Kent Vickers, Qld Industrial Gasfitting Services (QIGS)
A bit about me: My involvement in the Queensland plumbing and gas fitting industry spans back over 30 years to my apprenticeship at Algas Energy. Today I own and operate Queensland Industrial Gasfitting Services and predominantly deliver Type B installations, service and advice to others in the industry.
Why am I on the MPAQ Board? I was elected as a board member of MPAQ in 2011 to be the associations representative for the Queensland Gas industry. During that time I have been fortunate enough to hold the position of Vice President and in November 2017 I was elected to lead the association as the President. It was a most humbling experience to think that my peers held my contributions in such high esteem.
Why is it important for all plumbers and gasfitters to be members of MPAQ? MPAQ is a professional association made up of a wide variety of industry experts. The reputation earned through diligent and robust conversations with the local, state and federal governments gives us the ability to voice our members concerns on any issues that arise. The board of the MPAQ consists of an almost bottomless pit of well informed and knowledgeable business owners that operate in every facet of the trade throughout Queensland. This gives us the ability to hear firsthand what concerns the members are facing. The board is supported by an amazing team in the office who address our members requirements on a daily basis. This level of representation and support for all our members is the reason I believe every plumber and gasfitter in Queensland should be a member of MPAQ.
Patrick Robertson, Reliable Plumbing Gas and Solar
I am a third generation plumber, with a strong connection to our trade with six family members being plumbers. I have been a member of our Association since 8 February 2006 and am based at Rocklea.
Reliable Plumbing Gas and Solar works across all facets of the plumbing, drainage and gas fitting in maintenance and the construction industry.
Michael Ryan, Beavis & Bartels
A bit about me: After finishing school at Marist College Ashgrove in 1994, I commenced my plumbing apprenticeship in the domestic market before moving into the commercial market after being provided the opportunity to work with Beavis & Bartels. Having worked with Beavis & Bartels since, I have been extremely fortunate to have been provided the opportunity to work in all aspects of the business and to be surrounded by an excellent team of men and women who work together to deliver some of the state’s largest hydraulic projects. Outside of work, my wife and I have three beautiful healthy children who love to spend time as a family at the beach, riding and playing tennis.
Why am I on the MPAQ Board? With Beavis & Bartels being a member of MPAQ since 1960, I have always had interactions with the Association. The Association has always supported both our business and myself in whatever challenge we have had. After only ever seeing the support from a members point of view, I thought it was time to “give back” to the Association and become a board member.
Why is it important for all plumbers and gasfitters to be members of MPAQ? As a Major Contractor, the Association provides a lot of support to our business, especially the HR support and general guidance on a daily operation. Anyone interested in becoming a member, I’d strongly suggest joining based on the interactions and opportunities to collaborate with other plumbers, the peace of mind knowing you can call the Association if you have any difficulties.
Kelvin Slade, Slade Brothers Plumbing
I have worked in the plumbing industry for over 45 years and together with my wife Mandy run our own business. We specialise in commercial, industrial and domestic maintenance, gas fitting, hot water unit repair/ installation, backflow prevention devices & thermostatic mixing valves. I have a great interest in Legionella management & treatment. Through our work in the aged care sector I developed an interest in this area as I saw the risk this represents to the residents and the need to assist our clients with risk analysis and management. In 2016 I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship which allowed me to travel to the northern hemisphere researching guidance, legislation and best practices in all things Legionella control.
I’ve been a member of MPAQ for over 25 years, have been a Councillor for more than 10 years. I had the honour of holding the office of President from 2013 to 2017. I have previously been a committee member in the Redcliffe Division. I have also represented MPAQ on many committees over the years and done so with great pride.
I believe the role and involvement of MPAQ as the voice of our industry and providing support for members is critically important given the changes being forced upon us at federal and state levels. The association provides strength in the collective voice for our members, who provide the critical service to the standard of living we enjoy in our society. Clean water and world class sanitation. My aim as a Councillor is to build upon the good work being done to ensure our concerns are heard and our needs respected throughout industry and all levels of government.
John Salmon, Salmon Plumbing
A bit about me: I run Salmon Plumbing with a team of 12 people. The business was established in 1991 and I am in the lucky situation to be still enjoying my role and learning every day.
I enjoy being on the board of MPAQ and see it as an opportunity to improve the industry which is so important to the community.
Why am I on the MPAQ Board? It gives me the opportunity to improve things I believe need changing in our industry and communicate the needs of a medium size plumbing business to policy makers.
Why is it important for all plumbers and gasfitters to be members of MPAQ? First of all, without a strong voice advocating for plumbers for over 100 years we would not have such a strong regulatory framework protecting our trade. Add on member benefits, training, events and the help and support you get from the association and I believe it is the best way for any plumbing business owner to engage with and improve their industry.
Bill Watson AM, Connectors "The Plumbing People"
I have been a plumber, drainer and gasfitter for 42 years, serving my apprenticeship with Watson Plumbing (Dave Watson, no relation) from 1967 – 1971. I commenced my plumbing business Connectors “The Plumbing People” Pty Ltd in 1973. My business carries out work for industrial, commercial and domestic premises’ in the Brisbane area, specialising in backflow prevention, solar and heat pumps and TMV. I also have a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment and am a Qualified Contract Trainer for the plumbing industry.
I am the former Chairman of the Plumbing Industry Council and a Director of Master Plumbers Australia. I joined MPAQ in 1977 and have been on the Council for 33 years. I was made a Life Member in 1995 and a Trustee in 2011.
I’ve been a Rotarian for 19 years and received a Paul Harris Fellow in 1999. I am happily married to my wife Marie and have 3 children and 9 grandchildren (8 girls and 1 boy).
A bit about me: I commenced my plumbing apprenticeship with JJ Cussen Plumbing in Townsville, with my indentures being sign on 25/1/71 and signed off on the 3/8/75. Very soon after commencing my apprenticeship, I became aware that my employer was a member of MPAQ. Not knowing what that meant, I was soon to find out in the following years. I then worked at JR Wylie & Sons/AE Smith & Sons for a total of 23 years, the last 16 of which I was the Townsville Branch Manager for AE Smith. In 1999, I opened National Air Qld – Plumbing and Air Conditioning as the Queensland manager until retiring and closing the business in 2013.
I have a beautiful and supportive wife, Tina, and three sons who so far have given me five grandchildren, Caiden and Molly, Charlotte, Hunter and Eva. My sons:
- Terry has put his plumbing and mechanical services business, Pipetech Industries, on hold to be a stay at home father for Molly.
- Ryan is an electrician with Smoke Alarm Solutions Brisbane; and
- Tyson is in electrical, communications and security, specialising in mechanical services and commissioning with Ellis Air Conditioning and Mechanical in Brisbane.
Why am I on the MPAQ Board? I have been active in the Townsville Division as Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman since 1980 and commenced as a MPAQ Councillor in 1994. I was then President from 1996-1998 and 2002 – 2013. It was a great honour to have life membership bestowed upon me in November 2014. I have always wanted to return something to the industry as it has allowed me to achieve success in my work and personal life.
Why is it important for all plumbers and gasfitters to be members of MPAQ? From the age of 14, I knew I wanted to be a plumber. In my apprenticeship (as well as later in my career) I always worked with genuinely great people. I could see the difference through the comradery and connection between Master Plumbers, and how this community of plumbers purposefully supported each other throughout all of Queensland. To me, this support network gave me an opportunity to meet and make friendships all over the state.
Harle Gall, O'Brien Plumbing Goondiwindi
I have been in the plumbing industry since 2004, completing my apprenticeship in Goondiwindi. In late 2008 my wife and I started our business as H&S Gall Plumbing, doing anything and everything in the industry, as you do in bush. As our business grew, so did our inefficiencies, so we then joined the Laser Group in 2013 for their systems, networking and business support. We currently do a broad spectrum of services within the plumbing industry in the Goondiwindi and surrounding areas.
I have been married to my wife Stacey for 13 years and have four little kids; two boys, Zeb 8 years, Will 7 years, and twin girls, Andie and Stella at 4 years.
I joined MPAQ in 2009 for the peace of mind of having an industry body with all the range of services that MPAQ provide. I joined the MPAQ Council to give a perspective from a rural background and have a say in polices that affect our awesome industry.
Dennis Yarrow, Yarrow Plumbing Services
I have been working in the plumbing industry for over 34 years, 28 of these years I have worked as an independent contractor. I started my Plumbing apprenticeship in 1979 and established my own business Yarrow Plumbing Services Pty Ltd in 2003.
I have been a member of the MPAQ for just over 20 years now and have been a member on the council for 5 years. The advances in technology within the plumbing industry have been extraordinary and I believe that my membership with the MPAQ has allowed me to keep up to date not only with the technological changes within the plumbing industry but also with the administrative changes.
I enjoy the challenges that are associated with being a Councillor of the MPAQ, together we endeavour to make positive changes within our industry on a day to day basis as it is astonishing how many non-plumbing entities try to dictate how we as an industry should function. It is the job of the MPAQ to advocate on behalf of the whole of the plumbing industry.
I strongly believe that being a member of the MPAQ is a pre-requisite to having a successful plumbing business because without the advocacy of the MPAQ, there would be no Plumbing Industry, certainly not one that we would all be proud to be associated with.
Mark Denning, Fallon Solutions
A bit about me: I lead the team at Fallon Solutions as Managing Director. My background is in management accounting, marketing and general management. My role is to support the trade professionals at Fallon Solutions to deliver exceptional customer experiences in the residential home services market in South East Qld. Even though I cannot perform any plumbing work, I truly enjoy the plumbing industry and I have met some amazing down to earth and very astute people since we started the plumbing division in 2005.
Why am I on the MPAQ Board? I would like to help MPAQ with their purpose; to drive professionalism in the industry to the member’s advantage.
Why is it important for all plumbers and gasfitters to be members of MPAQ? It can be very isolating owning your own business and it is easy to lose sight of the big picture and be left behind. Being a member of MPAQ can help owners of small business achieve their goals whether that be life work balance or building a profitable saleable asset.
Melissa Millar, Millar's Plumbing Services
A bit about me: I have assisted my husband in the establishment and running of Millar's Plumbing Service. We have evolved our business transitioning from a subcontractor to a small business. I have a B.A. in Education, however like many wives behind businesses, have placed my career on the sideline to assist with Millar's Plumbing. I do get to teach every now and then, which I enjoy. Teaching keeps me in touch with the next generation of employees coming through. It gives me the insight to look at and see the way learning has changed for youth and hence be able to implement strategies in our business to provide a training framework. I currently work on many small businesses committees. I actively see that youth need help securing apprenticeships and small businesses need funding to be able to afford and offer these positions. I actively advocate for this in my various roles I fulfill. I am currently studying a Certificate 4 in Workplace Health and Safety,
Why am I on the MPAQ Board? By being part of the MPAQ board I get to further my advocation about job creation and small business support for our industry. Over the last few years we have been actively attending many construction industry events and have been blown away with the calibre of expertise and advocacy happening in our industry. I am passionate about ensuring that active small business voices lead the way for key stakeholders to make informed decisions about the needs of small businesses. As a collective group we are stronger in ensuring small business and our industry has the support we need to prosper and evolve in ever changing times.
Why is it important for all plumbers and gasfitters to be members of MPAQ? As one voice we can't achieve much but as a collective we can advance change. This is why it is important for plumbers and gasfitters to be members of MPAQ. We use MPAQ for everything in our business. From HR support, social media support, WPHS packs and training. It gives me confidence to grow our business knowing I have access to MPAQ expertise and knowledge. MPAQ has also enabled me to meet new people and form many new friendships. It is nice to have these when things are tricky and you have that person you can message that 'gets' what it is like running a plumbing business. We get to share our highs and lows and celebrate with each other.
If you have been considering joining and would like to come to an event, or if you are a member and haven't attended one, I would love you to join me and meet you. If you are regional, join us on Zoom for our monthly meetings. You will find so much value on that hour Zoom.
A bit about me
Brad has over 30 years of experience as a Senior Executive, Company Director and Entrepreneurial Proprietor in Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia and India.
Brad was a co-founder of Wizard Home Loans with Mark Bouris in the mid 90’s , a business created with the vision to drive real competition in the Australian & New Zealand Mortgage markets. The business went on to become one of the most recognised financial services brands and 5th largest lender in the country ahead of its ultimate sale to General Electric Company in 2005 for nearly half a billion dollars.
Following the sale of Wizard Brad went on to take up a role as a Senior Executive at GE, responsible for the growth of the global brand in Financial Services, including the launch of the Wizard brand and business model into the Indian subcontinent in 2007/08.
In 2009 the opportunity to take on the Australian banking landscape yet again lead to Brad becoming a foundation member of the team that launched, scaled and successfully floated Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management.
In 2014 Brad changed tack to broaden his business experience base becoming a Director at Australia’s fastest growing Insurer Auto & General (owner of both the Budget Direct & Compare the Market brands). His focus at A & G was driving 10 times system growth through smart business and distribution partnerships whilst championing the pivot for A & G to focus on end to end customer experience.
More recently Brad has refocused on his core passion of growing Australian SMB’s and their leaders through direct involvement in a number of Board & corporate advisory business engagements across a diverse range of industries.
Why I am Consulting to the MPAQ Board ?
After several years of direct engagement with Penny and her team and then being invited to be involved in the Strategic Planning process in 2019 I saw first hand the pride and passion for the Plumbing industry and its future that’s at the heart of what the team looks to deliver. I like the fact that the team and the Board didn’t take their relative success in ‘staying relevant‘ to and for their industry for granted, they are prepared to ask what more can and should we do to get better - thats what sets this organisation apart today and sets it up for a long and very relevant future.
Why it is important for all plumbers and gas fitters to be members of MPAQ?
A right to have a strong voice in key issues is crucial for the individual and collective success of any trade / industry. In an ever changing world of regulation, margin and process challenges and complexity it’s the smart operators that succeed. Whether it be access to critical information and expertise, opportunities to be part of the voice of rationale and change or simply sharing stories at a Golf Day with like minded colleagues - these are the reasons Plumbers & Gas Fitters should join , stay and fully engage in their industry body, for their future and the future of the many generations to follow.