FK Gardner and Sons cadet Alexandra Williams and apprentice Steve Truss each won an award in the Queensland Master Builders Awards.
FK Gardner and Sons cadet Alexandra Williams and apprentice Steve Truss each won an award in the Queensland Master Builders Awards.

FKG continues its winning ways

FK Gardner and Sons cadet Alexandra Williams and apprentice Steve Truss were recently recognised for their work in the construction industry, each winning an Award in the Queensland Master Builders Awards held in Brisbane and Toowoomba.

Alexandra received the Women in Construction Award for Downs and Western region while Steve won Apprentice of the Year for the Brisbane region.

The number of women working in the civil, construction and mining industries in both site and professional roles has increased in recent years, with more women drawn to the personal and financial rewards.

Alexandra, 25, knows all too well the pros and cons of working in a male dominated field.

"I often get called the secretary or the personal assistant but I am quick to voice my title and they usually look at me stunned for a moment and then it is down to business," Alexandra said.

By her own admission Alexandra recognises the stereotype that can come with a female working in a male dominated industry but manages to maintain a work life balance and enjoy the typical interests of many women.

"When I started with FKG I wasn't sure of my career path, it was a big change from waitressing to construction however I have found it incredibly rewarding working for a company that encourages my professional growth as well as knowing that I will also be supported when I choose to start a family," she said.

Alexandra's passion for construction stemmed from a very early age whilst carrying out Work Experience in design and architecture during high school. 

She then studied construction management at QUT, working and studying at the same time.

"My first position in construction began as an administrator with a road surfacing company which gave me a solid understanding of the industry and assisted me in securing a position at FKG," Alexandra said.

"My ultimate career objective is to be a project manager, so I feel as though my university degree will assist me along with the guidance I have received from my Project Manager."

Alexandra was excited to be announced category winner for the 2012 awards given the high calibre of entries and realises the award is a positive occurrence in her career.

"Winning an award from a national body is something that every person aspires to and I feel motivated to work harder both in my role and at university," Alexandra said.

Apprentice Steve chose an alternative pathway to Alex, opting for a more hands on, site based role which he did not initially see himself doing having worked in his family's mechanical ventilation company for many years.

"Whilst I enjoyed my time in the family business I wanted to build on my existing skills and knowledge and follow a career in the construction industry," Steve said.

Steve's first role at FKG was as a site Labourer but was soon put into FKG's apprenticeship program after he was identified as having the qualities of a good tradesman. 

"I have found FKG to be extremely supportive throughout my career and the apprenticeship program has allowed me to undertake a Certificate III in Carpentry and assist on massive multi - million dollar projects like the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal," he said.

"For me to be recognised by Queensland Master Builders for my effort is a great achievement and will take me one step closer in my ultimate goal to become a Site Foreman."

Both Steve and Alex are the ideal role models for up and coming building industry professionals, both showing drive and passion for their jobs.

In addition to Alexandra and Steve's accolades FK Gardner and Sons received nine awards through Queensland Master Builders across Brisbane and Downs and Western regions including Apprentice Employer of the Year.