Apprentice and Trainer Teams Pit Their Brains and Skills at the Golden Trowel Competition at TAFE Illawarra

Image 1 - Winners

The Concrete Masonry Association of Australia (CMAA), Australia’s peak industry body for concrete masonry manufacturers, is excited to announce that the 2015 Golden Trowel Award will be held from 11 to 13 October this year at the Wollongong Campus of TAFE NSW – Illawarra Institute.

The event spreads over three days and is organised by the CMAA in cooperation with TAFE and the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF). Held every second year, the Golden Trowel Award invites bricklaying apprentices from across Australia to participate in a three-day competition to recognise the skills of young talent in the brick and blocklaying trade.

ABBTF’s CEO Geoff Noble said, “ABBTF is proud to be the major sponsor of the Golden Trowel Award as one of its many investments in building a skilled bricklaying workforce. This industry event is renowned for producing outstanding young blocklayers who have gone on to win other industry awards and establish a successful career in the industry. The event is an ideal advertisement for the trade as it encourages young people to consider the very significant benefits of a bricklaying apprenticeship and career.”

Elizabeth McIntyre, CEO of CMAA Australia’s peak industry body for concrete masonry manufacturers said, “The Golden Trowel competition is now in its 22nd year and has established itself as the premier team competition for bricklaying and blocklaying apprentices. We look forward to seeing the best of our future talent shine at this year’s Golden Trowel Award.”

The Golden Trowel competition encourages excellence among apprentices while recognising and rewarding the skills of young talent in a valuable trade currently facing skill shortages.

Ms Dianne Murray, TAFE Illawarra Institute Director, said: “TAFE Illawarra’s vision is to build skills, create success and inspire a better future. The Golden Trowel Award shares this vision, by providing a platform for students and apprentices to showcase their skills and achieve success.”

country’s top masonry competitors to the Illawarra. It’s a fantastic engagement event for the region and will provide our students, staff and the local community with a spectacle of the skills behind the trade,” said Ms Murray.

The Golden Trowel Award is unique among other competitions in the industry in that it is a team challenge. Participating teams consist of a class teacher and two apprentice students, usually a third-year and a second-year apprentice. Teams will be judged by a panel of industry experts and results will be announced at the Golden Trowel Award dinner on Tuesday 13 October.

The winning team will walk away with the coveted Golden Trowel trophy while their educational institution will be the proud winner of the Challenge Shield until the next competition. The previous champions were Central Queensland University who will be back this year to defend their title.

The 20“We are pleased to host the Golden Trowel Award this year and look forward to welcoming the 15 Golden Trowel Award will also be a special occasion for competition designer Raymond Mouthaan, who teaches at Hunter TAFE. Ray has designed the challenges for six of the competitions in the past 22 years and will be retiring after this year.

“I have seen the Golden Trowel Award grow from a NSW-only event to an Australia-wide call for apprentices to pit their brains and skills in a competition that is highly regarded in the industry. It has been an incredible journey and I plan to go out with a bang, so this year’s challenge is going to be an amazing one!” said Mr Mouthaan.

The Golden Trowel Award is held in high esteem and attended by representatives of the industry, educational institutions and governments. Participants and winners of the Golden Trowel Award have gone on to join regional, national and international competitions.

The co-organisers and event sponsors are the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia (CMAA) and the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) and TAFE with the support of:

  • Major Sponsor: BCP Enterprises Pty Ltd.
  • Platinum Sponsors: Austral Masonry, Adbri Masonry, Baines Masonry, Cathay Industries, Favetti Group, LANXESS, and TAFE Illawarra
  • Gold Sponsors: OX Group International, Masonry Contractors Australia, and E-Masonry Contracting NSW.
  • Silver Sponsors: MBS Sand and Cement, ACT Masonry Pty Ltd, BC Sands, Skippens, SRW Products, AusMix, and Fugen

The list of participating teams is provided below. For further information contact ABBTF on 1300 66 44 96.

Participating Teams

Image-3 Participants





Geoff Noble


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