The winners of the 2018 Master Builders Apprentice of the Year awards were announced on 2 November at The Westin Perth. Created 14 years ago to celebrate excellence in the building and construction industry, the awards night also included the presentation of the Ric New Rising Star Award for high achievers aged up to 25 and the Ric New Medal, which is judged on entrepreneurial flair and innovation up to the age of 35. Both Ric New awards were named eponymously for the founder of Midland Brick, who was known for his entrepreneurial spirit, determination and revolutionary thinking.
Chad Gerber (right), a contract administrator for Pindan Construction is this year’s rising star. He gained a Master of Building Information Modelling in the inaugural course at UWA and was instrumental in the successful delivery of the $30 million Warren Health Service Redevelopment in Manjimup.
The Ric New Medal was shared by Michael van Dongen, Director of Encon Group, and Ray Kershaw, Director of Mondo Exclusive Homes (below).
Mr Kershaw began as a carpentry apprentice and started his own business specialising in custom homes at just 25. As well as running a building company, he sits on the State Administrative Tribunal, is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce and stays on the lookout for new construction technology.
Mr van Dongen became a registered builder after gaining a Bachelor of Construction Management with Honours and recently formed his own construction and project management company. He is helping to improve safety awareness and develop safety products to lift standards in the industry.
John Gelavis, Executive Director of Master Builders, said both Mr van Dongen and Mr Kershaw had previously won rising star awards and this is the first time a winner had moved on to victory with the Ric New Medal.
“This year, for the first time, the judges decided on joint winners. Both have established their own businesses and are impressive characters who are motivated and aspire to making a difference in the industry. The judges felt the industry was in good shape with the calibre of people coming through the ranks,” he said.