Strathnairn Charity House takes shape as construction progresses.

It’s hard not to have a sense of local pride as you drive along Asimus Avenue and see the efforts of dozens of local tradespeople come to life as the Strathnairn Charity House takes shape.

The charity house project is a joint venture between Ginninderry and Master Builders ACT. MBA members, led by KANE Constructions, have donated almost $1m of materials and labour with proceeds from the sale of the house to be donated to Hands Across Canberra for distribution to three local charities.

The scale of the home is now apparent with work over recent months including cladding, bricklaying, windows and retaining walls.

KANE General Manager Jo Farrell is leading the construction effort and said that significant progress has been made thanks to the efforts of local industry.


“The support from a wide range of local suppliers and trades is making this project possible”

“Over the last couple of months, the steel frames and trusses have been installed by the incredible team from Steel Trusses Tech, we have had the Colorbond roof, fascia and gutter installed by Nicole and the team at Delnas Metal Roofing, and Proline Carpentry and Weathertex Australia have been busy getting the cladding in place”

“Bricklaying has been completed using discounted material supplied by Austral and installed by Rick Thorne Constructions, and a stunning stone retaining wall built by Gold Creek Landscapes is starting to frame the backyard beautifully.”

One challenge the project has highlighted is the shortage of bricklayers in Canberra, and indeed around Australia. While skills shortages exist across the full spectrum of trade roles, the issue is particularly acute in this area with bricklayers the most in-demand trade according to a recent trades availability index.

For a project that is also seeking to shine a light on the role of women in trades, the opportunity to highlight brick and block laying as a trade career for women is important to Jo.

“In line with the ethos of this project, I wanted to find a female bricklayer to work on the house but as it turns out, finding a bricklayer at all was a challenge”

“While a shortage of skills is a real issue across all trades, it seems that brick and block laying is facing a more acute challenge and I think it’s something we need to work together to address”

Tenille Reilly, Industry Engagement Officer at Brick & Block Careers Australia agrees and believes that now is a great time for those considering a trade career to consider brick and block laying, especially women.

“It’s an in-demand trade that offers great pathways and good earning potential and we’re actively encouraging more women to consider the opportunity”

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of women breaking the trend in our trade and I’d love to see it continue.”

Activity on site at the charity house is set to increase over the coming months as attention turns to the internals of the grand home and Jo says there’s lots of great features to look forward to.

“Electrical and plumbing works by all female teams is starting now and we’ll be working with Karen Porter at Solace Creations to complete the installation of window glazing over the coming weeks”

Construction on the house continues with completion targeted for the end of the year.

If you’re interested in learning more about a career in brick and block laying, visit

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