The rural township of Texas in Queensland can now lay claim to one of Australia’s best after builder Paul Schaefer was recognised in the IRWIN Tools National Tradesmen Day honours.
47-year-old Schaefer beat eight other nominees from across Australia to the $10,000 cash prize plus $500 worth of IRWIN Tools.
In the first event of its type, IRWIN Tools instigated National Tradesmen Day as a way for everyday people to say ‘Thanks’ to those who build and maintain the world we live in. It also highlights those tradespeople that not only perform these important tasks, but also give back to the community with the work they do and people they inspire. Therefore the weekly winners were nominated by fellow tradespeople or the general public.
Texas has a modest population of 950, but Schaefer received multiple nominations. All spoke about his craftsmanship, his work on a number of community projects and his lead on encouraging people into a trade qualification.
“The ‘Go To’ man in Texas Paul has a long list of clients who speak highly of his work and efficiency,” said Laura Turnbull, Marketing Director for IRWIN Tools APAC.
“In making the decision we looked at the fact that despite coming from a small town, he takes on apprentices and is also active in mentoring young people into employment and encouraging them into a trade.
“He never says no to jobs that benefit the community and is one of those quiet achievers whose results speak volumes. IRWIN Tools is delighted that Paul Schaefer is the inaugural winner of the National Tradesman of the year.”
Originally from Toowoomba, Schaefer started his apprenticeship in his home town before completing his certificate in Goondiwindi where he worked for nine years. He went to Texas for a three month job to renovate a house for a client – that was 17 years ago!
“I was humbled to be nominated, delighted to receive one of the $500 weekly tool prizes and then to win the $10,000 in cash from IRWIN Tools had me gobsmacked,” said Schaefer.
“It’s terrific that IRWIN Tools has put on a day to recognise the tradies out there. I’m really pleased to see that it’s about people who are not tradies that are given the opportunity to say thanks.
“I enjoy the lifestyle and people of Texas and I’m really happy to do the volunteer stuff around the town. It’s in that environment that I appreciate what I can do on the tools and how it benefits others.
“I have had apprentices and even youngsters that have been with me who have benefited from learning a work ethic. Schooling is not for everyone and there are plenty of good kids out there who have the skills and in the right environment can really flourish.”