Last week there was another big competition happening in the Australian Brick and Blocklaying apprenticeship world with the 13th biennial Golden Trowel competition held from 15–17 October at TAFE NSW Nirimba in Western Sydney.
The Golden Trowel competition is a unique team event, where a group of three – a masonry teacher and two apprentice students – build a concrete structure with intricate detailing within a limited timeframe. Each team is judged for precision, craftsmanship and conformity to the design specifications.
For the fourth time in the life of the eleven year event, the winning team was Bathurst and this is especially amazing given they have missed two competitions in that time.
A special mention needs to go to Peter Moore the head teacher from Bathurst who offered Dooley (the part-time bricklaying teacher and past winner of the Golden Trowel event) the opportunity to participate. It was the first time this has happened at the event and we cannot forget to mention that Dooley had two broken fingers!
The Bathurst team also did something unconventional with the construction of the lettering in the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia (CMAA) logo. They reversed the blocks to give them a more uniform look as outlined in the job description and they were the only team to do this. I believe it was a master stroke. I am not sure what is in the water in Bathurst, but whatever it is, it is turning out bricklaying champions.
The winning team walked away with the coveted gold-plated Golden Trowel trophy while their educational institution will be able to proudly display the perpetual trophy at their campus until the next competition. The previous champions were the team from TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour (four time winners) who were back this year to defend their title.
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. Our own Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) is a major sponsor of the event with the aim of attracting, training and retaining current and future brick and blocklaying apprentices.
“Successful Golden Trowel participants and winners invariably go on to have successful careers” Ian Stoneman, ABBTF CEO reinforced.
Competing in the event were eight TAFE teams from NSW (Albury, Bathurst, Coffs Harbour, Granville, Miller, Newcastle, Nirimba, Wollongong) and Qld Gold Coast.
This event is ABBTF’s major sponsorship. In addition it hosts the competition in conjunction with the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia (CMAA) with the support of TAFE NSW, CMAA Member Sponsors and Industry Sponsors.
ABBTF Regional Manager