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Latest training news

2017 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE – ALL THE WINNERS How sustainable is your business? Meet Aaron from Canvas Barn Marine Trimming

Verseidag’s architectural membrane fabrics exclusively distributed by

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Australian Made Canvas for Australian Conditions. Don’t settle for anything less. /dynaproofed World’s Best Practice Program

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NEWS AND OPINION Wax Converters and Ricky Richards partnership Changes at DDT and Big Red Ricky Richards and HVG charity endeavours

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CONFERENCE 2017 Wrap-up and photo gallery Awards for Excellence winners and special commendations Women of the Year and Young Achiever


MEMBER PROFILE Aaron Stroud-Smith and Canvas Barn Marine Trimming

BUSINESS What are the rules when casual staff become permanent?

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FEATURE – SUSTAINABILITY Tiffany Paczek talks to three companies kicking goals for the environment

Report from STA president, Beatrice Moonen New members

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




NEW Verseidag’s architectural membrane fabrics

now available for the Australian and New Zealand markets!

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Issue Six 2017 CONNECTIONS

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Welcome to the second issue of Connections for 2017


his year’s conference was the first one I haven’t been able to attend in three years and, judging by the photo gallery on pages 20 to 22, I really missed out. From all reports the New Zealand conference, jointly presented by our NZ friends and colleagues at OFPANZ, sounds (and looks) as if everyone who went along had a fantastic time. And located in the magnificent surrounds of Queenstown, underneath the aptly named Remarkables, how could it have been anything other than a wonderful experience? As is traditionally the way, we also have photos and descriptions of all the winners and special commendations from the Awards for Excellence included in this issue. You can check them out from pages 24 to 31. One of those winners is the perennial prize picker-upper, Aaron Stroud-Smith from Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, down on the southern tip of Victoria. Aaron is a familiar face to many in the industry, but in this issue you can get to know him a little better as he’s the subject of our regular member profile. Elsewhere, the newest member of our editorial team, Tiffany Paczek investigates the topic of sustainability in the specialised textiles industry and finds out what three forward-thinking companies are doing in this space. There’s some very useful business advice for owners of small companies who have casual workers perhaps looking to go full-time (page 10) and we also feature a topical article on the latest training news from the industry. For this one, we genuinely had to ‘hold the presses’ so that we could include the very latest information on this topic. I hope you enjoy this issue of Connections. Madeleine Swain Editor

Editorial Contributions by the STA Editorial committee EXECUTIVE OFFICER Ana Drougas EDITOR Madeleine Swain EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Tiffany Paczek Design EDITORIAL DESIGN Keely Atkins PRODUCTION MANAGER Alicia Pinnock DIGITAL PRE-PRESS Karl Dyer Advertising BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Neha Minhas


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 Front cover: Burj Al Arab © Innova International












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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For the full range of premium technical textiles to enhance your next project contact ricky today on 02 9735 3333

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President’s report


’m in my second year as president of the Specialised Textiles Association (STA) and more motivated than ever. Being president is challenging and rewarding as I present the STA’s position on many issues, speak at functions, write articles and drive policies to support members. There’s also a level of vulnerability to overcome – the usual critical scrutiny expected when you stand before an audience, the fact that I’m female in a male dominated industry and the risk that I may not get the mood of members right. These worries can be daunting. Yet I’ve put my hand up again and am proud to be here. Perhaps it’s a mid-life thing, but I don’t have plans to slow down, not while I have more to contribute to BEING PRESIDENT IS AN the STA. I encourage INVALUABLE EXPERIENCE FOR this role to anyone ME AND A HIGHLIGHT IN MY LIFE. ready for their next I ENJOY MEETING AND CATCHING challenge in life. UP WITH COLLEAGUES AS I also hold a I TRAVEL THE COUNTRY. regular job. In my shade structure company I don’t build shade structures. I don’t know how to tie off a cable, dig a footing or design on AutoCAD. So what do I do all day, you may ask? I manage. Like anyone in small business, I manage accounts, reports, ATO (Australian Taxation Office) requirements, processes, customers, prices, raw materials, software, engineers, insurance, banks, training, advertising, marketing, time schedules, complaints, red tape, regulations, government, economic influences, future planning, staff, workers’ comp, payroll tax, fair work, WorkCover and a few more – many of which are juggled together. Did I say I don’t make shade sails? True, but I do know how to run a textiles business! So I feel suitably qualified for this role. Actually, the scar on my right hand from my old HR welder reminds me I did once work on the factory floor.

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Joking aside, being president is an invaluable experience for me and a highlight in my life. I enjoy meeting and catching up with colleagues as I travel the country. In the recent Brisbane state member session held in July, I truly enjoyed the affinity I felt with hosts Laurie, Judy and son Jason from Hamlin’s Accessories, who run a multi-generational family business, so typical in our industry. I will continue to travel around the country, as this is the best way I can truly sense the mood of members and be accountable to them. Bar none, training and getting kids to understand they can have a strong vocation in this industry is our most enduring challenge. The STA training committee is putting much effort into this key issue. The STA’s list of deliverables is quite astounding, considering the limited resources available. The participation, feedback and support from passionate STA members are crucial to delivering services. I also owe a lot to our elected COM (Committee of Management) officials who, through our epic meetings, keep me on track about the matters that count. COM has plenty on the boil. With the strong WA contingent currently on COM, Fremantle ‘18 is shaping up to be a superb event. Stay tuned on this. Once again in 2017 STA members excelled. In Queenstown New Zealand, in a joint conference with OFPANZ, friendships were forged, deals done, minds broadened and memories made. From all reports, the conference was a huge success. In this issue of Connections we are delighted to showcase the first class award-winning projects that STA members have proudly presented. So grab a cuppa and take a leisurely look over the quality, the style and the innovation that our fabulous niche Australian textile industry is capable of delivering. Beatrice Moonen, President STA

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

THE WOODEN BOAT SHOP Contact: Geoff Floyd 129 Hotham Road, Sorrento Vic 3943 Tel: 0477 833 272 Email:

LOW COST WIRE PTY LTD NL PRODUCTS Contact: Graeme Riedel 32 Wiggs Road, Riverwood NSW 2210 Tel: 0410 686 277 Email: Website:

Contact: Scott Stacey Unit 2, 6A Prosperity Parade, Warriewood NSW 2102 Tel: 1300 601 514 Email: Website:

ROJO PACIFIC PTY LTD PENNS AUTO AND MARINE TRIMMERS Contact: Chris Penn Factory 3, 2 Inner Harbour Drive, Patterson Lakes Vic 3197 Tel: 0479 193 112 Email:

Contact: Russell Fernandes 1/50 Rooks Road, Nunawading Vic 3131 Tel: +613 9872 1000 Email: Website:



Contact: Rick Pirrone 6 Bridle Place, Pakenham Vic 3810 Tel: 0418 500 570 Email:

Contacts: Emma Rassmussen and Jenny Barton The Quays Marina, 1856 Pittwater Road, Church Point NSW 2105 Tel: +612 9997 3133 Website:


ARE EXTENDING THEIR PARTNERSHIP From August 2017 Ricky will be selling these popular Australian Made Canvas ranges for camping and industrial applications.


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BIG RED CHANGES Big Red Shade Products Pty Ltd has now been acquired by the Laneway Group of Companies. Big Red was started by Andy McGill in 2001 (and was profiled in Connections in Issue 1, 2016). Starting out with small domestic shade sails and poolside umbrellas, it evolved over the years to conic structures, steel fittings and threedimensional computer aided design changing the shape of the business from a supplier direct to the domestic market to a design and manufacture resource to the shade industry. McGill and his wife Heather have now retired to Queensland, “to work on my golf handicap among other outdoor pursuits,” he says. There has been a slight name alteration with the changeover. The business entity is now Big Red Structures Pty Ltd, but will operate as normal under the trading name of Big Red Shade Products. The new owners, Jesse and Jo Ressom, are also relocating the business to their brand new facility in Carrum Downs, where it will sit alongside their other business Custom Cargo P/L, which is a dedicated shipping container conversion and customised structure company. ‘Big Red’ has grown into a brand renowned across the country for great service and superior quality in shade structures. Both Mark Rogan and Rob Brennand are staying on with the company. “Now with Jesse’s creative ability, plus Mark and Rob’s technical and manufacturing excellence, the business is set to move into its next exciting phase of growth within the Laneway Group,” says McGill. top: Andy McGill and Rob Brennand below: Rob Brennand

DDT: PAST ERAS AND NEW BEGINNINGS Change is in the air for the industry presently, with Max Brady selling the last of his shares in Darling Downs Tarpaulins (DDT). This marks the end of an era for the three-time past president and life member of the STA, who successfully managed the company that has been in operation since 1983. But, as they say, when life closes a door somewhere it opens a window, and the new beginning at DDT comes in the form of new ownership. In a staged buy-out agreement, Michael (profiled in Connections Issue 3, 2016) and Cathy Ryan have now secured 100 percent of the shares of the company, proudly taking over one of Australia’s largest fabricating companies. This is an impressive personal achievement for the Ryans, and congratulations are in order. Furthermore, this story sends an inspirational message to all of those within the industry that with hard work, dedication and ambition, success is possible. With no connections, family ties in the trade or existing trade skills, Ryan was recruited as a young machine operator early in his career. Impressively, he has risen to the height of success, while remaining one of the industry’s most humble achievers. top: Michael Ryan and Max Brady


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t’s a heart-warming thing when two rivals come together in support of a worthy cause, and the industry has its very own underdog defenders in Ricky Richards and HVG. Usually fierce competitors in the performance fabrics and wide format print markets, the two industry stalwarts have come together and swapped donations for their respective charity fundraisers this year. HVG’s chief executive officer, Bruce Rayment, has signed up for the TourXOz 2017 charity bike ride to be held in September, where 65 riders, 20 support crew and 15 vehicles will ride from Perth to Broome. TourXOz 2017 will raise money for the Black Dog Institute. Ricky Richards’ general manager Kathyrn Polgar, and print media sales representative Michael Smith, will participate in the Great Wall of China Trek, which the company has been a part of for the past two years. The walk is organised by Melanoma Institute Australia and raises money for the foundation. How did this merging of industry giants come about? “I bumped into the crew from Ricky at the recent FESPA Exhibition in Hamburg,” Rayment says. “Ron Gottlieb mentioned he saw I was doing a bike ride, so I asked him to make a donation. He suggested I donate to Kathryn’s walk, and so Kathryn and I agreed to swap donations. “The Melanoma Institute does great work and I applaud the support Ricky Richards has given them,” he adds. Polgar concurs, saying, “We right away saw it as an opportunity to support each other in our chosen charities. Corporate social responsibility is high on the agenda for both HVG and Ricky Richards. It is even better when two alike companies can come together and support worthy causes.” The Black Dog Institute is a notfor-profit organisation dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing

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Bruce Rayment (left) and Ron Ferster (right)

mental illness. “We are about creating a world where mental illness is treated with the same level of concern, immediacy and seriousness as physical illness,” the organisation says. It is a cause close to the heart of HVG, and executive chairman Ron Ferster is a director and board member of the Black Dog Institute. Donations can be made via Rayment’s TourXOz webpage ( my-fundraising/74/bruce-raymenttourxoz-2017) and, as he is covering the entirety of the ride costs, 100 percent of donations will go directly to the institute. Melanoma Institute Australia

(MIA) pioneers advances in melanoma research and treatment. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to preventing and curing melanoma through innovative, world-class research, treatment and education programs. Donations can be made via Polgar and Smith’s webpage (https:// miagreatwallofchinatrek2017.gofundraise. and, as Ricky Richards is covering the full costs of the trip, 100 percent of donations will go directly to MIA. See page 12 for more information about the Great Wall of China trek.

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s you will no doubt be aware, there has been much attention in the media recently regarding proposed changes to award provisions, which will enable casual employees to request ongoing employment. While these changes will present a significant change to many employers, it is important to be aware that the right for a casual employee to elect to convert from casual to full-time or part-time employment does already exist in many modern awards. At present, some modern awards – including Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010, and Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award 2010 – contain a ‘casual conversion’ clause. This clause requires an employer to notify casual employees covered by the industrial instrument, who have been engaged on a regular and systematic basis with a specified period of continuous service, that they have the right to elect to convert to full-time or part-time employment, provided that their employment is to continue beyond this period. Under such conversion clauses, an employer must notify the casual employee

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of their right to elect to convert to permanent employment within four weeks of the employee reaching the required period of continuous service. This request needs to be provided in writing. If a casual employee does not notify their employer (in writing) that they wish to convert to permanent employment within four weeks of receiving the written notice from their employer, it will be assumed that they wish to remain employed on a casual basis. When a casual employee requests to convert to full-time or part-time employment, their permanent hours will be based on the number of hours they worked as a casual. For example, if an employee worked on a full-time basis as a casual, then they may elect to convert to full-time employment. In contrast, if an employee worked on a part-time basis during the period of casual employment, they would have the right to elect to convert their contract of employment to part-time employment on the basis of the same number of hours and times of work as they had previously worked. While the current casual conversion clause within such awards are similar, it is important to note that each individual

award that applies to your employees should be read separately to ensure that the specific applicable casual conversion requirements are understood. Where genuine operational reasons exist, an employer may have the right to refuse a casual employee’s request to convert to full-time or part-time employment. An example of such a reason could be where a casual employee was employed to cover a seasonal busy period and would not be required on an ongoing basis. Any such refusal must be reasonable. The reasons for the refusal must be discussed with the employee concerned and a genuine attempt must be made to reach agreement. C

From the Blog Desk at HR Advice Online. For further information regarding the right for casual employees to request or elect to convert their status to ongoing employment, please contact HR Advice Online on 1300 720 004 or via email at

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An Industry Trade Exhibition and Conference for everyone involved with Fabrics, Components, Equipment and Services For further information contact Ana Drougas on 03 9521 2114 or email


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Great steps 1 July 2017 marked the two-year anniversary of the partnership between Ricky Richards and the Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), and both camps are extremely excited to announce that during this time more than $200,000 has been donated toward melanoma research.


or every sun control fabric purchased from Ricky Richards, a percentage of the sale goes to MIA to support vital research. A few years ago, Ron Gottlieb, Ricky Richards’ director, recognised how important it is for a business to ‘give back’ to the community and support a charity that aligns with one’s own business values. He contacted MIA and out of a short conversation came a wonderful partnership. Earlier this year, when MIA announced it was seeking people to trek the Great Wall of China, it was no surprise that the team at Ricky took an interest. Kathryn Polgar, general manager, decided to step

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Team changes at Rickys – national sales manager


up and sign up for the challenge. Not only will funds be raised, but Kathryn and her China Trek teammates will push themselves to limits they didn’t know they had to complete a hard five-day trek on the Great Wall. Once she had registered, Kathryn decided to involve another Rickys staff member in this experience. She offered all Rickys team members the chance to enter a competition to go on the Trek, and asked MIA representatives to be the judges. The lucky winner was Michael Smith, business development manager for the Print Media Sales division, and he could not be happier. “Spot, Pinkie, Pinky Tuscadero, Red – I’ve been called them all because of my pasty white freckled skin, thanks to my Scottish heritage. Because of this I’ve always made sure I religiously slipped, slopped and slapped,” Michael explained in the story he submitted to the judges. After being so diligent, Michael was not only surprised, but disappointed recently to find that he had a melanoma on his lower back. If it wasn’t for what he had already learned through the partnership between Ricky Richards and MIA, he says he can guarantee it would still be there under the ‘She’ll be right, mate’ clause. Ricky Richards has sponsored Kathryn and Michael to go on the China Trek, meaning 100 percent of your donation will go directly to MIA and help find a cure for melanoma. You can follow the progress or jump online to donate at: miagreatwallofchinatrek2017.gofundraise.

Take the steps and help us end melanoma!

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e are excited to announce the appointment of Michelle Macready as national sales manager at Ricky Richards. Michelle started with the Ricky team in October 2011 as a business development manager in the Window Furnishing division. She was promoted to the position of Window Furnishing sales manager last year and now she is taking on the management of the entire sales team across all divisions: Sun Control, Technical Textiles and Print Media. Recently she saw an opportunity within Ricky Richards and took it. With over 25 years experience in the world of sales, Michelle will bring to this role her experience, her passion and her love for textiles. Those of you that know Michelle will know that when she sets her mind on something, it is hard to stand in her way. Her level of determination, ownership and motivation to help customers improve

their businesses and enjoy the benefits of partnering with Ricky Richards is her speciality. This passion and enthusiasm is already filtering down through her team. A little-known fact in the office about Michelle is that she remains in contact with her previous employers. “The previous four companies that I had worked for are now customers of Ricky, so it’s great being able to keep in touch with them and share our products.” She is very proud of that fact and if you asked them, they would all agree that Michelle is a very dedicated, highly driven team member to work with. Looking after a large and diverse sales team will be a challenge for Michelle, but it is one everyone in the company supports. We wish her every success in this new role and, as we go down this path together, we look forward to what the future holds. Michelle can be contacted on 0415 280 983 or by email at

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For more information about our products, please visit our websites or contact our sales team on

Bradmill Outdoor Fabrics P/L A: 3/100 Fulton Drive | Derrimut | Vic 3030 P: +61 3 9368 2222 W:

ver the years, as an industry we have assumed that viable, certified training for incomers to the industry would always be available. Sadly, we have reached the point of being at risk of losing our recognised, certified training options. Training and attracting young entrants into business and industry represents the single biggest business risk – not red tape, interest rates, exchange rates or the economy. Our industry has developed immensely over the past 20 years. Attracting young people into any industry has a lot to do with pathways and career building. Many of the core aspects of career building come via a robust training program that a full-blown apprenticeship can offer. The Specialised Textiles Association (STA) holds positions on various state and national training committees, lobbies government and works with training institutions to ensure that training continues to be offered nationally to the industry. Even with all the efforts being made by the STA, training numbers are at an all-time low of 25 nationally with only one Registered Training Organisation (RTO) delivering training across the country. With such low trainee numbers, the fear of losing our one and only RTO is very real. An industry without a recognised qualification is not sustainable. The STA has taken action to ensure that available industry training meets the needs of the industry. As such, the industry now has a recognised certificate known as Certificate III in Manufactured Textile Products (previously known as Textile Fabrication), which takes into consideration the evolving needs and various sectors within the specialised textiles industry in order to ensure a viable training option that delivers current industry skills. The previous training model limited the qualification and did not recognise skills from a national perspective. Trainees from the east coast did not hold the same

qualification as those from the west coast. It is important that the same qualifications and base skills are the same for the entire industry, regardless of location. The reviewed and approved certificate is now recognised as MST30216 – Certificate III in Manufactured Textile Products. The changes made to the certificate enabled the STA to successfully lobby the NSW Department of Training and Education in order to have the Certificate recognised as an apprenticeship – which we are happy to report has been approved and is now available for take-up in NSW with plans in place to recognise the Certificate III as an apprenticeship across all states. The STA encourages all NSW industry businesses to take up the new qualification for existing and new staff in order to ensure a long-term viable workforce for our industry. Having the certificate recognised as an apprenticeship on a national level enables our industry to: ● compete with other trades ● offer an across the country equality in qualifications, and ● tap into government assistance for students and employers. It is essential that we are seen as a viable career choice for school leavers, particularly those considering a trade or career designing and creating textile solutions the equal of anywhere in the world. The STA will be putting a long-term plan in place to market the industry to potential trainees, their families and career advisers. In order for this plan to work and raise awareness, your help is also needed. It is critical that skills shortages are communicated to all state Industry Training Advisory Bodies (ITABs) by individual businesses that are already experiencing skills shortages. Contact the STA office on email: office@ or phone: +613 9521 2114 to express your support for industry training. For all training enrolment enquiries, contact NSW Tafe, Ultimo direct on +612 9217 4324 or the STA office. C

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INNOVA INTERNATIONAL signs distribution partnership with VERSEIDAG-INDUTEX GmbH See page 16 for more information.

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Verseidag-Indutex GmbH A new international partner for Innova International


nnova is excited and proud to announce its exclusive Australian distribution partnership with Verseidag of Germany, member of the Jagenberg Group. Innova will exclusively represent Verseidag in four separate divisions including: ● Architecture – PVC and PTFE coated fabric membrane ● Duraskin® – tent, marquee, industrial and biogas ● SEEMEE® – large-format digital printing ● TAG – special solution textiles Verseidag has sales and marketing offices strategically located throughout the world and is pleased to be joining forces with Innova to service the needs and expectations of Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific markets. The Verseidag name is respected worldwide for innovation, premium quality and specific coated and composite technology for various highly demanding

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fields. As all development and production are completed solely in-house in Germany, this means Verseidag has full command over its quality. Verseidag has a long-standing commitment to quality management, environmental sustainability and energy efficiency, backed by its various ISO certifications, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 50001. Verseidag is also a proud contributing partner of VinylPlus, the European PVC industry’s voluntary commitment to sustainable development. Like Verseidag, Innova also has long-term goals to reduce the environmental impacts of its business practices and products. For many years, Innova has constantly strived to be at the forefront of textile membrane recycling in Australia. The synergy and shared passion between both companies for quality assurance and socially responsible products will ensure Innova continues to deliver technically superior differentiated textiles to the marketplace.

THE NEW GENERATION OF PVC MEMBRANES To coincide with this new partnership, Innova is also delighted to announce the launch of Verseidag TXA-F series PVC membranes. The collection is initially available in 250cm width and in three different weights: 650gsm, 750gsm and 900gsm. The improved TXA-F series includes a TiO2 reinforced PVC coating and a bilaterally applied PVDF lacquer on both sides. This multilayered coating structure will further enhance UV resistance and colour fastness. This ensures ease of maintenance and reliable performance, which is backed by a superior 15-year warranty. All products comply with Australian and international fire standards. Innova, together with Verseidag, has also formulated four additional key architectural colours (champagne, sandcastle, storm grey and black) within the 650gsm range. These colours are

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opposite page: Arena da Amazônia, football stadium in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil (as part of Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup)


above: Market in Dimona, Israel right: Impala Shipping Terminal in Callao, Peru (roof area of 120,000 square metres, worth US$35 million)

purpose-designed for the Australian market based on Innova’s extensive knowledge and experience of industry needs and expectations. Verseidag is globally recognised as one of the most reputable technical textile manufacturers within the diverse industries in which it operates. Numerous iconic structures worldwide have been completed using Verseidag PVC and PTFE membranes. These include: ● Burj Al Arab in Dubai, UAE – the third tallest hotel in the world ● National Arena in Bucharest, Romania ● Impala Shipping Terminal in Callao, Peru – the world’s largest covered structure (equivalent to five MCG stadiums), and ● Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina, South Arabia. Images of these impressive structures can be viewed opposite and above. Innova is holding large stocks of the

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three TXA-F ranges. This continues its longstanding commitment and reputation for supporting its customers and the industry. New catalogues and marketing collateral of Verseidag’s full range are now available.

ARCHITECTURE AND SOLAR PROTECTION Innova also supplies an extensive complementary collection of solar protection textiles. These provide limitless colour and texture combinations for coordination across multiple outdoor applications. These flexible textiles include: ● Sauleda PVC fabrics – VIP-FR, Cube, Trend and Trend Light, and ● Sauleda 100 percent solution dyed acrylic fabrics – Lisos, Lisos Force and Sea Star. From small projects to the largest stadium applications, Innova has solutions for any design and budget.

In February 2017, Kylie Knox was appointed Director of Innova International and Sean Philipson became Chief Executive Officer. They have more than 35 years of combined industry experience and there is no doubt their passion and commitment have directly contributed to Innova’s ongoing success. Glenn Renshaw has also recently joined the team as the new National Sales and Marketing Manager. He brings more than 37 years of experience within the textile manufacturing and technical textiles industries and is responsible for sales team leadership. “Since our inception 29 years ago, we have been at the forefront of the architectural and solar protection markets in Australia,” says Kylie. “Our longstanding partnership with Spanish manufacturer Sauleda and now with Verseidag allows us to bring to the market a much broader range of product options to our existing and new customers. We believe with our current business structure we are in the best position to service our customers’ needs and expectations. We will continually strive to be the leading specialist in textile solutions and we are looking forward to introducing eight new products in the next 12 months. Product innovation remains our priority.” C For more information and technical assistance on these new products, contact Innova on +613 9551 8722 or visit Follow innova’s Instagram and LinkedIn pages to stay up-to-date or to join the conversation on its latest projects.

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MUCH ADO ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY With the future of the planet an ever-increasing concern, companies in the specialised textiles industry are leading the way with sustainability initiatives. BY TIFFANY PACZEK


limate change, sustainability, environmental crises – these issues are endemic in modern day life. Turn to any news source and there’s sure to be a story about either the efforts to promote sustainability or the dire repercussions of past and present human lifestyles. We can’t ignore the effects that our way of life and our ‘progress’ continue to have on our surroundings. And, short of moving civilisation to Mars, it’s a situation that needs to be discussed and addressed. Within the textile industry, several companies have taken up the call to action and are making impressive headway toward reducing their environmental impact. Glen Raven, Aeronaut Automation and Rojo Pacific are each taking steps to ensure that they leave a lighter footprint upon the earth. Glen Raven is a company with a global presence that serves the fabrics markets, including awning, marine, furniture, protective, military and geosynthetics, among others. Glen Raven and its flagship brand Sunbrella are committed to sustainability and reducing their impact on the environment. John Gant, director of Research and Development at Glen Raven, says, “Decades ago, Sunbrella made environmental responsibility an obligation and a priority. At every level of our business – from product life cycles and facilities design to community engagement – we have integrated practices and programs to reduce our impact on the environment. From

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manufacturing processes to alternative energy installations, programs have been put in place to position environmental sustainability at the core of our business.” This sustainability message has taken form at Glen Raven in six distinct ways: ● Zero landfill – Through extensive recycling programs and careful materials selection in all industrial processes, Glen Raven ensures nothing from any of its manufacturing sites is sent to landfill, an impressive feat considering its South Carolina facility houses 100,000 square metres of manufacturing space. ● Wastewater reduction – Glen Raven uses a unique colouring process, which makes Sunbrella fabrics fade-resistant and conserves more water than conventional dyeing processes. ● Less waste – Because the fabrics last longer than traditional fabrics, they do not need to be replaced as often. ● Solar power – In 2011, the company installed solar arrays at its North Carolina plant, which generate enough energy to power 47 typical homes and, combined with an upgrade to all light fixtures, have reduced its annual carbon emissions by 1000 tonnes (in 2016 the solar capacity across the facilities tripled to a total of more than 1500 kilowatts). ● Recycling – Glen Raven has partnered with businesses within the recycling industry to repurpose waste fibre and fabrics and produce the Sunbrella Renaissance line of upholstery and

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awning fabrics from 50 percent recycled content. It also runs the revolutionary take-back program, ‘Recycle My Sunbrella’. ● Wildlife conservation – Glen Raven is dedicated to, and works to preserve, the environment surrounding its facilities, protecting the native plant and animal life. In the company’s words, “At Glen Raven, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword. It’s our way of life.” As it furthers its sustainable efforts, it is seeing this reciprocated in its customers. Gant says, “Furniture fabric customers want cleaner, more sustainable products; for instance, our recycled content and Facts-certified fabrics are a great success story.” And this is an initiative with a strong and necessary future. “We see this as a journey that moves steadily forward, and we are very excited about the new materials that are being developed by researchers in response to sustainability values,” adds Gant. Rojo Pacific, a supplier of PVC products including banner vinyls, graphic films and industrial fabrics, as well as other media for the wide-format print, sign and display sector, has been awarded for its PVC Stewardship by the Vinyl Council of Australia (VCA) for its ongoing effort to be a more sustainable business. Rojo is a signatory to the VCA’s PVC Stewardship Program, under which companies commit to meet measurable targets and obligations that reduce the environmental footprint of PVC products. In 2016 Rojo won the silver award for achieving an 82 percent compliance with the sustainability benchmarks. Andrew Marrs, Rojo’s delegated representative to the VCA, sits on the team tasked with developing an industry recycling strategy and says it has made real progress with initiatives to recycle the 500 tonnes of advertising billboard skins that go to landfill in Australia every year. Because they are made of two different polymers, separating and reprocessing them can be a challenge, but funded trials, research and testing has already led to two innovative mechanical recycling technologies and promising prototypes. “Perhaps most importantly, the progress we are making on billboard skins may well be able to be applied to other coated fabrics, helping to further reduce environmental impacts,” says Marrs. Rojo’s managing director John Wright says what they learn from the stewardship program is being applied to the wider business. “It’s gratifying to see the results of the decisions and actions we’ve



taken reflected in regular audits… and in achievements like this benchmark silver award,” he says. Similarly, Aeronaut Automation, a manufacturer of automated cutting systems and software, takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. Because its machines are made from aluminium, which is infinitely recyclable, they can be easily and economically reused. Aeronaut has taken a number of measures to reduce its carbon footprint and ensure sustainability. By switching to LED lighting throughout the facility, the company champions low energy consumption and saves 17,309 kilowatt-hours per year. It has installed solar panels on the factory to supply 40 to 50 percent of its annual electricity use, which is set to increase when it introduces battery storage. It also seeks to reduce power use further by turning off all lights, computers and factory machinery when not in use. Aeronaut is a proud participant of Bin Trim, a recycling program run by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) NSW, which has reduced Aeronaut’s total landfill waste to 18 percent and it is striving for a reduction to nine percent by 2020. Items that Aeronaut actively recycles include aluminium and other metals, batteries, glass, plastics, machine oils and coolants, and paper and cardboard. Additionally, Aeronaut has installed filtered water systems to remove plastic bottle deliveries, uses mostly rechargeable batteries and purchases only low-emission vehicles. For its environmental and sustainable efforts, Aeronaut won a highly commended award for Outstanding Environmental Sustainability in the 2016 Northern Beaches Local Business Awards. C

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he Specialised Textiles Association (STA) and the Outdoor Fabric Products Association of NZ (OFPANZ) joined forces for the very first time to ‘reach new heights together’ at the Queenstown Conference, which took place at the spectacular location of Queenstown on the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Discussions on holding a joint conference have been taking place for many years with the signing off finally taking place in Melbourne in 2015 following the support OFPANZ members showed STA during STA’s 75-year anniversary. Over 200 attendees made their way to Queenstown in order to participate in the program, which included 22 speaker sessions, a welcome reception, theme dinner and the awards gala dinner, plus heaps of networking opportunities in the trade display area. The business side of the conference kicked off with the very entertaining adventures of Steve Gurney – adventurer and a household name in NZ – who set the pace for the remaining two days of business sessions. In turn, attendees heard from some of the best in the industry on topics that covered fabric construction, forces on structures, cables and fitting, pre-stress, marketing, fire retardancy, sewing techniques, welding techniques, and case studies on structures and marine fabrication. Meanwhile, one innovation on the conference floor was to have the tabletop displays open only during the breaks. This set-up worked well and provided an intimate experience for all – particularly for the sponsors who would ordinarily be tied to the display area and miss out on all the business sessions taking place. All feedback received has been very complimentary. It’s been so positive, in fact, that this set-up may be repeated in the near future. Other feedback received about the conference indicates that it exceeded the expectations of many who attended and, in fact, the consensus seems to be that it was a landmark event for the two associations and those that didn’t attend are disappointed they couldn’t make it. The STA and OFPANZ have agreed to hold another joint event in the near future.

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The main aim of the conference was to bring together members from both associations and deliver educational sessions in order to satisfy the thirst for knowledge so many industry businesses crave.

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Before the official opening and welcome reception, attendees experienced the traditional NZ welcome called the PĹ?whiri, which was a very moving experience for all. Goosebumps and tears were not uncommon during the PĹ?whiri.

The well-attended business sessions covered a vast array of topics, while there was a tabletop display option for all sponsors, who had the opportunity to mingle with attendees and set up a display in the area where lunch was to be served. This area was only open during morning tea, lunch and afternoon teatimes.

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Following 2015’s 1940s themed event, this year it was all ‘Go West young man!’ with a room full of cowboys and gals…

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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The conference ended with the awards gala dinner where STA and OFPANZ members were recognised for their project entries. MC for the night was the very entertaining OFPANZ Life Member, Brendan Duffy from Canvasland, who ended the evening with showing us the true meaning of the acronym OFPANZ.

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“Excellent speakers with good range of topics.” “This was the first conference I’ve been able to attend most sessions, which was really good. The case studies... I would have liked to attend them all, they all had relevance. Great initiative to include those.” “I enjoyed every minute of this conference. Unfortunately, I missed the breakfast due to bad timing, but overall it was a good networking opportunity and the business sessions were informative.” “Had a great time and was great to meet some of the Ozzies.” “The conference exceeded our company’s expectations in many ways. Clearly the organisation of the sessions and activities was well-planned and executed.” “My first time in New Zealand and at this conference. Everyone we met was really friendly, and the presentations were top quality. Loved it!”

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AWARD WINNERS CATEGORY AUTOMOTIVE/MOTOR TRIMMING WINNER COMPANY: North Queensland Trimming PROJECT NAME: 1957 Chevrolet Belair Sports Coupe Interior FABRIC USED: Bizon FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: JP Egan & Co COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: N/A The client requested for us to create his dream car interior to match the build already undertaken. A major challenge was the choice of leather. The sewing and fitting of the thicker leather meant a lot of shaving and skiving of the leather was required to allow it to be sewn, French seamed and moulded where needed for fitment to various panels and trims. Second, the leather upon inspection revealed many imperfections, which were branding marks, cuts, abrasions and very heavy stretch marks from the belly and legs of the animal. This required an immense amount of stretching of each of the 12 hides used, planning and plotting of all pieces by eye and hand to get enough clean panels to create the interior required.

CATEGORY MARINE TRIMMING EXTERIOR WINNER COMPANY: Canvas Barn Marine Trimming PROJECT NAME: Vanitee FABRIC USED: Sunbrella FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: The Nolan Group COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Bainbridge International Pty Ltd Vanitee is a restored 28-foot timber boat typical of the Gippsland Lakes. We were asked to manufacture a drum-tight traditional ‘pram-hood’ style dodger and stern cover that could function as a mooring cover and protect the woodwork. It should allow good ventilation, exclude birds and vermin, and be in keeping with the style of a Gippsland Lakes fishing vessel and accentuating the beautiful lines of the boat. Patterning the dodger so it sits tight when raised time and time again was intricate and precise. Choice of pattern fabric was critical, as it needed to mimic the stretch quality of the fabric used. We selected a non-woven polyester patterning fabric.

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CATEGORY SHADE SAILS OR STRUCTURES – DOMESTIC SPECIAL COMMENDATION COMPANY: Sail City PROJECT NAME: Wedding Celebration FABRIC USED: ExtraBlock FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: HVG Fabrics COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Sail City The client was to be married in his fields and wanted a suitable, unique shade structure for the ceremony, and one that the horses could make use of as a sunshade in the future. The project required an ‘interesting and unique’ design and engineering using deeply-set post work because of the river side soils. The client was very happy with the result and the wedding continued as planned. We are unsure about the approval from the horses at this date, but we’re told they would go anywhere a bale of hay was available.

CATEGORY WINDOW FURNISHINGS – COMMERCIAL WINNER COMPANY: Versatile Structures PROJECT NAME: Swannys FABRIC USED: Achilles Roll Clear FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: The Nolan Group COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Copelands and Pickers Design and construct an enclosed café dining area with a metal roof, clear PVC infill panels and clear PVC crank operated blinds with removable posts throughout. The key fuctionality requirement was based around the installation of clear PVC sidetracked blinds to enclose the area and provide weather protection in rainy conditions and assist with warmth to the area in colder temperatures. The client loves the system and is very happy with the overall result.

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CATEGORY SHADE SAILS OR STRUCTURES – COMMERCIAL WINNER COMPANY: Pickers Vinyl and Canvas PROJECT NAME: Tobruk Pool FABRIC USED: Monotec 370 FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: Ricky Richards COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Miami Stainless, Light Weight Structures Aust The overall project was designed to give a local landmark and historic swimming pool a modern facelift, revitalising the local community amenity. The client requested shade sails that were not only aesthetically pleasing, but functional and able to withstand our local weather spectrum, ranging from 30-plus degrees Celsius heat to tropical cyclones. The biggest challenge was working over a swimming pool, which was overcome by installing most shade sails prior to the swimming pool being filled.

SPECIAL COMMENDATION COMPANY: Abacus Shade Structures PROJECT NAME: JCE Car Sales FABRIC USED: Monotec 370 FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: Ricky Richards COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Southern Steel The project was to supply and install a shade cloth structure above and to the side of a car yard located in Western Sydney. The size is 150 square metres in total. It was made of blue shadecloth on a galvanised steel frame. The structure needed to be functional to protect vehicles in the yard from the elements and have visibility to attract car buyers. Knowledge and confidence in the materials being used helped identify suitable shade cloth and steel. The structure has achieved all the client’s wishes of shade, hail protection, visibility, strength, screening from the western sun and the right price.

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CATEGORY TENSION AND AIR SUPPORTED STRUCTURES LESS THAN 250 SQUARE METRES WINNER COMPANY: Versatile Structures PROJECT NAME: Tiger Island FABRIC USED: Ferrari 502 FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: HVG Fabrics COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Copelands and Pickers The brief given to our team was to come up with a waterproof membrane with some preliminary architectural sketches, to closely resemble traditional Sumatran houses. This was to be used as a waterproof dining area as part of a large redevelopment of an iconic theme park feature area. With few parallel lines to aid in ease of design, fabrication and installation, the entirety of the structure was challenging. The client was absolutely over the moon with the end result, and the architect couldn’t believe how light the membrane makes the area feel while still delivering on the design intent.

CATEGORY TENSION AND AIR SUPPORTED STRUCTURES 250 SQUARE METRES TO 2000 SQUARE METRES WINNER COMPANY: Fabritecture PROJECT NAME: Pacific Fair Porte Cochère FABRIC USED: FGT-600 FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: Chuokoh COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: N/A The Porte Cochère project was designed to fill both a functional and an aesthetic requirement from the client. The primary purpose of the structure was to create a dramatic architectural feature that would draw people into the shopping centre. Functionally, the structure provides weather protection for people entering the shopping centre from the main entry point. The client requested the ‘wow’ factor in the form of a sculptural fabric structure – a structure that was both aesthetically striking and functional.

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SPECIAL COMMENDATION COMPANY: Fabritecture PROJECT NAME: Westfield Warringah Mall ETFE Atrium FABRIC USED: Nofol FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: Seele GmbH COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: N/A The purpose of the project was to provide a roofing system that protected the atrium below from the weather elements while simultaneously letting through large amounts of natural light, and creating intentional shadowing with the louvres. The project involved cooperation between multiple trades over various disciplines to produce a product that merged the history of Warringah Mall with the grandeur of a first-class shopping precinct.

CATEGORY TENSION AND AIR SUPPORTED STRUCTURES GREATER THAN 2000 SQUARE METRES WINNER COMPANY: Fabritecture PROJECT NAME: QUT Sportsfield FABRIC USED: FGT-800 FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: Chukoh COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: N/A The project was developed as an aesthetic shade-and-wind barrier for the top level of the new multistorey car park. The steel ribbing of the structure was value-engineered to decrease the overall weight of the structure, resulting in budget savings on the steel. The fabric portion of installation was also value-engineered, enabling us to decrease the amount of fabric required, thereby decreasing installation costs.

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CATEGORY GENERAL – BANNERS, FLAGS, INFLATABLES, FABRIC ART WINNER COMPANY: WeatherSafe WA PROJECT NAME: MARC Sound Screens FABRIC USED: Monotec 370 FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: Ricky Richards COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Darley Aluminium The new basketball courts were going to be very loud and echoey. The architects requested a method of attaching acoustic insulation to the wall and then covering the insulation with an attractive and unique cover. Through this consultative process, along with the architect and the builder, we devised a process of framing the wall sections, attaching the insulation to the wall and then covering the insulation with a fabric under tension. We were able to recommend our choice of fabric, Monotec shade cloth, as we knew we could stretch it into place and the wide width, along with the design of the tracking system, meant there were no visible seams or stitching.

SPECIAL COMMENDATION COMPANY: MakMax Australia PROJECT NAME: Seaworld Plaza FABRIC USED: Kim McHugh FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: Taiyo Kogyo COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Beenleigh Steel Fabrications The purpose of the project was to provide a custom fabric shade structure that covers the entire area. Our scope was the design and construction of the tensile membrane structure, foundations, steel, fabric and drainage. The geometry of the structure is complex with the design intent provided as a rolling wave. The foundations were significant with the provision of a number of screw piles, with a mass concrete pad and a plinth for the column. The steel rolling was only able to be induction bent and was completed in Victoria before being brought to Brisbane for fabrication.

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SPECIAL COMMENDATION COMPANY: Cheyne Shades and Canvas PROJECT NAME: Ute Pet Shade Covers FABRIC USED: Horizon FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: The Nolan Group COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Tenara Sewing Thread The purpose of this project is to provide maximum shade for pets/ dogs to the tray section of the utility vehicle, using only the sports/ roll bar to support the fabric shade cover. The fabric chosen has to be cut, shaped, fitted and made in such a way for the cover to remain taut, strong and have minimal wind flap while the vehicle is in motion.

CATEGORY PRODUCT INNOVATION WINNER COMPANY: MakMax Australia PROJECT NAME: Tarek Automated Retractable Umbrellas FABRIC USED: SEFAR 4T20HF FABRIC SUPPLIED BY: Taiyo Kogyo COMPONENTS SUPPLIED BY: Steelman Fabrication The client requested an architectural solution for the provision of shade within an educational facility. The emphasis was placed on providing an innovative design that could be easily retracted when necessary. This project required the development and manufacture of a hydraulic powered system that would enable easy retraction of the six umbrellas (either in a group or individually). The combination of the resources and experience of our design, engineering, drafting, project management and fabrication facility created this new product – Automated Retractable Umbrella.

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CATEGORY WOMAN OF THE YEAR JOINT-WINNER Name: Maria Macri Position: Business development manager, and state sales manager NSW Company: HVG Fabrics Maria consistently excels in the roles she performs for HVG. Within the company she has a dual focus, with a national role as the business development manager (internal blinds) and the responsibility for total fabrics sales in NSW as the sales manager. She has consistently played a major part in HVG’s sales success and continually proves to be a positive role model as the leader of the NSW sales team. Maria has established herself as a valued member of the fabrics management team and easily embraces changes as they occur. Her focus and energy, along with her practical approach and common sense when dealing with issues, provides a steady and positive influence. Maria is a regular supporter of STA events, is quick to lend a hand and often gets involved in helping advance important industry causes.

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JOINT-WINNER Name: Kym Stroud-Smith Position: Apprentice marine trimmer Company: Canvas Barn Marine Trimming


Kym has a very solid knowledge of the marine trimming trade and is entering the second year of her apprenticeship, where she is continuing to learn and enhance her hands-on skills. She excelled at her first year of trade school, being the first apprentice under Neil Hancock to score 100 percent on several modules. Recently, she has also received awards from Holmesglen TAFE for her outstanding results. By taking on an apprenticeship at a mature age, Kym has shown her peers, as well as younger people, that you can learn new skills regardless of age. Life is about learning and that never stops, regardless of age or circumstance. Kym’s intimate knowledge of the business’ fabrics makes her indispensable in selling the product to potential clients. Her understanding of the handson side has seen her completing many projects unassisted. Behind the scenes, Kym has worked hard to help the running of several STA marine trimming workshops. She is always in the background, helping out with STA events, but hiding away at the same time. Her easy-going, approachable personality sees people from within the industry, both local and worldwide, contacting her for help and advice. If she does not know an answer, she will find out and learn it herself so that she can help others. Kym brings the industry closer together with her actions.

David is a one-of-a-kind sales negotiator, able to take in extremely varied and unclear information and then turn this information into a clear deliverable project, while factoring in customer expectations. He maintains a high level of professionalism while completing daily negotiations, estimations and follow-ups with hundreds of contacts David’s ability to create a clear path forward in the sales process allows for an easy integration of the operations team to deliver the project. All too regularly we underestimate the importance of a strong front end to a business, which is a very highly skilled component of any company. David is an excellent part of Versatile Structures and has been directly related to setting up over 110 individual projects since his employment began. David hates to let a customer down and so backs himself to deliver where sales never usually dare to go. David’s training in installation and design also allows him to assist in operational aspects of projects. He treats his customers like family and this is why they keep coming back. Thanks to David’s hard work, the business now has many regular customers, a constant workflow and a seamless integration between sales and operations.

YOUNG ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR WINNER Name: David Bradshaw Company: Versatile Structures

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WE’RE NOT IN CANVAS ANYMORE Canvas Barn Marine Trimming understands that your boat needs to withstand all kinds of bad weather, and possibly even the odd tornado. BY TIFFANY PACZEK


aron Stroud-Smith’s motto is ‘Begin with the end in mind’ – an adage borrowed from US author and businessman Stephen Covey and one that Stroud-Smith applies adamantly to all his boat upholstery projects. Specialising in bespoke boat covers, sail covers, cushions and interiors (and more), Canvas Barn Marine Trimming prides itself on enhancing its customers’ boating experiences and taking on the whole job, from start to finish. “Great boat covers should make your boating lifestyle more comfortable, while protecting the investment that is your boat,” the company says. Canvas Barn Marine Trimming has come a long way since its early days in 1988, where it began under the name East Coast Upholstery in Lakes Entrance. As a general upholstery business, it offered services including furniture upholstery, motor trimming, marine trimming and general canvas goods. Stroud-Smith began his canvas career here in 1991, at the tender age of 17, as an apprentice furniture upholsterer. He says, “After completing my apprenticeship, I continued to work there before purchasing the business in 1996.”

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Having grown up in Lakes Entrance in a family established in the building industry, and working part-time in his family’s local hardware store from the age of 12, it wasn’t too big of a jump into upholstery. “I wanted to be a carpenter,” Stroud-Smith says. “But at the start of the 90s when I was looking to leave school to start work, my father strongly suggested otherwise. He saw the writing on the wall for ‘the recession we had to have’ that hit the building industry very hard.” Enter upholstery. After taking over East Coast, Stroud-Smith has gradually refined it to the business we know today. In 2000 it became Canvas Barn, and then in 2008 he concentrated it further still to become Canvas Barn Marine Trimming. This family owned and run company sees Stroud-Smith at the helm, supported in the workshop by his wife Kym and – in the beginning – by his mum doing the books. Oh, and E V von Zipper, aka Zip, the beloved workshop dog, who joined the company in 2012. Juggling their four children meant Kym’s time spent in the workshop was limited, but now the kids have flown the nest (well, half of them) and Kym is back in the thick of it, currently

undertaking an apprenticeship in Automotive and Marine Trimming. “We work closely together, generally on the same project,” Stroud-Smith says. “Our teamwork comes into effect at its best when dealing with clients. We work well with them discussing options to improve their boating lifestyle and helping them make choices to make their boating better – be it through function, form or protection (of both the vessel and its passengers) from the elements, as well as easy maintenance.” Canvas Barn Marine Trimming specialises in custom covers, carpets, cushions and linings for boats. “Our aim is to make high-quality products that look good and function for many years,” Stroud-Smith says. “We’re continually searching for new and innovative products and fabrics.” Based in the Gippsland Lakes, the company’s main client base is within Victoria, although it is not uncommon for it to have customers travel specifically to the Lakes for its craftsmanship. Stroud-Smith reveals that although he does get many enquiries from the international arena, it’s generally not financially viable for the global customer to use his services. “In these cases we

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send them onto a local trimmer, through our network of fabricators around the world,” he says. There has been the odd occasion when Stroud-Smith has sent covers to New Zealand, and even to Italy, but this isn’t common practice. For Stroud-Smith, the projects that stand out as particularly memorable are the ones with a difference. The family has a side business working with the local arts community, where they have collaborated with various artists over the past decade to create some remarkable pieces. “The stand-out projects are the (F)route POD and the Kangaroo Tales projects. Working with the artists and being trusted with their beautiful pieces, taking them from a two-dimensional piece into a standing structure, using the skills we have from our trimming trade is amazing,” Stroud-Smith declares.

“Seeing the public view them and be amazed at what we, with the artists, have created is awesome.” Passion aside, the work that StroudSmith and Canvas Barn Marine Trimming do has been applauded by the industry. The Specialised Textiles Association (STA) has celebrated the company a number of times, bestowing upon it excellence awards for different projects. “We are very proud of the awards,” Stroud-Smith says. “We have received five awards from the STA and one from the MFA (Marine Fabricators Association) in the US. Two of the awards were for art projects – the (F)route POD and the Kangaroo Tales projects – and the other three STA awards, as well as the MFA award, were for exterior marine trimming.” Stroud-Smith is an active supporter of the STA and serves as a committee

member for the Marine Fabricator division. “I cannot urge other business owners enough to be a part of the STA and to attend workshops, meetings and functions. Surrounding yourself with likeminded people who understand your business intimately is a great way to move your business ahead,” he encourages. “The skill set among our members from many different areas of the industrial fabric industry is one of the best ways to learn how to do business smarter. “As a group we can help suppliers, fabricators and each other by opening up discussion channels on what the industry needs in fabrics and associated hardware,” Stroud-Smith says. “We can make our industry and the various divisions within it stronger by offering better training and career paths for our staff, present and future.” C

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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.

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Specialised Textiles Association and industry events for 2017/2018


(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

Wax Converters

01, 03 & 15

Ricky Richards


05 & 36

© Adrian Wojcik 123RF

IFAI EXPO 26 – 29 September 2017 New Orleans LA, US For further information go to: WEBINAR Wednesday Tuesday 10 October 2017 Business, technical and industry topics. Further info available closer to the webinar. MEMBERS’ CHRISTMAS CHEERS Tuesday 28 November 2017 Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne For further info go to:

SPECTEX18 (CONFERENCE AND TRADE EXHIBITION) Saturday 26 to Monday 28 May 2018 The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle WA For further information go to: OFPANZ 2018 CONFERENCE Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 June 2018 Crowne Plaza Hotel, Christchurch, New Zealand For further information email:

All events are listed online at Remember to log in to the member area before registering for an event and, that way, if there is a cost you will automatically obtain the reduced member rate and your details will automatically populate the registration form, saving you time as well.

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Darling Downs


Shann Group


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Engineered fabric for extraordinary tensile architecture structures.

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Exclusive to Ricky Richards, The Barrington Collection features JSHZZPJ(\Z[YHSPHUKLZPNUZ^P[OHJVU[LTWVYHY`Ã…HPY-VY[OLM\SSYHUNL of premium sun control fabrics contact ricky today on 02 9735 3333

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Connection: Issue Two, 2017  
Connection: Issue Two, 2017