SUCCESS STORIES

Read our success stories from local South Australians working in the building and construction industry.

Scott Salisbury
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From an early age, Scott Salisbury had the drive and determination to follow in his father’s footsteps. Scott was 17 when he started his apprenticeship with his Dad, as a carpenter. Through his apprenticeship and working alongside his father, he was taught critical work ethics and invaluable workmanship, attention to detail, innovative thinking and skills that has remained with Scott throughout his extensive career — "do it right the first time".

By the age of 30, Scott achieved his dream of obtaining his own builder’s license, which marked the beginning of Scott Salisbury Homes. Now, Scott’s philosophy is what lies behind the walls is essential to building a strong foundation of a home, something he learnt from his apprenticeship. By mastering these foundational skills, Scott has now established four distinct brands across the Scott Salisbury Group and continues to be the most trusted, experienced and recognised builder in South Australia.

Scott is an inspiring advocate for the power of apprenticeships, having charted a successful career pathway of his own, through leveraging this opportunity. He is a firm believer in the Born to Build program and other apprenticeship programs for the younger generations, to propel them to have successful careers and the skills and experience building companies require. Builders with a qualified trade behind them in a fundamental asset to running a successful and knowledgeable building business. Scott is dedicated to creating further opportunities and shaping those ambitious individuals towards positive futures for individual trades people as well as supporting the future of our building industry.

Scott Salisbury
Scott Salisbury

Managing Director - Scott Salisbury Homes

Kristina Shepherd
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My name is Kristina Shepherd and I’m currently a Project Manager/Designer at Thorne Constructions. After graduating from Adelaide University with an Architecture degree I started out with minor drafting, and now oversee multiple aspects of our projects including design, tender, project co-ordination, client relationships, admin and much more!

Now after 5+ years I have already achieved more than I thought possible, notably being a 2021 HiViz award finalist as well as now 2 successful D&C clubroom projects with Football SA.

I love the collaborative, problem solving nature of the construction industry and am really passionate about the built environment and how it shapes our everyday lives.

Kristina Shepherd
Kristina Shepherd

Project Manager/ Architect – Thorne Construction

Hugo Kregar
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I have always been very passionate about working in the construction industry, and completing an apprenticeship was the best start to my career.

The development during your apprenticeship is very fulfilling, and there are many avenues to progress your career upon completion of your apprenticeship. I was also fortunate to work with many professional tradesmen who have taught me lifelong skills.

I have found it extremely rewarding to be a part of such an integral industry, especially given the significant shortage of skilled trades across Australia. Apprentices in the construction industry receive abundant support from the South Australian Government, apprenticeship agencies, and the Master Builders Association, so there are many incentives for apprentices.

The opportunity to get paid while you learn is incredible, and it is a great way to get ahead in life. I highly recommend the apprenticeship pathway to anyone who has an interest in the industry!

Hugo Kregar
Hugo Kregar

Carpenter – Michael Kregar Building Pty Ltd
Apprentice of the Year
2023 South Australian Training Awards

Antony Tedesco - Brickwork by Art
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I love with bricklaying how you can stand back and look at your finished product. If you produce a good quality job you can see it, and that gives you a great sense of achievement.

Bricklaying is a very rewarding job. It keeps you fit and in good shape. It’s a high demand job and so the money will always be there as long as you produce a quality job.

Being able to run my own business is something I really enjoy!

Antony Tedesco - Brickwork by Art
Antony Tedesco

Brickwork by Art

Matt Downie
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Having embarked on my journey in the electrical trade, I can confidently say that choosing a trade was the best decision of my life. Back in 2007, amidst my football career with Sturt Football Club, I was offered an electrical apprenticeship that opened doors to a fulfilling and successful career. Today, as the Director of iElectrical & Communications, established in 2016, and Banton Australia Pty Ltd with a dedicated team of 38 employees, I've witnessed the incredible opportunities that a trade can offer.

To students out there, I encourage you to consider a trade. It's not just a job; it's a pathway to a rewarding and dynamic career. My own experience is a testament to the doors that can open when you embrace a trade. As a father of two boys, nothing would make me prouder than seeing them follow in my footsteps, entering a trade and building a future filled with possibilities. The skills you gain in a trade are not only in high demand but also provide a strong foundation for a successful and meaningful career. Take the leap, explore the world of trades – you might just discover a passion that will shape your future in ways you never imagined.

Matt Downie
Matt Downie

Director, iElectrical & Communications

Richard Hough
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I have over 30 years experience in the construction Industry, I started my career by undertaking an Apprenticeship as a Cabinet maker and joiner at age 16. Taking on a trade gave me the opportunity to work on some significant commercial projects throughout Adelaide and interstate.

Through experiences gained from working on Commercial projects installing commercial joinery and shop fitting I was able to gain an appreciation for the construction process, this inspired me to pursue a career as a Commercial Construction supervisor.

I undertook further studies to obtain my cert iv in Building and construction and progressed from there taking on roles in Supervision and then Project Management. I now work as an Operations Manager for a large commercial construction company, using my knowledge and experience I provide professional client interface, relationship management and construction support across large scale commercial projects from tender through to project completion.

I have an ambition to create a greater skilled workforce within our industry and I am working with other like minded individuals and organisations to develop a suite of training resources to assist in the training and development of our staff and sub-contractors to support our future industry leaders and provide greater career pathways and opportunities within the Construction Industry.

Richard Hough
Richard Hough

Operations Manager – Sarah Constructions

Isabella Carubia
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My journey into horticulture began as a child when I would help my dad and Nonno plant vegetables in the garden. With my father being a horticulturist and owning his own business, I was always getting my hands dirty. However, my initial career path began in the corporate sector after I completed Year 12 where I worked as a manager for a large company. Feeling like I had reached my maximum potential for growth in the role, I decided it was time for a career change and my dad suggested giving a career in horticulture a go.

I was offered a job through a recruitment agency in an Arboriculture team and would also help my dad with his gardening business to improve my horticulture skills.

Now, I am working full time as an Horticulturist for a local government council which I love. Being the only female in my team is fun and my team is very supportive of me. I am currently the only female in South Australia’s local government doing my job. I’m passionate about inspiring other young girls to get into a male dominated industry.

Isabella Carubia
Isabella Carubia

Horticulturist

Adrian Chenoweth
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My journey into construction started back in 1999. After bouncing around trying to find something that appealed to me a family friend mentioned an apprenticeship. The opportunity I had was a bricklaying apprenticeship. Something I had no idea about and whether I would even like it. Once I begun I realised pretty quick the opportunities in front of me. I completed a great 4 years with no regrets and a fantastic host/boss. I was lucky enough to work on a lot of different fronts from New Housing, Extensions and Renovations, Heritage Buildings and Landscaping walling. The skills and people met through those 4 yrs was incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship. Six months after completion I started my own business. This ran for 17 years in which I learned how to run a small business, I developed my skills and learned new things everyday. I also employed 8 apprentices over that time. One of those was my brother, he later became my partner. After 12yrs together we both decided to look at other options. He went into the MFS and I decided to expand my knowledge and career staying in construction.

Earlier I mentioned not having UNI as an option. Having an apprenticeship gives so many opportunities that align with uni degrees. I studied while running a business a Cert 4 in construction management. Using this study and qualification I applied for a supervisor role with Sarah Construction. I have now been at Sarah’s since 2018. I have had the chance to work on projects from small fit outs to multi million dollar projects. In my new role at Sarah I am lucky enough to see all trades and learning from them is amazing. I could not recommend exploring an apprenticeship highly enough. The earning while learning is very manageable and from there the doorways that construction opens are endless.

Adrian Chenoweth
Adrian Chenoweth

Qualified Building Supervisor, Sarah Constructions

Matt-Zubrinich-Plumbify Transparent
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I found that school wasn’t for me and I would struggle to focus in class. I was unsure what I wanted to do with my future and what career path I wanted to take. Luckily for me, my mum got me in touch with a school counsellor who discussed the opportunity to undertake work experience with an experienced plumber which led me to undertake a plumbing apprenticeship.

I completed my apprenticeship with three different companies where I was really lucky to get a taste of almost every aspect of the plumbing trade. From maintenance to new homes to large construction.

Now at the age of 35, I have been fortunate to operate my own business for 10 years. We have nearly 20 staff, and the business has grown really strongly over the last 3 years. The plumbing trade has given me so many opportunities to work in interesting and remote places and I have been lucky enough to meet some of my best mates through the plumbing trade.

One of the best parts about working in the construction industry and learning a trade, is you get so much vast experience in how to build and you can use these skills to complete personal building and reno projects which is very rewarding.

I would love to see more kids who are not sure what they want to do after school to consider taking up a trade as I owe everything I have to that one opportunity I got to do work experience in plumbing!

Matt-Zubrinich-Plumbify Transparent
Matt Zubrinich

Qualified Plumber and Business Owner, Plumbify

Litsa Adamou
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Having always had a passion for the building and construction industry and with both my parents working as tradespeople, it seemed fitting that I would end up working in the building and construction industry. However, following on from my time at University, my initial career path commenced as a public servant but I felt that I was not professionally fulfilled and by chance, I took a day off work and went to work with my husband doing building inspections. This was the day my life changed and I had found my true passion.

I went back to study and got my Certificate IV in Building and Construction and Certificate IV in Project Management. From there, I went and got my general builder's licence and commenced with House Inspect Australia. I am proud to say I am the first female building inspector in South Australia. I feel honoured to encourage more young girls and women to enter the construction industry by sharing some of my own experiences and successes. It is a rewarding industry with so much room for personal and professional growth with so many different options for those looking to have a successful career in building and construction.

Litsa Adamou
Litsa Adamou

Building Inspector

Cody Allen
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I’d always wanted to work in the construction industry. I started doing work experience sweeping floors when I was 17. The boss asked me if I wanted a job and he put me on as an apprentice electrician working on standby diesel generators - I got to work in every state of the country installing and repairing generators in defence, mining, agriculture, banking, health – and anywhere else where they couldn't afford to lose power! I stayed with the same company for a decade forging friendships with my colleagues I still have today. Then I jumped on board with my dad’s company – he’s a guru – and now my brother and I are doing it as a family, spending time together and getting paid for it.

The best thing about being a tradie is it allows you to be your own boss and run your own show. It gives you the freedom to choose what kind of work you want to do. I love it, I'm as passionate about it as the day I started and I’d recommend it to anyone!

Cody Allen
Cody Allen

AllenCo Construction

Luke Cooney (Imperium Constructions)
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Working in the building industry was always something I wanted to get into after finishing school. I excelled in Tech subjects at school and was always working on small DIY projects at home.

After finishing school, I started Construction Management at University and quickly realised it wasn’t for me.

After second semester I left University to start the Prevoc TAFE course in carpentry and joinery. At 21 I finished the Prevoc course. I networked around to find a carpentry apprenticeship and started working for a custom residential builder doing extensions and new builds.

I finished trade school in the 3rd year of my apprenticeship and started the Contractors License Course. By the time I finished the 4 year apprenticeship, I had my Contractors License and had started the Cert 4 in Construction Management and Building where I ultimately obtained my builders license.

I resigned from my job to start contracting as a carpenter for other builders while taking on small private residential renovations.

I soon connected with my business partner James Cawthorne and have now been in business for 8 years. We have completed dozens of projects ranging from $500k renovations, extensions and new homes to $2.5m projects and multi res developments.

Moving away from the University path, into an apprenticeship and obtaining my builders license was the best thing I have done. Earning money from the early days meant I could buy my first home at a young age and was able to use the skills I learnt to renovate and flip it as my first project.

Luke Cooney (Imperium Constructions)
Luke Cooney

Director, Imperium Constructions

Lainie Thomson
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My name is Lainie Thomson, I am a fourth year carpentry apprentice. I decided to join the construction industry and commence an apprenticeship after High school. I knew that I was interested in how carpenters could build something from a plan and their prior knowledge. I also thought carpentry looked like a really satisfying job and something that I wouldn’t lose interest in quickly (still haven’t).

I am currently working at Bishop Building who are a general builder in Kapunda. My range of work and skills learnt is very wide. I get to do things from marking a job out at the very start, following the steps of construction all the way through to doing the second fix and final fit off as the build nears completion. It is a very rewarding experience.

Throughout my apprenticeship, I have been fortunate to have won several awards, including 2022 Apprentice of the Year, which has been a great achievement and reflection of the effort I have put in to my apprenticeship training.

In the close future I plan on finishing my apprenticeship and continuing as a qualified tradesperson while learning supervisory skills and eventually moving to a supervisors/managing role, potentially furthering my study in this direction as well.

Lainie Thomson
Lainie Thomson

Fourth Year Carpentry Apprentice

Kodi Farr
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My name is Kodi Farr and this is my journey to successfully securing an electrical apprenticeship with the help of Amanda Hewer from Born to Build.

During high school there was a Certificate II VET course in Electrotechnology that I found quite interesting, so I signed up to give it a go. After finishing the course at the end of the year, I had found that I enjoyed learning about the electrical industry and decided that this was the pathway I wished to pursue.

Once I finished school, I began to search for an apprenticeship. After many failed attempts, I found that it was harder than I thought to get a job. After a few months of trying, a family member suggested Born to Build might be able to help.

The team at Born to Build have been extremely helpful. Throughout my journey, Field Coordinator Amanda Hewer has been an enormous help. She has been there for me through the ups and downs of the entire process, right up to the very end where she found a great company that she knew would be a good fit for me. Overall, Amanda was a massive help, and I can’t thank her enough for the endless help she has provided me.

After going through this journey the only advice I would give to anyone in a similar position would be not to give up and remain confident. I would definitely recommend Born to Build to anyone who is looking for an apprenticeship as they made the process of applying for an apprenticeship simple and stress-free.

Kodi Farr
Kodi Farr

First Year Electrical Apprentice