Ray Kershaw, the director of Mondo Exclusive Homes in Doubleview, WA, has been named the WoodSolutions National Young Master Builder of the Year at the Master Builders Association’s annual awards held recently on the Gold Coast.

Mr Kershaw, 31, is the fourth West Australian in four years to win the top award, after Mandurah builder Chris Illis who won the award in 2012, Perth builder Ryan Cole who won the award in 2013 and Geraldton’s Serena Giudice in 2014, who was also the first female builder to win the award.

Already voted as WA’s best Young Builder of the Year by the Master Builders Association, Mr Kershaw won the WoodSolutions award at the MBA national conference. Running since 2008 to complement the MBA’s Apprentice of the Year Award, the Young Builder of the Year Award requires all entrants to be under 40 years of age.

Master Builders Director, Michael McLean said Ray Kershaw was a very deserving young winner of the prestigious award, having worked extremely hard as the founder and principal of Mondo Homes to establish an enviable reputation built on his commitment to quality workmanship.

Eileen Newbury, marketing and communications manager at Forest and Wood Products Australia, the industry services company resourcing the WoodSolutions program, said that innovations in timber construction, especially engineered wood products, are changing the way many designers and builders approach material specification for new projects, with younger builders like Ray expected to ride this new wave of working with timber.

Delighted to represent the younger generation in the building industry, Mr Kershaw said the industry can promote apprenticeships, upskilling youngsters who are coming out of school to strive for something. Mr Kershaw, who turns 32 in January, was WA’s youngest builder, getting his builder’s licence when he was just 25 after completing seven years of night school studies for the Diploma of Building on top of a carpentry apprenticeship. He also needed to gain over 5 years of experience as a site supervisor before he could get his builder’s licence. Mondo Exclusive Homes was launched almost six years ago.

The judges selected Mr Kershaw as the National Young Master Builder of the Year based on quality of work and craftsmanship. The judges considered the awards Mr Kershaw had already won and assessed the skills he had displayed as a master craftsman, also taking into consideration Mondo’s financial soundness, growth rates and expansion.