A Nowra apprentice endeared himself to the audience with his short and sharp speech when he accepted the Apprentice of the Year at the Southern Regions Building Awards.
Callum Barker, apprenticed to Tim Webster Building, impressed the judges with his enthusiasm and love for building.
"His attitude to work and study is exemplary, with 100 per cent for his results and attendance. Callum shows initiative and doesn't hesitate to seek further direction or advice when needed. He is a confident problem solver, who is eager to learn new skills from those he works with," the judges said.
Mr Barker and other builders were recognised at the Southern Regions Building Awards, hosted by the Master Builders Association Ulladulla at the Ulladulla Civic Centre on July 20.
More than 400 guests from the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, South Coast and Far South Coast were entertained by MC Adam Straney, comedian Syd Heylen and band State7.
Retired builders Ross Meredith and Chick Schorobura were judges and could not speak highly enough on the quality of work they had the pleasure of judging this year, a representative for the Masters Builders Association Ulladulla said.
The spokesperson praised the wide array of local, financial and building industry sponsors, who backed the awards ceremony.
Illawarra company Project Coordination (Australia) Pty Ltd claimed two of the coveted major awards on the night. Project Coordination won the 2019 Commercial Builder of the Year and the 2019 SafeWork Excellence in Work Health & Safety award for the Nan Tien Temple Bridge.
Judges said the construction of a bridge spanning 140 metres over the M1 Freeway had extensive safety challenges.
"These included working over five lanes of heavy traffic, night work, adjacent overhead powerlines, adjacent high pressure gas lines and the supervision of heavy machinery during the construction period. The site safety personnel showed exceptional coordination and planning skills to have this project constructed without stoppages and completed safely without incidents."
Southern Highlands apprentice Jessica Gardiner claimed the 2019 Women in Construction Award. Ms Gardiner, an apprentice to Joe Proud, August Developments, told the Southern Highlands News she was surprised when the judges announced she was the winner.
The judges said Ms Gardiner has been working with her team on a range of residential projects in the Ulladulla area and has been "challenging the perception of the female tradie".
The Young Builder of the Year was the Southern Highland's Travis Clark. The young builder has a "passion for perfection" in building the judges said.
"He sets himself and his team high standards of both construction and finish."
Bega builders Jarrah Clifton and Murray Russell claimed the final major gong of the night, winning the Residential Builder of the Year.
"These builders continually demonstrate their hands-on excellence in building projects with exceptional skill, care and commitment to delivering a quality product and securing complete client satisfaction," the judges said.