After nearly 30-years of dedication to business excellence and providing significant contributions to advancing the roles of women in the industry, the Housing Industry of Australia (HIA) has honoured Chris Cameron with a special 'Outstanding Achievement in the Industry' Award at their recent ‘Women in Building and Construction Awards.’

The Sunshine Coast-based businesswoman is co-owner and director of Rockote, a manufacturer of toxin-free paints, textures, renders, render systems and natural building materials for residential and commercial use.

Originally starting off as a two-person operation (Chris and her husband Bob), Rockote now has over 80 staff, some 50 products as well as over 300 distributors nationwide, plus the Rockote Resene distributorship in New Zealand.

On accepting the award, Cameron said that she wanted to encourage all women “to celebrate your own successes and the contributions you also make”.

“I am thrilled to see more and more women making successful careers in traditionally male-dominated industries.”

“During my career, I’ve been very vocal about supporting more women entering the industry but also about the role that women play as key decision makers in the building and renovation process. Women have a lot of power in this space,” she said.

Some of Chris’ most significant achievements include pioneering a pre-vocational course in solid plastering with TAFE to attract more women into the construction industry; creating the Rockote Natural Materials range of natural paints, decorative finishes and natural renders, creating EcoStyle, the first range of Australian made, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly coatings to be manufactured without VOCs, winning the Queensland and National Telstra Business Woman Award, and in 2006, setting up the ‘Tomorrow’s Entrepreneur’ program that encourages Telstra winners to take students from their local school to the Awards each year to help inspire, encourage and educate them.

According to acting HIA executive director Michael Roberts, the HIA was delighted to be able to recognise through the Awards program the significant contribution that women are making to the residential construction industry.

“These awards are a celebration of the leadership roles women are undertaking in what is still a very male dominated industry,” he said.