HIA Victoria Executive Director Fiona Nield commented that ‘HIA was so pleased to host the launch of this initiative [in Victoria] with guest speaker Rebecca and a panel of women from our industry’. These included: Colleen May, general manager, May Constructions (chair); Cathy Inglis, general manager technical and innovation, Brickworks; Lana Bonnet, co-owner, L&B Picturesque Painting; Peta Lough, contracts administrator, May Constructions; and Katerina Kapellaki, global interior designer.
While the residential building industry is male-dominated, Fiona says the HIA Building Women event in Victoria demonstrated that there are ‘women who are working in construction roles right across our industry’. Similarly, both Queensland and South Australia experienced this firsthand at their HIA Building Women events.
The recent 2018 HIA Queensland Recognition of Women in Building & Construction Awards saw a range of exceptional women from nominees, winners and attendees that participate across the residential-building supply chain. The fourth year of the Queensland women in industry awards saw Kaitlyn Moore, director of O’Connell Agencies, win the top award for Professional Woman of the Year.
Kaitlyn came from humble beginnings in her garage, importing nails and silicone. Over time her business gradually grew and Kaitlyn had the opportunity to expand and execute her manufacturing vision. Since 2012, Kaitlyn has turned the former import supply business into Australia’s biggest PVC column form manufacturer. Her PVC column tubing is utilised across Australia and supplies to some of the biggest construction projects in the country. This opportunity and growth didn’t come by chance, instead it came through many years of research and development, good and bad experiences, and personal determination – proving what women can do for, and within, the residential building industry.