The 2015 Frame & Truss Manufacturer’s Association Australia’s (FTMA) Australia National Conference is the only national conference in Australia specifically targeting the frame and truss industry, with a particular focus on the fabricators.

Delegates were treated to a conference that felt more like a beach holiday, with the calm surrounds of the Novotel Twin Waters as a backdrop.

FTMA Executive Officer and organiser of the much anticipated conference event, Kersten Gentle, was thrilled with the initial feedback.

“I apologise for not getting the opportunity to catch up with everyone or say farewell; however, I understand the networking went on well into the night – or morning for some!” she said.

The event was well received by members, who appreciated the FTMA’s efforts to provide a unique conference experience.

By unique, we mean the ice-breakers on day one: a choice between a Segway tour which included the somewhat scandalous ‘Seglympics’ and a golf tournament for the remaining guests.

Delegates attended the ice-breaker barbecue on the beach for dinner accompanied by laser clay shooting – an activity that brought out the competitive alter egos of many once again.

The FTMA conference aimed to engase with the key issues in the industry, and to provide a forum for industry members to network, but also to discuss these issues and ways to tackle them moving forward.

The industry was treated to sessions from esteemed speakers, including:

  • FTMA supporting the Australian Frame & Truss Industry: A presentation by FTMA Board Member Shelena Serrano from Vekta on the future activities and vision of the association;
  • Prefabricated Flooring: Alastair Woodard of WoodSolutions was joined by a panel of fabricators to explore the development of timber prefabricated ground flooring and advised members of the upper storey cassettes project that FTMA Australia had been working on;
  • Save your business money by upskilling: ForestWorks Chief Executive Officer Michael Hartman spoke about the real benefits of upskilling to provide greater benefits to your business;
  • Housing Market Analysis: the Housing Industry Association’s Chief Economist Harley Dale provided a detailed look at the National Housing Market, including forecasts for each state and the key issues currently facing the housing markets;
  • What WoodSolutions can do for you: WoodSolutions provides independent, non-proprietary information about timber and wood products to businesses involved in building design and construction. How can they help our sector?;
  • What is your business worth and how do you maximise its value: A presentation by the experienced John Simon;
  • Detailers and Estimators Skill Levels: Without set levels and targets, it is hard to determine whether you are paying enough, whether you are paying too much, or whether the industry as a whole is out of touch;
  • Industry Clusters – What is the benefit? No single company alone has the ability to solve the industry’s most challenging problems. Working together creates new opportunities for growth and productivity;
  • Timber Waste Management: Millions of dollars is spent every year by the industry to dispose of timber waste – but there are ways you can minimise your costs and maximise the opportunities with daily waste; and,
  • Job Management Software: Software that helps your business in the vital areas of tracking quotes, production and delivery. Streamlining these tasks saves your business time and money.

The sessions were broken up by the FTMA fast five, which gave delegates an opportunity to openly discuss topics such as safety innovation, employee incentives, industry value and future focus for the industry with the speakers and panellists.

During the closing conference dinner a Lifetime Achievement award was given to both Ross Raynor and TimberTrader News’ own Greg King, with both men acknowledged for their contribution to the industry.

There was also a Vale to Barry Warren by Leon Quinn from Tilling. The post-event survey is out now, so please contact Kersten Gentle at if you have any feedback or would like to express interest in the next national conference event.


For more information contact Kersten Gentle on 0418 226 242.