Houzz recognises CPF design partner

The annual people’s choice award from the Houzz community highlights home renovation and design professionals with most popular designs and top ratings.

Luke Rowlinson (director of Rowlinson Architects and supporter of CPF since its launch in 2017) was awarded a winner of the “Best of Houzz” award for Customer Service 2021 on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design.

Luke was chosen by homeowners and clients that comprise the Houzz community – Today Houzz has 40 million monthly users (updated 2020) – but when it launched a decade ago, the founders had much more modest goals. Houzz users can find inspiration, buy products and hire experts.

The Best Of Houzz badge is awarded annually, in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design awards honour professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community. Customer Service honours are based on several factors, including a pro’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in 2020.

A “Best Of Houzz 2021” badge will appear on winners’ profiles as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

This award is particularly meaningful as it reflects the sentiment of the of homeowners housing managers in the Houzz community who are hiring home professionals for their projects across Australia and around the world.

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From “living hell” to hope.

From “living hell” to hope and development of skills and opportunity in the “lucky country”

From a “living hell” in the Middle East to picking up industry-needed skills that will lead to greater job security, two refugees working on the new Lendlease Sales Office project in Yarrabilba have become a beacon for triumph over adversity.

Toiling away with new workmates, 45 kilometres south of Brisbane, Mohannad Shekho  from Syria and Sam Safdari  from Afghanistan are key members in a special residential housing project designed to set a new benchmark for environmentally-friendly and sustainable housing design, while also meeting National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Special Disability Assistance (SDA) requirements.

Creating Positive Futures was commissioned by Lendlease based on its partners’ design and construction capability, as well as its capacity to deliver the best collective impact and social purpose outcomes. The project is to build a house that meets the above disability standards which will be used initially as the new sales office and then become home to a family requiring this type of disability support.

Last year, CPF partners helped deliver Lendlease’s first Yarrabilba Sustainable Home. Its smart planning and design, including passive solar heating and cooling, insulation polished concrete flooring and glazed windows resulted in a 8.9-star NatHERS rating.

CPF Chair, John Godwin said the new project focused on delivering best-quality ‘triple bottom-line’ social and affordable housing solutions, as well as creating sustainable jobs, skills, mentoring and training opportunities for struggling Australians, new immigrants, refugees Indigenous Australians.

“Education, mentoring, training in industry-demand skills and on-the-job training are the greatest enabler for people who want a reliable job and a more fulfilling and productive career pathway,” Mr Godwin said.

“Our team’s goal is to always deliver best-possible project outcomes, while providing support, training and skills for the people most in need of a stable job and a sustainable career.”

Mr Safdari  aged 45, a refugee from Afghanistan who arrived in Australia in 2011, is now a fully accredited and licensed painter who worked with CPF project delivery partner, Access Employment Services.

Mr Shekho, aged 45, a refugee from Syria who arrived in Australia in 2016, is now a qualified engineer. He gained valuable experience with the CPF project planning, design and construct team – alongside Rowlinson Architects – this experience led to gainful employment in Sydney.

Both Mr Safdari and Mr Shekho had different journeys into the project team. Both were hard-earned. They escaped the “living hell” that was Afghanistan in 2011 and Syria not long after. Against all odds, both of them found their way to Australia.

Providing a sanctuary for desperate people fleeing oppression in other parts of the world, as well as helping them secure a job, is a big part of Australia’s history.

Since World War Two, more than seven million people have migrated to Australia, contributing to one of the most diverse nations in the world.

“Modern Australia is a nation built on immigration and shaped by the settlement experience of migrants and refugees,” said the Australian Government.

And, loudly and proudly sung at sporting events all over the world, the Australian national anthem seemingly embodies a timeless tradition – a promise – from the heart, mind and soul of its people.

-FQ  (2021 updates by LR)

“Australians all let us rejoice, 

For we are one and free; 

We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil … 

For those who’ve come across the seas, 

We’ve boundless plains to share.” 

“You can retire from a job, 

but don’t ever retire from 

making extremely meaningful 

contributions in life.” 

-Stephen Covey