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Colour psychology The Bartletts of Ballarat World Skills Australia

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STA NEWS Report from STA president, Beatrice Moonen

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Ricky Richards’ Melanoma Institute partnership Ky Combe – what the kid from the lakes of Utah took home World Skills Australia Innovations in advertising banner recycling

STA BUSINESS ACCREDITATION Introduction Q&As Accredited businesses

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HR Advice Online on cashing out paid leave Nick Hitchens on using contractors


MARINE FABRICATION Shane Beashel discusses best quality on a budget


DESIGN Tracey McLeod of Showhomes Design and Taryn Whitaker from Assorted Spaces unravel the mysteries of colour psychology





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



Issue Four 2016 CONNECTIONS

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Editorial Contributions by the STA Editorial committee ASSOCIATION MANAGER Ana Drougas

Welcome to the fourth Connections for 2016


elcome to the final issue for 2016 of your industry magazine. Hopefully, by the time you receive this in your hot little hands, summer will finally have arrived properly and undeniably. That may have been the case a while ago in other states and territories of this vast and varied land, but down here in Victoria we’ve been sunbathing one minute and sheltering in hobbit holes (or their homely equivalents) the next. Truly, Melbourne may have always been the ‘four seasons in one day’ city, but never more so than during the spring of 2016, at the time of writing. But when the sun does peek through, its ferocity is legendary in this part of the world. Which is why I’d like to add my voice to the accolades for Ricky Richards and its Melanoma Institute initiative. Certainly, for a big successful company, to promise a set portion of its annual profits for a specific charity related to its industry should be fairly straightforward and painless. But how many of us really put our money where our mouths are? In the specialised textiles industry, the answer is actually quite a few – as shown by the inspiring response to the Women in Textiles Make A Swag campaign earlier in the year. By all measures though, the Ricky Richards undertaking is commendable and I raise my hat to the company. You can read about its achievements on page 10. Elsewhere in this issue, we delve into the fascinating topic of colour psychology. Did you know it’s possible to use it to reveal that a teenage boy is missing his absent father? Well, apparently it is. Hop to page 28 and all will be revealed. Also, Shane Beashel explains how marine fabricators can avoid an island of bird *>%# on page 26, while this issue’s member profile is of Ballarat’s longestablished Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame inductee, C E Bartlett. I hope you enjoy the issue. Madeleine Swain Editor

EDITOR Madeleine Swain Advertising Neha Minhas 03 9948 4918 Design ART DIRECTOR Keely Atkins PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jamuna Raj DIGITAL PRE-PRESS Monique Blair


Connections magazine is published on behalf of the Specialised Textiles Association Inc by Niche Media Pty Ltd ABN 13 064 613 529 Suite 1418, Level 14, 1 Queens Road, Melbourne VIC 3004 Tel: 03 9948 4900 / Fax 03 9948 4999 Printing Graphic Impressions Cover Courtesy of Turnils












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

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

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

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President’s report The times they are a-changin’...


s recent Nobel Prize recipient singer/songwriter Bob Dylan believed, ‘The times they are a-changin’’. He wrote that song in 1964 and those words have certainly rung true for our industry in the 52 years since. The Specialised Textiles Association (STA), as the industry body for textile fabricators, manufacturers and suppliers, has remained relevant with support to members through all the upheavals, uncertainty and opportunities that change brings. The speed and intensity of the change we have experienced in this period is unrivalled as: • technology becomes obsolete every 18 months, as we upgrade mobile phones and respond to new and better apps/software and computers • a global shift of resources has bankrupt some countries, while others, like China, have averaged a nine percent GDP growth over the last 15 years • Australia has multi-speed internal economies changing dramatically across borders and industries, and • there is uncertainty in commodity prices – oil prices yoyo from $190 to $50 per barrel and iron ore has dropped from $190 to $40 per tonne in just six years. These changes manifestly affect us because we operate in a complex interconnected global system – we are not islands. The STA offers support, as members deal with issues even closer to home.

INFLUX OF OVERSEAS PRODUCTS It is no surprise that imports shape our industry. The growth of imports remains a day-by-day concern as livelihoods are threatened and old and new companies rethink how they operate. We essentially operate in a niche industry where custom-made defines our work rationale. Our markets need to be nurtured. At the same time, there are

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opportunities to incorporate imports, but often at the risk of quality, in a market that demands better quality. So too Australian products are encouraged to explore new export markets. Options need to be weighed up. The STA provides a platform to network, to communicate with other members and share experiences – what’s new, what works, what to avoid, who’s doing what. STA conferences provide a big event opportunity to attend trade displays, see new products, and attend seminars and workshops. STA newsletters and Connections magazine inform.

BOOMS, BUSTS AND IN-BETWEENS We experience auto booms, mining booms, construction booms, dotcom booms, ‘crouching then leaping tiger’ booms, real estate booms and associated busts in-between. We supply product to a big, diverse country. The mining boom has slowed in Western Australia as big resource projects come to an end. Droughts and floods change demand for agricultural products. The east coast cities, especially Sydney, are experiencing strong property growth. Residential construction is up. NSW public infrastructure projects are pushing forward. Good coal commodity prices will buoy other regions this year. We produce shade structures, awnings, truck tarps, dam liners, silo covers, boat covers and upholstery, mining tarps, machine covers, tents, geosynthetic road products and more. Busts and booms have an impact upon the products delivered by our industry. In boom times, but more so in downturns, the right skills are essential. Finding cost savings, managing cash flows, deferring investments, managing staff changes and retraining, improving processes, exploring new products and markets etc, all have to be considered. STA members have weathered booms and busts over the years, and their

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knowledge is only a conversation away. Networking again is a key and the STA can make that happen. The Association is involved in training through skills training, workshops and liaison with government training providers. The STA has access to business advisers who know our industry and, through articles, can report on successes in good and not so good times.

THE ELECTRONIC AGE Over the last 20 years the electronic age has facilitated communication. Distance does not prohibit access to city products and services. Website developers and IT specialists are on tap to assist with design software, websites, e-shops and to keep computers working. The STA encourages and fosters improved online access for all members with continual improvements to its website, e-newsletter and digital access to Connections.

THE CHANGING LEGAL SYSTEM Insurance and business law are extremely convoluted and expensive, but without proper protection and

advice the risks and costs may be even higher. Industrial relations is a huge area of change. Workers’ Compensation, National Employment Standards (NES) and Workplace Health and Safety are paramount to business operations today. Keeping up with the rules and regulations is not easy. The STA offers services for members to work within the law, plus online resources. It also has access to many useful professional partners. Companies like HR Advice Online, Hitchen Legal and Australian General Insurance Services have detailed knowledge of our industry and the laws affecting us. In this issue of Connections you can also read why Business Accreditation is important in delivering the message that our industry works within the law and to high standards.

THE NEW FOCUS ON HEALTH AND THE SUN Living in this great Australian climate reminds us of the many pleasures we enjoy in the sunshine. However, good health and cancer awareness is so important today, as studies reveal

the high levels of skin cancer in our society. Our industry is ready to change these statistics. The STA liaises with bodies such as the Cancer Council, Departments of Education, local government councils and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) to tackle the question of health and sun protection. These actions change how our industry is perceived in the community and show that we are prepared to work with the relevant authorities to deliver consumer products that work effectively to improve health outcomes. Though Bob Dylan was unsure of the future, believing ‘the answer is blowin’ in the wind’, we have the ability to influence and guide our times when ‘the times they are a-changin’’. The STA is there to support members by offering networking, publications and online resources, industry training, public education and government lobbying so that members can work to high standards and prosper in a continually changing world. Beatrice Moonen, President STA

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


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

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

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UPDATE FROM THE SPECIALISED TEXTILES ASSOCIATION OFFICE Association manager Ana Drougas provides the latest information on next year’s STA conference in New Zealand, while Connie Hellyar delivers an update on the Women in Textiles ongoing philanthropic project, the Make a Swag campaign.

2017 QUEENSTOWN CONFERENCE By now you will have caught up with all the SuperExpo2016 reviews, updates and gossip. If not, our last issue of Connections will help you get the lowdown (issue #3 of 2016 is available on our website under Connections from the menu). With SuperExpo2016 now behind us, planning for next year’s annual event is underway. Lock in the dates and start planning to be in Queenstown between 25 and 27 May 2017. The focus in 2017 will be on delivering a suite of technical, industry and general business-related topics that will be delivered by local and international speakers. While next year’s Queenstown Conference is not a trade exhibition, there are plans in motion to offer opportunities to suppliers interested in promoting their products/services by way of a table top display. Conference17 is a joint event between the Specialised Textiles Association (STA) and the Outdoor Fabric Products Association New Zealand (OFPANZ). Our website ( will be updated with further information on the 2017 Queenstown conference over the next few weeks.

WOMEN IN TEXTILES 2016 MAKE A SWAG In every walk of life and in just about every corner of the globe, people are creating, educating, researching and striving to make things better for all of us. We here at

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WIT central are endeavouring to continue to maintain the momentum by encouraging our members to participate in the Make a Swag campaign for 2017. Last year saw the outstanding efforts of so many people in donating swags made in their own time and using materials they had on hand to make a swag so that many homeless men, women and children could have the dignity of some comfort through the dark and cold winter. For our 2016 campaign we delivered a total amount of 98 swags to Vinnies across Australia with the help of so many of you. Our target for 2016 was to deliver 100, so we just missed our target. This year we are aspiring to surpass last year’s numbers by delivering 120 swags. But we need your commitment and pledge to ensure that we achieve this goal. So far the number of swags donated in Victoria has been awesome, but we can always do with more. We are still desperately looking for swags to be pledged for New South Wales and, of course, more in Victoria. And don’t be shy Queensland or Western Australia, because if you can add to the list of promised swags we can start handing them out to your homeless people as well. Vinnies takes great care when handing out the swags and ensure that they are not given out without due diligence, so please rest assured that these swags will go to the most deserving in your community.

Clare Corban (Goodearl and Bailey) with Nic Horton (St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria)

People become homeless for many reasons, including unemployment, mental health issues, financial troubles, problems with drugs and alcohol or gambling. Please help to make someone’s life a little more comfortable. Not only will they benefit from your generosity, but you will feel pretty darn good yourself because you helped make a difference. Just consider that every night more than 10,000 people in Australia are homeless. Please call Clare (0408 221 181) or Connie (0404 086 158) and we will add your name and company to our list of awesome people.

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




Based in Sydney, Alfresco has been creating unique, stylish and functional fabric structures in the Australian market since 1988. The company designs and builds quality fabric structures and manufactures its own products, designed to provide protection from the elements utilising the versatile medium of structural fabrics. From shade sails to clear café blinds to umbrellas to complex membrane roofing systems, Alfresco has the fabric application to suit all needs. 74 Wellington Street, Riverstone NSW 2765 Tel: 0405 536 055

Ben Cheyne has over 25 years’ experience in textile fabrication, from complete design to manufacture, full installation and repairs. Cheyne creates shade structures and shade sails, including all steel work, concrete footings, roof brackets and fittings. It also specialises in the fabrication of all types of protective covers – marine/motor trimming, canopies, covers, awnings, 4WD and ute pet shades in shade cloth, canvas, vinyl/PVC materials. 16 O’Callaghan Street, Heatley Qld 4814 Tel: 0419 427 415

For more than 40 years, Rae-Line has been a market leader in the manufacture of commercial upholstery. It has pursued niche markets that value products manufactured to the highest level – covering a range of applications from truck upholstery to safety padding. From humble beginnings manufacturing for Kenworth, the company has steadily grown to now supply to some of the biggest names in the automotive, heavy transport and marine industries. 5/209 Liverpool Rd, Kilsyth Victoria 3137 Tel: +613 9728 8300

DE PAOLI PRESTIGE TRIMMING BRILLIANT SHADE SAILS Brilliant Shade Sails Pty Ltd is Australian owned and operated by qualified, experienced and licensed tradesman. It provides shade solutions with the best quality shade cloth with a high percentage of ultra violet radiation to protect the users, following recommendations set by the Cancer Council of Australia. Covering childcare centres, pre-schools, schools, car ports, backyard sails, shade sails to cover the deck, swimming pools, barbecue areas, animal hospitals, fisheries and universities, the company is also the preferred vendor for some local councils providing shade sails for community and childcare centres. Unit 14c/4 Louise Avenue, Ingleburn NSW 2565 Tel: 0417 463 112

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Lawrence De Paoli has many years of experience managing the Motor Trimming and Panel Beating sections at Ultimo College Sydney TAFE. His business caters for motor and marine trimming jobs, specialising in leather restorations, vehicle interiors, trailer boat covers/interiors, motor bike seats, 4x4 ute back covers, ute tonneau covers, box trailer covers, canvas fabrication and domestic furniture. 18a Avondale Road, Cooranbong NSW 2265

NOVATEX INTERNATIONAL Novatex is a family owned and operated business based in Melbourne. After a background of over 20 years in the motor trimming industry, Ross Wilkie established the business in 2004. From modest beginnings, Novatex International has achieved constant growth thanks to word of mouth and a focus on customer service and product quality. It is a national wholesale distributor to the automotive trimming and marine industries. 7 Frog Court, Craigieburn Vic 3064 Tel: +613 9333 0666

SHADE PRODUCTS AUSTRALIA Shade Products Australia is a manufacturer and installer of customised shade solutions with a wide range of innovative products, which start from simple residential fittings to high-tech commercial structures. The current range of products includes: shade sails, shade structures, structural and outdoor umbrellas, outdoor and café blinds, sail blinds, café structures, ultimate lattice, screens, slatting and stainless steel wire balustrade. Unit 45, 3 Kelso Cresent, Moorebank NSW 2170 Tel: 0407 775 232

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ational textiles supplier, Ricky Richards is paving the way to a future where melanoma can be cured through its corporate social responsibility initiative. Ricky Richards has exceeded its own partnership target of $100,000 by raising $102,668 in the first year of its support for the world’s largest melanoma research and treatment facility. On 1 July 2015, Ricky Richards commenced its partnership with Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) by donating a percentage of sales from various sun protection product lines directly to the Institute’s research and education programs. With so many Australian lives affected each year, Ricky Richards wanted to give back to a community that has supported the growth of this Australian owned, family company. The corporate partner chose to invest in MIA by funding a fellowship. Ricky Richards director, Ron Gottlieb says the fit for the partnership between Ricky Richards and MIA made a lot of sense. “With a large part of our business involved in the promotion of high quality

© adiruch

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sun protection products it seemed logical to us to support the wonderful work of Melanoma Institute Australia,” he says. The CEO of Melanoma Institute Australia, Carole Renouf, applauds

Ricky Richards for its commitment to fund the fellowship position. She says, “There is still so much we don’t know about melanoma and it affects so many Australians. “The ongoing support and generosity of our corporate partners is crucial to our goal of a future where there will be no more death from melanoma. This is a disease that can often, but not always, be prevented. One in 14 Australian men and one in 24 Australian women are likely to be affected at some point in their lives. Melanoma will touch us all. “People reduce their risks, at the individual level, by being sun smart but, as a community, we must invest in research into treatment and early detection. Research including fellowship positions like the one funded by Ricky Richards is the only way we can address all of the questions posed by melanoma,” Renouf concludes.

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THE KID FROM THE LAKES OF UTAH In the previous issue, Connections introduced readers to Ky Combe, the teenage son of Glen and Julie Combe, who run a marine and upholstery business in Utah in the US. Ky and his family visited Australia for SuperExpo2016 and, when his parents went home, he stayed on to learn a few tricks of the trade from some of the industry’s masters. Here, Aaron Stroud, of Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, elaborates on Ky’s Aussie sojourn.


y Combe’s recent time in Australia was a great learning experience for Ky and the marine trimmers and their families that were lucky enough to have the ‘kid from the lakes of Utah’ spend time at their businesses and homes. His time was nothing short of whirlwind and action packed. Ky experienced the Australian lifestyle, as well as how different workshops approach making covers and cushions for boats. After attending the STA conference and workshops on the Gold Coast, Ky flew to Victoria with me, patterning with fabrics that are just landing in the US. Australian trimmers introduced the fabrics over there recently, so Ky is right at the cutting edge with the experience gained in Australia working with the fabrics. Back in Melbourne with Neil Hancock of Aussie Boat Covers, Ky worked on yachts at St Kilda Marina, and spent time patterning dodgers and sail covers. Neil took him to Holmesglen TAFE, the trade school that trains young trimmers such as Ky. “You guys are so lucky to have a school like this,” said Ky. “Back home we don’t get any specific training. There are some private training operators, but nowhere to learn a whole trade! Maybe I should come back and attend school here,” he added, obviously impressed with the facility. The Melbourne Boat Show provided a close-up look at the boats Ky is more used to. At home his family works mostly on ski and wake boats, and the show highlighted the strength of the industry in Australia. Ky was really interested to see the current trends in trims, colour schemes and tower set-ups, and how they differed to those back home. Adam Gillatt of Bundoora Boat Upholstery also took Ky under his wing

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and on a couple of adventures around Victoria. Adam had a road trip of business meetings, and Ky experienced the serenity of the iconic Bonnie Doon near Lake Eildon, surely something not all visitors from overseas would experience or understand! Here, Ky met the editors of Australian Wake magazine, and got to talk in depth about his passion for the sport. Further up the road, Ky saw the houseboats of the Murray River and, for the final stretch of the trip, the pair travelled to the Great Ocean Road for some work with fishing boats. Back in the workshop, Adam showed Ky how to operate the digital side of his business, using the plotter cutter table. “There’s huge potential here,” Adam told Ky. “This table can be used for contract cutting jobs, as well as our own custom work. Other trimmers, or upholsters, can send us a pattern, we can make it a digital file, cut the fabric and send them the pieces far faster than they can cut it themselves. This is pretty exciting for us.” This was a huge amount of information for the kid from Utah to take in, but it wasn’t over yet… Back in Brisbane for a few days, Ky worked closely with Dave Elliott and Aaron Stumer of David’s Custom Trimmers. Aaron had been working for some time on a refit of the superyacht ‘Ophelia’, now rechristened ‘Flying Manta’. “Wow” was Ky’s reaction the first time he went on board. “This is awesome. Like the best hotel but on a boat!” It was a great opportunity for Ky to see work of such a level from start to finish, says Aaron. Together they patterned, and Ky followed Aaron through the cut, sew and fit of some of the chairs.

Neil Hancock says, “Ky was lucky to have experienced such a wide variety of jobs and businesses, and to see just how Australian marine trimmers are leading the way.” He hopes that other people passionate about the industry will follow in Ky’s footsteps, visit Australia and get the opportunity to learn from some of the best trimmers out there. Eventually though, Ky had to return to the US, but before he left Ky was asked what he would take home with him to implement in his family’s business. “Definitely we will start using different pattering fabrics and techniques,” he said. “We will change up some colour schemes and trim patterns in our wake boats. I’m going to try and talk Dad into going digital, there’s future growth there for sure. And I’m going to keep up with networking, on social media, forums and just by talking to people. I’ve learned so much that way.” Now Ky’s back home, his father says the experience was invaluable for the teenager. “I think what you all don’t see is this: going there and spending time with people he did not know, but had to put faith in, made him grow as a person,” says Glen. “And, as simple as many of the things you all Serpentine did withGalleries him, you have © Ron Ellis imprinted and shaped who he is today. He is not the same. He gained confidence and self from the experience. He figured out more about who he is in two weeks then he has in years. So the experience has been life changing to him. He’s a better person and 100 percent more confident in life.” Ky’s final words to the businesses and families who hosted him? “See you Aussies, come and visit us in Utah some time!”

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ver three days between 6 and 8 October 2016, thousands of visitors from several primary and secondary school groups visited the WorldSkills National Competition. The students were able to see the competitors’ projects taking shape, and the Skills Village and the range of Try’aSkill activities throughout the event proved to be popular attractions for visitors of all ages. Specialised Textiles Association member Neil Hancock, chair of the Marine Fabricators Division, successfully put together a ‘Try’aSkill’ booth at WorldSkills where students from Holmesglen TAFE’s automotive and

marine trimming technology class were presented with both an opportunity and the occasion to showcase their skills. Twelve students from the cohort put their creativity on display and highlighted their ambitions, successfully competing at the Melbourne Showgrounds. The apprentices were tasked with designing and then producing their own projects, which were then judged by industry mentors. WorldSkills Australia (WSA) is Australia’s biggest and most prestigious skills competition. WSA aims to develop and nurture the skills of young Australians to promote and build a skills culture by

inspiring young people, celebrating skills excellence and providing them with an opportunity to showcase their trade and skill talent. All this is achieved through competitions held on a regional, national and international level over on a two-year cycle. WSA’s program of competitions, aligned to National Training Packages, works to ensure that today’s young people have the skills and abilities to compete within a rapidly changing global marketplace. For further information on WorldSkills go to:

Claire Bland of Peninsula Marine Covers at WorldSkills Australia 2016

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or several months, a dedicated team led by the Vinyl Council of Australia has been making progress with the challenges of recycling advertising billboard skins. The team has achieved critical breakthrough results, some world ‘firsts’ and also gained positive support from industry. Currently over 1.2 million square metres (500 tonnes) of advertising billboard skins go to landfills around Australia every year at a significant cost to business and as a waste of durable materials. Having promoted the latest blockbuster movie or a government safety message, the skins take up valuable space in landfills. The challenge is that the skins are made of two excellent polymers (vinyl as a coating over woven polyester), which are hard to separate and reprocess. This is exactly why they are so well-suited for all weathers and conditions – they are UV and tear-resistant, waterproof and colour-fast, can be welded and are very tough. This is similar for other vinylcoated fabrics, including truck tarpaulins and grain covers, all of which currently go to landfill in Australia (totalling over

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6000 tonnes combined per year). In Europe, there is a €20 million plant used to reprocess such material back to its constituent polymers. That solvent-based technology is not viable in Australia, so the only option is to innovate and find economically viable alternative approaches and new products. To support the research into this challenge, the New South Wales Environment Trust has invested together with industry to enable collaboration between a team of keen and brilliant minds. “Our team comprises skilled research assistants in chemistry at UNSW (University of New South Wales), industrial designers at Monash University, highly experienced PVC converters at Welvic Australia, innovative and successful manufacturers in PMG Engineering and supplier Rojo Pacific,” says Helen Millicer, manager of the Industry Recycling Strategy at the Vinyl Council of Australia. Together, the Vinyl Council and the Outdoor Media Association are providing industry-wide engagement and coordination. “This problem is too big to do it alone and therefore we are delighted to have received funding support from the NSW Environment Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative,” adds Millicer. The outcome of the funded trials, research and testing has led to two innovative Australian mechanical recycling technologies, one of which is proceeding

to patent. Product design students on the team have produced several prototype industrial designs taking advantage of the features of the material, including highway sound barriers, children’s bikes and floor safety mats. Trials have also worked with cut, woven and reformed material and material welded into moulds to create a stronger fabric skin. Reprocessed material has also been trialled in 3-D printing. These developments have also already led to specifications for a packaging-type product for trial with a major multinational company. “Importantly, companies in the advertising industry met at an Industry Forum in Sydney in October and have given the green light to continue the project, to collaborate and contribute to finding a viable solution for recycling billboard skins in Australia,” says Millicer. To complete the project in the next few months, the design prototypes will be finished and exhibited. A report will be published summarising the economics of collection, reprocessing and remaking of the billboard skins and the chemical and mechanical test results. While this project has focused on advertising banners in the first instance, it leads to the possibility of recycling other coated fabrics. grants/2015-problem-waste.htm

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Stamskin One – a new choice for marine fabric


ntroduced at last year’s Paris Design Week, Serge Ferrari’s new indoor and outdoor furniture upholstery membrane, Stamskin One, is an elastomer-coated polyester jersey with a soft and luxurious feel, similar to worn leather. Its durability makes it ideal for demanding environments like yachts, restaurants, poolside seating, busy waiting areas and massage tables. The membrane retains less heat from the body than comparable materials and has been tested to withstand most oils, lotions and cleaning products. Stamskin One provides exceptional tensile and tear strength, and outperforms traditional PVC products in bagging and folding tests. The product is available in 13 colours and is phthalate free. It meets IMO fire testing standards, as well as

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NFPA 260 and 261. Serge Ferrari offers seven-year warranties on its durability and performance. When it comes to upholstering your boat, you want fabric that not only feels great, but is also durable and able to handle life’s little messes. Stamskin One is the newest material to hit showrooms, and it is the perfect choice for your vessel. IT’S FIRE RESISTANT Stamskin One is exceptionally fire resistant. That means that your furniture and upholstery are protected both below and above deck. The product has mutiple fire certifications, including those for furnishings, as well as the ability to pass so-called ‘dropped match’ and ‘cigarette’ tests. In addition, the material is well-suited to the harshest outdoor environments, and has been tested to endure temperatures as low as -50 degrees Celsius, so no matter how cold those waves get or how deep a freeze your

boat sees in the winter months, your upholstery is still protected. IT’S FILTH RESISTANT Thanks to exclusive elastomer Serge Ferrari technology, it is also incredibly dirt resistant. With dirty substances – like spray from flapping fish or splatter from greasy engine parts – making constant contact with your boat’s interior, it is important to have fabric that can stay clean in the dirtiest of environments. IT FEELS GREAT, TOO Not only is the Stamskin One fabric strong and resilient, but it is also amazing to feel. The Swiss-made elastomercoated polyester jersey gives it a comforting feel similar to worn leather. The fabric is also customisable to almost any boat with more than 13 colours to choose from. C

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With a complete range dedicated to Yachting, Serge Ferrari offers protection and enhancement to crew and vessel with highly durable and resilient membranes that are easy to handle and maintain. Luxurious upholstery fabrics and solar protection solutions make for a quality experience onboard without compromising performance and longevity. Bainbridge International +61 2 9938 1788 Email – g Web –-

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Commercial Heavy 430 car park structure installation at Canberra Airport by Greenline

Gale Pacific Commercial Heavy 430


ALE Pacific Commercial Heavy 430 is the newest addition to GALE Pacific’s architectural shade fabric range, setting a new benchmark in architectural shade fabric. Engineered in Australia, specifically for large shade sail structures and extreme conditions, Commercial Heavy 430 is suitable for a wide range of applications from car parks to outdoor recreation areas. The common downfall with commercial shade fabrics generally is that they exhibit unbalanced load bearing characteristics across the warp and weft directions. For large shade sail structures, the use of a well-balanced fabric prevents sagging and the need for constant re-tensioning. Commercial Heavy 430 is made from 100 percent round monofilament and features a patent pending intertwining knit pattern that results in market leading biaxial stability and load carrying capacity.

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Both warp and weft properties are well balanced throughout the fabric, making it ideally suited to the demands of largescale commercial shade projects. Fabrics are only as strong as their weakest point, therefore the low and balanced warp and weft characteristics of Commercial Heavy 430 make it the best performer for biaxial stability and strength in the market. The key benefits of Commercial Heavy 430 for fabricators and installers are: ● better retention of physical properties, design shape, safety factors and structural reliability over time ● superior retention of UVR block and shade factor throughout the life of the shade cloth, providing a cover factor of up to 94 percent ● simpler installation and tensioning procedure ● more even distribution of forces into support structures ● more equal pre-stress loads in both directions, and ● cost efficiencies associated with material wastage, patterning and labour associated with maintenance.

Furthermore, Commercial Heavy 430 is made from premium grade highdensity polyethylene and is lead and phthalate free. Gale Pacific’s architectural fabrics are the first architectural shade cloth products in the world to be granted Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and Greenguard certifications, and are knitted from recyclable material making them not only the most advanced architectural shade fabrics on the market, but good for the planet as well. Available in 13 colours, each colour in the range has been engineered to meet a minimum shade factor of 90 percent and has been independently tested to retain UVR block up to 94.9 percent. The fabric is designed to be long lasting under extreme Australian conditions. In fact, Gale Pacific is so confident in the durability of its new fabric, it comes with a full 15-year warranty against UV degradation. C For more information, visit or call our customer service team on 1800 331 521.

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BUSINESS ACCREDITATION STA manager Ana Drougas explains the ins and outs of the Business Accreditation program.

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? Almost two years ago, the Specialised Textiles Association (STA) introduced the Business Accreditation program to all its member businesses in order to: ● set an industry benchmark ● enable them to be recognised as: ● operating at a higher level ● abiding by a code of ethics ● enable them to differentiate themselves from non-members ● ensure they meet defined industry standards ● encourage improvement, innovation and best practice ● discourage unqualified or unscrupulous practitioners from operating in the industry, and ● give customers confidence in the products and services they buy from accredited members. It is critical that the products and services made in the specialised textiles industry meet required standards of quality, safety and reliability. On an international level, the word ‘accreditation’ is regarded as one of the key benchmarks for measuring the quality of a business. STA’s Business Accreditation application takes the applicant through a rigorous self-evaluation process and provides them with an opportunity to identify their own strengths and opportunities for improvement. Business Accreditation is not only about providing recognition to the member business, it is also about STA using the information collected to set an industry benchmark, to identify areas where members may need assistance and provide workshops, speaker sessions and articles etc for members to take up.

DIFFERENTIATION So, as a business, how do you separate yourself from all the other businesses in the same field as you? How do you show you’re a good operator, who abides by the laws and regulations that govern what you do? We all look for a point of differentiation. Is that point of differentiation for you: ● honesty ● reputation ● working to high standards ● having great suppliers who stand with you ● issuing a written quote ● having a transparent contract ● communication with customers ● submitting tax returns and BAS on time ● paying staff superannuation ● having lots of photos of previous jobs ● winning awards ● having happy customers ● solving problems, or ● maintenance or back-up service?

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The answer is likely to be ‘YES’ to many or all of the above. Regardless of the size of your business – whether you are a sole operator, a public company or somewhere in between – your point of difference will be found in Business Accreditation.

ACCREDITATION It’s that simple. Accreditation is the key to our industry’s future as it has the potential to protect and promote your business and our industry. The nature of the accreditation process will rule out companies that work below par and raise the minimum standard to an acceptable level. Accreditation = self-regulation and protection. Here are some more facts: ● Consumers are continually looking for better quality. They’re not sold on inferior, cheap quality products or below standard methods. Accreditation is about quality. ● Accreditation weeds out unscrupulous operators. ● Accredited businesses promote their accreditation status to their advantage. ● Today’s organisations have accreditation programs in place; i.e. healthcare, teaching, dentists, doctors, nursing… even the seafood industry. ● Accreditation protects consumers. Consumers protect our industry.

THE FINE PRINT Who can apply for STA’s Accreditation program? Business Accreditation is an exclusive benefit of STA membership. Only STA members can apply for STA Business Accreditation and anyone outside the STA who wishes to attain STA’s Business Accreditation must apply to become an STA member. To explore the benefits of being a member of the Specialised Textiles Association, visit the membership section on the website or contact the STA office on +613 9521 2114.

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BUSINESS ACCREDITATION – WHY IT MAKES SENSE Connections asks some of specialised textiles industry’s most notable early adopters why they have taken the plunge and achieved STA Business Accreditation for their companies.

areas where you may lack or want to improve. Collectively, it gives our industry and members a boost and a sign to our clientele that we are serious about quality control and offering them the best of the best. Has being able to promote your business as an accredited business been beneficial and, if so, are you able to provide an example? We wear it like a badge of honour! Although in these early stages the public may not realise its true value, we certainly believe that as the accredited numbers get larger the public’s acceptance and appreciation will intensify.

RON GOTTLIEB Ricky Richards,

GARRY LONG ABGAL Liners and Covers, Why did you apply for business accreditation? I saw it as an opportunity to be one of the first members to be accredited as we are already ISO9001:2008 certified and felt it would be an easy process. Did you find it a simple process to apply for business accreditation? Yes, I found the process to be quite simple to apply for business accreditation. We use an electronic archive system and so I could easily find all the documents I needed. What would you say to other businesses considering applying for accreditation? It is a good business check measure to apply for the STA business accreditation as, just by applying, confirms you are complying with the relevant regulations applicable to your business. Has being able to promote your business as an accredited business been beneficial and, if so, are you able to provide an example? We usually only sell wholesale and so it is not something that would influence our supply over another company. If we were selling retail, I would use it in my presentation as part of my ‘customer assurance’ offer.

Why did you apply for business accreditation? We applied for business accreditation for a number of reasons. It gave us the opportunity to run a health check on our business, as well as giving us the opportunity to be recognised by our industry body as a good business. Did you find it a simple process to apply for business accreditation? The process was extremely simple for our company to follow. What would you say to other businesses considering applying for accreditation? If you are a member of an industry organisation, it seems like an excellent bonus to be officially accredited as a good member business of the organisation. Has being able to promote your business as an accredited business been beneficial and, if so, are you able to provide an example? It is often difficult to get an idea of how beneficial this sort of thing is. Having said that, there are intangible benefits that are definitely there. The staff of the company are aware of our accreditation and it can be used in our marketing, advertising and selling. Anything like this will always set you apart from companies who have not been involved in the process.

BEATRICE MOONEN Abacus Shade Structures,

GLENN BARLOW Nan’s Tarps, Why did you apply for business accreditation? From the start of our business, 40 years ago, we have focused on quality in all aspects of business. By applying for accreditation it’s another dedication by us to not only to continue in this direction, but to strengthen that resolve. It also sends a message to our clients and potential clients that we are serious about our products and services. Did you find it a simple process to apply for business accreditation? The process was simple, but it offered a great opportunity for us to health check our business in many areas. What would you say to other businesses considering applying for accreditation? Applying for accreditation really allows you to take your business in a positive direction and focus on professional development in

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Did you find it a simple process to apply for business accreditation? The accreditation questions are easy to answer and provide a simple snapshot of your business to the STA. At this initial level, STA seeks to obtain industry statistics as much as offering accreditation to those that operate at a basic business level. If you submit a tax return, have an ABN (Australian Business Number), operate from an address and can name a project you’ve completed, you’re well on the way to completing the questionnaire. Honestly, it doesn’t go into much depth. What would you say to other businesses considering applying for accreditation? I do support accreditation because it gives consumers extra confidence about my company’s ability to deliver a good shade structure. Having accreditation and being part of an industry association is well-regarded, particularly by government and commercial clients.

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Has being able to promote your business as an accredited business been beneficial and, if so, are you able to provide an example? I use the STA accreditation logo and a brief explanation of what it represents on all my quotations and my website.

© Abacus Shade Sails

DES TEBB Tebb’s Canvas Products, Why did you apply for business accreditation? I applied for accreditation to show trade/consumers that we are a reputable company, one that can be trusted and relied upon. Did you find it a simple process to apply for business accreditation? I found the process to apply for business accreditation was simple. The application did take some time to complete, but the information required was easily obtainable. What would you say to other businesses considering applying for accreditation? I think as an industry it is in our best interest to have our businesses apply for accreditation, as it shows that our industry is serious about providing quality products, services and is not fraught with fly-by-night operators. As a business owner, it shows the trade/consumer that we are a reputable company and all our affairs are in order. Has being able to promote your business as an accredited business been beneficial and, if so, are you able to provide an example? We haven’t noticed anything; however, that’s not to say that people haven’t chosen to deal with us over another business because of something like our accredited business status.

better; the advantages will be for everybody. With greater numbers being accredited, the more the STA will be able to push the program and encourage the public to only purchase their industrial textile products from an accredited STA member. Another reason everyone should apply is because the application is so detailed, as you go through the process it may highlight and assist you to take the time to look closely at areas of your business that may need some attention. Has being able to promote your business as an accredited business been beneficial and if so, are you able to provide an example? As STA business accreditation is yet to be recognised widely, the key area of promotion is via the STA website, so it is very difficult to accurately measure any benefits at this early stage.


Miami Stainless,

C E Bartlett, Why did you apply for business accreditation? We applied for accreditation because we believe all STA members should be accredited and, as we feel we are an industry leader (from the fabrication side), we needed to be accredited to show we operate to the highest practice industry standards. We also do work with other fabricators, so being accredited is very important. While peer recognition within the industry is important, having the majority of STA companies accredited will also give some transparency, and make the industry stronger as a whole. Did you find it a simple process to apply for business accreditation? While the application is quite detailed, which is necessary to obtain the key information required about the business, it is all detail that I either knew or was very readily available to me as the person completing the application. So although there needed to be the necessary time allocated to the task, the process was relatively simple. Being able to do the application online, with the ability to save the application at any point and return later, greatly assisted in the process as well. What would you say to other businesses considering applying for accreditation? I would strongly encourage every STA member to apply for accreditation, as the more companies that are accredited the

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Why did you apply for business accreditation? We at Miami Stainless expect to be the market leader within our industry. If we truly believe this, and want to maintain this expectation, then we must first meet the minimum standard, which is business accreditation. Did you find it a simple process to apply for business accreditation? YES! What would you say to other businesses considering applying for accreditation? What do you have to lose? Accreditation clearly shows a minimum standard of professionalism, defined as: competence and skill expected of a professional. This definition builds one’s value within one’s respective market and increased value translates into increased profits. Has being able to promote your business as an accredited business been beneficial and if so, are you able to provide an example? Yes, definitely beneficial and we see that the more STA members who are accredited, the more value the accreditation brings. We find we receive the most benefit from the accreditation from our retail customers. Being not only a member of an industry association, but particularly an accredited member, builds trust and credibility.

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ABACUS SHADE STRUCTURES Fabric structures – installer and fabricator; tarpaulins and screens – manufacturer and installer. Level 14, Lumley House, 309 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Tel: +612 9831 1218



Australian manufacturer of quality canvas, PVC and poly products, including tarpaulins, liners and shade products. Servicing the agricultural, horticultural and resource sectors for 30 years. 33 Industrial Avenue, Toowoomba Qld 4350 Tel: +617 4634 2166

Supplier of industrial and commercial textiles, providing solutions for almost any application. Offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, Brisbane, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth. 3 Bradford Street, Alexandria NSW 2015 Tel: +617 3387 8500



Pool liners and covers, tank liners, shade sails (fabricators only), dam liners, inflatable products and thermal covers. 56 Magnesium Drive, Crestmead Qld 4132 Tel: +617 3803 9000

Distributes specialised performance fabrics to conversion sectors, including blind and awning, domestic and commercial shade, transport, marine and agriculture. Offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide. 29 Henderson Street, Turrella NSW 2205 Tel: 1300 854 811

Wholesaler of industrial fabrics and accessories for canvas and boat, motor trimming, shade sail, saddlery, horse rugs and awning producers, as well as a wide variety of fabric converters. Offices in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. 9A Lakewood Boulevard, Braeside Vic 3195 Tel: +613 9588 8800

C E BARTLETT C E Bartlett continues to lead the way in the custom design and fabrication of products made using industrial textiles. 172 Ring Road, Ballarat Vic 3350 Tel: +613 5339 3103



Supplier of stainless steel hardware, wire rope, tools, fastenings, brackets and accessories specifically for the shade sail and associated industries. Unit 3/99 W Burleigh Road, Burleigh Waters Qld 4220 Tel: 1800 022 122

Installer and fabricator – textile fabricator of fabric structures, shade sails, tensile membrane structures, canvas goods, contract welding, staging and event fabrics, flags and banners, tarpaulins and marine trimming. 9 Aylesbury Street, Botany NSW 2019 Tel: 1300 799 980

CAMPBELL AND HEEPS PTY LTD Specialises in fabrication of external window coverings, such as folding arm awnings, auto sunblinds and geared awnings, as well as motorised awnings, canopies and fixed frame awnings, plus internal roller blinds and Hollands. Factory 5, 125-127 Highbury Road, Burwood Vic 3125 Tel: +613 9880 2500

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NAN’S TARPS Supreme fabricator of all kinds of industrial and specialised textiles and associated products. 25 Vaughan Street, Lidcombe NSW 2141 Tel: +612 9649 2334

RICKY RICHARDS (SALES) Supplier of industrial and commercial textiles. 16 Park Road, Homebush NSW 2140 Tel: +612 9735 3333

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SUPREME SHADES SAIL CITY Fabric structures – installer and fabricator. Unit 4, 2 James Street, Bayswater WA 6053 Tel: 1300 304 360

Provider of shade solutions and one of the largest manufacturers of shade sails for the Western Australian domestic and commercial markets. 77 Rousset Road, Wanneroo, Perth WA 6065 Tel: +618 9405 4310



Fabric structures, commercial umbrellas – installer and fabricator, providing design and engineering services. Unit 1, 4 Old Pacific Highway, Yatala Qld 4207 Tel: +617 3804 6288

Manufacturer of awning walls and annexes for RVs and SWCs, pebbleguards, pop-top tent sections and caravan flyovers. Supplier to the caravan industry. 33 Brooklyn Avenue, Dandenong Vic 3175 Tel: +613 9793 2044



THORLINE PRODUCTS Fabric structures – installer and fabricator, blinds and awnings. 20 Thorne Street, Wynnum Qld 4178 Tel: +617 3396 9245

VECTOR SHADE STRUCTURES Highly specialised services and products in one-off designs of shade sails, commercial shade structures and solar solutions. Tel: +61 450 977 622





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

Stainless Steel Hardware

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© Yevheniy Dorofyeyev


WHEN IS CASHING OUT OF PAID LEAVE PERMITTED? Matthew Woodford of HR Advice Online explains the ramifications of recently updated laws regarding the cashing out of various forms of paid leave.


he recent Fair Work Commission decision, which allows for the cashing out of annual leave, has prompted an increase in the number of questions being received from employers regarding the ability of employees to request to cash out other forms of paid leave. This article sets out the entitlement for employees to cash out periods of annual leave, personal leave or long service leave.

ANNUAL LEAVE Under the Fair Work Act (s94), an employer and an employee may agree to cashing out a certain amount of the employee’s accrued annual leave once in a 12-month period. To do this: ● each agreement to cash out annual leave must be in writing ● an employee can’t cash out more than

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two weeks in each 12-month period, and the employee must retain a balance of at least four weeks’ accrued annual leave.

LONG SERVICE LEAVE The entitlement to cash out long service leave is determined by the relevant state or territory long service leave legislation. The cashing out of long service leave will only be allowable when provided for in the applicable legislation. The following summarises the ability of an employee to request, or agree to, the cashing out of accrued long service leave: ● New South Wales: Long Service Leave Act 1955 – cashing out of leave is prohibited. ● Victoria: Long Service Leave Act 1992 – cashing out of leave is prohibited. ● Queensland: Industrial Relations Act 1999 – cashing out of leave is permitted if allowed by their

industrial instrument, otherwise prohibited, although an employee may apply to QIRC to cash out leave on compassionate grounds or financial hardship. South Australia: Long Service Leave Act 1987 – cashing out permitted by agreement between the employer and employee after at least 10 years of continuous service with the employer. Western Australia: Long Service Leave Act 1958 – a written agreement can be made in which employees can trade some or all of their long service leave for an adequate benefit in lieu. Tasmania: Long Service Leave Act 1976 – cashing out of leave is permitted. Northern Territory: Long Service Leave Act – cashing out of leave is prohibited. ACT: Long Service Leave Act 1976 – cashing out of leave is prohibited.

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HR Advice Online supports Specialised Textiles Association members with Award updates and pay information, as well as other HR Advice. You are able to contact the service directly by emailing or calling the HR Hotline on 1300 720 004. HR Advice Online also provides updates to the STA when HR legislation changes. Further information can be found at

© samuraitop

Unless provided for in a modern award, an employee is not entitled to cash out a period of personal/carer’s leave. Employees cannot make an agreement with their employer to cashing out any accrued paid personal/ carer’s leave under the terms of an employment contract. C


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© Jörg Schiemann


CONTRACTORS VERSUS EMPLOYEES – NAVIGATING THE MINEFIELD Director of Hitch Advisory, Nick Hitchens shares some valuable advice on the topic of when is a contractor not a contractor but an employee.


ith the rise of Uber and the sharing economy the status of workers has never been more relevant. We see a major push from businesses toward a flexible contractorbased workforce. While we share many of the commercial views that drive this push (e.g. flexible overheads, encouraging workforce participation and providing on-demand services), business owners

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must exercise caution not to incorrectly characterise a worker as a contractor when in fact they are an employee.

SO WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL YOU ASK? In Australia, employees are guaranteed additional protections that an independent contractor is not (or is at least responsible for themselves):

Vicarious liability – An employer is generally vicariously liable for the actions of their employee, whereas liability can be carried by an independent contractor subject to the terms of agreement. Fair work protections – Employees are covered by wage, leave and dismissal protections set out in legislation and National Awards.

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Taxes – Employers are responsible for remitting PAYG tax and superannuation for employees. Given that these obligations can often be enforced against directors of employer entities, it can be costly to both the business and the director if a worker is incorrectly characterised and treated as a contractor (e.g. PAYG and super are not collected and remitted or Award rates are not paid).

LET’S GET TO THE POINT! Just because a worker has an ABN (Australian Business Number) does not make them an independent contractor. The Courts will not look favourably on ‘sham’ contractor arrangements and will look at the relationship as a whole to determine the business’ obligations to its worker. The factors include: ● Ability to subcontract – Employees cannot subcontract or delegate their work to others. Conversely, contractors can subcontract, subject to the particular terms of their engagement and the nature of the services provided by the contractor. ● Payment – Employees are ordinarily paid for their time, per activity/job or on a commission. Contractors are ordinarily paid upon completion of a quoted job. Employees are paid a

salary and receive payslips, whereas contractors issue invoices. ● Control – Contractors can decide how to perform their contracted work, whereas employees are directed how to perform by employers. ● Other work – Working solely or primarily within a business suggests an individual is an employee, as contractors typically work outside or independent of an engaging business. Contractors are typically free to accept or refuse additional work or work from other businesses, employees often can’t. ● Risk – Employees typically do not take a share of any profit, nor a risk of any loss, incurred by the business. Contractor relationships may include components of ownership interests or profit distribution entitlements. ● Tools of trade – Employees typically use their employer’s tools and equipment, whereas contractors often bring their own. Where workers are clearly independent contractors, then the two most critical risk mitigation points are: ● ensure you and your contractors are adequately insured against public liability, professional indemnity and other relevant risks, and ● ensure your intellectual property is

We supply industrial textiles, upholstery vinyl, machinery and eyeleting solutions to a range of industries: transport, tarpaulin, healthcare, commercial, window furnishings and large format print media.

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protected – this can include ensuring that intellectual property created by a contractor is assigned to your business upon creation and/or imposing restraints/non-solicitation provisions on contractors. You will generally find that the employee versus contractor debate will only come to light if someone is underpaid or something goes wrong. With potentially diabolical consequences for getting it wrong, however, we stress the need to properly analyse your relationship with workers. Please do not obtain their ABN, pay their invoice and hope for the best. C DISCLAIMER: This post is the opinion of the author and in no way constitutes legal advice.

Hitch Advisory offers a range of business and legal services delivered differently. It ensures that legal documentation is always supported by strategic insights and proactive advice, and offers a range of flexible service models to provide you with the right advice when you need it.


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BEST QUALITY ON A BUDGET Shane Beashel recommends having a clear system in place to avoid conflict when it comes to clients with unrealistic expectations.


i there, is this the marine trimmer? Oh great. Hi, my name is Mark Line and I just wanted to get an idea of the cost to cover my boat. Well, it’s 5.5 metres long and lives on a mooring. The old cover would have to be 10 years old, but the actual canvas is still good, so I want you to have a look and see if you can repair it or if it needs replacing. I don’t want to spend much money, so I would prefer to repair it if possible. “The birds are making a huge mess and every time I go to the boat it takes me an hour to scrub the cover clean. Anyway, just have a look and, if you can repair it, let me know how much and if it’s not too much you can do it ASAP. But you’ll have to get it back on the same day in case it rains. If you don’t think it’s worth repairing, give me the price and I’ll think about it.” Sound familiar? What do you do? Do you follow your normal system of gathering client info, scheduling a visit to the boat and spending the time working out prices and options?

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Do you treat Mr Line as you would any other client, because you know he has friends that talk to each other and you may end up in the middle of a fleet of boats that need covers? Or do you tell him that he’s got to be joking? “I’m not going anywhere near your island of bird *^%#!” There are definitely benefits for all if you deal with this situation in the right manner. These benefits will help you with Mark Line and any of his like-minded mates, and if he isn’t satisfied with you it will help the next trimmer too. It’s important to keep control of the situation. Remember that he needs your help; that’s why he called. He feels that his part of the job is to make the phone call and arrange for you to do the rest. He needs to understand where your service starts and finishes, and it’s between these two points that you need to make your money (your service). It’s easy to fall into the trap of good service in the wrong area. I’m sure Mark has every reason in the world why you need to sort out his problem above and beyond your service boundaries.

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Be honest – ‘Well Mark, I could say without looking at it that you are probably up for a new cover.’ ● Be real – ‘I’m happy to give you a replacement cost, and for the money I want, I’ll give you the best product I can make.’ It is our job to educate our clients about a marine trimmer’s services as much as making the cover itself and it’s unfair for a client to expect us to deal with items that have degraded to a point of disrepair. It’s usually due to a lack of maintenance that there is a problem in the first place (which is not a trimmer’s problem). This type of approach will help you in your business and also help you to set a higher standard across our industry in general. Clear boundaries in service will also help your client base and hopefully only expose you to the best type of job. Work smarter and live happy. C ●

Have a clear system to deal with this sort of request. ● Maybe put in place a rough price guide that may or may not include pick-up and delivery and charge a lot, unless this is what you want to do for a living. ● Make a general rule that no cover older than, say, seven years old is repairable, so you can only quote to replace. ● For a stubborn client, pass the job on to someone else. His mates are probably the same. ● Don’t accept a dirty cover. It must be cleaned thoroughly before it comes near you or your sewing machine. ● Use technology – ‘OK Mark, that’s fine. Could you please take a photo for me and I’ll give you an indicative price.’

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Shane Beashel is the co-owner with Jenny Beashel of SB Marine Trimming, established in 2002.

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Image courtesy of Showhomes


COLOUR PSYCHOLOGY Visitors to SuperExpo2016 may have been lucky enough to catch a presentation on colour and its influence on all design projects – internal and external. Here we invite you to step into this fascinating world with award-winning interior decorators, Tracey McLeod of Showhomes Design and Taryn Whitaker from Assorted Spaces, who share a foolproof process for finding the ideal colour palette and provide some interesting food for thought for fabricators and suppliers.


he powerful properties of colour are widely known to affect all areas of our lives, including health and happiness. Yet how we respond to colour is individual to each of us. This is why over 70 percent of homeowners opt for some version of ‘white’ in their home decor – they are afraid to make the ‘wrong’ colour choice. On the other end of the spectrum, in the commercial space, colour is splashed liberally with little or no awareness of its powerful properties.

THE NEUTRAL DILEMMA Colour is the biggest quandary for homeowners when making cosmetic or structural changes to their homes. At

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some point, they are going to be selecting a colour palette for their project. Many believe it’s safe to go with ‘neutrals’ but, technically speaking, ‘neutrals’ consist solely of black, white and grey. That’s it! There are no actual colours present in the neutral palette. The term neutral is incorrectly applied to colours like beige, off-white, bone, tan, cream and taupe. So how does the hapless homeowner start, given that there are so many colours and neutrals to choose from? They could go to the fallback position of white, but virtually every paint colour, including white, is tinted with a cool or warm base colour. Cool tones have added black, grey,

blue or green tints, while warm tones have a base of yellow or red. Of course, the homeowner can simply go with a colour they ‘like’, but will the other family members like the same colour? Usually, because colour is such an individual choice, the answer is ‘no’ or ‘not exactly’.

‘LIFE IN FULL COLOUR’ – THE CORPORATE CONUNDRUM In 2011, Telstra introduced a range of coloured logos to position the communications giant as a multifaceted service provider. Interbrand, part of the DDB group, was given the task of rebranding. It took

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Image courtesy of Blinds by Peter Meyer

60 staff, several months and a budget of more than $3 million. It was decided that the Telstra logo and tagline would continue unchanged. So the ad agency’s time and talents turned to creating a new colour palette: orange, green, turquoise, blue, purple and magenta. At the time, Telstra described the multicoloured logos as ‘experimental’. According to the telco’s description, it was up to the viewer to decide what they saw in the range. What was the ad agency’s reasoning behind the shotgun spray of


colour? Was each colour intended to relay a hidden massage for consumers: orange for social communication, green for decision-making, turquoise for self-expression, blue for trust, purple to denote a superior product or magenta for common sense? Apparently not. The colours were chosen because they are the colours of the telecommunications cabling – nothing more! If you think it’s hard for major corporations, just ask the world’s major paint companies how we should select

colours. They suggest a range of imaginative, but not very helpful, ideas, finally settling on the ‘you can’t stuff this up too badly’ option of offering a range of preselected colours that go well together.

ENTER COLOUR PSYCHOLOGY Wait a second, if nobody can predict what colours we should select, then how can professionals help struggling home- and business-owners? Two words – colour psychology. Colour psychology is the study of

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professionals, which is set to explode in coming years. It teaches professionals simple ways to uncover their clients’ colour likes and dislikes and the meanings behind the colours chosen. Overall, understanding colour psychology will lead to homeowners and professionals making braver colour choices, which will filter into the textile choices of the future. From ‘neutral’ beginnings, a world of colour awaits. C

Image courtesy of Turnils.

colours on an energetic level; it’s about the universal meanings of colour and the effects they have on every one of us. Colours are sent to our eyes via vibrational rays, which are technically invisible, like microwaves. It may seem strange to think that anything to do with colour could be invisible, but not when you consider that most of our response to colour is unconscious. As our company has used colour psychology readings as the starting point for every home project over the past four years, we have seen this powerful tool in action. Colour psychology transcends language. We have had clients whose first language wasn’t English and have been able to uncover their colour preferences in a few minutes. This would have taken months to learn by conventional means. The colour meanings tell their own story. We have seen family issues in the colours our clients select. A teenage son craving for his absent father’s attention, a woman grieving because she was unable to have children. Decorators have saved families in crisis using this powerful tool. In one, a family member was suffering from severe

depression. Unbeknown to his partner, he was unable to stand the existing wall colour. Without the colour reading, the partner would have chosen the existing green wall colour throughout the home. Meanwhile, the unwell family member was prepared to paint their private space an isolating, cold white. These simple colour choices would have torn the family apart. The colour psychology reading was able to uncover a colour scheme that nurtured both partners and their two children. Colour psychology is an emerging area of study among design and decorating

Tracey McLeod is an internationally recognised interior stylist and the director of Showhomes Design, founder of Presentation Sells and former president of the Queensland Interior Decorators Association (QIDA). Taryn Whitaker from Assorted Spaces is a qualified interior design decorator having studied interior design and decoration, colour psychology and project administration through Beaumont School of Interior Design. Both operate from Australia’s Gold Coast.

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DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER – C E BARTLETT In constant operation since 1954, Ballarat stalwart C E Bartlett is a well-known fixture in the Victoria textiles industry. In the year of the company’s diamond jubilee, CEO Dave O’Brien recounts its history and philosophy for this issue’s member profile.

Connections: C E Bartlett is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. How did Cliff Bartlett establish the business and how has it evolved since then? Dave O’Brien: Cliff worked on the railways making tarpaulins and, not unusual for the time, began repairing tarpaulins from his home for added income. Small canvas repairs evolved into making tarps from scratch, which was the beginning of what the business has now become. Over the years we have grown from a small family partnership with a couple of employees to the company we are today. What is the current management set-up? The company has a senior management team comprising myself and four other senior managers covering all areas of our business – business development, project development, technical and R&D and our

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blinds general manager. We also have a formal board consisting of our three owner/directors and two independent non-executive directors, including our board chairman. I attend all board meetings, which are held bimonthly. Can you talk about the development of your premises? Originally, Cliff started in the family home in 1956, and over the years we have had four moves and we now operate from four purpose-built production facilities on three separate sites, comprising over 8000 square metres of production space. Each factory utilises the latest state-of-the-art cutting, welding and sewing machinery. What’s your personal background? I have been the CEO of Bartlett’s for 16 months now and prior to this I was the

corporate services manager – in total I have been with the company for 10 years. I am the first CEO and only the third CEO/ MD of the company and also the first nonfamily member to head up the company – something I take great pride in. I have a great deal of respect for our owners John, Keith and Max Bartlett and everything they have achieved for our company over the last 60 years. I feel privileged to have great relationships with all three and am aware of the faith they have put in me. Personally I have an accounting/ IT background, having a degree in both and have previously worked as financial controller for a number of companies, mainly in family-owned businesses. Outside of Bartlett’s, my wife Colleen and I are involved in a not-for-profit organisation, which we co-founded in 2007, called the Victorian Brumby

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Left to Right – Michelle Bartlett, Andrew Bartlett, Scott Bartlett, Max Bartlett, Dave O’Brien, John Bartlett, Keith Bartlett

WE HAVE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT PATHS TO MARKET, WHICH FOCUS ON DIVERSE MARKET SECTORS SUCH AS AGRICULTURAL, TRANSPORT, WINERY, SAFETY, DEFENCE, COMMERCIAL, RECREATIONAL, MANUFACTURE UNDER LICENCE, CONTRACT FABRICATION, BLINDS AND TANK LINERS. Association. It trains and rehomes Australia’s native brumbies. I also have two children Josh (12) and Bridie (10). We live on a farm outside of Ballarat and all of these things keep me pretty busy. What’s the staff breakdown? How many people work there and in what capacity? We have approximately 115 staff members throughout our four factories, with 70 percent of our staff in direct production roles and the balance comprising sales, business development, design, IT and corporate. Of our current staff around 15 percent are female. Our direct production staff are a major part of our strength in that they can regularly interchange between our sections depending on the demands of the various sections and seasonal product demands. We have

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great staff retention rates and we worked out just recently that our current staff members have a combined 1001 years of experience. Does the company have a strong social element? Bartlett’s has a social club, which holds events every two months. This is great to get staff and their families together from all the different sections in the company for a night (or day) out. Every quarter we also bring all of our staff together for lunch, where we have a bite to eat in a relaxed atmosphere and I give a presentation to the staff about what’s happening within the company. It’s here that we also recognise staff work anniversaries for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 etc years of service. We also support a number of different fundraisers from sport, medical, schools and community events within the Ballarat district. Our blinds division recently manufactured swags for the Women in Textiles Make A Swag campaign. We also donated a number of swags to the local Ballarat community to assist Ballarat’s homeless in our wellknown cold winters. Can you talk about your range of products? We have a number of different paths to market, which focus on diverse market sectors such as agricultural, transport, winery, safety, defence, commercial, recreational, manufacture under licence, contract fabrication, blinds and tank liners. Our range has developed over the years


due to our continual development of products based on our focus on quality, innovation and diversity. Have you had any particularly memorable projects? A few years ago, we were approached by the head curator of Monster Jam, which was holding an event at AAMI Park. They needed our help to solve the issue of the field getting wet in the weeks leading up the event and needed an easy solution to deploy prior to the rain and then easily remove, pack up and store. We manufactured four covers 76 metres long by 34 metres wide. Each cover was rolled onto an inflatable PVC tube, which was used for deploying and re-rolling the covers. We also manufactured a hydraulic roller to finish rolling the covers. Do you sell your products internationally, Australia-wide or statewide? Victoria remains our main geographic market; however, we are now well-known Australia-wide with several of our products.

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We also export several of the products we manufacture and this market is continually growing. Our export market evolved through a need by the end user for higher quality products in certain markets that would last longer and be more durable than their locally produced version. Has the company won awards for its work? We were inducted into the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2006, an award that we are very proud of. Locally, we won the CGU Overall Business of Excellence award in 2005 for the Ballarat region. We have been very fortunate to be recognised within the manufacturing sector and particularly our own industry as a company that does the simple things well. Within our industry through the STA/ ACASPA and CGMA we have won five category awards and four Overall Awards for Excellence. These awards are great recognition for our entire team and testament to our goal of providing quality products and service to our broad customer base.

Dave O’Brien

in our focus towards larger contract work and rolling contracts, while continuing to meet the requirements of our day-to-day customer base. We have also grown our contract manufacturing and manufacturing under licence customer base with companies within our industry. What do you see happening over the next, say, five or 10 years in the industry? Despite the tough times that the industry has faced, the majority of industrial textile product businesses have shown resilience and are fighting the good fight. Our industry is driven by quality and needs-based products. We are continually developing new products to serve changing requirements and our quality will always be the number one priority.

How is the company faring in the current economic climate? Like all business in the manufacturing sector, the current climate is very challenging. Unfortunately, we have seen some business in our industry disappear, which is disappointing. However, our focus has been to continually look for innovation and new markets. This has led to new opportunities that have had some terrific outcomes, with a significant shift

Therefore, I see the next five to 10 years as an exciting time to continue to grow our customer base domestically and internationally. And what of succession plans? Are there many more Bartletts waiting in line? This is an area that our owners have done a great job in – we are continually looking at our business, our staff and where to next. We do have a third generation of Bartletts working within the company. Scott Bartlett is our general production manager, Andrew Bartlett is general production supervisor and Michelle Bartlett is personal assistant to the SMT (senior management team). We also have a number of other key staff who are actively involved in driving and managing the business in both a strategic and operational sense. C







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Specialised Textiles Association and Industry events for 2016/2017

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CHRISTMAS CHEERS Tuesday 29 November 2016 Taking place in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Victoria on the same date. In its fourth year now, the STA members’ Christmas Cheers event is a great way to wind down a little before all the madness of the holiday season starts. Come along and meet others from the industry, make new friends or just catch up with some old ones. To book or for further information, go to:

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(If you know of or are holding an industry relevant event, please send details to – we would be happy to publish it.) For details on all Specialised Textiles Association events, go to NOVEMBER 2016

2017 CONFERENCE Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 May 2017 Rydges Hotel, Queenstown, New Zealand Lock in the dates and start planning to be in Queenstown. Conference17 is a joint event between the Specialised Textiles Association (STA) and the Outdoor Fabrics Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ). The conference program will focus on educational and informative industry and business-related presentations delivered by local and international speakers. Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Ana on +613 9521 2114 or email Details on the Conference17 program will be available by early 2017. AUGUST 2017 2017 NSW MARINE FABRICATOR WORKSHOP Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 August 2017 Save the date for another two-day hands-on workshop suitable for all in the marine fabrication sector. Further information on topics and location will be posted on the Specialised Textiles Association website early in 2017.

CONNECTIONS Issue Four 2016

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Connections: Issue Four, 2016  
Connections: Issue Four, 2016