NEWS: National – 2016

The Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation’s archive for all newsletters posted nation wide in 2016.

Our newsletters provide industry, state-wide and country-wide information relevant to Australian bricklayers and blocklayers to keep you informed and up to date. You will receive information on how to grow your business, train and mentor your apprentice, update your skills and build on your career.

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Winning Bricklayers in 2016 National WorldSkills Australia Competition

WorldSkills Australia

Outstanding Skills and Craft displayed at Peak Bricklaying Competition

Bricklaying’s Trystan Sammut has just been announced Australia’s new National Champion for 2016. Finalist from the Ballarat & Wimmera Region, Trystan has been awarded the Gold Medal in Bricklaying, following this weekend’s WorldSkills Australia National Competition in Melbourne. Top apprentices from 50 skills categories assembled and contested for the championship and for many, including Bricklaying, it provides the chance to represent their trade on the international arena. Click to event introduction video from WorldSkills Australia.

Our 12 Regional bricklaying winners courageously contested the championship and we are proud of each and every one for their preparedness to take part and give it their best. As Regional winners they may be still completing their apprenticeship, or may have recently done so. The Gold Winner, Trystan Sammut produced a clear winning 75.60 judging points, followed by Perth North regional winner Conrad Yeeles who took the Silver Medal with 71.02 points and in very close third place with 70.82 points, was Jae Edwards from Adelaide, earning the Bronze Medal. Jae has honed his experience working on the Australian Embassy build in Bangkok in recent times to great effect. A close runner-up for Bronze was Damien Tibbles, representing Macquarie, with 69.75 points.

Gun Trowel Speed CompetitionAged 19 years, Trystan Sammut, who has taken home the Gold was apprenticed to Brendan Williams, qualifying in May 2015. He has a winner’s edge – he strives to succeed in his work, to give it his best at all times: “I see bricklaying as a sense of personal achievement at its finest” is how he describes his trade and he viewed his apprenticeship as that of a craftsman in training. Trystan is from Ballarat and trained at Federation University with strong support from the bricklaying training team of Peter Eltringham (“Charlie”) and Darren Weightman. He also won the MBA Vics 2016 Presidents award earlier this year.

Both Brendan and Trystan joined Newmac Bricklaying 15 months ago. Newmac released the following statement on the WorldSkills Australia win: “Brendan is a key figure in our business, and it’s a huge achievement by him in teaching Trystan his trade. Trystan, it’s an unbelievable effort to win this event. The way you have adapted to working with a big crew and larger projects and also putting your hand up to be a leading hand on a commercial site, shows that you are willing to learn different ways of doing things, which you have been taught through your apprenticeship. You have the determination and dedication to succeed in whatever you want. It’s an absolute credit to you, to Brendan and to your family.”

WorldSkills Australia Bricklaying TeamIf Trystan is selected to be on the Australian Skillaroo team for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 he will also be the recipient of the ABBTF World Class Bricklaying Scholarship . The ABBTF funded scholarship was developed to prepare our candidate for international competition across key areas and ensure Australian Bricklaying stays in the upper echelon of the competition.

Earlier this year at the Master Builders Victoria 2016 State Apprentice of the Year Awards, Trystan was announced as the winner of the Ballarat Section Winner & recipient of the MBA Chairman’s Award. When interviewed after that Award Trystan said that bricklaying was extremely rewarding when you realise the completed work could be standing 100 or more years later, despite the physically demanding skills required for the job.

ABBTF State Manager said “the Victorian ABBTF team is over the moon with the announcement” and she offered her congratulations to Trystan for his excellent performance and to Brendan Williams (his apprenticeship employer) for his training and mentor of Trystan. “It is a while since a Victorian region has won WorldSkills Australia’s national title and it will assist us in helping to profile the opportunities that bricklaying presents, its skills and the high calibre of candidate that the trade seeks.”

Trystan grew up in Ballarat, attended St Patrick’s College and played football locally. In preparing for the National WorldSkills Australia competition he undertook extra training and ‘polished up’ on specific areas of his skills. At the time he said “As much as we are all in it to win it, walking away producing my best work in the time allocated is what I really want to achieve, along with enjoying the experience.”  That’s a great attitude Trystan – one that will serve you well throughout your life! Congratulations from the team at ABBTF – there is no doubt the win will open doors for you as it can for all who took part in the Nationals in Melbourne last weekend.


Watch The ABBTF Gun Trowel Speed Competition

Congratulations to Conrad Yeeles, winner of the ABBTF Gun Trowel Speed Comp

Clear winner of the infamous ABBTF Gun Trowel Speed competition, and WorldSkills Australia Silver Medalist, was Conrad Yeeles of Perth North. Michael Taylor of ABBTF Vic, a judge of the Gun Trowel said “Conrad’s control under pressure, his calmness and his accurate technique really shone through.” I also feel that his unassuming, confidence in comments in the lead up to the event was possibly a clue to his ability to do well: “I’m grateful to my dad who has taught me a lot in life; his dedication, determination and patience have helped me get through my apprenticeship and prepared me for the National WorldSkills Australia competition”.

WorldSkills Australia 2016

The Countdown to WorldSkills Begins!

WorldSkills Australia 2016

Will the most accomplished Apprentice Bricklayer for 2016 please step forward!

Which monster event soon to hit the halls of the Melbourne Showgrounds will use over 7,500 bricks, 90kg of chocolate, 3,250 stems of flowers and foliage and 8 tonnes of steel, amongst other materials?

Yes it’s the 18th National WorldSkills Australia, featuring 60 skills competitions, an in-house career expo and a range of fun and interactive Try’aSkill activities. The competition will take over 25,000sqm of floor space (equivalent to the MCG) from October 6-8. Those lucky enough to attend will witness the absolute best of the country’s apprentices in action and at their peak!

Our most skilful bricklayers, selected from Regional WorldSkills competitions conducted over the past year or so across the nation, will be demonstrating their knowledge, skill and aptitude and vying for the honour of being named the champion apprentice bricklayers for 2016: Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to the most accomplished, following judging by an experienced team of experts led by Troy Everett, International Chief Expert – WorldSkills Australia. All participants are to be soundly congratulated for participating in their Regional events and in reaching the national finals. Win or not, it’s a mighty and an enjoyable experience that will benefit all competitors in times to come, for having taken part and done their best on the day.

Our 12 bricklaying competitors are required to build a detailed brickwork design with an AFL inspired theme. They must construct the projects according to plans and specifications, and the judges will assess dimensions, level, alignment, angles and detail.

In wishing the contenders well Troy Everett said “Many of our competitors have been inspired by the events at the recent Olympic Games where there were so many great stories around outstanding achievement, sportsmanship and producing your best when it counts. I would like to wish each of them all the very best and I am looking forward to seeing you all in action at the big event where the bricklaying competition is not only our ultimate apprenticeship skills test but a great spectacle for all”.


Representing their Regions, in chronological order of the regions, are:

WorldSkills Australia 2016: Arron Ladlow

Representing Tasmania


Arron Ladlow BricklayerMy name is Arron Ladlow and I’m a third year apprentice brickie currently working for All Brick Tasmania in Mornington, Hobart. I always wanted to become a bricklayer because it’s a great trade with lots of variety. I’m an active guy and I love to work outdoors. I went in WorldSkills to improve my skills and test myself and I am absolutely stoked I will be representing Tasmania in the national competition. I have a 3 year old son who is my pride and joy, and hopefully he will look back when he is older and be proud of my achievements.

I did my training at TasTafe in Hobart and have also trained there for the competition. My employer, Colin Barratt has a large business and has been represented by his apprentices at National WorldSkills several times, most recently by one of his sons Paul Barratt. In 2012 another brother, Matthew won the Bronze Medal in the National event. I saw what the past three consecutive All Brick bricklaying competitors got out of it and, loving a challenge, I want to push myself and see what I can achieve.

I’m feeling the nerves leading up to the competition but have been training so I can be the best I can be on the days of competition.

View All WorldSkills 2016 Competitors