August 2016

Staff recount  their experiences

Birthday and anniversary celebrations at Roadstar

Mick Dubojski, Roadstar

Mick Dubojski: building friendships

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BIRTHDAY and anniversary celebrations are in the air at the Roadstar Caravans factory in Victoria.

Long-term employee Noel Zammit notched up another milestone when he recently celebrated 38 years in the caravan industry.

Meanwhile, production manager Mick Dubojski will be blowing out the candles as he marks his 73rd birthday this month.

Mick migrated to Australia in 1964 as a 21-year-old and began looking for work in his local area.

He successfully applied for a position with a company called Newlands, based in Reservoir and not associated with the current-day product built by Concept.

Having a trade certificate as a cabinet maker and carpenter, he stayed there for nine years when he decided to move to Hacienda Caravans ... buying the company and running it for three years.

Making and building many friendships in the industry, Mick moved to Windsor Caravans which would eventually be owned by an old colleague at Newlands, Joe Mio.

The manufacturing process was broken into various sections and Mick headed up the Shell section there until 1988 when there was a split within Windsor.

This resulted in Roadstar being born and employees were given the choice of where they would continue their working career.

Mick went with the Roadstar team and in 2008 when current owner Ken Nizam from Hi Tech Engineering, Roadstar's chassis manufacturer, bought the company he took over as the production manager and remains in that position today.

He saw the introduction of quality machinery such as CnC precision cut materials and the development of new-style cabinetry.

Mick now now uses his vast knowledge and experience to train groups of apprentices under a scheme launched by the caravan industry in conjunction with the Northern Institute of Technology.

Roadstar played a major role in this training, supplying many of the components and engaging other suppliers to donate products to allow students to built a caravan from scratch and sell it for charity.

Mick has seen many changes in the caravanning industry.

One of the more interesting ones was the internal painting of a caravan.

"A 'van would be completely finished inside and the painters would come in and spray paint the entire inside of the caravan," he explained.



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Noel Zammit, Roadstar
Noel Zammit: a man with many talents

Stalwart Noel recalls 38yr
career in the industry

Noel Zammit began his career straight from school as a 17-year-old.

After studying design and with a great interest in woodwork, he landed a job with Windsor Caravans.

He worked there for 10 years in a variety of roles but predominantly in design, production planning and purchasing.

He was certainly a man with many talents and decided to be part of a new company ... Roadstar, which was formed in 1988.

Continuing in his role as a designer and production planner, he became part a formidable team which was soon to become renowned for the high quality Roadstar caravans.

"A real caring and nurturing philosophy was being built into the DNA of Roadstar Caravans, which continues today," he said.

Noel explained that if you didn't care, then you wouldn't stay in the industry or with Roadstar Caravans for 38 years.

Commenting on changes has he seen during his years at Windsor and Roadstar, he said caravans in the early part of his career were more basic.

Air conditioners and roll-out awnings were options, not standard.

Wiring was not as complex and the only visual difference in caravans was the colour scheme.

There were fewer models, too.

Noel said regulations brought significant improvements to electrical, plumbing and gas work, and there has been a move from traditional-style furniture.

He said this is what customers now demanded in their 'vans as they become more adventurous, with free camping becoming more popular compared with caravan parks back in the early days of caravanning.

Roadstar had introduced smooth cladding and successfully faced the challenges of keeping the weight of RVs down, he added.