Jamie Hawley used to cut timber for a living. Now he is becoming a timber craftsman with Virtue Projects
“It is a little bit boring going back to school. Sitting through the simple stuff again like OH&S and being shown how to use a handsaw. We aren’t even on power tools at the moment at TAFE. It should start kicking off pretty soon. Get a bit more interesting…”
Jamie Hawley is 9 months into a mature-aged apprenticeship with Virtue Projects, but this isn’t his first brush with sawdust.
“I’ve done many years of work on construction sites, but recently I was like I need to get myself some sort of qualification. I rang up the Virtue boys and they said they could give me a start.”
At 34 years old, Jamie already has a rich working experience behind him, being a fully-qualified arborist and running his own business maintaining fire trails in remote locations and keeping power lines clean. He even had an earlier stint as a professional skateboarder too (being the first Australian rider on the Element skateboard team back in the day).
While his working life has had some chapters written already, the constant theme has been his desire to work with wood
“I’ve always wanted to work with wood, ever since high school. I don’t know why I didn’t take up a trade earlier.”
“I love the smell of wood. Cutting down trees as an arborist, I was working with wood then too. Doing my apprenticeship seemed like an obvious thing to do at the end of the day.”
Like many other carpenters, Jamie enjoys the finer details in joinery as well as the satisfaction from framing and seeing a home really come together before his eyes. And like many other carpenters before him, he doesn’t particularly enjoy the concreting…
The downside of concreting is something he can deal with for now though, given the bigger project he is working towards.
“I will eventually work on getting my builders license. Whether I follow through with being a builder is a different question. I am just going to go through, get my carpentry qualifications, get my builder’s license and have them done and dusted. Then I can decide what I want to do.”
Jamie is a great guy with a bright future in the industry and he is fitting in with the rest of the team quite nicely.
“Coming from a skateboarding background myself, I get along with many of the guys at Virtue Projects because a lot of the team are surfers, bodyboarders and that kind of thing.”
“It’s just a great crew and I am enjoying working with them.”
We won’t argue with you there Jamie.