Rockcote Enterprises co-owner and director, Chris Cameron was honoured with the ‘HIA Outstanding Achievement in the Industry’ award at 2017 HIA QLD Recognition of Women in Building and Construction Awards.

With nearly 30 years in the industry, the Sunshine Coast-based businesswoman has made significant contribution to supporting and advancing the roles of women in the industry.

Rockcote is a multi-award winning, multimillion-dollar manufacturer of toxin-free paints, textures, renders, render systems and natural building materials for residential and commercial use. Beginning as a two-employee setup (Chris and her husband Bob), Rockcote is today an 80-staff operation with over 50 product ranges and 300-plus distributors nationwide, in addition to Rockcote Resene in New Zealand.

In her acceptance speech, Chris encouraged other women to recognise and celebrate their own career successes and milestones. She also found all the finalists and winners very inspirational and was thrilled to see many more women making successful careers in traditionally male-dominated industries.

Throughout her career, Chris has been very vocal about supporting more women entering the industry as well as the role women play as key decision makers in the building and renovation process.

Some of Chris’ and Rockcote’s most significant achievements include:

  • 1998: Chris pioneered a pre-vocational course in solid plastering with TAFE to attract more women into the construction industry;
  • 1999: Rockcote created its Natural Materials range of natural paints, decorative finishes and natural renders using natural resources such as clay, lime and renewable materials including straw, hemp, bamboo, wheat and volcanic ash;
  • 2000: Rockcote created EcoStyle, the first range of Australian made, non-toxic, environment-friendly paints and coatings to be manufactured without the use of VOCs, dangerous chemicals or solvents;
  • 2003: Chris won the Queensland and National Telstra Business Woman Award. In 2006, she set up a ‘Tomorrow’s Entrepreneur’ program that encourages Telstra winners to take a male and female student from their local school to the Awards each year to help inspire, encourage and educate students;
  • 2006: Chris initiated and chaired a Transition and Innovation Board at her daughter’s high school to encourage students to commence apprenticeships and university studies whilst still within the school community, enabling students to get a ‘jumpstart’ in the workforce;
  • 2009: Rockcote’s Design Centre won the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Green Building Award;
  • 2010: Chris received an Honorary Senior Fellowship with Sunshine Coast University for her contribution to significant business development;
  • 2012: Chris was recognised as Business Entrepreneur winner at the Australian Financial Review Top 100 Women of Influence Awards;
  • 2016: Rockcote was ranked #24 in Australia’s Architecture & Design’s Top 100 Trusted Brands list.

Acting HIA Executive Director Michael Roberts said that HIA was delighted to be able to recognise through the Awards program the significant contribution being made by women to the residential construction industry. He added that the awards celebrate the leadership roles women are undertaking in a very male dominated industry.