Meet Chris: Diploma student with Builders Academy


“My advice for people taking on training to go to the next level is to stick at it. Time-wise it can be hard. Taking the time to educate yourself on top of work can be challenging. But stay motivated and it’s rewarding.”

We met up with Chris Douvos, a bricklayer who runs his own business and works with an apprentice: his son, Jourdan. Chris recently attained his builders license and he’s about to start a Diploma in Building and Construction with Builders Academy Australia to continue his professional development. To read about how continued training throughout his life has helped him in his career, and how mentoring has played a part in his journey, scroll through the gallery below. Cheers Chris!

Name: Chris Douvos

Age: 47

Job title: Bricklayer

“I’m old school. My dad was a bricklayer. First I did an electronic engineering degree but I needed the money so I started working with my dad as a bricklayer part time. My old man said, ‘Come work with me,’ so I did and I’m still doing it.

Dad retired about three years ago and I worked with my brother for about 20 years. Now I work with an apprentice, my son Jourdan.”

“There’s a huge demand for bricklayers. And people want brick homes – it’s a sign of quality. Bricklaying is hard work but it’s rewarding – I like the physical aspect of the work.”

“I’m starting the Diploma to better educate myself. I’ve been granted my license now and I’m just waiting for the insurance to come through. In a couple of weeks I’ll be a registered builder but I wanted to do the Diploma for my own professional and personal growth.”

“I’ve completed high school and I’ve done my Cert IV. I spent all last year applying for my license, getting my work history in order. Then this year I thought, ‘you know what? I’ll do my diploma.’ I’m looking forward to it. Then after that I’ll do my Bachelor’s degree.”

“My other son is in year 11 and I’ve got my certificate at home. I’ll say, ‘See, son. When you educate yourself.’ He goes, ‘You’re alright, dad, for an old man you’re alright.’ Gee, thanks son, I thought. At 47 I’m old, apparently. I think it’s never too late to educate yourself.

Jourdan is my apprentice and he wants to have his own bricklaying crew. Run his own jobs. He’s in the second year of his apprentice ship. It’s going well. It’s great. He’s motivated. He motivates me.”

“In the diploma I’m looking to learn more specific details and widen my knowledge. It’s more about project management, a lot more legislation and OH&S issues. If I want to get into more commercial projects, and I do, the Diploma will give me better knowledge.

When you get to more complex development, more commercial work with more trades, there’s more information you need to know. It’s a good stepping stone.”

“I want to get to the next level in the industry. In project management in civic commercial work you’re dealing with a lot of architects, designers and engineers. I’m hoping to get into government work as well. It’s not just your experience, it’s your qualifications that make the difference.”

“While going through the process of getting my license I received mentoring from Robert Schaasberg. Robert was available to all students that undertook the course. When I finished and got my certificate I met up with Robert numerous times to go through my experience and knowledge in the industry. He helped me with my application and technical report to submit to the VBA.”

“Robert assisted me with questions and plans that could be on the test. We covered everything from the Building Code of Australia to contracts and more. He was very thorough and had a great understanding of all aspects of the building industry. He always made himself available to me via text, email and phone calls. I would recommend all students going thru this process to take full advantage of Robert’s knowledge and experience.”

“My advice for people taking on training to go to the next level is to stick at it. Time-wise it can be hard. Taking the time to educate yourself on top of work can be challenging. You’re already working hard all day or all week. But stay motivated and it’s rewarding.”