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Geelong Cabinetmakers: United in Trade

Geelong cabinetmakers are taking to a new approach to highlight the resurgence of a traditional craft that’s using modern and hi-tech solutions to produce premium product.

We all do our best to support local manufacturing. However, when it comes to looking around for a new entertainment unit or occasional furniture, it’s become habit to head to one of the larger department stores not knowing our local Geelong cabinetmaker is good for the job.

A group of cabinet makers and related suppliers from the Geelong, Surf Coast & Bellarine region have banded together to form Independent Cabinetmakers Geelong (ICM Geelong) to highlight the skills and quality product manufactured by Geelong’s cabinet making industry.

ICM Geelong has garnered the support of Geelong Chamber of commerce chief executive officer, Ms Bernadette Uzelac, who believes ICM Geelong is a great example of small businesses working together to ensure jobs are secure and to keep work local.

As well as showcasing product, ICM Geelong allows cabinetmakers and suppliers to work together and pool resources to win contracts for larger domestic and commercial projects. For example, two local cabinetmakers recently banded together to provide the cabinetry for a large apartment complex – working together allowed them to take on the magnitude of the job.

Times are changing and there are many challenges for the many family based businesses handing over the baton to the next generation as well as young cabinetmakers just starting out.

Acquiring the latest equipment and machinery is an expensive outlay, resulting in many cabinetmakers now choosing to specialise in a particular area. For example, there are cabinetmakers now opting to specialise in just providing cut-to-size board to their installation colleagues, who often opt to source products from suppliers who have the latest cutting equipment.

The interest and potential of the ICM Geelong collaboration has brought on board supporters including Laminex Australia, Polytec, Lincoln Sentry and Home Appliances. Local industry suppliers Sandman Stone, Newstone Australia, Newgrove Benchtops and Cabinetmakers Choice are also supporting the initiative.

The Gordon TAFE is also supporting ICM Geelong by encouraging school leavers, especially women, to consider cabinetmaking and to see their apprenticeship the whole way through.

Gordon TAFE final year apprentice, Ms Kate Elstone, is an example of a great role model for tte cabinetmaking industry. Ms Elstone won a gold medal in cabinetmakeing at the 2013 WorldSkills regional competition and has since gone on to represent the industry in Perth, Turkey and Kathmandu, Nepal in various other competitions.

ICM Geelong has just launched a ’made locally for you’ campaign featuring Dani Wales & Dan Reilly, contestants from the TV series, The Block. Dan and Dani are firm believers that you get what you pay for in the building industry and always try to support local and respected qualified trades.

As part of the launch, ICM Geelong cabinetmakers and suppliers will work together to provide a home kitchen improvement to the value of $15,000 for one lucky competition winner. You can enter online at www.ICMGeelong.com.au Competition closes 28th April, 2016.

Mr Sean Blood, who suppliers bench tops to cabientmakers, says ICM Geelong is also about client education and showing that cabinetmakers do more than just kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.

These days, cabinetmakers work with so many different materials to suit the look you are after and, of course, budget. Timer particleboard through to melamine veneer finish and bamboo. When it comes to kitchens, bathrooms and alfresco entertaining areas, some of the work being done by cabientmakers in our region is outstanding.

People looking for cabinetry can now visit www.ICMGeelong.com.au and see what local cabinetmakers have on offer. The website also shows ideas for home improvement projects, home renovators, cooks dreaming of a kitchen with a butler’s pantry, expanding families looking for storage solutions and couples wanting a luxury walk-in-robe with all he ‘bells and whistles’.

Custom made, custom fitted with competitive pricing, occasional furniture, desks, bookcase, beds, wine racks and even fish tank cabinets can all be manufactured right here in Geelong.

As seen in Geelong’s Business Life Magazine, April 2016.

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