Monthly staff news from the different Knauf sites in Australia.
Everybody at the Matraville plant got to know the unique flavours of Bangladeshi cuisine at the first Knauf Kitchen of 2020.
Michael Zhao celebrated 5 years of service at Knauf. Michael is a valuable member of our Finance team in Matraville. Congratulations Michael!
Altona enjoyed their first Knauf Kitchen of the year too. Theirs had a Mexican inspired menu.
After spending a couple of weeks in a slightly “cosier” environment, the Beenleigh Customer Service team is enjoying the space and new look of their freshly renovated reception area!
The heat didn’t stop the team at Orchard Hills, NSW from having a BBQ! It might have been 42 degrees outside, but everybody enjoyed a good hamburger (or two!). It was also the perfect occasion for another celebration: Manuel Toledo and Lance McLaren both had their birthdays in January.
November – December 2019
The festive season was celebrated in style at our various locations. Watch the video below!
Russell Raihan, Knauf Australia’s Chief Financial Officer, attended the Bi-Annual Group Finance and Controlling (FICO) meeting in Warsaw, Poland where he received an award on behalf of Knauf Australia’s Accounts Payable team. The award is for the best improved performance in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) rates over last year in the whole Knauf group. Congratulations to Gina Dhatt, Michael Zhao, Sarah Wu, Stella Zhang and Nhi Pham on this achievement!
Long service award
Congratulations to Jackson Witcombe who recently celebrated 15 years of service! With him are Knauf Australia MD Gavin Burton (right) and Logistics and Inventory Manager Adam Brown (left).
It was good to welcome Andreas Strauss (Sales Manager Export and Partner) to Australian shores in November. Andreas was here on visit from Germany to provide product training.
In Townsville pizza was on the Knauf Kitchen menu this month!
An important visit
The Consul-General of Germany, Peter Silberberg, and his wife Frauke visited Knauf’s Bundaberg plant during a recent visit to the area. They were the guests of the Bundaberg Regional Council following an invitation from Mayor Jack Dempsey to visit the region and learn more about local economic drivers. During their visit to the site Knauf Plant Manager Justin Weier gave them a tour of the factory and shared some of the successes of the past two years.
Supporting the firies
While everybody is looking forward to the Christmas break, Australian firefighters are fighting relentlessly to get the bush fires under control. That is why our staff at the Matraville site held a raffle to support them. Thank you guys! Read more here.
Bratwurst was on the Knauf Kitchen menu at Matraville this month and the tasty smoked sausages were a big hit. The guys from Fritz’s Wieners could hardly keep up!
Knauf staff attended the Women in Design and Construction ‘Gratitude’ event in Sydney on 27 November. It was the perfect opportunity to network, participate in lively discussions and look back upon an eventful year.
The Alfons Montebello Drive
The gypsum road leading to the hopper at the new gypsum handling facility at our Matraville plant was unveiled in November 2019. It has been named the Alfons Montebello Drive in recognition of Alfons’s service and effort over the past 28 years. Alfons Montebello is our Capital Projects Manager. The Gypsum Handling Project commenced in February, and we had a successful cutover to the new system in September this year.
ORCHARD HILLS DISTRIBUTION CENTRE
Staff at the Orchard Hills distribution centre in NSW recently had a double reason to celebrate. Margaret Thorpe and Michael Gray both celebrated their birthdays. It was a big one for Michael too (but we won’t give away his age..). The team got together for Knauf Kitchen and, of course, some cake!
Knauf Australia MD Gavin Burton and other Knauf employees attended the launch of the Climate Active trademark in the Sydney Opera House in November. The Climate Active brand is a simple yet powerful way for companies to demonstrate to customers and stakeholders that they have a credible and transparent claim of carbon neutrality. At Knauf Australia we are proud to be a founding member of the Climate Active Network – we have been supplying carbon neutral products to the construction industry since 2015.
Read more here.
We had a colleague from Indonesia, Miftahul Chaer, visiting us in Australia for a study tour of two weeks. Miftahul has recently been promoted to the position of National Sales Manager Indonesia, following multiple successful achievements as Operations Manager in Indonesia and the Philippines.
After Knauf engineer Navami Sunil and her team had been announced the runners-up in Constructathon 2019, they underwent an intensive six week incubator program. Thereafter they pitched back to the judges, who were clearly very impressed! Navami and her team are now waiting for further feedback. Their focus is “Making mental health and well-being an industry standard” . Well done Navami and team!
Congratulations to Commercial Sales Manager Steve King on winning the quarterly Knauf Sales Excellence Award! Managing Director Gavin Burton presented the award in recognition of Steve’s hard work, dedication and commitment.
It was a good month for Steve King! He also recently participated in the NSW Senior Open. He was one of 24 amateurs who joined 86 professionals for this challenging golf tournament at Thurgoona.
Line operator Shandel Wade was this season’s vice-caption of the Logan City Hawks Womens Rugby League team and took home a handful of awards at the club’s recent presentation and awards evening, including the Players’ Player award, Participation award and a Vice Captaincy award.
Keith Diversi was the Superstar of the Month in the Beenleigh office! He was nominated by Riana Roux.
The design and construction of a new roll forming machine is almost complete. The project started in August 2017 and is due to be finished by the Christmas closure. The roll forming table, profile cassettes, tilt table, flying shear and ejection systems have all been designed and made in-house. The safety guarding design has now also been adopted by a metal plant in Asia.
A recent article in the Bundaberg newspaper NewsMail focused on the success of our Bundaberg plant two years on. It highlights the culture of togetherness and the decision to employ people from the local community. Plant manager Justin Weier and production manager Kristin Gibbs were interviewed.
Knauf supported the 19th Annual Charity Golf Day at Rowes Bay Golf Club, Townsville and what a special day it was! A total of $31,000 was raised for Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia.
Julian Roborgh from our Matraville plant recently had the honour of presenting two employees with long service awards. Rod Espiritu can proudly look back upon 25 years of service and Mark McGrath celebrated 15 years of service.
VIRGIN PULSE GLOBAL CHALLENGE:
The Global Challenge kicked off on 4 September and it’s clear that there is a lot of healthy competition between the 34 teams who have registered for the event.
Knauf engineer Navami Sunil and her team were announced the runners-up in Constructathon 2019! More than 200 people from 60 companies participated in the recent event, described as Australia’s first construction hackathon. Navami and her teammates pitched their ideas on “Making mental health and well-being an industry standard” to the judges, and have now been invited to participate in a 6-week “incubator” to flesh out their ideas and bring them to life. Well done Navami and team!
Riana Roux from the Beenleigh Customer Service Team was selected by her workmates as September’s Superstar of the Month. Riana has been with Knauf for a total of three years. “I love working at Knauf because everyone I work with is amazing. They just make you feel part of the family,” she says.
Jessica Joy, Production Planner at our Altona plant and proud member of the Spotswood Wolves, recently played in the Senior Women’s Western Region Football League Grand Final. The Wolves were a mighty force to be reckoned with and won the game against the Carolina Springs Lakers 39-28.
Knauf Kitchen means getting together for lunch and catching up with workmates! The staff at Beenleigh enjoyed mac&cheese and burgers for this month’s event.
The Bundaberg plant celebrated its 2nd birthday on 6 September. The celebrations included good food for everyone and, of course, a birthday cake!!
There’s a new buzz in the air at the Altona plant, and it’s a coffee buzz. Cassie from Nespresso visited the plant this month to deliver a new Nespresso Coffee Machine and to host a coffee tasting session. Nespresso will recycle all used capsules which means that everybody will be able to enjoy their coffee without a guilty conscience.
The Altona Manufacturing Team had the pleasure of taking 19 members from Dennis Family Homes (Shepparton office) on a tour through the plant. Knauf Residential Sales Manager Tim Lawlor organised the event.
Altona staff celebrated the upcoming AFL Grand Final with BBQ sausages and party pies. They made use of the opportunity to celebrate Jersey Day and collected gold coin donations in support of organ donation.
It was build-your-own-burger day at this month’s Knauf Kitchen.
A large group of visitors participated in a tour of the Matraville plant. The group included professionals from Performance Drivers, Civiq, Sydney Trains and the Thales Group. The visit included a site workshop and a business overview, presented by Operations Director Andy Rylance. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the visit, and commented on the impressive pace of lean implementation at the site, highlighting the cleanliness, workplace organisation and excellent visual management.
We had the privilege of welcoming Christoph von Spesshardt Director Public Affairs Asia-Pacific – Knauf Insulation) and German Member of Parliament Carsten Muller at the Matraville plant this month.
Nationwide: Knauf proudly supported Jersey Day on 30 August. By wearing their favourite sporting team jersey our staff pledged their support for organ donation. Around 1,400 Australians are currently wait listed for a transplant. To become an organ donor, register at www.donatelife.gov.au.
Virgin Pulse Global Challenge: The Challenge kicks off in September and 34 Knauf teams have registered for the Challenge. Both Matraville and Altona raised awareness for the event by enjoying special and healthy breakfasts during the past month. Read more about the Challenge here.
Townsville: The Cowboys played their last game at 1300 Smiles Stadium on 29 August and a couple of Knauf employees and our valued customers were in the crowd to cheer them on. Knauf products have been specified for the construction of the North Queensland Stadium in Townsville, due to open in February 2020 with a special Elton John concert.
Long service awards:
- This month two Beenleigh employees celebrated special milestones in their Knauf career. Accounts Administrator Caroline Hussen received a certificate to celebrate 5 years’ of service and Machine Operator / Packer Sid Azri received his certificate for 15 years.
- Michael Bahn, Senior Operator at our Altona plant celebrated 25 years of service. Plant Manager Adrian Klietz presented him with his certificate .
- At our Matraville plant, Regional Sales Manager Nigel McKenna and Plant Controller Avin Verma celebrated 5 years’ service certificates.
AWCI Awards nights: Knauf employees joined in the glamour and prestige of the AWCI Awards evenings held in the various states over the past month where contractors and manufacturers came together to celebrate the best in the industry.
Matraville: Despite the windy conditions on the day, a couple of Matraville employees and their families participated in the City2Surf in Sydney on 11 August, covering a 14 kilometer course. Over 80,000 participants helped to raise more than $4 million for multiple charities.
Jose Motato, Silvia Lima and Justin Weier participated in the Cane2Coral Fun Run on Sunday. Knauf is a sponsor of this annual event.
Matt Dennis from AWCI Queensland visited the Bundaberg plant this month. Plant Manager Justin Weier gave Matt a guided tour of the facilities and introduced him to staff.
Knauf Kitchen: Employees at the various plants again enjoyed Knauf Kitchen this month. At Beenleigh the humbling Ping Pong Challenge added some fun and entertainment, while the ice cream truck paid a surprise visit to Altona. Staff at Matraville enjoyed paella (always a favourite!) on 7 August. The monthly Knauf Kitchen is a good opportunity for staff to get together socially on a workday to enjoy a meal together.
Nationwide: The lucky draw to win one of 25 Knauf gift packs has been very popular. The Knauf Marketing Team received entries from all over Australia, and 25 winners were randomly drawn. The gift packs, including a single-pouch genuine suede tool bag with two pockets and three sleeves, two Knauf pencils and one knauf.solutions beanie, have been sent to all the winners. Congrats to the lucky 25!
Heathwood: The team at the Knauf Heathwood distribution centre in Queensland is celebrating 7 months at the new premises after relocating from Oxley at the end of last year. From here Operations Supervisor Sharon Brailey, Warehouse Supervisor Kurt Hanson and Forklift Operator Pietro Spinosa service our local PlastaMasta Centres and contractors. The team takes safety very seriously and is celebrating 15 LTI free years this year. To commemorate this achievement, they are all training to compete in the 10 km Bridge to Brisbane Fun Run on 25 August 2019. Go team!!
Beenleigh: National Sales Manager (Retail and International) Joe Mori (left) was the first recipient of the quarterly Knauf Sales Excellence Award! Sales Director George Mamic presented the award to Joe in recognition of his hard work and commitment and his willingness to go above and beyond what is expected of him. Congratulations Joe!
Beenleigh: In July Jeff and Melissa Hoyling and the rest of the Lifestyle Interior Linings team visited the Beenleigh plant. The group did a tour of the factory and learned more about our products and systems.
Bundaberg: Knauf’s Technical Field Officer Gary McCarron recently visited the Bundaberg plant to run training sessions with the entire team. The sessions sparked some good discussion and provided insight into plasterboard application and the experience of the end user. Knauf Bundaberg started producing plasterboard at the brand new, state of the art factory two years ago.
Matraville: This month Wayne Dunstan and Anthony Turnbull from the Matraville plant celebrated 25 years of service excellence. They both joined the company in 1994 when it was still a joint venture between Lafarge and Pioneer. Their commitment and contribution were acknowledged with a special lunch and Plant Manager Greg Bartlett handed out long service certificates. Congratulations on this special milestone Wayne and Anthony!
Altona and Beenleigh: Both plants enjoyed Knauf Kitchen this month. In Altona the roasted buffet was a big hit and in Beenleigh staff had the opportunity to choose between a chicken breast burger and a beef rissole burger. Knauf Kitchen is a popular event on the Knauf calendar. It gives everyone a break from their daily task to enjoy a meal together and to get to know their colleagues a little better. The organisers always try to provide a tasty variety with a nod to the company’s international character.