Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 - iMobileMedia

Have we lost the Aussie tradie icon? Do we still have that larrikin young bloke with his ute and dog, sharing a joke, looking fit and terrific, while he works on your new deck . . . or rebuilds the house next door?

A man you might know from Better Homes and Gardens or Dancing with the Stars, Rob Palmer is one bloke who certainly fits that mould. This week Rob will be presenting the Tradie of the Year Awards Bash at Dockside, Cockle Bay in Sydney.

“Skilled trades play an important and valued role, both in our economy and in our community. Our builders and trade contractors employ over one million people, they help train our kids and spend over $3 billion a year back through local supply businesses.” Palmer said.

“I started as a carpenter, then a builder and I am still developing and utilising my trade skills . . . so when you consider the demand for skilled tradies, along with the range of career pathways available, gaining your trade qualifications is a smart move for many young people.”

The Australasian Association of Builders (AAB) have teamed up with training organisation MIBT and a raft of sponsors, to recognise and promote Australia’s tradies. The Tradie of the Year Awards Bash will be held this Friday evening at Dockside, Cockle Bay in Sydney. Ten finalists, both male and female from around the country, will vie for the 2018 title along with a range of category awards and prizes.

In announcing the Tradie of the Year finalists, Mr. Dean Edser of AAB said, “Today, your tradie is a highly qualified, skilled worker that delivers high demand services. The stories of this year’s Tradie of the Year entrants and indeed those of our finalists, confirm the great contribution and value created by our tradies. Reading the comments from their supporters proves that our larrikin tradie is alive and well and is still afforded significant love and respect within the community.”

Tradie of the Year is presented as a fun “social quest”, through the TradieoftheYear.org.au website and Facebook page. The selection criteria are based on quality of trade credentials, originality and authenticity of the entry idea, as well as audience engagement. This year, a strong representation of female tradies has resulted in four out of the ten finalists being female.

Edser said, “Many sectors of the building and construction industry offer real opportunity for women. With modern tools and equipment, it is more about precision, skill and efficiency. The number of women in building construction trades is small but growing. We were therefore very pleased when major sponsor, William Hill doubled their support, enabling us to create two awards, both with an equal prize value.”

The respective winners of the William Hill Male or Female Tradie of the Year titles, will each receive a ten-day luxury holiday for two in Bali and carry the ambassador role of Tradie of the Year throughout 2018. There are additional category awards including Tradie of the Year Achievement Award, People’s Choice Award and Community Contribution Award.


Press Contact: iMobileMedia

Rob Keogh       0402 784 518

[email protected]



Meet the 2018 Tradie of the Year Finalists: (no particular order)

Elliot (Elbow) Bancroft – a plumber for QANTAS by day and a champion of “uteaoke” at night. Nominated by his mates as simply a great bloke . . . a young guy with a tonne of get up and go who would do anything for anyone. If you are wondering what uteaoke is, Elbow gets around in his ute at night posting snapchats of himself singing karaoke. (soon to be a major craze)

Sarah McKendry - Sarah is a 24 year old apprentice carpenter from Warwick in Queensland’s Darling Downs. Got a start in construction, working with her dad. A memorable milestone for her was; “when I started to notice that I was treated more equal and [my work] showed that I deserved the same respect” Sarah has almost all of Warwick supporting her Tradie of the Year nomination.

Chris Symons – Chris represents the classic story, starting as a labourer, later setting up his own operation, studying for his Certificate IV to get his builders licence. Over five years he and his brother have grown their building business to now employing 17 staff. Chris and his team have huge support in the Gold Coast community for their volunteer work, building a women’s refuge.

Emir Tupkovic – Emir is a young builder that has presents an impressive catalogue of work. Nominated by an enthusiastic partner, who says; “Emir lives and breathes building! When his awake all he does is think and talk about building. When he is asleep he dreams about building. He loves what he does so much he is constantly working, always hands on with each project”.

Chantelle Callard - started tiling at 15, has tiled everything from full scale renos, to multi-million-dollar homes. In August 2016, she started her own business, Cairns Designer Tiling and built up a solid reputation of producing quality work. Last year Chantelle won both the FNQ region, and QLD state Master Builder's awards for Women in Building.

Jess Drady – A country girl from Nyngan NSW. Can’t make it to the awards bash because she’s 2 hours from Dubbo airport and is so busy her boss can’t give her time off work. Jess is a 2nd year carpentry apprentice and travels 326km, 3 times a week every month just to get to TAFE. Apart from working and studying, Jess is a young mum, who loves her ute, “piggin” and playing rugby!

George Poullos – George is a qualified carpenter, studying for his Certificate IV to gain his building licence. “I have been a carpenter for 19 years and have vast experience in both carpentry and construction.” George has a strong social media following with his entry endorsed by over 1,900 supporters. He also recently won a trade promotion for Home Timber & Hardware.

Ahmad Bakhtiari – “I’ve been on the job site pretty much my whole life, from labouring, brick laying, plumbing . . . nothing was as good as being a chippie.” A solid tradie from Pemulwuy Western Sydney, Ahmad’s entry in Tradie of the Year was significantly enhanced by the contribution of a supporter, who posted a video of Ahmad single-handedly lifting a wall frame into place.

Sara Whittaker – “Worked my butt off since I was 14 doing work experience with local electricians during my school holidays and days off. Finally, I found a local family business who were impressed with my enthusiasm and desire. I got signed up for a school-based electrical apprenticeship in Year 12 with my current boss and went full-time in November 2014.”

Joshua Robinson – Farrier & Blacksmith from Bligh Park NSW. “Shoeing horses is not just a job it is my lifestyle. I was selected by my TAFE to represent Scone and NSW in the National Apprentice Challenge 2011 and have won several titles since then.” Josh’s entry drew massive support from horse-lovers across the country for his commitment and love for his work and their horses.

Press Contact: iMobileMedia

Rob Keogh       0402 784 518

[email protected]

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Do we still have that larrikin young bloke with his ute and dog, sharing a joke, looking fit and terrific, while he works on your new deck . . . or rebuilds the house next door?



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