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S P E C I A L I S E D T E X T I L E S A S S O C I AT I O N I N C .




Shade design in 60 seconds Succession planning Meet marine master Dave Elliott

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Australia’s largest trade exhibition for the window furnishings and specialised textiles industries.




For further infomation go to or phone Brett Greene on 07 3262 3114

MAM9 MA M AM9 9240 9240 0 AD1 WF W

Over 100 exhibitors showcasing the latest trends and innovative designs, products and services.



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Shade design in 60 seconds Report from STA president, Glenn Barlow


08 10 11



12 12 13 13 14 15


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EVENTS Upcoming events for the specialised textiles industry, locally and internationally

Go Clubs shade initiative


MEMBER PROFILE Andy McGill of Big Red Shade Products

TRAINING STA’s survey results


Australian Consumer Law

Succession planning

Accredited members New members

IFAI winners Nolan.UDA and Radins merger Sullivans sale Daryl Ede obituary Designboom’s top temporary structures






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Editorial Contributions by the STA Editorial committee EXECUTIVE OFFICER Ana Drougas

Welcome to the first Connections for 2016


nother year, another change of style for your industry magazine. You’ll notice that in 2016 we’ll no longer be naming the issues after the seasons, but simply labelling them issues one to four each year. It’s not a radical change, by any means, but streamlines things for us a bit in production. For this first issue of the year, we have all our usual news and views from the Specialised Textiles Association, including early details about the forthcoming SuperExpo in June. In this expo the STA will be partnering up with the Blind Manufacturers’ Association of Australia, to make one colossal and exciting event. If you haven’t been to an STA expo for a while (and why on earth haven’t you – they’re terrific), you really do not want to miss this one. AND it’s on the Gold Coast! We also have a couple of fascinating features, including one from Alan Stewart of Structureflex, who relays some great advice on how to cut down the time spent on quotes and contracts for shade structure projects. And there’s the first of a series of articles from one of the titans of our industry – the multi award-winning Dave Elliott, marine trimmer extraordinaire. In this issue, he talks about his background and how he learned his craft. He also introduces us to Aaron ‘Azz’ Stroud, who shares some of his experiences too. Our member profile is of the endlessly genial Andy McGill of Big Red Shade Products, whose history gives us a useful lesson in how to play to your strengths. I hope you enjoy this issue of Connections.



Connections magazine is published on behalf of the Specialised Textiles Association Inc by Niche Media Pty Ltd ABN 13 064 613 529 1 Queens Road, Melbourne, Vic 3004 Tel: 03 9948 4900 / Fax 03 9948 4999 Printing Graphic Impressions Cover image MPavillion ©John Gollings (see page 15)

Madeleine Swain Editor












Specialised Textiles Association 102/22 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda Vic 3182 Tel: 03 9521 2114 / Fax: 03 9521 2116 Email:

NEXT ISSUE OF CONNECTIONS Remember this is your magazine, about your industry. And we always love to hear your feedback or ideas for the direction of the magazine. If you have any suggestions for articles or features that you think may be appropriate, please don’t hesitate to contact the editor directly at or Ana Drougas in the STA office at or on 03 9521 2114.


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All unsolicited material should be addressed to the attention of the editor at the address above. Material will only be returned if a postage prepaid self-addressed envelope is supplied. Niche Media Pty Ltd accepts no liability for loss or damage of unsolicited material. Connections is a publication of Niche Media Pty Ltd, ABN 13 064 613 529, 1 Queens Road, Melbourne Vic 3004 Australia, tel +613 9948 4900, fax +613 9948 4999. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, internet, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the publishers accept no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. The opinions and material published in this publication are not necessarily endorsed by the editor, publisher or Niche Media Pty Ltd, unless where specifically stated.

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Image courtesy of Skyspan Umbrellas

LIGHTWEIGHT STRONG & VERSATILE FR580 offers architects, engineers and manufacturers with a coated fabric designed speciďŹ cally for use on short span, shaped tensile architectural creations, primarily permanent and temporary tensioned structures, tents, awnings, sun shading, umbrellas and retractable roofs.

+ PVDF lacquer top side + Dimensionally stable

+ High tear and tensile strength + 10 year warranty + Anti-fungal treated + UV stabilised + 250cm wide

+ Available in a wide palette of commercial colours + Easy to specify, fabricate and install


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President’s report


s we look back at a very busy 2015 for our Association, it gives me great pride and satisfaction working with the terrific and talented team on the Council of Management (COM). Not only did we take on a whole range of issues and move towards the future on behalf of our members, but we also celebrated our 75th anniversary in style and looked back at our amazing history and journey with great pride. As we enter what promises to be an exciting 2016 for the Specialised Textiles Association, we look forward to bringing to fruition many of the long-term plans worked on by COM over recent years, while at the same time enhancing things already in place. Sustainability of the Association is paramount to us all having this one collective voice in the community and giving all of our businesses every chance of success. COM has been working hard to make sure that the Association not only stays strong into the future, but at the same time opens up the doors of membership to a broader and more powerful critical mass. Collaboration will again be a huge thing for STA in 2016 as we enter into our second combined SuperExpo with our event partner Blind Manufacturers’ Association of Australia (BMAA) from 8 to 10 June on the Gold Coast. The relationship between the two associations is growing stronger each year, due to our combined dedication to giving our respective members the best of the best. We also look forward to growing our relationship with OFPANZ (Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand) and harness the great work done by both associations over many years, not the least of which was last year, when many OFPANZ representatives and members joined us in Melbourne for what was a fantastic expo, SpecTex15. Our strong subcommittees are set to continue their great work from previous years, hitting the ground running with some big picture topics that really will demand attention. As regulation and legislation changes year in year out, our determination to be there for our members and the community only grows stronger. Many of our products and services are at the whim of external forces, progress and change. Accordingly our relevance and development are our future and our subcommittees offer our best chance to maintain them. As always we have a range of events scheduled in for 2016 and we would love as much participation as possible – the more people that share and network, the better we all are. Our Awards for Excellence will also feature prominently this year and we encourage all companies to enter their brilliant work, so that we can show the world just how good we all are. I wish you all a very prosperous year of business and look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible during what I believe will be a huge and exciting year for our great Association. Remember it’s your Association and the more you can involve yourself and your company, the better we all are for it, as supporting and learning from each other is key. Glenn Barlow – President


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3/02/16 3:53 PM

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UPDATE FROM THE SPECIALISED TEXTILES ASSOCIATION OFFICE In this issue of Connections, executive officer Ana Drougas gives you a glimpse of just a few STA projects that would normally not receive too much fanfare. STA eNewsletters are a great way to keep up with the Association’s daily activities and updates – so if you have not signed up to receive these please do so via the website.


016 seems to have arrived in such speed. While looking forward to starting this year at a decent pace, it all went out the window when our very first task was to relocate offices in the first week back from the holiday season. Packing and moving are some of the greater stresses in life. We have now settled into our new space, which we share with the Vinyl Council of Australia. We have not gone too far – just moving one floor down to suite 102 (from 201), 22 St Kilda Road, St Kilda, Victoria. All our other contact details remain the same. Every new year for our Association marks the opening of the Awards for Recognition program (incorporating the Awards for Excellence, Woman of the Year and Young Achiever), which provides an opportunity for all members of the Specialised Textiles Association to showcase their most prized projects, and recognition for individuals via the Woman of the Year Award, as well as they Young Achiever Award. Members’ entries are now open and can be made online via our website (entry deadline is Monday 4 April 2016). All entries will be displayed at SuperExpo2016 with the winners being announced on Wednesday 8 June on the Gold Coast. The later months of 2015 marked the review of all our subcommittees (this happens every two years), which means that some positions became vacant and a call to fill these was made.

WOMEN IN TEXTILES WIT has been doing amazing work in getting swags made for the homeless, by various member businesses across the country, as reported in our last issue. There will be more on the progress of this project in our next issue. In the meantime, this committee is also raising funds for charity by participating in the CEO Sleepout, so keep an eye out on our website and in your email inbox for more info – or go to the Women in Textiles Facebook page.

EXPO MARINE FABRICATOR DIVISION This subcommittee is once again working on organising workshops to run throughout the year in order to provide marine fabricators with the opportunity to learn from one another and to raise the standard of work being produced. The first workshop will take place during SuperExpo2016 on the Gold Coast and the second will be at NSW TAFE in early August. Further workshops are being planned, with registration for these available via our website in due course. Please note that these workshops are very popular and, with limited positons, priority is given to members of the Specialised Textiles Association.

FABRIC STRUCTURES This committee has big shoes to fill in 2016 with the chair, Beatrice Moonen of Abacus, stepping down form the positon after over four years. Once the committee meets in 2016, their first task will be to appoint a new chair and continue on where they left off, plus take on some new projects. Thank you for all your hard work and passion, Beatrice.


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SuperExpo2016 is now less than six months away. Given the momentum that this has gathered so far, I don’t think I’m speaking out of line when I say it’s going to be huge! The strength of the collaboration between us, the Specialised Textiles Association, and the Blind Manufacturers’ Association of Australia promises to make this one of the best expos yet. SuperExpo2016 has now also attracted the attention of the Upholstering Distributors Association members, who will also be exhibiting on the Gold Coast. This has necessitated in the expansion of the exhibition space. By the time this issue goes to print, the SuperExpo2016 website should be live and will be the ‘go to’ place for anything SuperExpo related for visitors and exhibitors. For further info on SuperExpo2016, please contact our project manager – Brett Greene on 07 3262 4877. We’re looking forward to reporting on the SuperExpo2016 program along with the Marine Fabricator Workshop in our next issue. Until then, please check our website for updates. Ana Drougas Executive officer, STA

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ACCREDITED MEMBERS OF STA The STA is proud to announce the latest members to gain its business accreditation.


HVG FABRICS 29 Henderson Street, Turrella NSW 2205 Tel: 1300 854 811 HVG Fabrics distributes specialised performance fabrics to conversion sectors including blinds and awning, domestic and commercial shade, transport, marine and agriculture. With its 130-plus years of combined industry experience, you can rely on its nationwide sales specialists for the very best in fabric application solutions. National stock support means you have product where and when you need it. With a constant desire to innovate, push boundaries and develop product, HVG Fabrics is an alliance partner you can trust. MIAMI STAINLESS 3/99 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads, Qld 4220 Tel: 1800 022 122 Miami Stainless is an Australian owned and operated designer, fabricator, importer and distributor of high quality stainless steel hardware specialising in the architectural and shade structure industries. Celebrating a decade of continued success, Miami Stainless supplies over 2500 items, including complete balustrade systems, shade sail fittings, wire rope, handrail, custom post solutions, glass balustrade hardware, tools and accessories. SAIL CITY 4/2 James Street, Bayswater WA 6053 Tel: 1300 304 360 Established in 2003, Sail City manufactures and installs shade sails for domestic and commercial areas like carports, pools, playgrounds, courtyards and balconies throughout Western Australia. It uses the best commercial fabrics and threads with maximum UV protection backed by a 10-year proportional warranty, boasts skilled consultants with 40 years’ combined experience and is a multi award-winner in the STA’s National Awards for Excellence (2009, 2010 and 2013).


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THORLINE SHADE STRUCTURES 20 Thorne Street, Wynnum, Queensland 4178 Tel: 07 3396 9245 Founded in 1988, Thorline has vast experience with shade structures in Queensland and overseas. A PVC welding and sewing specialist, it offers waterproof and mesh shade sails, framed and tensioned membrane structures, CAD and manufacture, UV protection for schools and kindergartens etc, clear PVC blinds, mesh and canvas blinds, custom steel fabrication and welding, 2-pack polyurethane coatings in various colours applied to structures and hot dipped galvanisation. PASKAL 9A Lakewood Boulevard, Braeside Vic 3195 Tel: +613 9588 8800 Paskal has been operating as a supplier to the industrial fabrics and accessory industries for over 20 years now. In that time, it has grown to become a national company with warehouses located in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Paskal’s success has come from its ability to provide quality products at competitive prices and by offering customer service at a personal level based on its longstanding associations with its customers. NOLAN.UDA 3 Bradford Street, Alexandria NSW 2015 Tel: 1800 357 585 Nolan.UDA is a diverse and national supplier of commercial and industrial textiles, including acoustic solutions, automotive material, blinds and awnings, commercial furniture, domestic upholstery, floor coverings, healthcare fabrics, industrial fabrics and marine applications. It has seven branches strategically located in capital cities throughout Australia. Over many years, Nolan.UDA has established a solid and reputable network of trading partners around the world. It prides itself on its core business principles: integrity, innovation and value for money.

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NEW MEMBERS The STA is pleased to welcome the following individuals and companies to its membership.

COVERGIRL MARINE Covergirl Marine Trimming designs, manufactures and installs the highest quality boat covers, dodgers, biminis, clears, upholstery, carpet or any other marine fabric application. It specialises in replacing or repairing existing marine covers for yachts and powerboats of all sizes. Custom projects can be made from square one. Restitching, repairs, new zippers, upholstery, dodgers, biminis, clears, sail bags, boom bags, sun protection, window covers, BBQ covers, dinghy covers etc. Contact: Allison Sylvania, New South Wales Email: Tel: 0468 421 501

PORT CUSTOM MARINE COVERS PCMC was born more out of necessity than anything else. Kateena has over 15 years’ experience in upholstery and


marine trimming, but the company’s point of difference is that she has been sewing since she was five years old and her workmanship is of a very high standard. But PCMC always aspires to improve. Along with the right business practices and philosophies, it strives for the best possible result within a budget and time-frame for the client/owner. Its team promises to take the time to find out what’s important and what works, then works on what can be improved. Being the last stop before Darwin with any real facilities, PCMC has helped many on the way through and also looks after a growing commercial fleet of vessels in port. The team consists of Sarah, company owners, Harry and Teena, with the recent addition, Andrew. Contact: Kateena Skournbourdis The Reef Marina, Port Douglas Tel: 0410 533 141


NORTH QUEENSLAND TRIMMING The owner/operator of NQT, Paul Marsh has just celebrated 30 years of business and 34 years in the trade. The main focus of his work is marine trimming, followed by motor trimming, aircraft trimming and then everything else associated with coach and motor body trimming, upholstery and canvas work. He will work on anything and has found that when times are tough, his work keeps rolling in. For the last five years he has been a one-man band finding it gives him better control over quality. He strives for and is looking forward to learning as much as he can from his involvement with the STA and the Marine Fabricators Division. Contact: Paul Marsh 2 Aidan Street, Deeragun, Townsville Queensland Email: Tel: 07 4751 5375


TOOLS & MORE T We also carry an extensive range of ha hand and hydraulic swage tools, cutters and accessories. cutter





CAPABILITIES Stainless Steel Hardware

3/99 West Burleigh Rd, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220 P 1800 022 122 E


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he Australian specialised textiles industry has again proved itself on an international stage with a whole slew of local companies and members of the Specialised Textiles Association (STA) taking home accolades from last year’s International Achievement

Awards (IAA), which were announced at the IFAI (Industrial Fabrics Association International) Expo 2015, held at the Anaheim Convention Centre in California on 8 October 2015. There were winners across several categories including marine trimming

and fabric structures, with Shade to Order, Fabritecture and David’s Custom Trimmers all having three projects selected for recognition. Many of the winners also came up trumps at the most recent STA Awards. The selected projects were:



Dodgers with Extensions

Beneteau Sense 50 Full Cockpit Enclosure

DAVID’S CUSTOM TRIMMERS for three projects: Category


Marine Interior Upholstery

White leather seating, Power Boat Enclosure

Award of Excellence Dodgers with Extensions

2000 Trimaran Dodger and Bimini

Outstanding Achievement Dodgers with Extensions

Dodger Redesign

FABRITECTURE for three projects: Category


Frame-supported Structures

Dockside Pavilion

Commercial Awnings and Canopies 93 – 186 square metres

Kawana Waters Entry

Freestanding Structures more than 92 square metres

Piara Waters



Travel/Full Covers

Barcrusher Cover

SHADE TO ORDER for three projects: Category


Shade Sails

Wickham Park Hotel

Tensile Structures < 600 square metres

Halifax Holiday Park

Award of Excellence Commercial Awnings and Canopies 93 – 186 square metres

The Lucky Hotel

STA AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE Entries for the next STA Awards for Excellence are now open. All members of the STA are eligible to enter and can do so by completing the online entry form on the STA’s website. All projects entered into the Awards will be displayed during the SuperExpo2016 trade exhibition (8 to 10 June 2016), with the winners announced at the Ceremonial Dinner in the evening of Wednesday 8 June.


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All the winning projects will also be featured in the following issue of Connections magazine, while also being included on the STA’s Facebook page and in its eNewsletter. Winners receive an Award plaque and an ‘Awards for Excellence’ winner logo to use in their business and promotional material.

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Two stalwarts of the specialised textiles industry have made a major announcement.


t is with great pleasure that the directors of both Nolan.UDA and Radins Australia announce their forthcoming partnership between the two entities. Both companies have a rich history within the industry in terms of knowledge and experience within major market sectors including: industrial textiles, automotive and marine, blinds and awnings, and contract and commercial. With the merger, comes an enhanced service and a comprehensive product offering that is sourced from world leading manufacturers both within Australia and abroad. This combination will provide benefits and opportunity for our diverse customer base. Managing directors, Chris Nolan (Nolan.UDA) and Tony Bond (Radins Australia), believe the merger is an exciting opportunity that will benefit all stakeholders including staff, customers, suppliers, shareholders and the wider community. Both parties agree this strategic move will provide a solid foundation for mature and emerging markets, offering security and growth for all involved. Further details will be made available shortly. The purpose of this announcement is to communicate our exciting news, but for the time being it will be business as usual until later in 2016. All our customers and suppliers can be assured they will receive the same level of service and expertise that they have enjoyed for several decades. Chris Nolan Nolan.UDA

Tony Bond Radins


ullivans International Limited, a Brisbane-based Australian manufacturer and distributor of decorative trimmings, curtain accessories, curtain tracking and sewing accessories and craft products for over 30 years, has announced that it has sold the window coverings area of the company. From 1 December 2015 the following companies were trading under the new owner, Ben Rose of Graham Corp Pty Ltd. • MCP Australian Pty Ltd – ACN 082 627 889 • Smart Home Products Pty Ltd – ACN 085 793 951 • Windoware Pty Ltd – 095 168 442 On 1 December 2015, Sullivans sent out a press release signed by group general manager Stephanie Rohl informing its suppliers of the sale and explaining that, as it was a share sale, Graham Corp would be assuming all of the outstanding trade creditors. It further advised that all suppliers forward a new credit application to be completed by the new owner. The press release went on to thank suppliers for their support for the last 20 years and suggest that they would “enjoy an equally beneficial business relationship with Ben Rose, the new owner”. Windoware is currently listed as having offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra, while Smart Home Products has an office in Dandenong South in Victoria.

LET US HANDLE THE BIG JOBS BULK WELDING IS OUR SPECIALTY Why not stick to what you do best and leave the bulk sewing and welding (hot air, hot wedge, RF welding) to DDT. At our wholesale prices, you can improve your bottom line. Contact Max or Michael for a quotation


SIZE IS NO PROBLEM Darling Downs Tarpaulins are geared to cope with those very large jobs like green houses, shade houses, shade sails, dam liners and bulk storage covers.

Phone: 07 4634 2166 Fax: 07 4634 7725 Email: Web:

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KEITH BARTLETT MADE A LIFE MEMBER OF THE STA One of the most popular announcements at the SpecTex15 Awards Dinner in June was when Glenn Barlow and David Burton called Keith Bartlett of C E Bartlett to the stage and presented him with life membership of the Specialised Textiles Association. With his wealth of industry experience and long association with STA, Bartlett was an obvious contender for this prestigious award.



third generation member of longstanding canvas manufacturer C.Ede Pty Ltd, Daryl Ede died on Sunday 13 September last year. He had been very ill and admitted to ICU with septicaemia, fighting hard for three weeks before succumbing to the infection that had reached his heart. He died peacefully in his sleep. Daryl had joined the family business in 1976, initially working at the front of the shop in the retail section. He also had a pilot’s licence, enabling him to fly west of Queensland to cattle stations and properties for quotations. He became director on the retirement of his father Clary in 1987. C.Ede is one of the most wellestablished and respected companies in the Townsville region, currently specialising in canvas and vinyl products, shade sails, blinds and awnings, flags and marine goods.


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Like his grandfather, company founder Charlie Ede, Daryl had a strong market sense, as well as a canny sense for the future of the industry. By the mid 1980s he’d already realised the growing importance of computers and so he undertook night school training to facilitate taking the business from a manual environment into this new age. His confident leadership in this regard prompted the retirement of the office team, to make way for staff with computer skills. He wasn’t afraid to make tough choices in order to stay at the forefront of the industry, but he ensured his retiring staff knew their contribution had been appreciated and they were well taken care of. Once the business was computerised, he was in the office full-time and formed many friendships with both customers and suppliers over the phone. He loved one-liners and a good joke and developed a lunchtime ritual of visiting the Townsville Motor Boat Club, where he loved to savour a scotch or two. And his foresight paid off. In 2015 he was proud to join the next generation of Edes as they celebrated the company’s 100-year anniversary. “Regarded as the best boss ever, he was a tireless worker right up to his last

Above: L to R: Russell Ede, Bronwyn Ede-Mansbridge and Daryl Ede

day at the shop… even though he told everyone he was retired!” say the family. After nearly 40 years in the business, he leaves C.Ede in the reliable hands of his cousin Russell and daughter Bronwyn. “He enjoyed a joke and loved to have a laugh. We will miss him deeply but, as he would say, ‘As you were’,” say the family.

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Serpentine Galleries ©Ron Ellis



n December, the design, architecture, art and technology website, Designboom, announced its Top 10 Temporary Structures of 2015, and in among the various wooden and metallic pavilions constructed for sundry exhibitions and fairs, were a couple of outstanding structures utilising fabrics and materials in exciting and innovative ways. One was Spanish studio, Selgascano’s Serpentine Pavilion in London. The 15th in a series of annual temporary structures, the pavilion appeared in Kensington Gardens from 25 June to 18 October last year and was a chaotic yet conversely carefully calibrated affair intended to reference the London Underground. “When the Serpentine invited us to design the pavilion, we began to think

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MPavillion ©John Gollings

about what the structure needed to provide and what materials should be used in a royal park in London,” said the studio at the pavilion’s opening. “These questions, mixed with our own architectural interests and the knowledge that the design needs to connect with nature and feel part of the landscape, provided us with a concept based on pure visitor experience. We sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, color and materials.” Those materials formed a doubleskinned polygonal shape, made up of panels of multicoloured, translucent fluorine-based polymer (EFTE). And with Spanish architects creating the pavilion to go into an English park, it perhaps follows that an English architect was picked to create 2015’s MPavilion in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens (the second iteration of this

installation after Sean Godsell’s inaugural pavilion in 2014). The designer in question was Stirling Prize-winning architect Amanda Levete and her creation comprised a series of thin metal stems, holding up a tree-like canopy of 52 translucent petals. As Wallpaper* magazine noted, “The graceful structure is deceptively strong – incorporating innovations in nautical engineering.” Sandra Tan in Architecture Review Asia Pacific elaborated: “With no walls, its iridescent canopy offers the only form of shelter. The petals are made of resin and carbon fibre, engineered especially for Levete’s design by ShapeShift Design Technologies (mouldCAM), which worked in 24-hour shifts to ensure that the challenging composite was made to exact specifications.” The structure was in situ from 5 October 2015 to 7 February 2016 and was used for a free program of workshops, talks, performances and other installations.


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The Barrington Collection


icky Richards is proud to announce that we are the exclusive, national distributor of ‘The Barrington Collection’. Barrington, a polyester cotton block out canvas collection is manufactured by familyowned Wax Converter Textiles. The synergy between the two family-owned companies allows us to grow and expand the local awning market, and to help promote Australian companies manufacturing and selling Australian made fabrics. The Barrington Collection of fabrics offers modern flair while maintaining traditional concepts. A 100 percent Australian made poly/cotton painted canvas, with over 48 colour and design options, Barrington includes three different fabric styles. Artisan is a set of state-of-the-art striped designs with a unique charcoal backing, developed


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to complement modern day Australian architecture. Artisan design includes two unique fabrics that are striped on both the front and reverse side. For a more traditional look, Jubilee fabrics hold true to the traditional green back feel and include some favourite designs of years gone by. Barrington also features a large selection of cutting edge bold colours that are colour matched on both the front and reverse side. All designs and colours in this collection meet the market trends of today and suit the external home environment. Barrington fabrics help reduce solar heat gain by over 95 percent. They are designed for endurance and when installed will support indoor climate control and energy savings. All Barrington colours and designs have maximum colourfastness, which

increases resistance to fading. The fabric has a protective coating system called ‘Bio-UltraShield’, which incorporates an antimicrobial process. Bio-UltraShield ensures the fabric is mould-, mildew- and stain resistant, making it low maintenance, durable and easy to clean. Bio-UltraShield ensures Barrington protects against the elements for many years of service. We are so confident regarding the quality of the Barrington fabric collection that we are offering an industry first seven-year warranty! The Barrington Collection is now available from Ricky Richards. For your exclusive samples and further information about this exciting new concept, please contact the friendly sales team on 02 9735 3333 or email

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!NEW MODERNCOLLECTIONOFFABRICS COMBININGTRADITIONALFUNCTIONWITHBOLDCOLOURTOCREATE THE ALL NEW Barrington collection of fabrics combine classic Australian design with contemporary flair, to bring stylish shade perfection to domestic and commercial outdoor blind or awning projects. The latest development in Australian made canvas fabrics, Barrington includes a selection of designs with a unique charcoal reverse side, developed to complement modern day Australian architecture. Barrington fabrics provide 100% blockout and when installed will support indoor climate control and energy savings. For your exclusive samples and further information about this exciting new concept in Australian window furnishing fabrics, talk to the experienced Ricky Richards window furnishing fabrics team today.

48 colour and design options Designs with NEW charcoal reverse side Designs with stripes on both sides 100% Australian made 7 year warranty

CALL 02 9735 3333 or EMAIL Proudly manufactured by:

PA R T N E R I N G F O R P R E V E N T I O N Ricky Richards (Sales) Pty Ltd0ARK2OAD (OMEBUSH.37s0HONEs&AXFOLLOW US

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18 TECHNOLOGY Mildura Soundshell.

TECHNOLOGY IS DELIVERING WITH SHADE DESIGNS IN 60 SECONDS Are you a shade sail supplier and installer worn down by the hours you spend on quotes for jobs you may never get? There’s a way to cut that time down significantly, meaning you can make more quotes and increase your chances of scoring those lucrative contracts. Alan Stewart from Structureflex explains how.

THE SITUATION It’s a competitive market today. With ever-increasing numbers of suppliers and slowing demand, there’s a tendency for some businesses to drop prices in an effort to win more work. Under these circumstances, one option for you would be to reduce costs, increase efficiency and try to match these lower quotes in order to maintain market share. Alternatively, you could remain competitive while maintaining reasonable margins by producing more compelling proposals and doing so much faster than your competition.

THE OPPORTUNITY ‘Ring ring’ – you pick up the phone. It’s Mr Jones, the local school principal, asking for a quote for another shade sail over some existing play equipment. The site is adjacent to sails you quoted for last year, but you lost the job to a competitor. It’s a growing school and you know there will be more work to come, so you’re motivated to win the deal and demonstrate your skills. But, it’s the middle of summer and you’re running a week or more behind on your quotes, which you know means you’re already losing work. What to do? Jump on this lead and fall further behind with your other quotes, or just add this opportunity to the end of the list and get to it in another week or so? To complicate the decision, the school requires that quotes include a shadow analysis confirming any proposed design will provide the required shade performance. This will add hours to the preparation of a quote. What do you do? “Er, OK, thanks for the call Mr Jones. I’ll ring you back to make a time to meet on-site,” etc and another name goes on the list.


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THE CURRENT APPROACH TO PREPARING DESIGNS FOR A QUOTE: Visit the site and take detailed measurements of the area to be covered including any play equipment – 60 to 90 minutes. ● Prepare a CAD drawing of the site – roughly 30 minutes. ● Draw two or three design options in plan view – 60 minutes. ● Elevate the plans to show the front view (many companies don’t do this, as it’s too time-consuming) – 60 minutes. ● Prepare shadow analysis for each design (four times a day on three dates = 12 images per design = total 36 images at 10 minutes each = 360 minutes). Total time – it’s a crazy 10 hours. Who has that amount of time to spend? After all, you have to bend your back for the taxman for some of your day, and make ●

WHAT IF IT COULD BE DONE IN ONE TO TWO HOURS AND MAYBE, INSTEAD OF DOING ONE QUOTE IN A DAY, YOU COULD DO THREE OR FOUR? WOULDN’T THAT LEAD TO MORE JOBS? some sails, install some sails, talk to clients and suppliers, spend some time with your family… Oh, and there’s that thing called sleep – remember it? Sorry, I got carried away. Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit; obviously you’re more competent on the computer than I am and can do it in much less time and you have a bunch of other tricks to cut down on the time. Let’s accept you’re a gun at the whole process and can do it in around half that time, say five to six hours. It’s still a lot of time. What if it could be done in one

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to two hours and maybe, instead of doing one quote in a day, you could do three or four? Wouldn’t that lead to more jobs?


Visit the site and take sufficient measurements to determine the size of the sail required and any obstacles you may need to clear/avoid – 30 minutes. Create two or three design options in software such as MPanel Shade Designer (MPSD), which produces full 3D models, so the elevations are all done – five minutes. In SketchUp (the free 3D modelling software) ‘Add Location’, which provides an aerial image of the site – one minute. Import sail designs into SketchUp and orient the on-site image – less than five minutes for simple images such as this example, or you could spend more time to include more detail such as play equipment and trees etc (for an example of a more detailed design proposal with multiple sails check out Prepare shadow analysis for each design (four times per day on three dates = 12 images per design = total 36 images). This can be done as simple screen captures with the results inserted into a previously prepared Word or Pages template. Total 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you decide SketchUp works for you, you could then purchase the Pro version, which includes Layout allowing you to build intelligent templates. This should reduce the time to prepare your show report to about three minutes. And for the icing on the cake, how about a quick video that you can share over YouTube – this will help the school to better communicate its plans with other stakeholders/ funding sources and further seal your brand on the project ( KKoakn0vl3o). C

Structureflex provides design and engineering services for all forms of fabric structures. We also supply and support MPanel – Europe’s leading fabric design and engineering software suites (

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LINING UP YOUR LEGACY Succession planning – it’s all about building, protecting and releasing the value of your business, says Bruce Saward of Saward Dawson.


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ongratulations on having built a successful business. But how will you fully release the value of that business for the benefit of your family? Succession planning sounds like the sort of thing you do when you are approaching 60, but in reality you should be thinking about this much earlier. It is as much about risk management as it is about ultimate retirement! Succession planning is really about making yourself dispensable in your business or, at the very least, reducing the reliance on you. If the future of your business is totally dependent on you, then its value may well be lost or substantially diminished if you were to suffer a long-term illness, become disabled or die. Effective succession planning must therefore include considering the unexpected as well as planned events.

BUILD AND PROTECT BUSINESS VALUE Succession planning is about ensuring that the value of your business is protected and is capable of being released at some point. It will consider issues such as: ● dependence on particular individuals (not just the business owner) ● documented systems and procedures, and ● the quality of your customers, contracts and restraints on key employees. It will also entail asking yourself the following questions: ● How are you developing your team? ● What steps should be taken to prepare your business for sale? ● Can the business run without you now? ● How can you optimise the value of your business? ● Who are potential purchasers of the business? ● What role does insurance play in protecting your family? ● What would a due diligence investigation of your business reveal?

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flexibility as you grow old or can the business be self-sustaining? Our view is that the best succession strategy is to ensure that the business is addressing all of the above issues now, not just when a potential purchaser appears or when you reach the point where you want to sell. In this way you are building and protecting the value of your business. One of the things that we have found over the years is that cashing out the value of the business may not be the best financial decision. With fewer and increasingly discerning purchasers in the market, more and more businesses will continue with managers in control and owners being more passively involved.

RELEASING BUSINESS VALUE But when it comes time to sell, the following factors will play an important part in determining the value that is released to you: The profitability of the business – although past profitability is important, it is the future profitability that you need to convince a purchaser about. So building a business with sustainable profitability is important. Assets tied up in the business – the more you have tied up in tangible assets, such as stock, debtors and plant, the lower the value of the goodwill, which is what you have built. So ensuring fast inventory turnover and low debtor days will lead to more value available to be released to you.

Risk will influence value – as with any investment, there is a trade-off between risk and reward when considering how to value a business. So the higher the risk attached to your business the less someone will pay for it. Conversely, the lower the risk the more they will pay. So consider the risks that are peculiar to your business such as dependence on individuals, suppliers and customers, and manage or mitigate these risks – this will enhance business value. Consider who the likely purchasers will be. Is there a compatible business that would benefit from merging their business with yours? Is your business attractive to a standalone investor? Do you have a market niche that makes you attractive to a particular purchaser? Is it possible that your management team could be the purchasers, with or without you continuing to hold some portion of the business? Saward Dawson acts for many smallto medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and is very experienced in assisting businesses in effective succession planning. The starting point is to perform a business diagnostic that identifies the areas on which you should be working, and then to set about addressing each of the issues so that a succession path becomes clear and is easily pursued. We would be pleased to discuss how we could assist you as you consider succession in your business. C Bruce Saward is managing partner of Saward Dawson Chartered Accountants, which is based in Blackburn in Melbourne’s east. Saward Dawson’s team of around 50 accountants delivers a diverse range of services to predominantly family owned SMBs. Bruce can be contacted at


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THE RESULTS ARE IN! Jane Newton, research manager, Manufacturing Skills Australia, reports back on the results of the recent survey conducted by the STA into working conditions, training issues and future trends.


id you participate in our 2015 survey? Thank you if you did. We appreciate your feedback. All the responses have been collated and we wanted to share the results with you, so that you can understand what the Association’s priorities will be this year. Receiving the results of the survey, was wonderful as we now have a better picture of the industry and its concerns. Over 85 percent of respondents were located in the eastern states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. The majority were members of the Association, which was great to see as this means we are the voice of the industry. The industry is very diverse with respondents identifying a range of sectors such as blinds and awnings fabricators/installers, shade sail fabricators/installers, marine or motor trimmers, pool covers and liner makers, soft furnishing makers, toolbag manufacturers and custom fabric structures manufacturers. Almost 80 percent of you provide value-add services, such as service and repair, product design and development, customisation and installation. Small business is the lifeblood of the industry, with 80 percent of


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IN THE AREA OF TRAINING, CONCERN WAS EXPRESSED THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE RTO IN AUSTRALIA PROVIDING ACCREDITED TRAINING FOR THE INDUSTRY. you identifying as employing fewer than 15 people. Our workforce is reasonably stable with only 11 percent of respondents indicating that they had had to reduce their workforce in the last 12 months. It is also hard working and productive with over 50 percent of you reporting that productivity had increased in the last year. Recruiting skilled workers remains a major concern, with over 70 percent of you reporting difficulty in obtaining the workers you need. Experienced sewing machinists and experienced fabricators were the most frequently identified skill shortage areas, and installers the next. Improving access to quality training and promoting the industry to school leavers were suggested as the two primary ways that this skill shortage could be fixed.

In the area of training, concern was expressed that there is only one RTO (registered training office) in Australia providing accredited training for the industry. This RTO is based in Sydney. Many of you said you wanted to train new staff and upskill existing staff, but with such restricted access, it was extremely difficult. Cost was also a major issue. As a result, you often take time out from working on your business to provide onthe-job training. This is creating conflict and stress for you as you try to juggle competing priorities. Management skills training was reported by over 90 percent of respondents as a priority. You also highlighted the need to develop specific training for marine trimmers. The majority of respondents reported that business conditions last year had improved and you were expecting this to continue. The immediate challenge you see is the ongoing skill shortage. However, looking five years ahead, you identified financial issues and technology as the major challenges facing your business. Again thanks to all who participated. If you didn’t participate and would like to give us your feedback on the results, please email Ana Drougas at the STA C

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Monotec 370 series â&#x20AC;&#x201C; new colour launch


t Ricky Richards we understand that only high performance fabrics should be used for architecturally designed projects including those that are developed to protect people, horticulture and vehicles from harsh weather elements such as sun, wind and hail. The Monotec Series of shadecloth fabrics manufactured by Pro-Knit Industries are the perfect solution! We are excited to announce that due to popular demand Monotec 370 Series has a new colour! Candy (Red) is the new vibrant colour addition to the Monotec 370 Designer Collection. Great for commercial applications, this

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striking red will be perfect for shade sails and structures installed at council park playgrounds, aquatic centres and any recreational areas where colour can make a bold statement and add fun. Monotec 370 series is the market leading architectural shadecloth fabric! It is 100 percent Australian made and is the perfect fabric to use for shade sails and structures in our harsh Australian climate. Manufactured with 100 percent genuine round monofilament HDPE yarn, Monotec 370 has a high strength to weight ratio, exceeding Australian standards requirements for bursting and tensile strength. Available in 3.25 metres and

6.5 metres, these wide widths will assist you with minimising unsightly seams and weak points in a sail, and also help with reducing fabrication costs. Monotec Series shadecloth has been used in many award-winning projects, both in Australia and internationally, and is industry recognised as the highest performing shadecloth in the world. For your sample of Monotec 370 Series Candy Red or further information about the Monotec Series fabrics, please contact the friendly Ricky Richards sales team on 02 9735 3333 or by email


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CAIRNS’ CAN-DO ATTITUDE A new initiative by Cairns Council has resulted in better shade solutions at community sporting groups and more work for local company Sail Structures. It’s a total win/win.


he proactive Cairns Regional Council has piloted a scheme that is already resulting in a number of community sporting clubs gaining new shade structures, thanks to a grants program the Council is running through its Go Clubs initiative. Go Clubs is a program developed to create awareness of Council services for community notfor-profit groups and grow community resources. In order to expand the Go Clubs program, it was necessary to engage private sector support, says the Council’s Leisure Services Coordinator, Tim Dendle. “With buy-in from external partners, Council has the opportunity to add new services and bring in resources that, due to budget or capacity issues, it otherwise couldn’t deliver.” This partnership program was developed with three initiatives, including the ‘Go Get Sun Smart Grant’. The aim of this grant was to assist clubs with the development of areas that provide shade to improve sun smart practices for players, spectators, officials and volunteers. Interested clubs and bodies were encouraged to complete an application form for a community grant. With a minimum amount per application of $1500 and a maximum of $5000, the cash contribution was paid directly to successful grant applicants to engage the Council’s Program Partner to provide approved shade structures.


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The Council then put out a tender to find that Program Partner company, which would then supply the shade sails. The tender was won by Sail Structures and owner John Rebecchi says his company was delighted to be involved. “I think it’s a fantastic idea,” he says. “It’s north Queensland. It’s 35 degrees here, which is like 55 degrees in Melbourne! So the kids benefit and the parents benefit.” Dendle says that there were 10 applications from community groups and clubs in the last round, of which six received grants. “These clubs best met the criteria…” he says. “The cut-off was

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ultimately the amount of funding available. The highest ranked clubs were successful.” On average the clubs took six to eight months to complete their projects after Council approval and all projects had to have commenced by 30 June 2015. Rebecchi says the impacts of the initiative were immediately obvious. He mentions a cricket club where the shade situation was so bad spectators were unable to watch games when the sun was setting. Sail Structures took about six weeks to complete the project. “We met with the club’s people and discussed their issues,” says Rebecchi. “We designed a solution from there, selected the colours and designs and all went fairly smoothly.” Dendle says the community response has been positive. “The program has been given many favourable endorsements,” he says. “However, the real outcomes will be noted over time with more kids under shade and ultimately safer environments to play sport.” Last year was the first time the scheme was put into practice, but the program is being reviewed in early 2016, he says. C


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READY TO SHARE 35 YEARS OF FABRICATION EXPERIENCE One of Australia’s most well-known and experienced marine fabricators is Dave Elliott, MFC. This is the first in a series of articles in which he talks about his career so far and shares some secrets of the trade.


n this series, I will be introducing you to another talented fabricator, Aaron Stroud-Smith from Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, located across the country in Victoria. Aaron has taken on 95 percent of my strange methods, changing the way he fabricates and having excellent success with his end results. Back in 1978, at 16, I started a four-year apprenticeship in coach and motor body trimming. In those days apprenticeships were four years under a ‘boss’, with a sixweek block at tech college for three of those years. I learned 10 times more at college than I did off my boss. During my last year at college, where I’d received honours three years in a row, my head teacher asked if I would be interested in taking on some of his customers – members of the Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and BMW car clubs of Queensland. He said my work was the “best he had seen in 20 years as a teacher” and I was honoured to be asked.


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My main job for the boss at the time was automotive trimming. I had bought my own sewing machine when I was a second-year apprentice, and one of my college projects was the inside of a VW Beetle that I was rebuilding. I won places at local car shows for car interiors, and I still do specialised car interiors for some of my regular customers – custommade leather bucket seats for a Subaru Impreza and a Ford GT show car, convertible tops etc. All I got to do on boats with him was trimming and cutting the edges of the canopies and clears for trailer boat covers. From the third year of my apprenticeship, I was running the workshop by myself, as the boss started a second workshop. He would check in once or twice week for an hour or so. One week out of my apprenticeship, I moved to the Bayside area of Brisbane, and started my own business. I immediately

began working on boats in a big way. I was introduced to the marina manager at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, as well as a boat builder whose business was in the marina and has now been there for more than 30 years. My local marina has nearly 1700 boats in the water and another 400 on land. There are four yacht clubs within the harbour, and there are several canal estates within 30 minutes of my workshop. There is also a marina in the Brisbane River with another few hundred berths. There are always super yachts in this marina, which has facilities to take the large boats out of the water. We are one hour north of the Gold Coast with thousands of boats and two hours south of the Sunshine Coast. I work in both these areas, as well as being flown around Australia and internationally. Our boat work ranges from small tender covers through to super yachts.

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Manly Boat Harbour, Brisbane

The award-winning 53 Jeanneau

Part of my insight on how to build strong solid structures came from walking around my local marina whenever the wind blew more than 25 knots. I would watch how different covers reacted as wind gusts swirled around the boats. It helped me understand how different fabrics performed in different conditions. (The strongest storm in the marina was about 15 years ago when one boat registered 115 knots and two others marked 120 knots. That’s enough to challenge any cover!) Out of all my work in the marina, I had only two grommets torn out. (The owner admitted they had replaced a broken bungee with rope, which had no give. The bungee was an integral part of the design of the suspended awning.) I spent the following year replacing other fabricators’ failed covers. For the past 10 years, I have had a constant three-month waiting list while employing three full-time tradesmen and my wife, Andrea, who runs the office. I have an enormous amount of work because of time restrictions, but I also know through experience that employing more tradies would lead to loss of quality and less time for me to be hands-on. These guidelines underpin my business and work ethic: ● Persistence, persistence, persistence. ● Do it right the first time. ● Quality first; speed will come with time.

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● Never stagnate, always change and

improve. ● Let the competition play catch-up. I believe part of an efficient business is maintaining a clean, highly organised workshop. No rubbish on the presentation floor and a safe workplace. My involvement with the MFA (Marine Fabricators Association) brought about my decision to help Neil Hancock of Aussie Boat Covers establish a version of the Association in Australia three years ago. With the help of Neil, Aaron and other committee members, we have presented three years of successful hands-on workshops held under the auspices of the Specialised Textile Association. We are



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28 FEATURE Elliott’s “highly organised workshop”, Brisbane

getting attendances of 30 trimmers and 20 suppliers, and we have had to cap numbers, as workshops are proving so popular. In June 2016, the Specialised Textiles Association is holding its expo, incorporating the Trimmers’ Workshops, on Australia’s Gold Coast. We expect many Australian and international trimmers to attend. Our industry is strengthened when we challenge each other to continually raise our standards, and the hands-on workshop setting provides a huge learning opportunity.

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Over the 35 years of my career, I’ve built about 1200 spray dodgers, letting me test the boundaries of what is possible with design. In the coming articles, I will share some of my methods and techniques, including 3D hollowing, compound frame bending, dodger and bimini design, using old covers as patterns, lazy jack sail covers and patterning complex tender covers. C David Elliott owns David’s Custom Trimmers in Brisbane, Australia.

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CALL ME AZZ BY AARON STROUD-SMITH Call me ‘Azz’. I run Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, based near Lakes Entrance on Australia’s Gippsland Lakes. The lakes are Australia’s largest inland lake system, covering an area of about 600 square kilometres just behind the Ninety Mile Beach in Victoria.

ideas to implement into our business. At another workshop the following year in Melbourne, we met more trimmers and, with Neil Hancock at the helm, decided to start our own marine fabricators group under the banner of the Specialised Textiles Association.

In 1991, at the age of 17, I started an apprenticeship as a furniture upholsterer. Finishing the apprenticeship in 1995, I continued to work for the same employer for another year before taking over the business. We did general fabrication, encompassing furniture upholstery, motor trimming, canvas goods and marine trimming. I saw two apprentices through their time, and in 2003 went solo; motor trimming was the first work we dropped, and over time we winnowed the business down to just marine trimming.

In 2013, we headed back to Sydney for another workshop, run by Neil. This time we met a guy that had a glint in his eye, and more enthusiasm and passion and generosity for the trade than you could think possible – the legendary award-winning Dave Elliott. I had long admired Dave’s work, and thought of him as the ‘ultimate trimmer’. It was a meeting that changed everything. Although our workshops are 1600 kilometres apart, we started chatting almost daily via video call and sending images back and forth. After a couple of trips to each other’s workshops, we started to implement Dave’s ways of fabrication into what we already did.

My wife, Kym, joined me full-time in 2007, sharing the workload, which continued to increase. This year, we decided to exclusively work on boats, as we love boats, boating people and working on the water. To get to this point has taken many years and included attending a few key events and meeting some key people. We found we had plateaued with our work and skills – mostly trailer boats, with the odd ‘on water’ boat. Nick Mall from Innova Australia, who sold us on Serge Ferrari, urged us to attend a Serge Ferrari workshop in Sydney, an eight-hour drive away. We decided to make the journey – one of the best decisions we ever made. There we met Steve Szenay, along with others, who have become great friends and mentors. We were just blown away with what we learned from Steve over those two days. We came back with huge enthusiasm and

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I cannot say it is one thing that Dave does differently to produce his amazing award-winning covers, but many little things that each play an important role in producing beautiful and functional covers. We now work on larger vessels; our name has got out on the Gippsland Lakes that we are the team to head to for new covers. Over the next few issues, I will share the ways we implement Dave’s practices, always chasing the perfect fit and functionality for our clients and the satisfaction that brings us at the end of the job. Aaron Stroud-Smith runs Canvas Barn Marine Trimming in Swan Reach, Victoria, Australia.

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CONSUMER LAW The reformed national law for fair trading and consumer protection, the Australian Consumer Law, has now been in action for over five years, so there is no longer any excuse for being unaware of its requirements. At the end of 2015, however, a review process began, the results of which should be available next year.


he Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is a national law to ensure that all consumers have the same rights and all businesses have the same obligations in the areas of general standards of business conduct. It prohibits unfair trading practices, regulates specific transactions and the safety of consumer products and services, and provides basic consumer guarantees for goods and services. The ACL is a cooperative reform of the Australian Government and the states and territories, through the Council of


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Australian Governments (COAG). The complete text of the ACL is laid out in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (formerly known as the Trade Practices Act 1974). The ACL came into effect on 1 January 2011 and applies nationally across the country and includes all states and territories. For any transactions that took place before that date, the previous consumer laws continue to apply. As it stands, however, the ACL covers all Australian businesses and comprises the following:

● ● ●

● ●

a national unfair contract terms law covering standard form consumer and small business contracts a national law guaranteeing consumer rights when buying goods and services a national product safety law and enforcement system a national law for unsolicited consumer agreements covering doorto-door sales and telephone sales simple national rules for lay-by agreements, and penalties, enforcement powers and consumer redress options.

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The ACL is administered by the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), along with state and territory protection agencies, and is enforced by all Australian courts and tribunals. The ACCC and those same protection agencies are also the places to go for businesses that have queries about compliance or require guidance on their obligations. In 2015 Consumer Affairs Ministers agreed on some Terms of Reference for a review of the ACL, which is due to begin this year. The review will conducted by Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and a final report will be presented to Consumer Affairs Ministers in early 2017. The review will be informed by the second Australian Consumer Survey, which kicked off at the end of 2015. This survey assesses consumer and business awareness regarding rights and obligations under the ACL, and how that awareness may have changed since the ACL’s commencement in 2011. The following is from the ACL website ( 1. The review will assess the effectiveness of the provisions of the ACL, whether these provisions are operating as intended, and address the risk of consumer and business detriment at an appropriate level of regulatory burden. These provisions include but may not be limited to:



● ● ●

general prohibitions against misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct and unfair terms in consumer contracts, prohibitions against specific ‘unfair practices’, including bait advertising, referral selling, unsolicited supplies of goods and services, pyramid selling and component pricing, the system of statutory consumer guarantees, the national product safety framework, and enforcement powers, penalties and remedies applying under the ACL.

2. The review will also consider the extent to which the national consumer policy framework has met the objectives articulated by COAG. This will include: ● assessing whether the existing institutional, administrative and regulatory structures underpinning

the ACL, such as the ‘multiple regulator model’ and the coordinated enforcement, education, policy, research and advocacy approach of the Commonwealth and states and territories, are effective and efficient in supporting a single national consumer policy framework, considering the interface between the national consumer policy framework and other legislation, its jurisdiction and reach, including whether there are legislative gaps, duplication or inconsistencies with industry-specific and other laws, including opportunities to reduce unnecessary compliance costs on businesses, individuals and the community while maintaining adequate levels of consumer protection, and examining changes in consumer and business awareness of their respective rights, protections and obligations, including access to information about dispute resolution and consumer issues, since the implementation of the ACL.

3. The review will assess the flexibility of the ACL to respond to new and emerging issues to ensure that it remains relevant into the future as the overarching consumer policy framework in Australia. C For further information about the ACL, the progress of the Australian Consumer Survey and the ACL Review, visit the website

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17/03/15 AM 4/02/16 10:46 8:03 AM


PLAYING TO ITS STRENGTHS – BIG RED SHADE PRODUCTS When Andy McGill started Big Red Shade Products, shade was just a sideline, but he soon realised that this was where the company’s future lay.


ndy McGill is a man who knows how to look at the big picture. Hailing from Cornwall in England’s south-west, he kicked off his career with a five-year apprenticeship in the aircraft industry and travelled the world for work, before winding up in Australia in 1990 working for ASTA at Fishermans Bend. He followed that with senior positions at Pacific Dunlop and Austrim Nylex until 2001 when he had what he likes to all an “epiphany (or mid life crisis!)” and decided it was time to bite the bullet and work for himself. McGill started Big Red Shade Products from scratch in 2001. “Actually, initially I was manufacturing tooling for metalworking and shade was a sideline,”


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he says. “It soon became apparent that a/ the tooling was hard to sell versus cheap imports from Asia and b/ there was good demand for shade and, in Australia, it’s probably not going to go out of fashion in a hurry!” True to form though, McGill oversaw the company’s evolution as he went along. “I started off just doing small domestic shade sails and poolside umbrellas,” he explains. “This kept me pretty busy as a one-man band for a couple of years, but to grow the business I realised that I needed to change things.” His background and primary investments were in factory and steel fabrication equipment, so it didn’t make sense that these assets were not being fully utilised.

“We changed the shape of the business from a supplier direct to the domestic market to a design and manufacture resource to the shade industry,” he says. “We created our own range of standard products to offer to the industry. The first of these was our range of architectural umbrellas followed by conic structures and all sorts of steel fittings required in the shade trade. Now, 10 years later, we offer a full 3D CAD (computer aided design) and manufacture service to the industry.” Staff requirements at Big Red vary according to workload, but there is a solid core of four permanent staff. “Mark [Rogan] now runs the factory and looks after all the CAD and modelling. He’s also a gun welder!” says McGill. “Rob [Brennand]

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is a fitter and turner by trade and is our senior fabricator. Heather [McGill] ‘brilliantly’ takes care of admin, finance and marketing.” As for McGill himself, he’s currently focused on sales, while “slowing blending into semi-retirement – read: golf, cycling etc,” he says. Big Red has moved several times during the last decade and a half, but settled in its current premises in Carrum Downs south-east of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula around four years ago. A memorable recent project was for an architect who required 11 PVC umbrellas all joined together. “Sounds simple!” says McGill. “However, he wanted them all to be different sizes and heights. Some were square; some were rectangular. He also wanted the canopies made from repurposed PVC advertising banners to achieve an ‘eclectic look’. It was a challenge – the whole installation is over 30 metres long and everything had to be positioned within a few millimetres for it to

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WELL-MADE STRUCTURED SHADE ALSO LOOKS GREAT AND IS VERY COST-EFFECTIVE VERSUS STANDARD BUILDING CONSTRUCTION, SO I DON’T SEE TOO MANY CLOUDS ON THE HORIZON. work. The final result looks great and won us an STA Award!” Proudly declaring itself an Australian made and owned company, using locally sourced materials wherever possible, Big Red now has a regular trade base extending from Rockhampton to Perth. And McGill says that even in a difficult economy, business is looking up. “As I’ve said, shade is not going to go out of fashion in a hurry. Well-made structured

shade also looks great and is very cost-effective versus standard building construction, so I don’t see too many clouds on the horizon. “Anecdotally, we seem to have had a bit of a decline in shade sails over the last year or so and a corresponding increase in structured shade. Possibly, this is due to the higher probability of wind damage with a tensioned sail versus a canopy, which is constrained over a supporting structure. “It’s important to play to your strengths. In our case, it is metal design and manufacturing. We pretty much stick to this now and offer this capability to the rest of the trade. We don’t do fabrics/ textiles and we don’t install any more. Instead we contract these elements out to other members who have a high level expertise in these areas. This strategy of partnering has worked well for us. We have seen strong steady growth for five years now.” C


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Specialised Textiles Association and Industry events for 2016

Awning Systems




Darling Downs








For details on all Specialised Textiles Association events go to FEBRUARY BRISBANE NETWORKING SESSION: Tuesday 16 February Open to all Specialised Textiles Association members and guests For details go to


MAY WOMEN IN TEXTILES FUNDRAISER, CEO SLEEP OUT: Friday 13 May MELBOURNE NETWORKING SESSION: Tuesday 17 May Open to all Specialised Textiles Association members and guests For details go to

JUNE SUPEREXPO2016: Wednesday 8 to Friday 10 June Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre For further details go to MARINE FABRICATOR WORKSHOP: Thursday 9 and Friday 10 June

Miami Stainless




Ricky Richards


Shann Group


SuperExpo 2016





AUGUST SYDNEY MARINE FABRICATOR WORKSHOP: Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 August SYDNEY NETWORKING SESSION: Tuesday 2 August Open to all Specialised Textiles Association members and guests For details go to

SEPTEMBER PERTH INDUSTRY GOLF DAY: Friday 16 September For details go to

OCTOBER IFAI EXPO 2016: 18 to 21 October Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 US For further details go to

NOVEMBER NATIONAL CHRISTMAS CHEERS: Tuesday 29 November Open to all Specialised Textiles Association members and guests (If you know of or are holding an industry relevant event, please send details to â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we would be happy to publish it.) CONNECTIONS Summer 2016

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SUPPORT DASEC, Oceania’s preferred supplier for performance based technology in industrial applications. • • •

DURKOPP ADLER AG - Bielefeld / GERMANY the world leader in industrial sewing technology. ZEMET Technology Group - Lodz / POLAND for Innovative HF welding machines and special equipment. SMRE Engineering - Umbertide / ITALY the global manufacturing solution welding & plotter cutters.

DURKOPP ADLER AG – Bielefeld / GERMANY, proudly - imported, distributed and supported by DASEC PTY. LIMITED since 1964. DASEC PTY. LIMITED | 3 Gunya Street, Regents Park, NSW, 2143 | Telephone: +612 9645-2500 | Fax: +612 9644-4711 | eMail:

Isn’t it time you took a closer look? For further information please visit the website:

00000_9_DASEC IBC.indd 2

9/02/16 7:30 AM



folding arm awning


Fully enclosed aluminium hood option


42509_3_Awnings Systems FP.indd 2

27/08/15 1:21 PM

Connections: Issue One, 2016  
Connections: Issue One, 2016