When we first encountered a young Ben Madden in 1997, he was already showing talent as a successful cabinet maker. He won apprentice of the year in 1994 and 1995 in ACT and in 1996 had been awarded the bronze medal at a national World Skills competition. He was also working on and managing major projects for his employer at the time. But to really make the most of his potential Ben needed to push himself further, and he was looking for opportunities to do so. At BBM, we saw something special in Ben and were delighted to offer him and Award to travel to the UK to build his skills, knowledge and confidence.
While overseas, Ben worked at internationally recognised bespoke cabinet making firm Mark Asplin Whiteley, who create furniture for luxury hotels, yachts and private homes. This exposure to the best in his field, as well as the opportunity to travel alone developed Ben both as a professional as a person, and when he returned to Australia he was eager to progress further.
At just 24, Ben started his business Capital Veneering. He credits his Award with putting him on the fast track and developing his aspirations and confidence– without it he doesn’t believe he would have started a business so young. As it is, Ben has been a huge success and shares his success with other young people by employing more than 80 staff across three separate businesses, including 15 apprentices. Ben knows the value of expert coaching as well as mentoring and is driven to help others learn and succeed in their craft.
Ben also recently joined the Board of BBM Youth Support, bringing his experience as an awardee to build the strategic direction of the organisation.
Ben has provided a bench mark for what young people can achieve with opportunity and talent. As more awardees take up our international award experience, we can’t wait to see the success they will bring to themselves, their communities and Australia.