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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 .







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Combining 30 years of experience with Australia’s best selection of industrial and commercial textiles, Ricky Richards is the most trusted source for a large


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The Industry Trade Exhibition and Conference for everyone involved with Fabrics, Machinery, Components, Equipment and Services


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Online Registrations Open


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“H “ H Honouring the Past, Shaping the Future”


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PROGRAM AT A GLANCE SAT 27 JUNE AGM AFL match at the MCG Young Members Happy Hour Welcome Reception



Keynote Breakfast with Comedian Jeff Green

Exhibition open from 10am - 4pm

Exhibition open from 10am - 4pm

Women in Textiles Morning Tea

Business Sessions and workshops on trade floor

Business Sessions and workshops on trade floor

Awards for Excellence Dinner, Master of Ceremonies Paul McDermott

1940’s Theme Dinner

To view full program see page 25


MAM9 MAM9213 AM9 921 213


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29 22 & 52








End of financial year tax planning.


Kerrie Canning and Cheryl Disher from HR Advice Online talk about the end of the financial year.

STA NEWS Report from acting STA president, Glenn Barlow.






Rooftop glamping in Melbourne’s CBD.

14 15

Outrace Cancer event.


Shade cloth review.



Miami Stainless, a Google Trusted Store.

The glorious (F)route Pod.


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SPECTEX15 24 25 29 32 38





Meet Kylie Bartlett

Potable and/or portable water.


History of canvas part III.

Geosynthetics explained.

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

FEATURES 40 44 48

MEMBER PROFILE Des Tebb of Tebb’s Canvas Products.

Speaker profiles Exhibitor profiles




CEO of CIA Vic Rob Lucas discusses the Australian camping and caravanning industry.

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Mehler Texnologies ValmexŽ membranes with implemented MEHATOP F1 top coat lacquering system is a multi-layer composite material with special densely woven low-wick yarns in the base fabric. The surface lacquering has been implemented with a new blend of highly concentrated Polyvinylidene uoride, developed by Mehler Texnologies, and reinforced with a protection layer of nano titanium dioxide TiO 2 primer. This further increases the double-top coat performance, enhancing the protection and aesthetic effect, while remaining perfectly weldable by high-frequency and hot air.

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24/04/2015 3 57 28/04/15 9:44 AM


Welcome to the Winter issue of Connections


s far as great parenting goes, I’m not your shiniest example. My cooking is rudimentary at best, I’m a worse clothes shopper (luckily there are several local families who are big believers in hand-me-downs, as am I) and housework seems to be always the last thing on my mind… however, if there’s one thing I have given my two children it’s some great and always unforgettable camping and caravanning adventures. Down at Wilsons Prom and Waratah Bay, across the South Australian border in Robe, up in the Northern Territory in both Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, and sometimes just closer to home in a beautiful spot in the Yarra Valley… There is just something about getting out there and sleeping under the stars in our (truly) great outdoors that grounds you, reconnects you and reminds of what’s really important in this life. The specialised textiles industry knows all about this of course and that’s why one of our focuses for this issue is camping. We talk to Rob Lucas of the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria, who reckons the camping and caravanning industry and the specialised textiles industry, while having many interests in common, could still benefit from a greater sharing of information. You can read what he has to say on page 48. Maybe you’re one of those who camped once and then gave it away, determined to never set foot under canvas again? But we reckon if anything can change your mind it’s the glorious (F)route Pod, our cover star and focus of our Design column on page 18 of this issue. Another bonus of sleeping under canvas is the light footprint you can leave on the environment. Accordingly, an additional focus in this issue is sustainability and on page 40 we have a fascinating article from Janice Kleinschmidt looking at potable and portable water solutions, especially in areas that have experienced a natural disaster or the effects of climate change. The article naturally includes discussion of geosynthetic fabrics, a further area of focus for this issue. On page 44 Lance St Hill takes us back to basics, with a clear and welcome explanation of what geosynthetics actually are. And he spells out the difference between that term and geomembranes too for anyone who is still confused. Another year, another expo… for so many in our industry the STA’s annual expo, tradeshow and conference is an absolute highlight of the year. The three-day event is in Melbourne in June and you can find out all you need to know beforehand from page 24 onwards – the full program, profiles on all the speakers and a comprehensive listing of the exhibitors. The annual expo is always a fantastic event, but this year it promises to be even more memorable as the STA celebrates its 75th anniversary with a series of events designed to celebrate this remarkable milestone. I’ll be at SpecTex15, of course, so why not come up and say hi? I’d love to meet many more of you at this year’s event and hear what you’d like to see in future editions of the magazine. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this issue of Connections. Madeleine Swain Editor

NEXT ISSUE OF CONNECTIONS The Spring edition of the magazine will be a bumper collector’s issue, including a round-up of all the news from June’s SpecTex15 conference and expo and winners of the Awards for Excellence, but it’ll also be our Special Edition 75th Anniversary Issue. As the STA celebrates this magnificent milestone, we thought it only appropriate to dedicate an issue to the history and memorabilia of the Specialised Textiles Association and the fascinating and vibrant industry it represents. Plus, the Spring edition’s theme will be ‘trend forecasts’ with the spotlight on the sailmaking, marine and window furnishings industries.


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Editorial Contributions by the STA Editorial committee ASSOCIATION MANAGER Ana Drougas MARKETING & EVENTS COORDINATOR Kiah Struck EDITOR Madeleine Swain Design ART DIRECTOR Keely Atkins PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jamuna Raj


Connections magazine is published on behalf of the Specialised Textiles Association Inc by Niche Media Pty Ltd ABN 13 064 613 529 142 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne, Vic 3205 Tel: 03 9948 4900 / Fax 03 9948 4999 Printing Docklands Press Pty Ltd Cover image (F)route Pod designed by Giant Grass












Specialised Textiles Association 201/22 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda Vic 3182 Tel: 03 9521 2114 / Fax: 03 9521 2116 Email: 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, 142 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne Vic 3205 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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21/05/15 10:24 AM


Acting president’s report


n 1940, five founding members saw fit to join forces and start an association for the purpose of lobbying government and supporting canvas manufacturers in Australia. Fast-forward 75 years to 2015, with a company membership base of around 200 companies, and we are all proud to be part of this ever-evolving, forward-thinking Association. As we get together for the 75th anniversary of the Association in Melbourne from 27 to 29 June this year at SpecTex15, we will celebrate all the achievements of the past, while looking forward to a positive future and all of the changes and developments that come with it. I know I speak for all in the Council of Management and the STA staff in saying that we are all delighted to be involved with the Association at such a special time. The members of the Council give their personal time to support an industry that they are passionate about and celebrating such a milestone makes it all the more special. On a personal note, having been involved in the industry in some way, shape or form for the past 40 years, I love the opportunities, support, hope and relationships that being part of the Association brings. The chance to regularly network and communicate with peers on a formal and informal basis allows you to grow both personally and professionally, not to mention building business contacts that truly last a lifetime and assist you and your company in growth and in changing with the times. It’s always fantastic having the opportunity to get around the country to all of the state member meetings and talk to many of our fabulous members. Each state has its own state-based issues to contend with, while at the same time dealing with the trials and tribulations of day-to-day business in an evergrowing and changing, tough and demanding economic landscape. The positive energy we receive on the whole and the willingness to adapt to change is a testament as to just why we are 75 years old and going strong. It’s been fabulous to see the STA’s Industry Accreditation Scheme start to gain some traction in recent times, with several member companies applying for and gaining accreditation. I congratulate the companies that have gone on the front foot and become accredited members and strongly encourage all other member companies to join a scheme that we hope will be the benchmark of consumer confidence in the future and give our members and their associated products the credit they deserve. I’d like to say a huge thankyou to all of our sponsors and exhibitors that will be on show at SpecTex15. Your faith and support is deeply appreciated and I really look forward to seeing as many visitors as possible make their way to what promises to be a terrific occasion at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 27 June. Remember that right at the core of an association is its members and, while individually it’s hard for us to make a noise and a difference, collectively we are strong. It’s why we started in 1940 and in 2015 those reasons have only become stronger. Glenn Barlow – Acting President


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15/05/2015 1:02 pm


UPDATE FROM THE SPECIALISED TEXTILES ASSOCIATION OFFICE It’s expo time and the STA is gearing up for one of its biggest and brightest annual events to date, Association manager, Ana Drougas, and marketing and events coordinator, Kiah Struck, report.

SPECTEX15 The excitement is building with SpecTex15, the industry event of the year, coming up very shortly. There are a number of networking events on the program this year, as well as a range of business sessions and marine workshops not to be missed. In this issue of Connections you can find the full program, outlining all the events taking place throughout SpecTex15 and the profiles of all the speakers presenting throughout SpecTex15, including Paul McDermott who is emceeing the Awards Dinner and Jeff Green, who is presenting the keynote speech at the Opening Breakfast. Flip to page 24 to find out more. The full program is also available for download on our website. To attend any of the events, register as a full delegate or visit the Trade Expo, you can register on our website –

a great opportunity for suppliers and fabricators alike to support a worthy cause to aid the future of our industry. Suppliers can assist with donations of products, rolls of fabric and store credits etc for raffle prizes, which will all be drawn on 29 June 2015 at the upcoming SpecTex15 Exhibition and Conference. So far, some great prizes have been donated from suppliers up to the value of $4000. Raffle tickets are $10 each or six for $50. Tickets will be on sale at upcoming STA meetings, as well as at SpecTex15. Please jump on board and help WIT raise the funds to establish this worthwhile program to benefit the future of our industry!


As we approach SpecTex15, we also approach the time for the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). Financial members of STA are invited to attend the AGM, which is taking place as follows: Saturday 27 June 2015 10am to 11.30am Clarendon Room D&E Level 2, Melbourne Exhibition Centre Written notification will be mailed to principal members, along with the agenda and details on how to register attendance, send an apology and/or nominate a proxy.

The Shade Cloth Testing Review Discussion Forum took place in Sydney on 18 May and was very well-supported by members from around the country. The Australian Standard under review is AS4174. All members were given the opportunity to contribute, including members that were not able to physically attend, as the forum was live streamed. The Council of Management is now in the process of formulating a response, which it will submit on behalf of the Association. Members will have the opportunity to view the STA’s draft response before it is submitted to the Australian Standards. The Council of Management highly encourages members and the industry at large to lodge individual comments via the Australian standards website before the closing date of 22 June 2015:



Since 2013, the Women in Textiles (WIT) committee has been actively researching initiatives to encourage and support the careers of women within the textile industry. WIT’s most recent initiative is to develop a mentoring program for all within our industry. Academic studies have indicated that those who use mentors tend to be more successful, are more inclined to receive promotions and have higher levels of job satisfaction. WIT believes it is vital to establish a network of trained mentors who can guide and support mentees within our industry, encouraging them to strive for success and provide advice and guidance. We are encouraging anyone within the specialised textiles industry, who has the experience and time, to enquire about becoming a mentor. To establish the program, WIT requires much needed funds to provide mentors with the necessary training, so that they are qualified and equipped to assist mentees. The ‘WIT Mega Raffle’ is

The current training qualification for our industry is Certificate III in Textile Fabrication – which is a nationally recognised certificate course. While this certificate is recognised as a national qualification and delivered nationally, there are inconsistencies in the duration of the course across the country. Currently, in New South Wales and Western Australia, the Certificate III Textile Fabrication qualification is a two-year traineeship, but Queensland has a three-year apprenticeship. From our research, we have found that three years is the preferred time period that employers see as acceptable. The STA is conducting a national call for support towards a three-year national apprenticeship for Certificate III in Textile Fabrication. If you consent to moving the two-year traineeship to a three-year apprenticeship on a national level, then please contact our office to lodge your support. Tel: 03 9521 2114 or email:


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




Australian Shadola Pty Ltd was established in August 1993 and since then has developed a large client base. It designs, manufactures and installs shade structures and all-weather canopies. Its quality canopies comprise UV Barrier Mesh, architectural PVC membranes and curved ‘Colorbond’ steel. Contact: Fiona Henuik Tel: 02 9674 8248 Email: Website:

Custom Yacht Covers is devoted to designing, manufacturing and installing the highest quality boat covers, spray dodgers, biminis, upholstery, carpet and, in fact, any marine fabric application to meet your requirements. Contact: Sue Bumstead Tel: 0401 607 348 Email: Website:

Advance Blinds manufactures and distributes hardware and components for the outdoor awning industry. It specialises in roll forming under roll/over roll hooding, keyway tubing and bottom rail. It distributes all awning components from its factories in Tullamarine and is an industry leader for quality, innovation and service. Contact: Andrew Toumbakis Tel: 03 9330 4430 Email:

SERGE FERRARI COVER CRAFT With more than 25 years’ experience in marine trimming, Cover Craft Boat Covers is a leading Victorian boat cover manufacturer. While enjoying a strong client base in the boat manufacturing industry, Cover Craft also deals directly with the public. Contact: Scott Easton Tel: 03 9729 3030 Email: Website:

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The French manufacturing group Serge Ferrari is a leader in the flexible composite material sector. It designs and manufactures flexible composite materials for the architecture, yachting, industry, furniture, equipment protection, health and environment sectors. Contact: Matt Geraghty Tel: 0400 914 566 Email: Website:

GOLD COAST COVERS Gold Coast Covers, formerly trading as Affordable Boat Covers Gold Coast, provides the highest quality custom-made canvas products, upholstery, carpets, boat covers, marine covers and clears available in the market. Contact: Chris Pearce Tel: 0419 424 587 Email: Website:

6/05/2015 8:30 am 8:26 am 21/05/2015 8:30


IF THIS OLD WORLD STARTS GETTING YOU DOWN… “Just climb way up to the top of the stairs and all your cares will drift right into space.” Up on the roof… in a tent?


n recent years Melburnians have been increasingly looking upwards for inspiration, and the rooftops of the Victorian capital have seen a wide array of new and sometimes unusual uses. Apart from the pop-up bars and cinemas, we’ve seen dodgeball competitions and, notably, a thriving hive business courtesy of Rooftop Honey. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before someone decided it would be a splendid idea to actually camp out up there too. Say hello to St Jerome’s – the Hotel, which opened in May on the rooftop of Melbourne Central, and aims to provide an urban outdoor luxury camping experience via its boutique accommodation with a difference. The tents were supplied by Homecamp. “St Jerome’s The Hotel chose our Homecamp bell tents for their style, robust design and quality build, which is perfect for all of the elements when considering an outdoor hotel,” says Stephanie Pajic, director at Homecamp. We are thrilled to be involved in the project that is taking a unique approach to luxury camp accommodation.” Divided into Luxe four-metre bell tents and the Luxe Plus versions (five-metre with their own minibars), the tents protect you from the elements with heating, electric blankets and thick quilts – along with high end linen courtesy of Linen House. To rent one of the 30 ‘rooms’ will set you back around $330.

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The enterprise is the brainchild of Jerome Borazio, a local entrepreneur with plenty of runs on the board when it comes to trying something a little different. Borazio was the namesake for St Jerome’s Laneway Festival and is also the name behind a number of hospitality venues in the city, such as Sister Bella and Ponyfish Island. He’s also the brains behind Melbourne’s only 24-hour wedding chapel – the Vegas style Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo. Other features of the ‘campsite’ include free Wi-Fi, a rooftop general store (which even stocks French champagne), morning meditation, breakfast hampers and, of course, access to all the usual amenities.

And to get around the city, St Jerome’s has a deal with YGAP, so that bicycles are available for hire with all profits going to the igniting social change charity. The rooftop camping experience is not completely unprecedented. Bivouac in Brooklyn in the US has been offering a basic version of the idea for a while, but Borazio believes his is the only rooftop glamping option to date. “It will be competitive,” he told The Age. “We are looking for someone with a spirit of adventure, and wanting the unique experience of staying in a tent on a rooftop in the middle of a city.”


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GREAT SCOTT! Nolan.UDA’s Scott Gilbertson, Team Australia and Luca Turrini made an outstanding effort at the Outrace Cancer event in May. And it doesn’t end there.


n the weekend of 7 and 8 May this year, Scott Gilbertson, marketing manager at Nolan.UDA, and his teammates in Team Australia – John Eastham, Adam Carmichael and Alan Bradley – took part in an event called Outrace Cancer. The event came under the umbrella of Outrun Cancer, founded by Gilbertson’s good friend Luca Turrini. Outrun Cancer originally saw the light of day in 2012 with the first Corporate Treadmill Marathon. The charity raises funds for cancer prevention research programs run by partner charities such as Cancer Council NSW and The Gut Foundation. Gilbertson and Turrini’s Outrace Cancer initiative was a 24-hour event set in Sydney’s Martin Place, with 200 participants combining to either run or ride continuously for 24 hours in a relay style. Turrini’s contribution was a little different – he promised last year that if the charity could reach a $250,000 target for 2014, he would aim for the world record of the longest distance covered in 24 hours on a treadmill, which equated to running six marathons… back to back. He managed to keep going for the entire 24 hours, covering 210 kilometres, which didn’t quite smash the record, but did notch up the 17th best performance in history for a 24hour solo effort on a treadmill. Cycling rather than running and without support, Gilbertson and Team Australia used the event to simulate a day in the upcoming Race Across America (RAAM). They managed to cover 975 kilometres in the 24-hour period. RAAM will take place on 20 June. Known as the ‘toughest cycling race in the world’, it is one of the longest running endurance sports events on the planet, with no other race matching it for distance, terrain and conditions. Unlike events such as the Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a España, it is not a stage race. Once the clock starts, it doesn’t


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GILBERTSON AND TURRINI’S OUTRACE CANCER INITIATIVE WAS A 24-HOUR EVENT SET IN SYDNEY’S MARTIN PLACE, WITH 200 PARTICIPANTS COMBINING TO EITHER RUN OR RIDE CONTINUOUSLY FOR 24 HOURS IN A RELAY STYLE. stop until the end. At 4800 kilometres, it’s about 30 percent longer than the Tour de France, but must be completed in about half the time. Starting in San Diego, California, it crosses 12 states in the US and climbs over 55,000 vertical

top: Jim L’Estrange (Cancer Council NSW CEO), Scott Gilbertson, Alan Bradley and Luca Turrini at Outrace Cancer. bottom: John Eastham, Alan Bradley, Scott Gilbertson and Adam Carmichael at Outrace Cancer.

metres, before it hits the finish line in Annapolis City Dock in Maryland. No Australian team has ever secured a podium position in the open category, but Team Australia is aiming to change that fact, as well as complete the course in less than six days and 12 hours. In the meantime, Gilbertson and his team managed to get some solid practice in for RAAM while raising serious money with Outrace Cancer. The target for the May event was $50,000 and so far over $80,000 has been raised.

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iami Stainless was recently selected to join the Google Trusted Stores program. To help shoppers identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience, the Google Trusted Store badge is awarded to ecommerce sites that demonstrate a track record of on-time shipping and excellent customer service. When visiting the Miami Stainless website, shoppers will see a Google Trusted Store badge and can click on it for more information. “We are excited to be part of this program and continue to provide the high level of service our customers are familiar with,” says Shannon McDonald, marketing manager at Miami Stainless. “Thank you to everyone who gave their feedback during the online checkout process to help us qualify. We will always strive to offer the best possible customer experience when dealing with Miami Stainless.” As an added benefit, when a shopper makes a purchase at a Google Trusted Store, they have the option to select free purchase protection from Google. Then, in the unlikely event of an issue with their purchase, they can request Google’s help, and Google will work with Miami Stainless and the customer to address the issue. As part of this, Google offers up to $1000 lifetime purchase protection for eligible purchases. Google Trusted Stores is entirely free, both for shoppers and for online stores. The program helps online stores like Miami Stainless attract new customers, increase sales and differentiate themselves by showing off their excellent service via the badge on their websites. The Google Trusted Store program originated in the US in 2012, before launching in Australia the following year. Its ethos is to give online retailers a way in which they can distinguish themselves, concurrently giving online customers increased confidence in any brand awarded the trademark badge. On the Australian launch of the program, Google’s senior product manager for Trusted Stores, Brian Marquardt, told

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Power Retail, “With this purchase protection we’re saying, ‘you will get the product you ordered in the condition you are expecting and at the price you ordered it, ensuring the retailer will honour their policies’.”

If you would like more information about this program and how you can participate, please contact Shannon McDonald on 1800 022 122 or email


20/05/2015 4:50 pm




pproximately a year ago, the STA secured a position on the Australian Standards review committee for the testing of shade cloth. The committee has been working on revising the standard and in early May it released the draft document for comment with a deadline of 22 June 2015. As an industry association, the STA’s interest in the review of shade cloth testing is to enable all of its members to have the opportunity to review the draft and provide feedback so that it can formulate and lodge an industry response. In order to ensure that the STA has ample time to provide comment (prior to the deadline of 22 June) it needs to allow sufficient time to gather feedback from members. A Members Discussion Forum was organised for Monday 18 May in conjunction with the Sydney Members Session. But those unable to attend the session, or access the live stream of the discussion forum, are still invited to give feedback before the deadline. Please contact Kiah or Ana in the STA office on 03 9521 2114 to view the draft for shade cloth testing review or for any other queries regarding this important industry development.

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Serge Ferrari Stamoid Pure – Your solution for pollution. Contact Bainbridge International P/L. Ph; 02 9938 1788, 1800 731 149 Email for details.

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20/05/2015 18/05/15 1:274:50 PM pm


27 PM

CORRECTION AND APOLOGY In the Autumn 2015 edition of Connections, the second part of our History of Canvas series of articles included the following line, “Though it’s interesting that nearly 130 years later there is again some division – although these days it’s over who has the right to the Goodearl and Bailey name.” Connections would like to correct the erroneous impression given by this line and happily acknowledges that the current Goodearl and Bailey, under the directorship of Clare Corban, is a well-established and highly respected family run business that has remained trading successfully. The right to the name Goodearl and Bailey was signed over to Clare’s father Michael Duggan (who began working as the manager for Goodearl and Bailey in 1972 and moved to become the managing director and then owner in 1992) at the time of the 2000 split. Connections would like to sincerely apologise for any confusion caused.




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13/05/15 11:46 AM 20/05/2015 4:50 pm

18 DESIGN Ute with SAV wrap applied.

CAMPING OUT WITH SHREK AND FIONA You may know Aaron Stroud and Canvas Barn for their award-winning work in the marine trimmings industry. But one of Stroud’s latest projects certainly won’t be floating anywhere anytime soon. Presenting the Pod.


he Pod was the winning entry in a design competition run by (F)route and displayed at (F)routeville in March 2014. (F)route? (F)routeville? “In my own words, (F)route is social enterprise, arts, artists, locally grown or foraged food, music and cartology,” says Stroud. “[It’s] getting local artisan businesses connected and working together. It’s about our amazing community in East Gippsland and the wonderful environment we live in.” Stroud and Canvas Barn entered (F)route’s competition. They didn’t win, but they couldn’t help but notice the intriguing design that took out the prize. The Pod was designed by Munir Vahanvati from


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Giant Grass, which is based in the inner north-west Melbourne suburb of Coburg. As the winning entrant, Giant Grass then had 12 months to build a prototype of its project, to be ready for (F)routeville 2015. Stroud takes up the story… “The studio approached some fabricators in Melbourne about making the skin for the Pod and were told, ‘no thanks, not interested, too hard’ by a couple of shops and another said they would undertake it, but would not give an estimate or a quote. The cost would be charged at an hourly rate until completed.” This is where Canvas Barn came in. “We have worked closely with the local arts community over many years. I guess you could say we are part of the arts

community,” says Stroud. “We have worked on projects for the Nowa Nowa Nudes exhibition, the Bute Ute project (which is displayed in the Melbourne Museum), Illuminated by Fire and most recently the Kangaroo Tales project. We love art ourselves and call ourselves artists with what we do with clients’ boats, with our marine trimming projects internal and external.” The team at (F)route saw an obvious opportunity for a bit of a matchmaking. “Giant Grass approached the (F)route committee for advice and we were connected,” explains Stroud. “From there we have built a great relationship.” The initial collaboration was all about selecting the best material for the Pod’s skin.

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“We had a few Skype meetings,” says Stroud. “With these discussions, we decided on a light-coloured fabric – canvas would be aesthetically pleasing. With a very tight budget, we had really limited options in fabric choice. A loomstate polycotton canvas was chosen for low-cost and a large degree of stretch and shrink [which allowed] us to work to the bamboo frame. “Being a prototype, the Pod didn’t have to be fully functional, so not needing to use a waterproof fabric was a great advantage.” From the start of the competition to the Pod’s launch at (F)route 2015 took 14 months, says Stroud. “Our part of the project happened quickly – four

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weeks from contact with Munir to having it on display.” Those four weeks obviously witnessed a meeting of minds, however, as Stroud and Vahanvati are now working on a new company. “We are taking baby steps and using our existing businesses to support the new venture for the immediate future. Mainly to save ourselves a mass of red tape and cost that goes with starting a new venture,” says Stroud. “As we develop the product we’ll take it completely over to a separate identity.” The success of the prototype means the team is currently working on commercial models, which are due to be displayed at the World Bamboo Congress in Korea. “The first two are being shipped

to Korea at the end of July 2015,” says Stroud. “There are two sizes – three and four metres in diameter. We are looking to have the website live in the last quarter of this year and if a client wants a Pod as soon as possible, we are able to deliver within six weeks as of now. A lot of work is going into the marketing before we go live.” And it’s likely that there will be plenty of people who do want to get their hands on their very own Pod. And as soon as possible. Why does Stroud think the tent has struck such a chord? “Well, there is the shape…” he says. “It’s the feeling of the Pod. I guess it’s not something I can put into words. It truly is a beautiful structure. At (F)routeville, it was furnished


15/05/2015 2:26 pm


with scatter cushions. We watched children play in it, adults sit and chat. New friendships formed within its translucent walls…” As can be seen from the images, the prototype Pod boasts a wooden floor, but Stroud explains that this won’t always be the case. “These are recycled pallets,” he says. “The production models come with a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) floor. The wooden floor will be an option to fit within the PVC floor to keep the Pod watertight and vermin free. Adding the floor does take extra time, but it’s designed for when the Pod is set up on a permanent or semipermanent basis.” Other changes are still underway. “The method of attaching the skins is being revised to make it far easier for the end user and speed up erection and dismantle


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times,” explains Stroud. “The prototype Pod has a clear PVC ‘lid’ on top of it; we are finalising our design so this can be opened for ventilation while maintaining the clear panel to see the stars at night. We are experimenting with polycarbonate and acrylic semi rigid clear. “We are also designing the wall panels to be modular, for want of a better word, allowing clients to mix and match panels to their individual needs. Of course, we are trialling different fabrics that will stand up to the elements; we want the Pods to be suited to all climates.” The Pod has certainly caught people’s attention. When it was pictured on, one commenter called it Shrek and Fiona’s tent. “I love it!” says Stroud, adding some other affectionate nicknames bestowed upon it. “At (F)routeville, it was called the Giant Garlic, Massive Turnip, Vampire-Free Zone, Mum’s Meditation Zone, the Chill Out Tent… “It’s great that people can take ownership of a space so quickly,” he says. “Each tent is completely bespoke. When we decided to go to production models, we talked about what it was that got people so excited by it. We believe it’s the bespoke build. We will run with this on the production models. The client will order their Pod and we will make it to their specs, colour or colours, as many doors, windows and verandah openings as required. Multiple Pods will also be able to be linked via tunnels. Because of the nature of the bamboo frame, we cannot mass-produce the Pods; each one will have its differences, a truly bespoke piece.” And it doesn’t end there. “Plans are afoot for a huge mess/kitchen/social area sized Pod in the future,” says Stroud. “We are definitely looking at a large range of Pods and glamping equipment.” If you’d like to see the Pod for yourself, keep your eyes peeled at this year’s STA expo. “It has just been offered to be at SpecTex15,” says Stroud. “They are just finalising space, so fingers crossed, we will see it there.” C

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YEAR-END TAX PLANNING As the end of the financial year approaches, it may be beneficial to consider some of the following tax planning options prior to 30 June and into the next financial year. Business advisory manager at Saward Dawson, Murray Nicholls explains.

PREPAYING EXPENSES Prepaying expenses before the end of the financial year can be a way of reducing your current year income tax liability. It can be particularly beneficial if you expect to be on a higher tax bracket this year compared with next year. If payments are due early next financial year, a prepayment may entitle you to the tax benefit much earlier. The prepayment rules differ depending on whether a taxpayer is an individual, a small business entity (SBE) or a non-SBE. Broadly, an SBE is a


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business entity that has turnover of less than $2 million. An SBE can claim prepaid expenditure in full provided: ● the eligible service period of the expenditure does not exceed 12 months, and ● the period ends no later than the last day of the income year following the year in which the expenditure was incurred. Non-SBEs may generally claim the following prepayments in full: ● expenditure under $1000 (excluding GST)

expenditure made under a ‘contract of service’ (such as salaries and wages), or ● expenditure required to be incurred under law. Individual taxpayers such as employees and investors can claim a deduction for a prepayment of up to 12 months of expenses. Examples of these are subscriptions, memberships and interest paid on investment loans. If you are prepaying interest, make sure your financial institution is aware of what you are doing. If the payment is not ●

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categorised as interest, but as a reduction in the loan principal, then it will not be deductible.

REMITTING EMPLOYEE SUPERANNUATION If an employer wishes to receive a tax deduction in the current year for superannuation contributions in respect of their employees, the amount must be received by the superannuation fund by 30 June. Make sure you allow yourself sufficient time to mail the cheques or attend to the contribution.

percent in subsequent years (with this being based on the asset’s written down value). The first year 15 percent depreciation claim for newly acquired assets is not prorated. Accordingly, if you are considering buying an asset around the end of the financial year then you acquire it by 30 June. For example, an asset costing $30,000 that is bought on 30 June 2015 instead of 1 July 2015 will enable a $4500 deduction to be claimed in this financial this year instead of next. Also, the second year’s 30 percent depreciation deduction will be able to be claimed one year earlier.




Bad debts should be written off before year-end to enable a tax deduction in the current financial year. The write-off entry must be processed in the business’ general ledger by 30 June.

Businesses get a deduction for donations to deductible gift recipients. For companies (where income is taxed at 30 percent), a higher tax benefit will be obtained by the business owner making the donation personally if the business owner’s taxable income is more than $37,000. If you are planning to make a donation, consider making it before 30 June to get the deduction in the current financial year.

For example, if you have not maintained a logbook since the year ended 30 June 2010, you will need to start recording prior to 30 June 2015.

STOCK AND CONSUMABLES Australian Taxation Office (ATO) rules require that stock be physically counted at year-end unless there is a perpetual stock record system. Stocktake records should be retained as part of the business’ records. SBEs can be exempt from conducting a yearly stocktake if the value of stock has moved by less than $5000 during the year. Businesses essentially pay tax on the value of stock at the end of the financial year, as the value reduces the ‘cost of goods sold’ expense. It may be worthwhile to consider selling or disposing of slow moving stock, so that it is not counted in the year-end stocktake. Similarly, any obsolete assets on a non-SBE business’ balance sheet should be disposed of by year-end. Examples of these are old computer equipment, printers and similar items, which may have been retained, but have no further use in the business.

SBE DEPRECIATION As announced in the recent budget, an SBE can claim an asset that costs less than $20,000 (excluding GST) as an immediate write-off. This $20,000 threshold will apply until 30 June 2017, and then revert to $1000. An asset costing more than $20,000 must be depreciated at a rate of 15 percent in the year that it was acquired, and at the rate of 30

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INCOME DEFERRAL Where possible, invoices should be deferred until 1 July 2015. In many cases income is not recognised until a bill is produced, so this can be an effective way of deferring income and tax to another year in the future.

TAX FREE MINOR BENEFITS Employers can tax-effectively provide minor benefits to employees, and a good example of this is a general gift card. General gift cards of less than $300 are tax exempt to the recipient, deductible to the employer and do not attact fringe benefits tax. If you want to give a year-end bonus, consider a gift card rather than a cash bonus.

CAR LOG BOOKS To reduce your fringe benefits tax or to maximise your vehicle deductions, it is a good idea to keep a logbook if you haven’t kept one in the last five years. A logbook must be maintained for a continuous 12-week period and is valid for five years.

TRUSTS Trust distribution resolutions should be in place by 30 June. If you are considering making a distribution to a new beneficiary in the current financial year, you will need to report the tax file number to the ATO by 28 July. Also, if a distribution is to be made to a beneficiary who has turned 18 during the year, the tax file number of the beneficiary will need to be reported for the first time.

RECORD KEEPING When it comes to updating your software, 30 June is a good time to do this for the next financial year. You may want to move to cloud accounting or to upgrade your existing software to a higher version. Also, 30 June is the best time to move from cash accounting to accrual accounting for GST purposes. C


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24 EXPO 2015


fter the relaxing ambience of last year’s Hunter Valley location, this year the Specialised Textiles Association’s expo and conference heads back to the thick of it all in the big city. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre will be the hub of all the activities, but there will be the usual opportunities for delegates and other attendees to get out and about to explore Melbourne’s myriad cultural and sporting offerings. Building on the success of the new format developed for last year’s Textiles in the Vines, SpecTex15 will be a conference style event with an emphasis on business sessions, education and networking. One of the most exciting features of this year’s event is the partnership with OFPANZ (Outdoor Fabric Products Association New Zealand). OFPANZ usually holds its own annual conference about a month after the STA’s, but in a wonderful display of solidarity and support for the STA’s 75th anniversary year, OFPANZ has decided to not hold an event this year, but come along and


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support SpecTex15. The two associations are even combining their Awards for Excellence Dinners into one glamorous and prestigious event. The STA has once again lined up an impressive array of speakers from across Australia, who will present in a two-tier system designed to make sure attendees have the best possible chance of listening to the most relevant and informative presentations for their purposes. Areas covered in the business sessions include: ● HR myths busted ● mesh versus clear PVC in outdoor blinds ● tips and tricks of the trade ● social media skills ● breathability and moisture control in outdoor textiles, and ● WHS myths busted. While the practical workshops will cover: ● patterning for biminis and spray dodgers ● cutting table camera technology ● sewing machine maintenance, and

laser technology in boat cover patterning. The expo will feature almost twice as many as exhibitors as 2014 and will follow the new guidelines developed last year that mean the exhibitors will be able to attend the workshops and speaker sessions too. But, of course, while the educational and business-related aspects of the expo are always front and centre, this wouldn’t be a specialised textiles industry conference without a wide range of social activities, external tours and, above all, the annual Awards for Excellence Dinner. This year the latter highlight will be hosted by the one and only Paul McDermott, the irreverent and quick-witted TV host and comedian, while Melbourne International Comedy Festival regular Jeff Green will be hosting the opening breakfast. And between that event and the closing night theme dinner – this year it’s all things 1940s – expo attendees can socialise, catch up with old friends or colleagues and, this being Melbourne, even take in an AFL game. ●

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Register at

Online Registrations Open PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

“Honouring the Past, Shaping the Future” PLATINUM SPONSOR


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20/05/2015 4:38 pm

Online Registrations Open




Register at

SATURDAY 27 JUNE 2015 10.30am to 11.30am 11.30am to 3.30pm

12.30pm to 5.00pm

Members’ AGM Partners program – Melbourne Walking Tour Duration 3 hours – Distance 1.5 km Uncover Melbourne’s cutest laneways filled with anything from art to cafes, drink some awesome coffee, sample handmade macaroons, share authentic Chinese dumplings and finish at Melbourne’s nicest rooftop bar.

4.00pm to 5.30pm

Young Members ‘Happy Hour’ Venue: Wharf Hotel, 18-38 Siddeley Street Young Members Happy Hour is a great opportunity for new comers in the industry to meet others in the same boat. All members 35 years and under are welcome.

6.00pm to 8.00pm

* Welcome Cocktail Reception

Football at the MCG Watch Hawthorn and Essendon battle it out while taking in the atmosphere at the iconic MCG. Travel, lunch and match costs included.

Venue: Cargo Hall, 39 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf Dress: Cocktail Honouring the past, shaping the future. Specialised Textiles Association celebrates 75 years in a recently restored heritage listed building originally built in 1875.

SUNDAY 28 JUNE 2015 7.45am to 9:30am

* SpecTex15 Opening Breakfast


* SpecTex15 Opening Ceremony

with Comedian Jeff Green Venue: Cargo Hall, 39 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf ‘Without change there would be no butterflies – a guide to embracing change‘

1.00pm to 2.00pm


1.00pm to 2.00pm

* WORKSHOP 2 – Cut pattern using

2.30pm to 3.30pm


Venue: Bays 1 and 2, Melbourne Exhibition Centre 10.00am

SpecTex15 Open to Visitors Venue: Bays 1 and 2, Melbourne Exhibition Centre

BUSINESS SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS 11.30am * BUSINESS SESSION 1 – to 12.30pm HR Mythbusters Presenters: Cheryl Disher & Kerrie Canning - Authors, HR Veterans and Founders of HR Advice Online It seems every business owner knows the basics when it comes to HR, but it’s what you don’t know that could have your business come undone. With some fines running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, having employees can be risky business. Join us to ensure your business is compliant. 11.30am * WORKSHOP 1 – to 12.30pm Bimini and Spray Dodger Design and Patterning techniques Presenters: Neil Hancock and Dave Elliott, Aussie Boat Covers Challenging marine fabricators with innovative designs incorporating the 3D hollow patterning techniques for bimini tops and spray dodgers.

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Pros and Cons of mesh & clear PVC when used in outdoor blinds application Presenter: Chris Nolan (Nolan.UDA) This session will cover material issues, fabrication and utility. It will also provide practical advice on fabrication and examples of problems that can be experienced in field use.

camera technology and equipment Presenter: John Clark, Aeronaut Follow the transition from the patterning process to the cutting table using Aeronaut camera technology.

Tips and Tricks of the Trade Presenters: Glenn Barlow, Nans Tarps and Jamie Howard, Total Shade Solutions An interactive presentation of the latest tips and tricks as well as unique and clever ideas to make your job faster and easier.


SpecTex15 closes for the day

7.00pm to 12.00am

* Awards For Excellence Dinner

Venue: Aerial, 17 Dukes Walk, Corner of Dukes and Rona Walk, South Wharf Dress: Formal MC for the evening: Paul McDermott This year’s Awards Dinner will be combined with OFPANZ. Both associations will be announcing the winners of their respective Awards for Excellence at a beautiful new venue in South Wharf.

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Register at

MONDAY 29 JUNE 2015 10.00am

SpecTex15 Open to Visitors

10.30am to 11.30am

Morning Tea hosted by Women in Textiles

12.00pm to 4.00pm

Partners Program – South Yarra Experience Take a tram to Chapel St and induldge in a fresh take on High Tea at celebrity pâtissier, Adriano Zumbo’s latest Melbourne venture, Fancy Nance. To work off those delicious pâtisseries spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the boutiques along the Melbourne infamous Chapel Street.

1.00pm to 2.00pm


1.00pm to 2.00pm

* WORKSHOP 4 – Patterning an all over

BUSINESS SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS 10:30am * WORKSHOP 3 – to 11:15am Sewing Machine Maintenance Workshop Presenter: Dasec, Sewing Perfection, Elizabeth Machines Listen to a panel of experts explain basic maintenance and trouble shooting on a range of machines. 11.30am * BUSINESS SESSION 4 – to 12.30pm Social-ize Your Enterprise Presenter: Kylie Bartlett, The Web Celeb Speaker, Author, Adviser Learn how to leverage the power of social media to build a personal link with your customers. Forget old advertising tactics that don’t work online. You’ll learn how to adopt the new rules and start a profitable relationship with your customers and those who influence them!

ACCOMMODATION Hilton South Wharf is the SpecTex15 Headquarters & Hotel

SPECIAL SPECTEX15 RATE $244 per night from 27 June - 29 June 2015

2.30pm to 3.30pm

Breathability and Moisture Control in Outdoor Textiles – The Physics Behind It and How to Manage It Presenter: John Pierce, WeatherMAX There is a confusing amount of information on ‘waterproof breathable’ fabrics and coatings and ‘water resistant/breathable’ fabrics. Understand the mechanics and limitations of moving moisture and the technologies available. boat cover using laser technology Hands on practical demonstration on how to use laser technology to pattern an all over boat cover.


Work Health & Safety Mythbusters Presenter: Denise Zumpe – Workplace Health & Safety Specialist, HR Advice Online Many businesses think they have safety under control because they haven’t had an accident but is this due to good luck or good management? Join us to hear about how to make sure you are controlling your risks and preventing injuries.


SpecTex15 closed

7.00pm to 12.00am

* Theme Dinner – 1940s wartime or glamour Venue: Bobby McGee’s 186 Exhibition Street, Melbourne Coming out of the Great Depression and dealing with a second World War, the 1940s were a difficult time. That being said, they still knew how to party! Join STA, established in 1940, in celebrating our 75th ‘birthday’ by getting dolled up and cuting a rug in your best zoot suit.

Online Registrationss Open

To book, go to

41878_25-28_SPEC program.indd 27

21/05/2015 8:45 am

Online Registrations Open





Non Member Price







FULL DELEGATE PACKAGE Includes all dinners, breakfasts, business sessions and workshops SATURDAY 27TH MAY Partners program – Melbourne Walking Tour Football at MCG Young Members ‘Happy Hour’



* Welcome Cocktail Reception











Morning Tea hosted by Women in Textiles



Partners Program – South Yarra Experience



* Business Session 4, 5 and 6




* SpecTex15 Opening Breakfast * Business Session 1, 2 and 3 * Workshop 1 and 2 * Awards For Excellence Dinner

* Workshop 3 and 4 * Theme Dinner





(Events marked with * are included in the Full Delegate Package Registration)


Terms & Conditions: Specialised Textiles Association Inc. ABN: 83 594 171 330 reserves the right to amend this program without notice. Cancellations must be advised in writing. Cancellation fee of $100 will apply to cancelled registrations on or before 1st June 2015. No refunds will be available after 1st June 2015. Privacy Policy: In registering for this event you agree to receiving further communication relevant to similar events (subject to strict conditions). Your details will not be circulated or distributed to 3rd parties.

• Aeronaut Automation • Advanced Blinds Components • Awning Systems Australia • Blind Industry Insurance and Financial Service • Bradmill Outdoor Fabrics • Carr Australia • DASEC Durkopp Adler • DeFab • Elizabeth Machines Co • Eyelets Supply Company

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Frank Marine Pty Ltd Gale Pacific Goodearl and Bailey Haining Commerce Imp & Exp Co., Ltd Hiraoka HR Advice Online HVG Fabrics ICL (SA) Pty Ltd Lukris Trading Miami Stainless Nolan.UDA Paskal Pty Ltd Pathfinder Plastral Pty Ltd

• Polyfab Australia Pty Ltd • Radins • Rainbow Shade Products • Ricky Richards • Sewing Perfection Machine Company • Sigmatec • Stayput Fasteners • TAFE NSW • Triax Systems • Typhoon Welding Automation

• • • • • • • • •



Wax Converters Textiles WeatherMax Wilsons Fabrics W L Gore & Associates (Australia) Pty Ltd Wm.C.Jackson + Co P/L Zhejiang Huifeng New Material Co., Ltd Zhejiang Guxiandao Industrial Fibre Co., Ltd Zhejiang Xingyida Reinforced Material Co., Ltd Zhejiang Yuli New Material Co., Ltd

MAM9 MAM M MA AM9 AM A M921 M9 212 2 1 12 2

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SPECTEX15 SPEAKERS AND PRESENTERS The STA prides itself on always organising the very best array of speakers for its annual expo and conference. This year is no exception, with SpecTex15 offering a terrific line-up of presenters who will educate, inform and entertain you.


▲ JEFF GREEN Award-winning British comedian Jeff Green has become a well-known face and voice on Australian TV and radio since arriving for his first Melbourne International Comedy Festival performance in 1996. Now an Australian resident, Jeff is hugely in demand here and in the UK, Europe and Asia as a world-class after dinner speaker, MC and keynote speaker. An ex-chemical engineer turned comedian, Jeff has over 25 years’ experience as an international headline act, performing for scores of corporate clients, including a large spectrum of Australian and European industry: Allianz, Virgin, BlueScope Steel, BMW, British Gas, Vodafone, BOSS Industry Awards, Qantas, Ferrier Hodgson, Telstra and Deloitte. Jeff is also a well-known BBC radio broadcaster and best-selling author. Among his many Australian TV credits are Spicks and Specks (ABC) and Good News

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Week (Channel Ten), as well as numerous appearances on the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala (Channel Ten). Rightfully considered one of Australia’s very best after dinner speakers, as an acclaimed international comedian Jeff is hugely entertaining with an enviable ability to address the widest range of industries and audiences. Whether an event requires a punchy lunchtime speech or an evening mix of hilarious anecdotes and pin sharp observations, Jeff is able to effortlessly deliver the most appropriate entertainment. Jeff is also a warm, engaging and smart master of ceremonies. Bringing to an event his many years of experience as a BBC radio presenter and TV host, Jeff is able to quickly grasp the most complex of briefs to seamlessly execute a timetable of events with his trademark wit and affable professionalism.

A graduate of Central Michigan University with an MBA from the University of Dallas, John spent his first 15 years in the textile industry with a large cut and sew manufacturer supplying boat covers and tops to boat builders and large aftermarket retailers such as Sears, Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops. Looking for a new challenge, he joined Safety Components Fabric Technologies Inc as the product manager for WeatherMAX. Over the last 10 years he has managed its premier outdoor performance fabric from its launch and has overseen its growth into a highly successful global brand. This position requires involvement in development from fibre to finished fabric and managing the value chain to the end consumer.


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▲ PAUL MCDERMOTT Paul has been at the forefront of the Australian entertainment industry since the Doug Anthony All Stars stormed to national and international success in the late 1980s. Since then this immensely popular entertainer and artist has proven to be one of the most versatile in Australian history. Paul’s career has so far encompassed writing and presenting national radio programs on Triple J, writing and presenting television programs including The Big Gig, DAAS Kapital, The Side Show and the tremendously popular Strictly Dancing (all on ABC TV). An integral part of the original Good News Week, he can be seen heading up the newly revived version on Channel 10 these days, alongside Mikey Robins and Claire Hooper. As well as his media commitments, he has performed sell-out festival seasons at Melbourne, Adelaide, Montreal and Edinburgh to both public and critical acclaim. Paul has also proved to be a sensational host of major televised events such as the ARIAs and The Great Debates. He was also host of The World Comedy Tour, a stand-up comedy program featuring leading performers from the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. In recent years, Paul has distinguished himself in the arena of film where he has written, directed and performed in two animated short films (The Scree and The Girl Who Swallowed Bees), both of which have been nominated for AFI Awards. The Scree won Best Film at the 2005 Flickerfest International Film Festival and was invited to be screened at the 54th Berlin Film Festival.


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Kylie is a self-driven businesswoman, international public speaker and author who thrives on demystifying social media and the web for those new to the online world. She has trained, coached and inspired more than 1000 businesses globally to become socially savvy. These days, Kylie is known as the ‘web celeb’, who teaches SMEs, start-ups and corporates how to become ‘web famous’ in their industry by leveraging the power of the social web. For more, turn to our featured article on Kylie on page 38.

y DENISE ZUMPE Denise is a workplace health and safety specialist with HR Advice Online. She has extensive industry experience as an OHS manager (both permanent and contract), injury management adviser and consultant, in a career in OHS of over 16 years. Denise is also on the panel of independent consultants with WorkSafe Victoria. This allows her to deliver the WorkSafe Victoria funded OHS Essentials Program to small and medium businesses across all industries in Victoria. Denise is often called in to workplaces after a visit from WorkSafe and assists employers with compliance, including documentation, workplace hazard inspections and working with clients to develop solutions to particular risk issues. Denise works across a range of industries including transport, waste, wholesale distribution, printing and trades and services.

▲ DAVE ELLIOTT Dave Elliott completed grade 10 and, at age 16, started a four-year apprenticeship in coach and motor trimming, training in all forms of auto trimming and upholstery, coming through TAFE with honours. During the third year in his apprenticeship, his head teacher handed him the work he did for the Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and BMW car clubs of Brisbane. Dave bought his own machine and started after-hours jobs. One week out of his apprenticeship, he officially started his own business in Wynnum, Queensland. Enjoying working on boats, he taught himself marine trimming. He is also a qualified upholsterer. His motto has always been ‘Let the competition play catch-up’. Dave is a member of the STA’s Marine Fabricators Association and the Industrial Fabrics Association International (US) and he has won many different awards, including from the IFAI four years in a row. He is also an STA committee member and thanks Neil Hancock for helping to establish MFA Australia. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with other fabricators at the MFA workshops.

21/05/2015 4:03 pm

developed an OH&S officer. As well, 10 of my employees have since established their own successful businesses. But all of that is still not enough. One of my great challenges ahead is to bring a level of accreditation, education, compliance and awareness to our trade that our future clients must expect.

▼ CHRISTOPHER NOLAN ▲ NEIL HANCOCK For more than 36 years I have been passionate about my chosen craft as a marine and automotive fabricator and upholsterer. Today, I concentrate on the challenge of marine fabrication and upholstery. Spray dodgers, bimini tops and clear enclosures are my speciality for both power and sail craft, from day cruisers to superyachts. Many may think it odd to be passionate about the fabricator trade. I say that, without passion, I could not deliver the quality results that my clients demand and I could not have become the teacher to so many apprentices who have gone on to become proud achievers in our trade. Working closely with leaders and innovators in my industry, I have found that constant learning, seeking out new products, adapting and innovating, and always improving is how I have come to this point in my career. Every job that every client brings offers a new challenge, an opportunity to look at a fabrication problem in a new way and to find new and better solutions that we can then take on to the next task. Since 1980, my wife Kerri and I have started and developed three businesses in the fabrication and upholstery trade. In each I have honed my skills as an innovative craftsman, salesman, business manager and owner. I have always looked for ways of improving our industry, not just for personal gain, but to embrace all who wish to help and contribute. My proudest professional achievements have been in training 12 apprentices; six have gone on to Certificate III in Manufacturing and three to Certificate IV level. We have also

41878_29-31_spec profiles.indd 31

Chris is a qualified civil engineer, and holds a masters degree in Engineering Science, majoring in Hydrology. He has been actively engaged in the industrial fabrics industry for 27 years, and currently holds the position of managing director Nolan.UDA Pty Ltd. The company is engaged in the wholesale distribution of industrial fabrics and ancillary products, and has seven branches throughout Australia. At Nolan. UDA, Chris’ engineering approach led to the publication of a series of technical manuals on all of the company’s products, which have been widely circulated throughout the industry, and used as student training textbooks throughout Australia and New Zealand. Chris has also been a strong advocate of trade associations. He is an ardent believer in collective industry action for advocacy, training and education, and information exchange. Consequently, he is currently on the Board of the Blind Manufacturers’ Association of Australia (BMAA), and has been a director of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) and a member of the then ACASPA Council.

▼ CHERYL DISHER (RIGHT) During a career spanning 25 years, Cheryl has worked in senior human resource and general management roles in the automotive industry, membership industry associations, and food and beverage manufacturing industry. In this time, Cheryl has developed skills and capabilities in driving change, high-level negotiations, and developing and implementing strategies that drive results for the organisation. With a strong background in industrial relations, Cheryl has assisted organisations with enterprise agreement negotiations, unfair dismissal claims, protections disputes and adverse action claims and always works to get the best outcome for the business.

▲ KERRIE CANNING (LEFT) Kerrie is an experienced human resources and organisational development professional, bringing over 20 years’ experience working both within organisations and as an external consultant on cultural change, leadership development, recruitment and selection and coaching. She has been a member of executive leadership teams in Australia and Asia Pacific within organisations that have been recognised for innovative employer of choice initiatives. Kerrie is passionate about enabling individuals and organisations to succeed, and engaging people using a range of techniques from facilitated group sessions, business simulations, case studies, role plays and one-on-one coaching and mentoring. Kerrie’s last employed role was as director, People and Culture Asia Pacific, Blackwell Publishing.


21/05/2015 12:06 pm

32 EXPO 2015 / EXHIBITOR PROFILES Mildura Soundshell.








29B Trade Park Drive, Tullamarine Vic 3043 Tel: +613 9330 4430 Email:

22 Concord Crescent, Carrum Downs Vic 3201 Tel: 1300 791 010 Fax: 1300 793 030 Email:

Advance Blinds manufactures and distributes hardware and components for the outdoor awning industry. It specialises in roll forming under roll/over roll hooding, keyway tubing and bottom rail. It distributes all awning components from its factories in Tullamarine and is an industry leader for quality, innovation and service. For a full range of products, please contact the company or arrange for a sales representative to visit with some samples and price list.

Awning Systems Australia is a national wholesale supplier of custom-made speciality awning kits, blind kits and componentry. All products are manufactured using high quality components.

Bradmill Outdoor Fabrics is Australia’s leading and most experienced manufacturer of external blind and awning fabrics via our industry benchmark Brella ‘the fabric of life’ awning range.

Our products are widely recognised and have now developed a strong reputation for superior quality. We have a range of products to suit all applications, designed to meet the highest of standards for Australian shade conditions.

Our extensive industrial products range offers products utilised in a multitude of applications, including, tenting, annexes, swags, seat covers, backpacks, tarpaulins, horse rugs and artist canvas.

Our products can be supplied in full kits ready to assemble, fully clothed ready for installation, or in mill- or powder-coated form for local assembly.

The Styleshade and Sea Patrol Dope Dyed Acrylic fabrics possess exceptional resistance to fading and degradation from exposure to severe weathering and are ideal for marine applications.



4-6 Tepko Road, Terrey Hills NSW 2084 Tel: +612 9450 0800 Email:

Our expertise and advice covers all facets of awning supply and installation instructions, and our dedicated staff have many years of experience in sales, product advice, assembly and installation. Aeronaut Automation is a leading manufacturer of fully automated cutting systems including: Blade, Crush, Laser and Ultrasonic cutters. All our machines are made to the customer’s specifications up to 10 metres wide.



Level 3, Building 7, Botanicca Corporate Park 570-588 Swan Street Richmond Vic 3121 Tel: 0423 269 542 Email:

We offer rapid patterning using camera digitising systems with automatic shape recognition and flattening software for 3D digitisers.

BIIFS is a specialist insurance broker that provides services to businesses in the blind and textile industry.

BIIFS will have senior staff at the expo to assist with any insurance related queries attendees may have.

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Aeronaut’s highly developed control software and customised design programs cover applications including window furnishings, membranes, awnings, canvas/PVC and technical textiles.


3/100 Fulton Drive, Derrimut Vic 3030 Tel: +613 9368 2222 Email:


1 Spireton Place, Pendle Hill NSW 2145 Tel: +612 9636 9525 Email: Carr Australia is an importing company with warehousing in Sydney, Perth and Auckland. Our knowledge, drawn from manufacturing, gives us technical product knowledge and access to quality products from around the world. Our speciality products include eyelet machines, keder, coated fabrics, and textiles. As the Leister agent for New Zealand, this year we will be partnering with Plastral and displaying the new Leister Seamtek welding machine.

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142 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne Vic 3205 Tel: 613 9948 4917 Email: Connections is a dedicated trade publication, designed to be the voice of the Specialised Textiles Association (STA), the industry body representing a diverse range of businesses including sail making, geosynthetics, awnings, industrial fabrics, shade sails, blind manufacturers, marine and motor trimmers and the flag and banner sector. Each issue of Connections magazine features business and technical news, member news and STA reports. Connections focuses on reporting the latest news, product launches and new developments, and showcases expert reporting on industry topics and leaders.



SPONSOR 28-30 Somerton Park Drive, Campbellfield Vic 3061 Tel: +613 9305 3988 Email: Defab is a proud independent Australian familyowned business engaged in weaving, production and distribution of high-performance woven fabrics. World-class design and manufacturing facilities, a national sales network and responsive customer-focused and after-sales service has enabled Defab to achieve unrivalled expertise in total textile solutions. Innovative developments and new releases planned for display at SpecTex15 include technical advancements associated with our Supaproof proofed canvas, as well as the showcasing of our new Tearlok rip stop proofed canvas ranges – all proudly Australian made in our factory in Campbellfield.



Unit 32, 756 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully Vic 3156 Tel: +613 9758 5829 Email: Frank Marine is an Australian wholesale distributor of marine grade high quality stainless steel 316 shade sail fittings, balustrade hardware and boat fittings, based in Melbourne. Frank Marine supplies shackles, turnbuckles, swage terminals, bottle screws, eye bolts and nuts, D rings and round rings, pad eyes, hooks, thimbles, wire rope grips and wire ropes etc. Its products are not only top quality, but available at very competitive prices as well.


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3 Gunya Street, Regents Park NSW 2143 Tel: +612 9645 2500 Email: Durkopp Adler M-Type is the highest-selling triple feed industrial sewing machine in the world. There will be many machines on display at SpecTex15, so come along and test sew this amazing machine for yourself. We will discuss and demonstrate the reasons why DASEC’s firm commitment to providing our clients and products with the very best of after-sales support, via product and application knowledge, unequalled spare part deliveries and factory-trained service technicians is the benchmark in the industry. Durkopp Adler AG – Bielefeld/Germany, proudly imported, distributed and supported by DASEC Pty Limited for over 40 years.


876 Lorimer Street, Port Melbourne Vic 3207 Tel: +613 8671 0000 Email: Elizabeth Machines Co is the exclusive authorised distributor for Miller Weldmaster welding machines, including the newly acquired Sinclair Triad and Spec lines, as well as Juki industrial sewing machines and Seiko sewing machines. At SpecTex15, we will display a variety of our popular Miller Weldmaster models and heavy duty sewing machines for demonstration.


11 Newcomen Road, Springvale Vic 3171 Tel: +613 9558 5400 Email: Eyelets Supply Company is the leading manufacturer and supplier of eyelets and eyeleting equipment throughout Australia and New Zealand. Eyelets Supply Company specialises in providing fastening solutions to a diverse range of industries. Eyelets Supply Company will be displaying its range of selfpiercing canvas eyelets, sheet eyelets, snap fasteners and eyeleting equipment at SpecTex15.

41878_32-37_spec exhibitor.indd 33 Gale Pacific manufactures and supplies advanced polymer fabrics for commercial and industrial applications across the architectural, farming, mining, civil and mining industries. At this year’s expo, Gale Pacific will be presenting our new look and several new products – Commercial Light 220, Complas 900 and Tarpol TS 700.

93+98 101-102


145 Woodlands Drive, Braeside Vic 3195 Tel: +613 9518 3333 Email:


25-27 Salisbury Street, Botany NSW 2019 Tel: +612 9316 1300 Email: sales@



Fabrics for all lifestyles… Goodearl and Bailey offers a wholesale service and partnership in indoor/ outdoor textiles and hardware. Established since 1886. Please pop into Stand 93 and 98 to see our new collections of fabrics and say hello.


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Suite 1, 13a Narabang Way, Belrose NSW 2085 Tel: +614 0360 1844 Email: Gore® Tenara® Sewing Thread is a versatile, high performance sewing thread that will not fade, stain, discolour or deteriorate from exposure to UV radiation in sunlight, mould, mildew, acid rain, salt water or cleaning solutions. Tenara Sewing Thread is designed for high-speed sewing with many colour options available. In fact, Tenara Sewing Thread will outlast the fabric into which it is sewn. Gore guarantees it with a limited lifetime warranty.


3/18-20 Burton Court Bayswater Vic 3153 Tel: 0417 512 519 Email:

HR Advice Online responds to the needs of businesses with simple and easy to use HR and Work Health and Safety resources at an affordable monthly/annual rate. HR Advice Online provides support with 24/7 website access and jargon-free advice to navigate any HR-related issue, helping you to meet your employer obligations.

Established in 2007, the young and enthusiastic, Lukris Trading is built on over 25 years of industry experience and represents the cutting edge in superior shading systems. With a focus on wholesale, Lukris combines local manufacture with the exclusive distribution of some of Europe’s finest quality awnings. Lukris is committed to providing only solutions that adhere to the strictest standards of performance and aesthetics.



11/f,tower A, Jinhui Building, No.486 Haichang South Road, Haining, Zhjiang, China Tel: +86 573 8729 2920 Email: Our company is a state-operated trading company, specialising in the production of outdoor fabric: PVC coated fabric, PVC transparent fabric, PE fabric, HDPE shade fabric and products.




PO Box 3054, Eltham Vic 3095 Tel: 1300 720 004 Email:






29 Henderson Street, Turrella NSW 2205 Tel: 1300 854 811 Email:



3/99 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads, Qld 4220 Tel: 1800 022 122 Email: HVG Fabrics distributes specialised performance fabrics to conversion sectors including blinds and awning, domestic and commercial shade, transport, marine and agriculture. With its 130+ years of combined industry experience, you can rely on HVG 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 with instinct, you can trust.

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 10 years of success, Miami Stainless supplies over 2500 items, including complete balustrade systems, shade sail fittings, wire rope, handrail, custom post solutions, glass hardware, tools and accessories.


2/37 Rimfire Drive, Hallam, Vic 3803 Tel: +613 8795 7322 Email: Hiraoka is the leading Japanese manufacturer of polymer-coated materials for architectural membranes, awnings, canopies, mesh fabrics and a range of innovative high quality materials. This year, we are showcasing some outstanding materials for printed interior blinds, semitransparent membrane structures and backlit structures. These are high quality materials that enhance the interior or exterior built environment.


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3A Wirriga Street, Regency Park SA 5010 Tel: +618 8352 9400 Email:

3 Bradford Street, Alexandria NSW 2015 Tel: 1800 357 585 Email:

On display will be the upgraded Dtrack and the ever reliable Channel-It™ and Channel X™ side channel systems, as well as our range of A-OK Motorisation and VSP Exterior Awning Components. When you want the blind to look the part, to complement your customer’s home and enhance your reputation for quality workmanship and finish, then these are the systems for you. Dtrack Channel X™ and Channel-It™ are Australian designed and manufactured and work with your existing awning hardware.

Nolan.UDA is a diverse and national supplier for a variety of markets including industrial textiles, blinds and awnings, and the marine industry. During SpecText15, Nolan.UDA will be exhibiting a comprehensive product selection, including the recently launched All Seasons Outdoor Blind Collection and the Polyplan Architectural Fabric ranges. Nolan.UDA’s core business principles include integrity, innovation and value for money. We work with our valued customers to help them find suitable textile solutions.

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Your Future In Industrial Fabrics & Accessories



9A Lakewood Boulevard, Braeside Vic 3195 Tel: +613 9588 8800 Email:



130 Denison Street, Hillsdale NSW 2036 Tel: 612 9695 3200 Email:

Paskal – your future in industrial fabrics and accessories.

Paskal has been operating as a supplier to the industrial fabrics and accessory industries for over 20 years now. In that time, we have grown to become a national company with warehouses located in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Paskal’s success has come from our ability to provide quality products at competitive prices and by offering customer service at a personal level based on our long-standing associations with our customers.


Plastral Pty Ltd is the sole agent for Leister Hot Air Tools and Welding Equipment in Australia. It’s based in Sydney, with branches, distributors and service centres around the country. Leister tools have been manufactured in Switzerland for more than 65 years and are market leaders in their respective field. Leister Hot Air Tools and welding equipment is used widely in the geosynthetic and industrial fabrics industry with suitable equipment available for fabricating and repairing industrial fabrics including: tarpaulins, tents, billboards, banners, swimming pool covers, sunblinds, covers for agricultural and construction applications, boat covers, industrial curtains, dam liners and much more.


12 Dib Court, Tullamarine Vic 3043 Tel: +613 9338 3471 Fax: +613 9338 6936 Email:



7 Conifer Crescent, Dingley Village Vic 3172 Tel: +613 9551 6000 Email: Radins is one of the largest fabric and component wholesalers in Australia. Our extensive range of national brands like Vistaweave, Hunter Douglas, Dickson, Sunbrella, Brella, WCT, Defab and PVC range (and many more) ensure you have a onestop shop for your manufacturing requirements. Supporting our strong range is Radins’ computerised picking system and superior customer service, ensuring you get what you want when you want it. Radins’ sales staff and customer service teams understand your industry and can offer excellent advise on our extensive range of fabrics and hardware. Our aim is to make our customers’ businesses run smoothly. Come visit us at stand 51/58 and say hello and let our customer service team show you through our range. Automatic cutting machines for the specialised textiles industry. CNC Cutting Room Technologies, 100 percent Australian owned, 100 percent Australian made. Pathfinder is an Australian designer and manufacturer of the world’s most advanced CNC Cutting Room Technologies, with conveyorised cutting machines that enable the flexibility to cut: single ply, low ply and high ply materials at speeds and accuracy unmatched by others. Solutions include: PathWorks® the ‘learn in 30 minutes’ CAD software, digitising systems, material spreading solutions including the SemiAutomatic Fabric Master, Modular Spreading Tables and the Easy Loader On-load Conveyors, designed for efficient materials handling with minimal labour input. The L-Series low ply cutting machine will be displayed at SpecTex15.



63 Frankston Gardens Drive, Carrum Downs Vic 3201 Tel: +613 9770 8480 Email:



3/15 Kohl Street, Upper Coomera Qld 4209 Tel: +617 55 805 366 Email: ‘Protecting people just like you…’ Polyfab Australia is a wholly owned Australian company that specialises in the supply of high quality knitted shade cloth, namely Polyfx, Comshade and Architec 400. These products have an outstanding weight to strength ratio and are engineered to comply with the Building Code of Australia’s general requirements for Flammability (FR). Polyfab also sells a quality range of industrial fabrics such as HDPE Polyfabrics, bird netting and horticultural tunnel house reinforced coated fabrics.

For 25 years, Rainbow Shade has led the way in providing the highest quality shade protection products together with an unrivalled reputation for customer service, quality and integrity. Our shade fabric products include: Z16, eXtreme 32 and the all-weather DRiZ. This range is complemented by our PVC products, which include: Serge Ferrari 502, 702S and 802S and STAM 6002 ranges. Please drop by and meet with the friendly and informative staff at our stand this year.

Come and have a look at our new 550 gsm, Architec 550TM, which is simply the strongest all monofilament and Ovalon shade cloth available in the marketplace.

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16 Park Road, Homebush NSW 2140 Tel: +612 9735 3333 Email: With over 30 years of experience in the development and distribution of window furnishing and industrial textiles across Australia, Ricky Richards has the knowledge and expertise to assist you with any standard or speciality textile solution. Visit stand #81-83 during display hours to meet our friendly team and our friends working with us from Pro-Knit Industries and Sioen Industries. As Platinum Sponsor, we look forward to seeing you and to discussing new and exciting innovations in textiles. See you there!



Suite 201, 22 St Kilda Road, St Kilda Vic 3182 Tel: 613 9521 2114 Email: We are a national association representing fabricators, installers and suppliers of textiles, equipment, accessories and services in the specialised textiles industry. Specialised Textiles Association’s mission is to maintain relevance in the industry by working with members to provide and share information and facilitate the development of our industry.


PO Box 39, Eastwood NSW 2122 Tel: +612 9804 1146 Email: The Triax System of waterproof shade is evolving and we are pleased to introduce our latest innovation. The new Triax Straight Edge makes the system even more flexible and easy to use, saving still more time and money, while at the same time allowing installers the freedom to create individual and customised designs. There is still no welding and no need for critical measurements. Come and visit us on Stand 8 and see how Triax can expand your business and improve your bottom line.



Tel: +613 9742 5854 Email:



4/61-65 Russell Street, Werribee Vic 3030 Tel: +613 9742 5854 Fax: +613 9741 2472 Email: With a history of being an innovator in the sewing field, PFAFF Industrial has been building sewing machines for 150 years and welding machinery for more than 50 years now. It is experienced in five textile welding methods – hot wedge, hot air, continuous ultrasonic and hot air taping. Because of this PFAFF Industrial and its Oceania partner Sewing Perfection are committed to offering customers the best method suited to their application. Find out why we have the most reliable and production efficient equipment and visit the Sewing Perfection/PFAFF team at SpecTex15.



PO Box 2122, Goolwa SA 5214 Tel: +618 8555 4258 Email: In case you didn’t know, Stayput® Fasteners proudly injection mould and assemble all parts right here in Australia. By keeping manufacturing local, we are able to maintain excellent quality with fasteners carrying the Stayput® brand. Visit us at SpecTex15 to see our full range, collect samples and a product poster, and find out how Stayput® Fasteners can add value to your finished products. You might even see something new…



Jones Street, Ultimo NSW 2007 Tel: 02 9217 4601 Email:



2/6 Creek Street, Melton Vic 3338 Tel: 0405 151 529 Email: Sigmatec is a major keder rope supplier in a large range of sizes and colours for outdoor blinds, marquees, track cannel tubes and sail track, supplying to the blind, marine and printing industries.


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Typhoon Welding Automation is proud to present its Typhoon multi-task welding unit at SpecTex15. Come and visit us on our stand and speak to the team in regards to how our welder will fit in to your production needs and how its universal hot air and welding system will save you time and money. Developed with the manufacturer in mind for speed and flexibility by a team with years of experience in the welding field, this will be the must-see stop of the show.

TAFE NSW can meet your training needs. Whether it be motor and marine trimming, sail making or textile fabricating, we can offer a training solution that meets your needs. Call anytime to discuss how it can best help you.




77 Racecourse Road, Rutherford, NSW 2320 Tel: +612 4932 6338 Fax: +612 4932 5895 Email: WCT is Australia’s premier manufacturer of outdoor and industrial fabrics. Our booth at SpecTex15 presents the DynaproofedTM Canvas ranges, as well as the only Australian made PVC ranges of Senator 680 TS, Endeavour 600 and the revolutionary new Duralite 440. WCT is also Australia’s only manufacturer of insect screening and sunscreen fabrics, with our full ranges of these fabrics on display.

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4A Wilmette Place, Mona Vale NSW 2103 Tel: +612 9997 4099 Email: WeatherMAX Outdoor Performance Fabric is proudly distributed by Contender Sailcloth. The revolutionary material is highly suited to marine, shade/awning and industrial applications due to its incredible strength, water resistance, breathability and abrasion resistance. It features excellent fade resistance across the extensive colour range. On display will also be Breakwater X – an advanced alloy-coated fabric built to withstand the harshest environments with a unique 10-year limited warranty.

37 The WiT committee comprises a small group of dedicated and enthusiastic women within the specialised textiles industry. WiT’s aim is to encourage and support one another, establishing a network of like-minded individuals who are proactive towards issues affecting women within our industry, and to create a trade with limitless opportunities for women and reward them for their contributions.

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1E Marine Parade, Abbotsford Vic 3067 Tel: 1300 656 100 Email: Established back in 1926, Wilson continues to be a completely Australian-owned company, proudly supporting our local industry and keeping jobs in Australia. Wilson’s coated blind, drapery, awnings and canvas fabrics are made in Australia at our fully vertical manufacturing facility. Wilson Fabrics specialises in designing, developing and manufacturing a comprehensive range of innovative, decorative and functional quality fabrics, inspired by global trends.


Suite 201, 22 St Kilda Road, St Kilda Vic 3182 Tel: +613 9521 2114 Email: Zhejiang Guxiandao Industrial Fibre was established in 2003. It is one of the biggest manufacturing bases for polyester fibre in the world. The products are: polyester chips 600,000 tons/year, normal industrial yarn 900,000 tons/ year, liquid direct spinning yarn 200,000 tons/ year, FDY 200,000 tons/year.


No.28 Shijing Road, Haining Economic Development Zone, Zhejiang, China. Tel: +86 573 8709 8810 Email:



169 Victoria Parade, Collingwood VIC 3066 Tel: +613 9417 3131 Email: Wm C Jackson was established in 1921 and is a leading supplier of industrial sewing machines, industrial sewing machine needles, spare parts, scissors, electric cutters and laying up machinery. It also has a selection of testing equipment for the testing of fabrics.

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No 5 Lianhong Road, Yuanhua Town, Haining City, Zhejiang Province, China Tel: +86 573 8786 1313 Email: email: Zhejiang Xingyida Reinforced Material Co Ltd has become one of China’s leading manufacturers of coated fabric and industrial textiles. The main products are tarpaulins, tent material, inflatable fabrics, architecture membranes and industrial base fabrics. It has also introduced the German automated KKA knife coating line, up to 3.6 metres wide and the world’s leading PVC coating equipment.


Yuedong Road, Paojiang Industrial District, Shaoxing China Tel: +86 575 8813 8196 Email:





No 28 Hongqi Road, Warp Knitting Industrial Zone, Haining City, Zhejiang, China Tel: +86 573 8798 6588 Email: Zhejiang Yuli New Material Co Ltd employs over 300 staff, including more than 50 specialised technical personal. It also has five advanced hot and cold laminated production lines, one superwide hot laminated production line, one knife coating production line, two PVC calender lines, one surface treatment printing press and some other auxiliary machines. We warmly welcome all new and old clients, both at home and abroad to visit Yuli Plastic for business cooperation and common development . Zhejiang Huifeng New Materials Co Ltd. The world famous Guanchao resort is located in Haining, Shanghai only five kilometres from Hangzhou Ningbo Expressway, 120 kilometres east of Shanghai and 60 kilometres west of Hangzhou. The transportation is convenient, the geographical position is superior, and the company is a large professional producer and seller of digitally-coated flexible advertising print materials, roof membrane fabrics and all kinds of warp knitting fabrics, including industrial textiles.


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KYLIE BARTLETT MEET THE ‘WEB CELEB’ When she was a teenager, Kylie Bartlett’s father wanted her to join the army to give her some direction in life. Instead she went to the US and learned all about social media from gurus like Steve Harrison and Eben Pagan. These days, she gets flown all over the world to spread the word and now she’s coming to SpecTex15 to share her insights…


here will be plenty of familiar faces at this year’s expo, but perhaps not too many that you last saw on TV. Kylie Bartlett will be a speaker at one of the business sessions in SpecTex15 and she comes with quite the pedigree attached. A veteran guest of TV shows like Channel Nine’s Today Show and Channel Ten’s 9am with David and Kim, along with appearances on radio stations like 3MP and 2UB, Bartlett is equally wellknown for being featured in print media, having appeared in such Australian newspapers and magazines as The Sunday Herald Sun, Dynamic Business magazine and Australian Banking and Finance magazine. She also hosts her own webbased TV show, SME TV, which she uses to espouse her ideas about making the web work for small- to medium-sized businesses. If that’s not enough, last year she also published her first book, Friends with Benefits. Her mission in life is to make her clients ‘web famous’. As she puts it, “Social media is the new telephone and you need to answer the call or run the risk of your competitors answering it for you.”


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In this capacity she has trained, coached and inspired more than 1000 businesses across the world in the ways of social media. But perhaps her biggest success story to date is her own. Bartlett was a high school dropout and a homeless teen. Yet by the age of 21 she owned a café – her first business. Three short years later, she was a homeowner and by the age of 30 she had clocked up her first million. As she likes to say, “Not bad for a girl who never finished high school.” She credits the turnaround to a threehour motivational talk at the Wayne Berry Top Gun Business Academy. From being an energetic but completely directionless student, who was once told by a teacher that “the only way I could possibly attend university would be serving chips in the canteen”, she suddenly found that she had become “obsessed with psychology and started studying everything on the subject”. After a couple of years of studying and taking freelance jobs, she eventually decided to branch out on her own. Turning to the corporate world, she established a series of companies, beginning with the corporate training firm, Pinnacle Training Solutions, despite having just $5000 in her pocket and being eight


weeks pregnant at the time. She followed this with a consultancy for personal and professional performance called Quantum Leap Corporation. In some ways, it was all too much, too fast though and, by 2009, she felt burnt out and ready to get off the 100-hour a week treadmill. Looking at the ever-growing internet and the various promises she read there of ‘making money while you sleep, working from home in your pyjamas and turning your passion into projects’, she saw a way to use all of her own life experiences, plus her corporate training and organisational psychology know-how, to form a new niche business.

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Accreditations in diverse psychometric profiling tools followed – including Myer Briggs, Enneagram and Neurolinguistic programming. Her gregarious personality and strong presentation skills made the public speaking circuit a natural progression. And she’s now a veteran of the circuit, using humour to get her points across, while “serving as a catalyst for others to achieve outstanding success and celebrity results in business by leveraging the power of the social web”. Like SpecTex15’s emcee, Warwick Merry, who was profiled in the Autumn edition of Connections, Bartlett has very

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little knowledge or experience of the specialised textiles industry. But, again just like Merry, she has no qualms about this at all. “I don’t think you need industry specific knowledge to speak on social media, because I believe social media is just an amplification of a business’ internal culture,” she says. “What happens internally gets projected and amplified on social media externally. Social media doesn’t sit in isolation, it’s just another form of communication, just like the phone and email is.” As she told The Sydney Morning Herald last year, “What a lot of small businesses still struggle with is that there is no

gatekeeper involved. It is just you and the public. There is no frame of reference or regulatory body when it comes to social media, so you need a definitive strategy to be able to build your audience.” And is that what her presentation at SpecTex15 will provide? “I hope the attendees of the conference walk away feeling inspired and motivated to either start implementing social media into their business or ramping up their current efforts,” she says. “In other words, that the attendees now understand the importance of social media and make it a priority in the day-to-day running of their business.” C


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POTABLE AND PORTABLE Great strides are being made across the world in the field of geomembranes and water supply. Janice Kleinschmidt investigates.


hen a chemical storage tank in West Virginia in the US leaked in January 2014, 300,000 people were unable to drink water from their taps. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent more than 1.39 million litres (367,000 gallons) of water to the nine-county area; the local water agency provided 12 tanker trucks of water and four tractor-trailer loads of bottled water for distribution to residents. “You cringe when you see things like that in the news,” says Dan Dwight, president and CEO of Cooley Group, which makes geomembranes for the potable-water marketplace. “Had that chemical company come to us and we had lined the concrete pad that those tanks were sitting on, that chemical would have been contained in the membrane.” Once the water was contaminated, however, companies like Hydration Technology Innovations (HTI) of Albany, Oregon could provide solutions. Dropped into contaminated water, HTI’s HydroPack filters out dirt, bacteria, viruses and other contaminants. HTI calculates that its flat, cellulose acetate pouches, which can be air dropped, can reach disaster victims 15 times faster than bottled water based on transportation weight and space. “[But] it is hard to compete with bottled water with the logistical delivery capabilities of the National Guard, FEMA and other emergency responders,” says Nathan Jones, vice president of government sales. “If there was an earthquake or hurricane or tornado or other event that compromised the water supply and at the same time disrupted the logistical train for delivery, then our products are ideal.”


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Cooley, HTI and other companies make an amazing array of potable-water products that have more potential than is currently being tapped. Many serve humanitarian purposes, providing drinking water in Third World regions. But they also can be invaluable resources in both human-caused and natural disasters.

CONTAINMENT SOLUTIONS Cooley Group, headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island serves customers in more than 50 countries and six continents – from utilities, municipalities and the military to industrial companies. “Cooley offers a wide range of geomembrane solutions specifically engineered to meet the exacting technical and performance requirements associated with potable-water applications,” Dwight says. The company’s geomembranes are used not only for primary and secondary containment of hazardous materials, and as liners and covers for landfills and reservoirs, but also for flexible water tanks and bladders. “A significant portion of Cooley’s R&D budget is committed to developing

Flexitank’s pillow tanks range in size from 1000 to 500,000 litres. This 43,000-litre tanks in a remote construction site in Dubai provided drinking water to the site team. Photo: Flexitank (Australia) Pty Ltd

new fabric-based solutions and modifying existing products in order to better cover the full performance and cost spectrum in the potable-water market.” According to Dwight, the two biggest hurdles facing companies that make potable-water products are developing cost-effective solutions for emerging markets that lack vast financial resources, and developing local and regional infrastructures to sell and service products in those emerging markets. “The end user is most likely not able to pay for the product, thus the burden usually falls on aid organisations, which are hesitant to purchase, especially to preposition product prior to a disaster,” says HTI’s Jones. Gavin Hodgins, operations manager for Flexitank (Australia) Pty Ltd, a Melbournebased manufacturer of potable-water tanks and liners, considers a “race to the bottom” to be a challenge. “We see competitors who come into our markets based on price alone. This will never work,” he says. “It doesn’t allow an environment to breed where quality is key, and can often mean food-grade fabrics masked as potable fabrics are used instead of true potable fabrics.” But, Hodgins adds, Flexitank turned the introduction of poor-quality products into an opportunity. “We now offer the heaviest fabric available (900 grams per square metre) to most consumer markets for water bladders and, by sourcing our fabric locally so we could stock it at lower volumes, we achieved this without having to increase our pricing,” he says.

ACCESS AND TREATMENT Demand for potable-water products has increased dramatically in the past

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Secondary chemical containment geomembranes can prevent water supplies from being compromised. Cooley Group geomembranes are also used for reservoir liners and covers, as well as for flexible water tanks and bladders. Photo: Cooley Group


few years, says Alex Johnstone, project manager for Melbourne-based F CUBED Australia Pty Ltd, which makes Carocell™ solar water-purification panels. The desalinisation panels use a viscose nonwoven fabric, Galaxy® from Kelheim Fibres GmbH in Germany, to disperse water and remove contaminants. The panels also function as rainwater collectors. “[Water] treatment methods that require power, chemicals or any parts to be frequently replaced will not suit all markets, so the need for renewable-energy products is becoming increasingly clear,” Johnstone says. “With climate change already affecting coastal regions and their water sources, we foresee an even more rapid increase in demand for these types of products.” HTI’s Nathan Jones thinks there’s an increasing awareness of the vulnerability of

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water systems and the importance of being prepared. “Our goal is to have HydroPacks prepositioned globally for disaster relief,” he says. “Of the seven billion people who live on our planet, 2.8 billion live in areas of high water stress,” Dwight says. “The problems of limited sources and access to potable water continue to escalate due to populations growing faster than water sources can be replenished – coupled with climate change and global economic growth. We believe the demand for potable-water products will continue to be strong over the next decade and beyond.” “The thing that needs focus on the most is getting access to those people that don’t already have water, and educating those that do on conservation and the importance of sustainability,” says Kelsey

Langdale, director of PackH2O, which distributes backpacks for transporting water. The Columbus, Ohio-based company puts its efforts into partnering with organisations that bring water access closer to villages. “Providing support in terms of sanitation is next,” Langdale says. “Then you focus on transporting it home, which is where PackH2O comes in. Obvious regions would include Central and South America, Africa and Asia.” What’s needed, Johnstone says, are products that are adaptable to changing climate conditions, will not add to carbon pollution, are readily available, and are easy to set up and dismantle, especially for remote areas.

GLOBAL EFFORTS, GLOBAL IMPACT Among its humanitarian-relief projects, F CUBED has installed more than 300 Carocell panels within salt- and arsenicaffected areas of Bangladesh and sent panels to the Philippines in the wake of 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan. Cooley Group provided a reservoir cover in Cape Town, South Africa, to protect


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PackH2O’s water backpacks help create entrepreneurial opportunities in Guatemala by engaging the local women to sell the packs in their communities. Photo: PackH2O

potable water against contamination and minimise evaporation. On the disaster-relief side, Flexitank works primarily with the Australian Agency for International Development, but has also completed projects for the United Nations, including relief efforts following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, and the provision of 50 40,000-litre water bladders after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, as well as delivering


In a pilot project with the UNDP, F CUBED installed a CarocellR desalination panel in Baniashanta, Bangladesh, where water is contaminated by the Bay of Bengal. Baed on that pilot program, UNDP ordered 60 panels last year. Photo: F CUBED

water bladders to Arab countries for a back-up supply of potable water. Among its regular customers are mining companies that need to secure fresh drinking water for exploratory campsites. HTI’s HydroPacks were distributed by the US Army to victims of the Haiti earthquake and by a Save the Waves Coalition mission to Chile after the 2010 earthquake and tsunami. Save the Waves used HTI’s backpack hydration system and

HydroPacks for its relief team and distributed HydroPacks to children living in the area. The opportunities for companies making or selling potable-water products are “simply wherever it is needed,” Johnstone says, noting that the difficulty is keeping products cost-effective while maintaining high efficiency and usability in remote locations. PackH2O came about in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake when David

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Fischer, CEO of industrial packaging company Greif, saw women struggling to carry water in dirty buckets and contaminated jerry cans. Greif invented and manufactures the water backpack. PackH2O works with NGOs (nongovernment organisations), humanitarian organisations, churches and schools to raise awareness and funds for getting the packs into the hands of those with limited access to potable water. “We did our testing in different regions around Haiti,� Langdale says. PackH2O next joined forces with Habitat for Humanity and Partners for Care to provide more than 10,000 packs to families in Kenya, and has partnered with Habitat

for Humanity and Operation Blessing to prepare for disasters. “Stockpiling allows for quicker relief,� Langdale says. “We got very lucky with the typhoon in the Philippines in that Habitat for Humanity had already ordered water backpacks to go into that region. The packs are extremely convenient, especially compared to water bottles.� “Cooley’s focus is the development of product solutions that cover the full technical performance and cost spectrum,� Dwight says. “A majority of the most arid regions of the world are the least economically developed. Therefore, more cost-effective fabric- and fibre-based technologies need to be developed.

“Because water is a global problem requiring global solutions, there are opportunities for companies to market and sell their products globally,� he continues. “However, selling and servicing those products needs to be managed at the local and regional level. Collaboration with local water authorities all the way to international relief organisations is necessary.� Dwight notes that Cooley’s focus is becoming more localised. “We are starting to put resources in countries so that we can service both the fabricators and installers better than we do,� he says. “We recently opened an office in Germany to handle the European, Middle Eastern and North African markets.� As for disaster response, Dwight points out that relief agencies do not keep water bladders in storage in anticipation of an emergency. “They tend to just air freight in or ship in bottled water,� he says. “It’s something we’re looking into. We have the technology and would love to be able to supply them. We want to be a good global corporate citizen.� C Janice Kleinschmidt is a San Diego-based writer and editor.

Hydration Technology Innovations’ HydroPacks were used by Save the Waves Coalition relief workers in Chile and distributed to local children after the 2010 earthquake and tsunami. Photo: Hydration Technology Innovations

Footnote This article first appeared in the April 2014 issue of Specialty Fabrics Review, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International. Reprinted with permission from the Industrial Fabrics Association International.


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GEOSYNTHETICS: WHAT ARE THEY? For those not intimately connected to the geosynthetics industry, there is often confusion about the precise meanings of the different terms. Lance St Hill of Fabric Solutions throws some light on the subject.


any of us have never heard the term ‘geosynthetics’ or, if we have, only have a vague idea as to what they really are. The term ‘geosynthetics’ is a general one used to cover a multitude of synthetic and, to a lesser extent, natural and composite products used in civil engineering and related activities. The prefix ‘geo’ is a word element meaning ‘earth’ coming from Greek (ge). Synthetics, of course, refer to the fact that the bulk of these products are made from man-made materials and, in particular, plastics. Geosynthetic: ISO definition (GSY). Geosynthetic is a generic term describing a product, at least one component of which is made from a synthetic or natural


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polymer, in the form of a sheet, a strip or a three-dimensional structure, used in contact with soil and/or other materials in geotechnical and civil engineering applications. In more general terms, Wikipedia says that geosynthetic products are usually polymeric products used to solve civil engineering problems. A geosynthetic has been defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Committee D35 on Geosynthetics, as “a planar product manufactured from polymeric material used with soil, rock, earth or other geotechnical engineering related material as an integral part of a manmade project, structure or system”. Geosynthetics are generally thought to include eight main product

categories: geotextiles, geogrids, geonets, geomembranes, geosynthetic clay liners, geofoam, geocells and geocomposites. The polymeric nature of these products makes them suitable for use in the ground (buried), where high levels of durability are required. They can also be used in exposed applications. Geosynthetics are available in a wide range of forms and materials. Dr Robert M Koerner in Designing with Geosynthetics (6th edition, 2012) says that geosynthetic materials perform five major functions, these being: separation, reinforcement, filtration, drainage and containment of liquids and/or gases. Most people rarely see geosynthetic products, as they are most often buried or form part of a structure and are not easily discernable to those not in the know.

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opposite page: Landfill application: multilayer liner system, using geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) with HDPE geomembrane. this page: Water storage application: geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) substitutes a natural compacted clay layer for a containment solution.

They do not have the awe factor or pizzazz of tension structures and other more visible products generally used in the synthetic textiles industry. While they are not often visible and frequently boring to look at in situ, the engineering involved in their development and use is no less than that of the grandest architectural fabric structure. These products have a wide range of applications and are currently used in many civil, geotechnical, transportation, geoenvironmental, hydraulic and private development applications, including roads, airfields, railroads, embankments, retaining structures, reservoirs, canals, dams, erosion control, sediment control, landfill liners, landfill covers, mining, aquaculture and agriculture (Wikipedia) . The two most common (largest groups) of geosynthetic materials are geotextiles and geomembranes. It is not uncommon for people to be confused as to the differences between these materials. Even some engineers often confuse the two product groups.

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THE TWO GROUPS Geotextiles Geotextiles are textiles consisting mostly of synthetic fibres rather than natural ones such as cotton, wool or silk. This makes them less susceptible to biodegradation. These synthetic fibres are made into flexible, porous fabrics by standard weaving machinery or are matted together in a random non-woven manner. Some are also knitted. Geotextiles have been used for thousands of years, albeit utilising natural materials. For example, they were used in roadway construction in the days of the pharaohs to stabilise roadways and their kerbs. These early geotextiles were made of natural fibres, fabrics or vegetation mixed with soil to improve road quality, particularly when roads were constructed on unstable soil. In medieval times, levees were first constructed to create more usable land or to protect against flooding. The modern use of geotextiles using man-made fibres began in the Netherlands in 1953 after devastating floods in the region. Parallel with the development

of modern man-made fibres, geotextiles became essential for modern civil engineering. Geotextiles are non-visible, permeable fabrics used in civil engineering construction projects such as paving, dams, embankments and drains for the purpose of soil reinforcement and stabilisation, sedimentation and erosion control, support and drainage, and many other applications. Geotextiles are porous to liquid flow across their manufactured plane and also within their thickness, but to a widely varying degree. There are at least 100 specific application areas for geotextiles that have been developed; however, the fabric always performs at least one of four discrete functions: separation, reinforcement, filtration and/or drainage.

Geomembranes Geomembrane materials themselves are relatively thin, impervious sheets of polymeric material used primarily for linings and covers of liquids or solidstorage facilities. This includes all types of landfills, surface impoundments, canals and other containment facilities.


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Thus, the primary function of a geomembrane is always containment, as a liquid or vapour barrier or both. The range of applications, however, is large, and in addition to the environmental area, applications are rapidly growing in geotechnical, transportation, hydraulic and private development engineering (such as aquaculture, agriculture and heap leach mining etc). The essential difference between geotextiles and geomembranes is their permeability. Geotextiles are permeable or semi-permeable materials, whereas geomembranes are, essentially, impermeable. Waterproof barriers have been around since at least as far back as the Romans, who lined their aqueducts with clay (low permeability soils). Liners using concrete and/or bitumen have been around since the early 1900s and synthetic butyl rubber since the 1930s.

USAGE In the early days of modern geomembranes, the 1960s and 1970s, PVC (polyvinyl


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Landfill application: HDPE geomembrane liner and non-woven geotextile for separation/cushioning.

chloride) was the more common material, but over the last two decades HDPE (highdensity polyethylene) has overtaken PVC and is now used widely. PVC is not often seen now in large geomembrane projects, but does crop up from time to time in the more specialised projects, where its flexibility is seen as an advantage. Again, geomembranes are not often seen, but are becoming specified more and more in landfills, evaporation ponds, sewerage lagoons, mining applications, construction and agriculture. Of recent times in Australia, large quantities of geomembrane – HDPE in the main and LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene) to a lesser degree – along with various geosynthetics for leak detection and puncture protection in the main, have been used in the coal seam gas market. Geomembrane lining systems are most often used in conjunction with other geosynthetic products such as geotextiles (for cushioning mainly and sometimes drainage), drainage nets and agricultural pipe (for drainage and/or gas collection)

and geosynthetic clay liners (GCL as secondary liners or covers). The most common geomembrane products today, are HDPE, LLDPE, PVC, polypropylene and, to a lesser extent, ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM), ethylene interpolymer alloy (EIA, often referred to as Elvaloy base membrane) and chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE). In his book Keorner says that there is about US$1.8 billion per annum in sales of geomembrane products and that about 35 percent of annual world sales of geomembranes is attributed to HDPE with a further 25 percent each to LLDPE and PVC – the remaining 15 percent going to polypropylene, CSPE and EPDM. These sales figures are set to grow over the coming years with more projects mandating the use of geomembrane products and best practice engineering design regularly specifying their use. C Thanks to Ray Chow and Global Synthetics for image supply.

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The Caravan Annexe & Awning Collection


t Ricky Richards, we supply fabrics that ‘cover’ a diverse range of industries. One such industry is the caravan and camping industry. RF500, RF650, Arcadia and Coastline are grouped together to form the Caravan Annexe and Awning Collection. They comprise a stylish and affordable selection of fabrics developed for this market. All four fabrics have excellent opacity and waterproof properties to provide privacy, and will block out elements such as sun and rain ensuring a dry, cool environment. RF500 and RF650 are laminated PVC fabrics suited for annexe roofing and caravan awnings. RF500 is a dual colour white/light grey fabric, which allows for more design options to suit your caravan colour scheme. It is available in 203-centimetre and 275-centimetre widths, has a matt finish and is specifically developed for outdoor performance and durability. RF650 also has the dual colour options, including a mottled grey colour, which is designed to be inside an awning or annexe roof. It is available in 203-centimetre and 275-centimetre widths, with the 275-centimetre in blockout. This ensures it will block and reflect solar energy to help create a cooler environment in the annexe.

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Arcadia is our printed awning fabric that has a graduated colour stripe across the whole 275-centimetre width. Ideal for RV roll-out awnings, caravan awnings and annexe roofing, it has a matt acrylic lacquer on the topside and is anti-fungal treated. These treatments make the fabric durable and easy to clean and maintain. Coastline is a laminated PVC polyester, with a printed stripe pattern topside, matt acrylic lacquer and a linen embossed underside. Like Arcadia, it is anti-fungal treated, which is perfect for outdoor applications. It is 203 centimetres wide, and is ideal for annexe and marquee walls. It is available in 11 striped designs, all suited towards the Australian camping market. Both Arcadia and Coastline are available in popular, vibrant designs and colours and have been chosen to complement existing caravan colour schemes. Designed to withstand the harshest Australian conditions, all products in the Caravan Annexe and Awning Collection will remain durable and stable for many years to come. For further information or samples on any of these fabric collections, please contact the friendly Ricky Richards sales team on 02 9735 3333 or by email


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THE WIDE BROWN LAND FOR ME… Bill Bryson may say, “I would rather have bowel surgery in the woods with a stick,” but thousands of Australians still “love a sunburnt country” like Dorothea Mackellar and can’t wait to get out there, far away from the madding crowd. Connections talks to Rob Lucas, chief executive of the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria, about camping and caravanning today. Can you describe the current state of the camping/caravanning industry? The love affair with caravanning and camping is as strong as ever. Most people believe the Grey Nomads are the greatest travellers; however, it’s the family market that has grown over the past decade. In fact, those in the age group 39 to 54 are the fastest growing users of our industry’s products, namely caravans, camper trailers, tent trailers, motor homes, campervans and, of course, tents and accessories. What changes have you seen in the industry over the last five years? There are many examples, including the lightweight chassis, innovative caravan designs, caravan parks becoming more modern, more modern accessories in caravans, such as en suites, now the norm, washing machines, wine coolers, more LED lighting… the list goes on.


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In particular, are there any specific innovations or recurrent themes that stand out? If I had to mention one, it would be the AL-KO ESC, electronic stability control, designed and manufactured right here in Australia. This product has revolutionised safe driving in Australia; it protects drivers from excessive sway. This innovative system responds to the driving behaviour of the caravan by monitoring for any dangerous lateral movements and taking preventative action by applying the caravan’s electric brakes to maintain a safe road position. One of the themes of this issue is sustainability. Where does the industry fit here? In the past five years, with our customers requiring greater freedom to travel our wonderful land, the need to have power and lights has come to the fore. So the use

of solar power has seen our industry at the forefront of sustainable actions. Solar power now has travellers not needing to be plugged into the grid as they travel, thus leaving a clean footprint. What about the rise of so-called glamping? Glamping has been around for some time; it has come back into vogue in the past few years because people in our industry can now better market the experience through social media and it has become more mainstream for an accommodation option. Is this a significant development in the industry? No not really, it is just another option for travellers who want something different as an experience. And how does it affect the environment? All the information I have says it does not.

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What is the Australian camping industry like compared to the rest of the world? We are world leaders in a number of areas, particularly innovative manufacturing. Our numbers are much smaller, based on our population. For instance, in the US over 350,000 units are manufactured and sold; in Australia we manufacture 22,000 units approximately per annum. What trends do you envisage happening over the next five years? It hard to say, but the thing I am confident about is that our industry is set to grow again with the lowering of the Australian

dollar and more people focused on life/ work balance, the last of the Baby Boomers moving through the economy and people using our industry’s products to have shorter holidays. This is all good news for us. On the product side, caravans will continue to evolve with even greater comforts. People who travel now and into the future will expect all the comforts of home. What will be the next big thing in camping/ caravanning? Because vehicles are becoming lighter, so too will our RV (recreational vehicle) products. The same goes for camping. I am constantly amazed at the range of new lightweight tents and accessories. Where do specialised textiles fit into the camping/caravanning industry? With a reliance still on canvas as part of annexes and tents, the specialised textiles industry still has a strong future in the caravan and camping industry. How can the two industries be mutually beneficent? It’s an interesting question. I attended a national conference and trade show of the Specialised Textiles Association some years ago and came away with the thought that we could share much more information for the benefit of both industry sectors. I suppose sharing industry statistics and data is a beginning.

2015 OFFICIAL INDUSTRY CAMPING/ CARAVANNING SHOWS VICTORIA 14 to 16 August Border Caravan and Camping Expo, Wodonga Racecourse 8 to 11 October Melbourne Leisurefest, Sandown Racecourse 20 to 22 November Bendigo Caravan and Camping Leisurefest, Bendigo Racecourse

QUEENSLAND 3 to 9 June Queensland Caravan and Camping Show, Brisbane Showgrounds 29 October to 1 November Queensland Pre-Christmas Caravan 7 Camping Sale, RNA Showgrounds, Bowen Hills

NEW SOUTH WALES 11 to 13 September Penrith Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo, Penrith Panthers Exhibition Centre 6 to 8 November South Coast Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo, MacKay Park, Bateman’s Bay

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HISTORY OF CANVAS IN AUSTRALIA PART III Last issue we brought you part two of our potted history of canvas in Australia, a series of articles marking the fact that this year the Specialised Textiles Association is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Previously we have looked at pioneers in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. And we conclude the series with a trip to South Australia and a brief exploration of the rise of synthetic materials, with some expert opinion from Beatrice Moonen…


s with the other states, there are a handful of names that jump out when looking at the pioneers in the canvas industry in South Australia. First cab off the rank is John Alexander Flavel, a lifetime member of ACASPA (Australian Canvas and Synthetic Products Association, which evolved into the Specialised Textiles Association). Flavel was a third-generation industry man, with the Flavel company beginning as a merchant trader in 1884. In 1902 it began hiring, repairing and supplying marquees from its premises in Rundle Street in Adelaide. When Flavel joined the family firm in 1931 at the age of


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20, its canvas section was quite small, but under his guidance it grew. By 1940 he was a director of the company, overseeing its expansion into blinds and awnings, and the by now familiar story of a big increase in demand for canvas products during World War II. On the back of its war work, which included making and repairing tents for the US Army, Flavel and Sons continued to expand in the 50s and 60s, continuing to thrive as a specialist in the window treatment market. Another South Australian name with deep roots is that of Quin. A Captain Hugh Quin arrived on the Cygnet in 1836. Eighty-five years later his namesake grandson opened a sail-making loft in

Port Adelaide, which later became Quin’s Canvas Goods with an expansion into the canvas industry throughout the 1940s and 50s, under the guidance of yet another Hugh (clearly a popular boy’s name in this particular family). And having divided into two, the name is still going strong today with Quin’s Canvas Goods specialising in blinds, awnings, shade sails and marquees, while just a few streets away in Port Adelaide, Quin Marine, under Barry Quin, services the shipping sector with all things nautical. And the name has spread, with Barry’s son Colin continuing the family tradition with another sail-making company in Marcoola, Queensland.

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The association we now know as the Specialised Textiles Association was established in 1940 under the moniker Canvas Manufacturers Association. In 1983, that name changed again to ACASPA, acknowledging the emergence of synthetic materials after a lifetime of canvas products. The Association’s current title was decided upon in 2011 to reflect the direction in which the industry was heading and the increasingly specialised and niche areas in which its members are involved. But it seems the Association was simply catching up with reality. Albert Mulhauser managed two factories, way back in the 1930s, with a business that has been described as the first of the synthetic fabricators. Mulhauser’s premises were in Bacchus Marsh and Nhill in Victoria, mostly manufacturing waterproofed garments. During World War II, the business made items for the defence forces, notably covers and tarpaulins. By 1948, its products were increasingly fabricated by welding only, rather than stitching and sealing. Mulhauser worked, developed and promoted various synthetic fabrics, which were produced by Moulded Products and later by Nylex. Today, one of the industry’s most familiar faces is Beatrice Moonen from Abacus Shade Structures, who knows a lot about both the reason for the rise of synthetics in the industry and their application in the tension structures side of the industry. “Canvas boat sails, clothing and coverings had very useful properties of rain protection, wind control, durability and flexibility. But were they strong enough for the wind loads that could be imposed upon them or colourful and aesthetic enough to meet public demand?” she says. “Temporary buildings such as canvas tents were commonplace, but could a tent withstand long-term buffeting from gale force winds? They could not. Synthetic materials were being developed, starting with nylon in the 60s with strengths, flexibility and longevity, which could exceed those of traditional fabrics.” Change didn’t happen overnight. As Moonen notes, “There were very few engineers or architects that understood

Despite widespread doom and gloom in many domestic manufacturing industries and the threat from inexpensive overseas imports, particularly China, there is reason to feel great optimism about an industry that has been an integral part of the Australian story. Canvas suppliers and fabricators have been involved in the history of Australia since the First Fleet, when pioneers had nothing to protect them from the elements but the canvas tents they brought with them, and in some ways little has changed, believes Moonen. “Provision of shade and health is so, so important today. Think skin cancer, protecting the delicate skin of children, spectators at sporting events, or sitting enjoying our great climate. There is a big need for outdoor shade protection that trees and costly permanent buildings just can’t meet in our built environment. Shade sails can fill this need in the wider smallscale market,” she says. And that’s not all. “Fabric structures compete head on with traditional building materials. A steel roof is hot, noisy and not particularly aesthetic. A glass structure lets in too much glare and heat. Solid brick buildings can be expensive. Fabric structures can be colourful, beautiful, durable, flexible and strong. The fabric structure’s future is bright. As technologies offer better fabric properties, designers become more daring, structures are better engineered and people demand shade protection, the possibilities for fabric structure in Australia are endless…” C

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Captain Hugh Quin


the technicalities associated with ensuring the tension structures performed in extreme weather conditions in the 1980s… There were some large major failings and warnings, but there were lots of successes and the market slowly grew interested. “The party hire industry were among the first to dare to use synthetic materials in their temporary structures through the 80s and 90s,” she adds. “They found instant support as short-term displays and function venues.” Many in the industry point to shade sails as being the mainstay of the industry going forward. They made their debut at the 1988 World International Expo in Brisbane. “We saw the first large-scale representation of tensioned waterproof synthetic fabric structures in Australia,” recalls Moonen. “What a magnificent sight they were – massive, sweeping, lightweight marvels that defied twodimensional building principles.”

Endnotes For this series of articles, we are indebted to the formidable research conducted by canvas industry veteran Graeme Gair (Gair Manufacturing, Davies Coop and Sunshine Australia), who retired from the industry in 1986 and whose collection of Draft Review Papers from 1999 formed the bulk of the reference material.. Correction: In part two of this series, we inadvertently gave the erroneous impression that there was confusion over who has the rights to the Goodearl and Bailey name. Please see page 17 of this magazine for clarification on this issue.


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HR UPDATE – GETTING READY FOR THE END OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR The end of the financial year is fast approaching and there are a few things that business owners need to be aware of from an HR perspective.

ANNUAL WAGE REVIEW – EFFECTIVE 1 JULY 2015 Each financial year, the Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel for annual wage reviews conducts an annual wage review, and issues a decision and national minimum wage order for employees not covered by an award or agreement. This decision generally comes into effect from 1 July of the new financial year. The increases are applied to employees’ pays from the first pay period after 1 July 2015. The annual wage review directly affects Australian employees who are: ● covered by a Modern Award or a Transitional Instrument, or ● not covered by either an Award or an agreement.


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The annual wage review provides for a minimum wage within Australia, ensuring that all employees are covered by at least minimum conditions, including rates of pay. As a result of the annual wage review, all allowances and pay rates within Modern Awards are also updated – including motor vehicle allowance, so if you have employees that are using their personal motor vehicles for work purposes, you are required to reimburse them for that use. There are a number of ways in which motor vehicle allowances can be provided to employees using their personal motor vehicles and Modern Awards provide details of these options.

All Modern Awards are updated during June, with the latest versions available from 1 July 2015.

PERFORMANCE REVIEWS Typically, annual performance reviews are conducted at the end of the calendar or financial year. Historically, most businesses have conducted performance reviews once a year, which can be time consuming and emotionally challenging for all involved. Best practice is to conduct reviews more often, spending less time during regular meetings, so that there is no big build-up where both employers and employees are struggling to remember what they did last month, let alone six months ago.

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Our research tells us that businesses where managers meet with their employees once a month for 30 minutes, with a very clear agenda and focused discussion, have far greater quality of discussions and improved relationships and focus than those organisations that only meet once a year. Some great questions to include in your monthly catch-ups include: ● What has been your greatest achievement in the past month? ● Anything you need from me or the business in order to be more effective? ● When we meet again in a month’s time, what will you have achieved? By keeping it simple in terms of regular, shorter meetings, you will find it more productive and less stressful to conduct performance reviews.

SALARY REVIEWS A lot of businesses have their annual salary reviews come into effect from the start of the new financial year. The following is a guide to best practice for you to use within your business. The purpose of having a process relating to setting remuneration, rewards and incentives is to: ● reward productivity increases or the undertaking of greater responsibilities, and ● recognise differences in job responsibilities and differences in levels of individual performance.

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HISTORICALLY, MOST BUSINESSES HAVE CONDUCTED PERFORMANCE REVIEWS ONCE A YEAR, WHICH CAN BE TIME CONSUMING AND EMOTIONALLY CHALLENGING FOR ALL INVOLVED. For the purpose of evaluating levels of remuneration, businesses look at the overall total package cost to the business. In determining level of remuneration, consideration will be given to the following factors: ● performance of the company ● market conditions – e.g. how the national economy is performing ● role specific conditions – e.g. shortage of particular skills, and individual performance. As you can see from the above, there is no ‘normal’ response as each business is different and the whole of the business needs to be taken into account to determine how best to structure your workforce and the associated terms and conditions. C

The Specialised Textiles Associations is pleased to announce its partnership with HR Advice Online as its new HR service provider for it members. HR Advice Online will be supporting STA members with Award updates and pay information, as well as HR Advice direct to you as members. You are able to contact the service directly by emailing or calling the HR Hotline on 1300 720 004. HR Advice Online will also be providing updates to the Association when HR legislation changes. You will have the chance to meet owners Cheryl Disher and Kerrie Canning at the SpecTex expo and conference in June. The STA looks forward to working with Cheryl, Kerrie and their team. Further information about their business can be found at

This article comes from the Blog Desk at HR Advice Online. For any further information, contact or visit

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GUARDIAN OF THE ARCHIVES: DES TEBB Tebb’s Canvas Products began life as a French polishing and furniture restoration business. But that wasn’t what its customers wanted. Nearly 70 years later, Des Tebb is still honouring the legacy left by his father Charlie. In more ways than one…


he Dandenong, Victoria-based business was established by Charlie Tebb in 1946. Tebb had come out of World War II and started buying old furniture, fixing it up and selling it on. “For some reason, people would ask him, ‘Do you hire tents?’,” explains his son and the company’s current managing director, Des Tebb. “Because he would go to auctions to buy second-hand furniture, one day he saw a tent. ‘I keep getting asked about tents,’ he thought. ‘I’ll buy a tent.’ So he bought a tent and put a sign up on his little market store saying ‘we hire tents’. “He had one!” laughs Tebb. In the postwar period there were lots of ex-army things about and before long Tebb senior


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found an old truck canopy. “He did some minor modifications and then put up a sign saying ‘we hire tents and tarps’,” continues Tebb. “Eventually he bought an old sewing machine and then he was able to buy more truck canopies and do the alterations to make them a proper tarp. And that’s how it all started.” Business was very basic back in those days. Charlie lived in half of a rented house and did the canvas alterations in his father’s backyard shed. “Eventually, he bought a house, which had chook sheds behind it,” says Tebb. “The chook sheds were the workshop and then a factory was built out of second-hand kerosene cans from World War II. They were opened out

and ripple rolled, so they had very small corrugations. They didn’t last long, they’d rust because they were only tin-plated kerosene cans.” Begging, borrowing and stealing timber, and with the help of his brothers and brothers-in-law, Tebb senior built the factory in Dandenong and knocked down the chook sheds. The business diversified, wholesaling products, but also moving into the sporting goods arena for a while. “He used to love fishing and shooting,” says Tebb. “He had a mate who had a retail sporting goods shop in Dandenong, so he got him into retailing sporting goods as well. That fizzled out and more camping goods came along like beach umbrellas and folding chairs.”

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All these years later, Tebbs Canvas Products is still in Dandenong. It’s been in its current Brooklyn Avenue premises for 12 years, following over 30 years in Futura Road and in another local factory for the 20 or so years before that. Des Tebb joined his father’s firm straight from school in 1964. At that time the company had a wide remit. “Nowadays everybody in the canvas industry tends to specialise,” says Tebb. “We were doing anything… sunblinds, tarpaulins…” Dandenong was a developing area for residential in those days and consequently there was a big demand for blinds and floor coverings, such as tiles etc. “Eventually we got out of all the floor coverings,” says Tebb. “That was probably 40 years ago, but it seems like not long ago.” That jack-of-all-trades approach also describes Tebb’s first jobs in the company – he did a bit of everything. “I learned to sew,” he says. “ Sweeping the floor, being the boy. We didn’t have a big management hierarchy in those days. You didn’t expect the boss’ son to be somebody. I had a foreman over me and he’d tell me what to do. I used to make the teas…”

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The current set-up at Tebbs has been constant for a while. There are 28 employees and that number has been more or less the same for the last 15 or 20 years. Gender-wise, it’s a pretty even split and there’s a sizeable office workforce, with about nine staff employed in that capacity. There are also installers, a factory manager “and then a whole heap of machinists and cutters and assemblers,” says Tebb. He’s the only Tebb left in the business now, although relatives have been involved periodically over the years. There’s no family succession plan. “There was just my father and myself,” says Tebb. “I have two children but neither of them will be coming to the business.”


Today, the bulk of the business is selling to the camping industry. “We sell a few add-on lines,” says Tebb. “We make walls for roll-out awnings, which have replaced what we would know as an annexe. We make a lot of other accessory items, such as spare wheel covers and covers for caravans, pebble guards for the front of caravans, the sleeve that fills between the body and the roof.” He has seen a drop-off in some areas of the business caused by the advent of Chinese imports, with some erstwhile major items, such as roll-out awning sunscreens, hardly made at all any more. “Even caravans themselves are tending to be imported now,” says Tebb. “One from South Africa, some from Europe. The Asian ones aren’t generally here in their own right. Someone might bring them in under their own brand or finish them off here because we have very strict compliance standards on the gas and electrics in caravans.” There are no surprises when Tebb is asked about the biggest challenges he has faced over the last 50 years in the industry.


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“I suppose it’s always sales,” he says. “It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. Back to the floor covering days or the blinds days, it’s always sales that you need to maintain, especially when you’ve got a fairly big workforce.” The other great challenge is finding that workforce. “Mainly because most people 40 and under can’t sew. Most of our machinists are over 50. They’ve all learned in other countries where they’ve sewn since they were 13 or 14. They retire as machinists; they’ve just done that all their lives in some industry, whether it was making car seat covers or a variety of things that need machining. The canvas industry is not a boutique industry for people to want to come and work here,” he laments.

Tebb recounts a recent conversation with C E Bartlett and Co’s Keith Bartlett, when they discussed the difficulties of recruiting even in a regional area like Ballarat. “[Keith] said that one of his men worked for him as a machinist – they do a lot of bigger heavier duty stuff so they need a male to do the work, it’s not easy for a lady. And he said that the young fellow said that he ‘leaves his genitals in the glove box every day’. He would never go out and tell his mates at the pub that he’s a sewing machinist.” Such attitudes are compounded by a reluctance to see the trade as a career, says Tebb. “You see people put their juniors – they’ve been there for a while, they see some prospects there, so they

put them through a training scheme. They do the training, but if they decide to leave, they don’t go to someone else with their skills, they just go into some other industry or career.” He notes a similar reluctance of younger people not wanting to follow their parents into the business. When asked about the future of the industry, Tebb responds, “I don’t know because it’s getting so specialised and I guess the big part of it is shade sails and blinds. The canvas for things like swags and tents, though tents haven’t been made in Australia for a long time, there are a few boutique ones I guess. Swags, tents, caravan annexes and a lot of other things along that line are all going to be imported.”

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He’s confident the industry will survive, but in just what form he can’t say for sure. “There’ll always be a canvas industry, but it will be in blinds, sunshades,” he says. “There are going to be a certain amount of boat canopies. But a lot of that’s imported now too. The standard bimini covers and a lot of other things. There are so many things that can be ordered by measurements for boats and it arrives from somewhere. Some of the bigger things, like marquees, there’s probably a market for that, but a lot of that’s going offshore. It’s got its limitations. “There’s less and less repair of things. Once upon a time if you had a really good canvas tent, you’d bring it in and someone would repair it. Now if you get a few zips

“THE YOUNG FELLOW SAID THAT HE ‘LEAVES HIS GENITALS IN THE GLOVE BOX EVERY DAY’. HE WOULD NEVER GO OUT AND TELL HIS MATES AT THE PUB THAT HE’S A SEWING MACHINIST.” and meshes pack up, you throw it away because a new one’s probably not much more than the repairs and it’s new.” Considering these uncertain times, it’s perhaps no surprise that Tebb spends some time looking back and is

one of the industry’s foremost archivists. He’s become the custodian of much memorabilia and is sitting on the history committee that was formed to commemorate this year’s 75th anniversary of the Specialised Textiles Association. “I’ve been collecting it since I’ve been in the association, which is since about 1970 and I’ve got a lot stuff that I’ve got from the conferences,” he says. “I’ve collected over time, and in latter years even more. But I’ve been handed a lot of stuff too. Some of the older people in the industry that have passed on, before they did, they gave the stuff to me.” A guardian of the archives, if you like? “Well sort of, yes,” he says. “And I was happy to do that.” C

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Upcoming events for the Specialised Textiles Industry



Carr Australia


Darling Downs


Eyelets Supply Company


Goodearl & Bailey




8 to 10 June 2016 Gold Coast, Queensland BMAA and STA joint expo.

Miami Stainless


For further information, call 03 9521 2114 or email

Plastral Pty Ltd



Ricky Richards

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STA EVENTS SPECTEX15 27 to 29 June 2015 Melbourne, Victoria To register and for further information, visit

MARINE FABRICATOR WORKSHOP – SYDNEY 4 August 2015 Sydney, New South Wales For further information, call 03 9521 2114 or email


ITMA2015 12 to 19 November 2015 Milan, Italy The world’s leading textile and garment manufacturing technologies showcase since 1951.

The Shann Group


Triax Systems


IFAI EXPO 6 to 9 October 2015 Anaheim Convention Centre Anaheim, California US If IFAI Expo is your marketplace for speciality fabrics, advanced textiles, and shade and weather protection applications, Anaheim is your marketplace for family fun.


4-5, + 12

Wilson Fabrics



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Connections Winter 2015  

The Official Magazine of the Specialised Textiles Association

Connections Winter 2015  

The Official Magazine of the Specialised Textiles Association