support mechanism can provide the tools to be able to control all these factors.

Below I have provided a list of support and advice that may help you and make you realise you are not alone because at the end of the day - You matter

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Received this interesting court ruling from a friend of mine

In the past two weeks I have been asked this exact Question


Question - Are you liable for rectification of work in a situation where you do extra work for no cost.

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Posted by on in Education

Hay Boys

Some information on CPD Points ..... We will be releasing a series of CPD point Short  courses soon so keep an eye out .....

Builders' Continuing Professional Development 

Reform of the residential home building laws

The NSW Government has completed a comprehensive review of the residential home building laws. Visit the Major changes to home building laws page to read more about the changes to the home building laws.

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Posted by on in Education


Below is an extract from foundations - recommended you join , its free and there are some great workshops that will provide you with information and free CPD points for when you become licenced Builder's .... Its been a great source of information for Darren and I over the years and its one to join .............  Happy reading  


Our spring edition of Foundations includes a wide range of interesting updates and tips to help keep you up-to-date in the residential building industry in NSW.

As always please email your comments and ideas for future stories to foundations@finance.nsw.gov.au

Building Business Expo program - 2015 update 

Fair Trading’s annual Building Business Expo Program is in full swing.

The first five building expos have attracted more than 700 attendees in Cowra, Liverpool, West Ryde, Newcastle and Dee Why. Our next expo is in Hurstville on Thursday and is booked to capacity. 

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Posted by on in Education


Great series of books , especially the roof building Manual ..... To purchase email Pinedale Press as attached

What's new in this 8th edition:
New NCC updates, new stair stringer & stair tread tables. New tables for handrail cross sectional sizes, connections, loads on handrails & fastenings for balusters. New Hebel details for Hebel panel fixing. Additional information on 'Designing for Bushfire Prone Areas."

The Australian House Building Manual - 8th Edition
by Allan Staines

(Australian Publication)


Published by Pinedale Press, Caloundra, QLD





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Building trade advertisements 

Guidelines for media advertising staff

Publishers of advertisements from the building trade have certain obligations under the law. The Home Building Act 1989 and Australian Consumer Law apply to print, online, television, radio and other advertising.

A licence number must be included in all advertising for residential building and specialist work. The Home Building Act 1989 prohibits a company or individual from advertising for any residential building

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Posted by on in Education

Education and training 

What you need to know before signing up for a course

Training may cost tens of thousands of dollars with no refund available if you make a bad choice or change your mind during the course.

Every year, NSW Fair Trading receives complaints from students about fees, refunds, misleading information and course quality for training and education.

Don’t sign up for a training course until you research the qualifications, providers, costs and payment options that best suit you and your career plans. Australia has a national system of accrediting vocational education and training (VET) qualifications and courses. Only registered training organisations can deliver nationally recognised qualifications and accredited courses.

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Posted by on in Building


Applying for a licence or certificate 

For home building or trade work 

You must have a contractor licence before you contract, sub-contract or advertise to do:

  • residential building work where the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials is more than $5,000 (including GST)
  • all electrical wiring work 
  • all plumbing, draining and gasfitting work 
  • all airconditioning and refrigeration work (except plug-in appliances).

The application process

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Posted by on in Building

Deck and balcony safety 

Unsafe balconies and decks have been involved in a number of recent accidents and deaths in NSW and other States.

Balconies, decks, balustrades and railings must be built to the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards. 

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Posted by on in Building

Home building contracts 

IMPORTANT: All residential building work worth over $5,000 requires a written contract. 


Contract essentials 

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Posted by on in Building

Apply new home building laws
March 2015
If you are in the home building industry, or building or renovating your home, be aware of changes resulting from new laws. 

The changes were shaped through extensive consultation with industry, home owners and key stakeholders.  

Most changes commenced on 15 January 2015. Further amendments concerning contract requirements started on 1 March 2015. 

The new laws outlined here help to modernise industry practices, reduce red tape and support consumer confidence and building activity across NSW. For specific details refer to our Comparison of home building laws and Frequently asked questions web pages. 

Visit our Home building and renovating (for consumers) or Tradespeople web pages for more details and support on your rights and responsibilities. Tradespeople can also subscribe to our Foundations enewsletter for email updates. 

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