The Australian Cabinet and Furniture Association is celebrating the milestone of 75 Years of serving the industry as an association. Despite being a smaller association, we are proud of what we have achieved. Being an Industry-Specific Association delivering personalised service for such a significant amount of time is milestone we are certainly keen celebrate and is a testament to the hard work of ACFA Board Members, Staff and Members. 

Fred White, President of ACFA, spoke of the significance of 75 Years. He said, to see how far we have come as an association, we are very proud of what we have achieved. Our membership numbers have continued to grow and reflect our true national approach. The issues of our industry have changed, but ACFA has always been there advocating for what is best."

ACFA is excited by the future, and exploring more ways to support our industry, with short courses and growing their business resources. ACFA will look to mark this celebration during the 2023 Industry Awards in September.

“For Industry By Industry”

Incorporated in 1948 FIAA origins can be traced back to the early 1900’s. 

Past Presidents of the FIAA include Jack Parker, Doug Jackson, John Chiswell, Ern McCain, Peter J Van Treight, David Hoare and more recently Ron Scott and Fred White. True icons of the industry.

In the 60's and 70's FIAA notably accomplished:

  • Drafted the Furnishing Trades Award with the Industry Committee
  • Got the removal of ‘limitation’ on furniture factory overtime by the Minister for Labor and Industry
  • Lobbied for plywood and veneers not exceeding 4mm thick be admitted into Australia duty free
  • Were members of the Employers Federation Committee
  • Application was presented to have import quotas imposed and developing country preferences removed in respect of banana chairs
  • Proposed to place teachers from TAFE in industry for a week to update their experience (ALL ACFA Assessors complete work placement each year as part of professional development)
  • Negotiated for a voluntary agreement on a flammability standard for upholstered furniture

Through the end of the century, into the new millenium and beyond:

  • Were and are still heavily involved in reforming Home Warranty Insurance
  • The creation of FIAA Guild Apprenticeship scheme to provide the industry with flexible delivery of apprenticeship and traineeship training. FIAA is the industries preferred Registered Training Organisation
  • FIAA were instrumental in reforming the training system to the Industry friendly competency based training of today
  • FIAA once owned and ran the Australian International Furniture Fair, one of the oldest exhibitions in Australia
  • FIAA provided the industry with OH&S and Workers Compensation reform with the Premium Discount Scheme
  • Negotiated the industries ‘Action Agenda’ that sponsored overseas industry experts in ‘Lean’ techniques and thinking
  • Has regularly tested imported flat packs  to ensure compliance to Australian Standards
  • FIAA is involved in the re-writing of the Kitchen Assembly/Kitchen Installation Australian Standard
  • FIAA successfully lobbied for the removal of Home Warranty Insurance in NSW for Stand-alone Cabinetry.

Moving into the next generation

The 70th Anniversary of FIAA in 2018 also saw the merger with the Cabinet Makers and Designers Association (CMDA), with the launch of ACFA.

Through funding granted by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, FIAA across 2018 and 2019 successfully ran a mentoring program for 1st and 2nd Year Apprentices. Titled Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA), this mentoring saw an increase in apprentices completing their training and helped them get a solid foundation towards a long-term career in our industry. 

A recent achievement the ACFA Team looks back upon is their COVID Response across 2020 and 2021. ACFA spent countless hours confirming details of restrictions and making enquiries with the government for each state. ACFA provided the support businesses needed to continue to operate in the correct manner. A record number of phone calls with the Workplace Advice Team and email communications sent highlights the dedication the association has to the industry.


Dean Brakell, CEO of ACFA, marked the occasion by reflecting on the work undertaken to represent and advocate for the industry. "Over the years ACFA has been privileged to be recognised at higher levels of Government with our work with SafeWork, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Home Builders Insurance. Our sector of manufacturing in Australia needed an association that represented the unique aspects of our industry, and that is what ACFA has done."