INSPIRATION

Astrid Vasile, 2009 WA Business Partner of the Year
When Astrid Saraswaty Vasile of GV Constructions (WA) received her invitation to the 2009 HIA-NAB WA Housing Awards back in November last year husband Gino had a surprise for her…he’d nominated her for the WA Business Partner of the Year award. Her second surprise came on the day itself when her name was called out and she took to the stage to receive her award. “I felt very fortunate,” says Astrid. It’s good to be appreciated, and just being nominated by Gino felt like a payback for all the work we’ve put into the business. Then, when I won, well I really appreciated what he’d done.” So, what does it take to be an award winning Business Partner…we’ll let Gino’s awards entry submission speak for itself: “The first 12 months was used to learn about construction edures and set up account and filing systems for record keeping and taxation reporting. Within the next five years she expanded her knowledge in the industry by preparing all budgets for various projects on hand and setting goals for improving profitability, handling all GST returns on a quarterly basis without mistakes having been audited by the ATO on three occasions. In the last three years her ambitious nature took over and she enrolled at the TAFE to become a builder. Having subsequently passed all building supervisor courses her ambition was to become a full registered builder to allow her more site involvement and allow our company to build more developments without the need for more outside supervision. Astrid has extraordinary skills and passes any new and positive ideas to all within her environment at work even though they sometimes resent change but she does not take no for an answer. If she knows it is correct and a better way to do something she will pressure for change. Astrid has taken on board what she has learnt about safety practices through her studies at TAFE and applies them to the business. She will not tolerate unsafe work sites. Astrid’s management of financial matters can never be questioned. She has a daily knowledge of the company position in relation to debtors creditors maintenance control and management of funds with limited flexibility. It has been a difficult but satisfying experience for her ”and she is always working on ways to improve and streamline the process.” A financial wizard, a gun accountant, a qualified building supervisor, and now holding a builder’s licence…what more could you ask for in a business partner. For Astrid Saraswati Vasile – 2009 WA Business Partner of the Year – though, Business Partner Network membership has all been part of the journey. “We’ve been members for the past eight years and it’s proved a valuable part of the business,” she says. “The information and services the HIA provides are really good, but the functions are really, really good to me. It’s great to be able to get together with other partners and discuss things with them…whether it’s business issues or personal. “The people are friendly, the events are great, and the information and networking opportunities that the BPN provides are really handy. “Being a business partner can be hard work, but to be recognised for my efforts with the award was really a thrill. My sincere gratitude to all of the HIA committee members, and others, who thought enough of me to recognise my efforts.”
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Women A Target For Builders Registration
Attracting more women to become registered builders has been an exciting outcome of the Master Builders state-wide Next Step Builder course which recommences on September 8. Master Builders Housing Director Gavan Forster said that while women traditionally played a supportive role to their male partners in building companies, the Next Step program has enabled more women to become registered builders in their own right. “There are only about 22 women who are registered builders in Western Australia out of a total pool of over 5,000, so there is plenty of room for improvement,” Mr Forster said. The Next Step Builder programme is a two hour course which explains the “rules of the game” to become a registered builder in Western Australia. It provides information on the various pathways to registration and advice on how to make an application. One-on-one assistance is also provided with preparation of an application to the Builders’ Registration Board. “Since the launch of the programme in 2007, around 1,000 people have attended the course. Around 200 people have achieved registration so far and another 250 are in the process of applying. It has been a great success,” Mr Forster said. “Master Builders is committed to the ongoing development of women in the building industry through its Women in Construction program”, Mr Forster added. “As the building industry recovers and skill shortages re-emerge, attracting more home grown builders including women to the industry rather than relying on overseas or interstate builders makes good sense,” Mr Forster concluded. Karen Brown, Registered Builder No 12852, achieved her registration in June 2009 after completing her Diploma of Builders Registration. She has experience in residential and commercial building. With previous roles as a project manager for Western Power and Hewlett Packard, Karen now plans to establish her own building company in Mt Lawley. Astrid Vasile, Registered Builder No 13046, achieved her registration in December 2009. She has a Master Degree in Business Administration and over 10 years experience in residential building in Western Australia and Indonesia.
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