Ben Madden is the founder and owner of one of the most innovative joinery firms in Australia. His passion for unique designs and quality output have given his company, Capital Veneering, a reputation for producing world-class residential and commercial joinery and bespoke furniture. Ben’s work can be seen inside Parliament House, The Canberra School of Music and the Australian Federal Police headquarters as well as in private homes cross Australia.
Looking back on his professional achievements to date, Ben traces his success back to the opportunities he had at the very beginning of his career.
Ben embarked on the BBM Global Industry Scholarship in 1998, to work in the UK with some of the world’s best cabinet makers at Mark Asplin Whiteley, creating furniture for luxury hotels, yachts and private homes.
Back in Australia, at just 24 years of age, Ben started his business Capital Veneering. He believes the BBM Global Industry Scholarship fast tracked and developed his aspirations and confidence, and that without it he would not have started a business so young.
Today, Ben does not only contribute to his industry by pursuing innovation and creative designs, he also gives back by passing his skills, knowledge and passion on to young people in his company. He knows the value of expert coaching to succeed in his trade and employs 15 apprentices among his 80 staff. To date Ben has employed over 40 apprentices and trained many more by teaching cabinet making at the Canberra Institute of Technology.
Passing on his cutting-edge knowledge about manufacturing a quality product is not the only step Ben takes to help futureproof his industry. He also pursues innovation for sustainability:
“Having worked on many Green Star projects, Capital Veneering understands the value of being environmentally conscious and endeavour to use sustainable materials wherever possible. We focus heavily on waste minimisation through innovation in software and machine technology. One example of this is the process of reducing all our timber products to dust then compacting the dust into briquettes. This reduces our waste by a ratio of 4:1”
In 2017, Ben joined the Board of BBM Youth Support, bringing his knowledge of business operations and his experience as a BBM Industry Scholar to build the strategic direction of the organisation and ensure the scholarships continue to have both personal and industry impact.
The trophies that each BBM Global Industry Scholarship cohort receives at our annual awards night have been designed by Ben and are manufactured by his apprentices in his factory in Queanbeyan.
Ben has provided a bench mark for what young people can achieve with opportunity and talent, but his advice to future BBM Industry Scholars is simple: “Embrace the opportunity, make the most of it and learn as much as you can and bring those skills back with you and further develop them.”
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