News

Fred White

29 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

I am honoured to have been a member of the board of ACFA (formerly FIAA) for 17 years. For 10 years, I have served as Chairperson.

My brother, Geoff and I owned and managed HK Joinery Design at Tuggerah NSW. Our work involved providing joinery for single residences, multi-level residential developments, schools, universities, hospitals, and aged care facilities.

HK Joinery Design was awarded Australian Cabinet Maker of the Year 2016 for the Best Commercial Project: the fit out of the ATO Office in Newcastle.

Being the holder of several qualifications from different industries, a Certificate 3 in Furniture Making, and a Kitchen & Bathroom Renovators licence, has provided me with a broad vision of industry in general and allows me to bring a wider view to the board room.

I have strength in Contract Administration and Project Management that has contributed to the successful delivery of many major contracts.

I hold an enduring belief in training not only our youth, but also our adult workers.

A personal goal of mine is to maintain a successful and sustainable joinery manufacturing industry in Australia.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News

Glen Scott

30 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

Glen joined the workforce as an apprentice Carpenter and Joiner in 1971. Over the following years, he earned multiple certifications, including Wood Machining, Business Administration, Clerk of Works, an MBA, and became a Licenced Builder in 1979.

Glen has used his many qualifications to start a swathe of business ventures. These include transport businesses, retail furniture stores such as Sarjaine Furniture, an import and export company, and DTL Timbers.

By the time Glen reached semi-retirement in 2019, he had been responsible for the creation of over 3.5 million pieces of furniture. Today, Glen shows no signs of slowing down, and continues to oversee multiple companies across multiple industries. These include timber processing, imports and exports, transport, property investment, and recycling.

Glen’s staunch work ethic and commitment to his craft if reflected in his saying-to-live-by: “The worst day at work is better than the best day on holidays”.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News

Robyn Burns

30 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

Robyn has had a long and successful career as a senior executive at Borg Manufacturing.

An accountant by trade, she has overseen the expansion of Borg as it has developed into a major national building products manufacturer and is now involved with the development of other business interests in the Borg Group.

Robyn brings a wealth of experience in board management, project and financial management, risk control, process improvement and organisational development.

Robyn joined the ACFA board in 2015 to promote the industry and ensure we have a voice in the changing regulatory environment, as well as helping to steer appropriate training for our sector.

In July 2019, Robyn joined the board of First Super; a role where her leadership skills, financial acumen and commercial experience can further support the industry by ensuring the retirement savings of all First Super members are governed well.

Robyn holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), a Diploma of Management, and is also a Graduate of Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (Adv).

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News

Richard Curley

30 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

Richard founded Debrich Custom Joinery in 1994, specialising in High-End Residential fit outs.

Having a passion for construction, Richard left school to pursue a career in Custom Joinery. He completed an apprenticeship in Shopfitting and Detailed Joinery at North Sydney TAFE, graduating late 1988.

Following stints working through all aspects of Joinery construction, installation and Site Management for several leading joinery companies, Richard founded Debrich Custom Joinery in 1994, specialising in High-End Residential fit outs. Like most, he started small, evolving through the years, and now manages a team of 30 highly qualified professionals.

Recently provided the opportunity to join the ACFA Board in 2021, Richard remarks, “My dedication to training, supporting and mentoring the next generation of joiners drives my passion in representing the industry”.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News

Matt Ford

30 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

Matt is a third generation furniture maker with 31 years experience in the industry.

Matt’s experience is in manufacturing solid timber furniture and joinery for commercial projects. He is passionate about our industry and helping the next generation of furniture makers. Matt has been a board member with ACFA since 2012.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News

Darren Garufi

30 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

Darren started his trade in 1996 as a Cabinetmaker Joiner. After completing his trade, he moved into factory foreman roles, then moved into production management before gaining experience in a general management role.

Darren became part of the sales team for a leading board manufacturing company before moving into management positions within that organisation. In 2015, Darren followed his passion of being a business owner and opened Craftmark; a wholesale supplier to the trade, supplying some of NSW’s leading kitchen companies, joiners and builders.

Darren has a Cert III in Carpentry Joinery, Cert IV in Building and Construction, Cert IV in Frontline management, and a Cert IV in Web-Based technologies. Darren is continually working on his personal development, and currently using business advisors to gain experience in the day-to-day running of business practices.

Darren is one of the board directors at ACFA, and has a strong passion for the industry with a focus on making a positive change. His passion is to ensure the future of our industry and secure a strong presence in the manufacturing sector for all cabinetmakers. Darren joined the Board so he could be part of the change and advocate strongly for our industry.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News

Mathew Dwyer

30 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

Mathew Dwyer is currently employed in the role of Supply Chain Manager for Polytec (part of Borg Manufacturing), with 33 years experience in the cabinetmaking and furniture industry.

Mathew’s career started in 1988 in internal sales which quickly transitioned to external sales. This led to opportunities as the State Sales Manager, responsible for NSW, then a National Sales Managers role.

Following the sales roles was a three year term in marketing for Polytec, where the business was rebranded and refreshed in line with the business’ changing and developing product offerings.

In 2012 Mathew changed direction and moved into manufacturing roles. He was the Facility Manager for the door manufacturing plant at Charmhaven for two years, before moving to Somersby as the facility manager for the melamine board, benchtop, PUR lamination and components business. Mathew has also developed skills in warehousing, operations and logistics during this time. In 2018, Mathew moved from the Somersby site to take up his current role as Supply Chain Manager for the Borg business.

In 2020 Mathew joined the ACFA board. Like many on the board, Mathew finds the opportunity to represent the industry a privilege with members always top-of-mind for decision making.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News

Simon Hodgson

30 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

Simon has over forty years experience across the entire Kitchen and Bathroom industry horizon

His experince includes wholesale and retail appliances (Rosieres and Ilve), manufacture and installation of kitchens and bathrooms (Impala, Nouvelle Kitchens and Harvey Norman), design, coaching, mentoring and industry training. His prior two roles have been as Sales and Marketing Director for renown retailer, Nouvelle Designer Kitchens and prior to that, a Director of manufacturing giant and retailer, Impala Kitchens.

For the past fifteen years he has run his own consultancy business, whose clients have included Smeg Appliances, Universal Magazines, Artline Kitchens, Form-Tek, Cesar Kitchens, Austaron, Designer Training, Harvey Norman, KBDi, the AWISA committee, and other like companies. He also undertakes private business consultancy, personal product endorsement and appraisal, as well as dispute management.

Simon is regularly asked to speak at functions in Australia and overseas on various industry issues to both consumer and industry groups (including NKBA, KBDi, Eurorok etc) and for the past ten years has led groups of designers to the major European shows, Eurocucina, ISH and Interzum through his parent company, Australian International Design Tours (AIDT). Additionally, he regularly contributes to industry E Mags, blogs and magazines, is a guest speaker at the Marmomacc show, held in Verona, Italy each year, and is the co-founder and editor with Melanie Gardener of The Kitchen and Bathroom Blog – Australia’s only independent blog to the kitchen and bathroom industry.

Simon has in the past served various sectors of the housing and design industry in the capacities of National Chair of HIA Kitchens and Bathrooms, Member of HIA National Policy Congress, Chair of HIA Kitchens and Bathrooms in NSW and a Committee Member of HIA NSW Regional Executive. He has also been one of the Founding Directors of the Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia (KBDi) and current board member of ACFA. He has also provided advice to the NSW Government as a committee member of the NSW ITAB through ForestWorks NSW Furniture, Design & Manufacture (FDM) Skills & Training Advisory Steering Committee.

Simon has ongoing relationships with many of the country’s most respected kitchen and bathroom designers, specifiers and architects through his years within the sector and regularly meets with the industry supply chain on a variety of issues and development of initiatives.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News

Nino Strangio

30 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

With over 36 years of experience in the industry, Nino Strangio, is an accomplished Tradesman, Managing Director and Business Owner of Betta Style Kitchens & Joinery Pty Ltd.

Nino’s career began as an apprentice in Shopfitting and Detailed Joinery but his passion, determination and commitment to the industry enabled him to successfully complete several more qualifications:  Certificate III in Carpentry, Corian Master Craftsman, KBLR – Kitchen and Bathroom Renovator, Certificate IV in Building and Construction.

A successful Business Owner in his own right, he is an inspiration to the next generation of tradesmen who he mentors. Nino’s strong leadership, analytical skills, initiative and self-motivation have been paramount for all his achievements and success.

In recent times Nino has become part of the ACFA Board of Directors: “Representing the industry is a great honour and a great responsibility but I am up for the task and delighted to undertake these duties”

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News

Darren McKavanagh

30 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

Darren owns and operates The Kitchen Maker, having started the company in 2004. Prior to that, he was involved in a family business within the Joinery industry since he completed High School Certificate in 1993.

Darren also owned Total Polyurethane, a polyurethane business, that he ran in conjunction with a business partner for six years. This business employed 2 apprentices and turned over $800,000 per annum.

The Kitchen Maker employed two apprentices that started in TKMs early formative years. One has been with the company 18 years and the other 14 years. The apprentice that started with Darren 18 years ago is now Project Manager and the other is Foreman. The Kitchen Maker currently employ 2 apprentices which are both enrolled with ACFA.

Darren is passionate about the industry. The plan is for The Kitchen Maker to employ more apprentices as Darren sees this as a way forward to strengthen business and industry while at the same time upskilling and fostering individual personal growth. Apprenticeships are unique in the sense the work is immediate for business, the upskilling takes place both theoretically and practically in real time and feedback on an individual’s performance is immediate. This is a sustainable business model and it is this unique approach that will help strengthen, build and keep manufacturing in Australia.

Darren is also very community minded and through my business, The Kitchen Maker, with Community Sponsorship which has helped Darren build a great network for the business through staff and clients. At a personal level, Darren has also been involved in sail-racing since the age of 10, competing all over the world and recently skippered his own boat across the Atlantic.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

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