FIAA Exclusive Member News

Christmas Newsletter 2016

16 Dec 2016


On behalf of the Board of Directors and the FIAA team, we would like to wish you all Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year!

In our 2016 Christmas issue, we have done a final wrap up for the year with a few important issues that may be relevant to you and your business.

In our Christmas Newsletter, that was sent out to members you will find information on:

  • Complimentary webinar - Termination of Employment
  • Superannuation update - important changes to legislation
  • 2017 International Tour to Interzum
  • Complimentary health check for FIAA Members and cost and pricing tool
  • Changes to standard form contract law
  • Can apprentices claim unfair dismissal?
  • Tax cuts - withholding amounts changes
  • Complimentary Trends eBook - bathroom, kitchen, home
  • Members add your free business listing to FIAA website
  • Social Media

We look forward to working with you all in the New Year,

Dean Brakell                                                                                                             

FIAA Est 1948

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Winter Newsletter 2016

29 Aug 2016

Welcome to FIAA's 2016 Winter Newsletter

From the CEO

FIAA  firstly would like to thank the members who have renewed their membership and for your support in being a member of our association. Our members are the most important element of our association. It is through our members that the organisation flourishes and your membership means a great deal to us.

FIAA have been busy throughout the year with Workplace Hot Topic seminars presented to our members in regional areas of NSW including Coffs Harbour, Tamworth and the South Coast, and a future seminar planned for South Australia along with an upcoming seminar on Subcontractors organised for Western Australia.

We have also been hitting the road with our HR Manager and Business Services Manager catching up with many of our members at their workplace to discuss workplace topics or to review their workplace documents/policies.

We would also like to say thank you to everyone who visited our stand at AWISA in Melbourne this year and who took the time out to come and visit our recharge station, or to have a coffee. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with members from all areas with some members as far afield as the Northern Territory!

Now we look forward to the FIAA Industry Conference in 2017 – and we look forward to seeing you there. (keep a look out for further information on the conference in the coming months)

FIAA are still heavily involved in the review of Australian Standard 4386 Domestic Kitchen Assemblies (Committee BD089, Cabinets in the Built Environment) with the final draft being completed as we speak. The final draft will be sent for public comment later in the year. FIAA will advise all of our members when the Standards are published for public comment.

We would also like to remind members to keep a look out for the notice of the upcoming FIAA AGM being held on the 18th of November, with all members invited to attend. Further information on the AGM will be sent out in the coming weeks.

Thank you again to our members for their continued support.

Dean Brakell   



FIAA est 1948

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Autumn Newsletter 2016

26 Apr 2016

April 2016

Welcome to FIAA's Autumn Newsletter.  We have decided to present the newsletter in a different format from previous newsletters and hope the updated format provides a more streamlined view for our readers.  

FIAA have been quite busy this year with being invited by the Department of Fair Trading to comment on further changes to the Home Building Act and the New NSW Complaints Register.

FIAA has been heavily involved in the review of Australian Standard 4386 Domestic Kitchen Assemblies (Committee BD089, Cabinets in the Built Environment) with the final drafting meeting of the review conducted in April.  The final draft will be sent for public comment later in the year.

FIAA would like to thank all of the members who have contributed to this review and will advise once the Standard has been published for public comment.

We would also like to say thank you to all the members that participated in the recent member survey and huge congratulations to Willow Joinery on winning the iPad Mini.

It is great to hear the views and opinions of our members, as your responses will assist us with developing continuous improvement strategies for products and services, now and in the future.

The FIAA Board of Directors will meet on May 6 to discuss the survey results and other industry feedback and formulate the Associations plan for the next 3 years.

FIAA will be announcing further service offering for our members in the not too distant future, so keep a look out for announcements through our email alerts.

Dean Brakell



Est 1948 

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2015 Christmas Newsletter

11 Dec 2015

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the FIAA team, we would like to wish you all Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

FIAA has now moved into new premises at Somersby, and held our inaugural Board meeting in November. Many members have contributed to the fitout, and the quality and service provided to date has been outstanding. Thank you.

Welcome new Board Members

FIAA would like to welcome the addition of two new Board members.

Robyn Burns is the Commercial Manager for Borgs Manufacturing and David  Galea from euroForm. Both bring a high level of business and industry knowledge to the FIAA Board.

FIAA chairs the Kitchen Standard review

We are pleased to announce that drafting the new standard has commenced. A short survey will be sent to members for feedback. Alternatively, if you would like to recommend any changes to the current standards, please contact Dean Brakell directly at

Other Business

A new Bathroom Contract will be made available to FIAA members in the New  Year and an update to the current contracts will be made to include Asbestos  related clauses so as to protect members and consumers in the event asbestos is located after the contract has been signed. A memo will be sent to all  members once these updates have been finalised.

Thank you also, to the Western Australian Furniture Manufacturers Association members, who gave up their time during a recent visit in October.


Dean Brakell

CEO, FIAA est. 1948

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Winter Newsletter 2015

23 Jun 2015


On behalf of the FIAA Board of Directors, we are pleased to announce that FIAA has purchased property in Somersby on the Central Coast of NSW. FIAA has rented property for the past 5 years and will move into the new premises by September. The purchase will be part funded with the sale of one of FIAA’s Newington properties (purchased back in 2003).

FIAA can now confirm financial members in every state and territory in Australia representing the furnishing, cabinetmaking and joinery sector. Thank you to all the current members for their continued support.

There has been an instant reaction to the FIAA Australian Particleboard, MDF and Plywood Specifying and Buying Guide sent to all State and Federal Procurement departments and related industry Associations. Both the NSW and South Australian government departments have requested meetings with FIAA to discuss this policy direction.

FIAA, in conjunction with a long term Commercial Furniture member, sent a sample desk bench top (imported office furniture) to the EWPAA for testing. The results found the desk top complied with Australian Standard 4266.16.2004 Reconstituted wood-based panels, method 16: Formaldehyde emission, but failed 4266.35.2004 Reconstituted wood-based panels, method 35: Dimensions of test pieces (failed the swelling test). This is further evidence to suggest that Government procurement policy should ensure that all imported furniture and related products meet Australian Standards. FIAA will continue this argument. Thank you to the EWPAA for testing this material.

We are pleased to announce that FIAA members will be represented on two Australian Standard committees. CS-088 Furniture – Domestic and Commercial, Technical Committee and BD-089 Cabinetry in the built environment – Commercial and domestic. Both important committees and represents almost 90% of our current membership. Thank you to all the members who have contributed so far to these standard reviews.

FCJA Industry Forums finish up in Canberra on August 20, 2015. These seminars, held all around the country, have been highly successful and well attended by industry. Karen Andrews, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science, will be in attendance at the forum.


Dean Brakell

CEO, FIAA est. 1948

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Autumn Newsletter 2015

1 Apr 2015


FIAA is pleased to announce the 'Future Proof your Business' conference to held at Sydney Olympic Park, 18 September 2015. The conference will focus on current trends, finance, sales and marketing and the future of manufacturing.

An array of speakers have already been confirmed for this event and we look forward to announcing the line up shortly. Save the date!

The conference forms one part of FIAA's event calendar this year. FIAA will also be conducting a regional and interstate breakfast seminar series in October. 

NSW saw recent changes to the Home Building Regulation. FIAA was the only industry association that lobbied for the removal of home owners warranty insurance from the built in furniture and kitchen sector.

A procurement guide has been commissioned by Industry Edge outlining the risks associated when purchasing non-compliant timber and timber related product. A copy of this guide can be found on the FIAA website, under the forms/reports tab and is free for all members.

This guide will be sent to all government procurement departments and specifiers.

Businesses uses E0/E1 materials should display the label on the finished product. For more information on the E0/E1 labels, please contact the FIAA office on 1300 FIAA 4U.

We are pleased to also announce that FIAA members have been invited into the CMDA Awards this year. All information can be found on the FIAA website for businesses wanting to enter into the awards.

Dean Brakell


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Christmas Newsletter 2014

9 Dec 2014


Successful FIAA road show         

We would like to thank the members who attended the FIAA Road show in October. The FIAA team conducted breakfast information sessions in Coffs Harbour, Tamworth, Canberra, Wollongong and Adelaide. The sessions gave an update on Award coverage, transitional arrangements, bullying in the workplace, recent changes to legislation with consultation requirements for businesses, training options, FCJA and the META Manufacturing Hub to name a few of the discussion points.

The sessions were well received by the members who attended and FIAA plans to conduct further road shows in 2015 as part of our events program.

Industry contraction continues

A further reduction in industry businesses has seen 8 FIAA members close their doors in 2014. FIAA has held discussions with AusIndustry representatives on the Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Program. Experienced Business advisors will provide eligible businesses with a business evaluation and develop a thorough view on -

  • relative strengths and weaknesses;
  • strategic business issues;
  • critical areas for business improvement; and
  • potential pathways for growth.

Would like to know more? Please contact Dean Brakell at the FIAA offices for more information

Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation

The Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation commences on 30 November 2014. It will require importers of most timber products to undertake ‘due diligence’ to ensure there is little of no risk of products being made from illegally logged timber. The Timber Development Association (NSW) (TDA) has developed tools and training for importers and saw millers. Details can be located at or the Australian Department of Agriculture

FIAA would like to acknowledge Stephen Mitchell from the TDA for providing this information.

A lot has been written lately with the roll out of ‘Smart & Skilled’ for NSW Training. While FIAA’s Registered Training Organisation (RTO) can be counted as one of the few RTO’s that secured contract allocations for 2015. The areas of funded delivery for Cabinet Making have now been greatly reduced to just the Sydney and the Hunter regions not including Newcastle.

FIAA tendered to deliver training to every corner of NSW. As a not for profit industry association, founded in 1948, by the industry for the industry, FIAA will still service those areas - even though we are not funded to do so - but this will, undoubtedly, throw up some challenges not only for FIAA but also for the entire industry. There is already an identified skill shortage of qualified cabinetmakers in the industry. We get calls daily from members trying to fill vacancies for skilled trades people for both factory and installation roles. Smart & Skilled will force the industry back to trade training with the government owned and operated trade colleges, TAFE, or away from accredited training altogether.

A majority of the industry demand flexible work-based training. Training when they want it, starting when they want it and according to current industry requirements. FIAA is working on another training model to still provide the industry with what the industry demands.  FIAA’s training places and areas where there is government funding available has been greatly reduced under the new contract. Under the current arrangement, FIAA was funded to deliver much needed cabinet making training to areas such as Wollongong, Sydney, Central Coast and Newcastle with more than 50% of all apprentices using FIAA as their preferred provider. This is a blow to FIAA, but more importantly, this is a blow to the industry as a whole.

This arrangement has only recently been announced and we will be working over the Christmas period to produce a training model that will not only encourage new entrants into the industry to address the skill shortage but also address what industry demands - flexible, on-demand, work-place based training. 

FIAA has written to various Ministers and the Department without a proper response. A looming election will surely open the deaf ears of Government Ministers.



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Spring Newsletter 2014

16 Sep 2014


 The AWISA show held in Brisbane has come and gone and thank you to all the FIAA members and industry partners who visited our stand. I would personally like to congratulate both Ezra Loechel from South Australia (Walls Bros Designer Kitchens and Furniture) and Craig Jones from the ACT (Select Custom Joinery) who both won the John Tiddy Award presented at the AWISA breakfast. Two fine young gentlemen and worthy recipients of this prestigious award. Both Ezra and Craig are trained through the FIAA training scheme.

The Australian Standard review of the current Kitchen Standard has not progressed due to illness of a critical member of the committee. FIAA has been asked to chair the Kitchen Standard review and kick it back into action. FIAA will provide members with an update on the review in early October.

A recent survey has been sent to members to gauge future services and partnership arrangements. An iPad mini is on offer to one lucky member so we encourage all members to fill in this short survey.

FIAA would like to thank those members who contributed to the Home Building Regulation 2014 position paper to finally (fingers crossed) exempt kitchens and built-in furniture from Home Owners Warranty insurance (sic). FIAA will keep members up to date on this issue as news comes to hand.

Thank you to all the members who have renewed or recently joined FIAA and for those members who have not yet renewed their membership, a pay-by-the-month option is available.'




Click on the link to read further articles in our Winter Newsletter

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Winter Newsletter 2014

17 Jun 2014


We would like to thank all the FIAA members who have already renewed their membership for 2014/15. Without your continued support, the Association would simply not be able to offer the current level of services. A thank you also to all the members who visited our stand during DesignEx.


We are yet to see the detail on the proposed Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Program that has replaced a plethora of industry assistance programs including Enterprise Connect. Information sessions are being held around the country and FIAA will carefully look at any programs that will assist our members and the industry.

FIAA, as an alliance member of FCJA, saw a successful Industry Leaders Forum held in Sydney. Speakers included Dale Seymour, the Anti-Dumping Commissioner and various government departments who outlined potential programs for our industry. More information can be found on the FIAA website. These sessions will be held in most capital cities over the coming months.

FIAA are proud to announce a partnership arrangement with the Timber Trades Industrial Association (TTIA). The TTIA can assist FIAA Members with WH&S Audits & noise assessments of their workplaces. The TTIA rates are very competitive and a number of FIAA members have already taken up this service. For further information on this service please contact our head office.

FIAA will be announcing a round of seminars and events for the next 12 months after feedback from a recent member survey including an update on the FairWork review of modern awards, Business Mentoring and a suite of online Webinars to name but a few of the proposed additional services for current FIAA members.

Work continues on the proposed changes to the Home Building Act (in NSW) and various state government procurement reviews; as soon as we are advised of any changes, we will let you know via the FIAA email alert service.

The review of the current Australian Standards for Kitchen Assemblies and Installation has unfortunately not progressed any further this year and an update will be sent out in due course.




Click on the link to read further articles in our Winter Newsletter

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