MICK DUBOJSKI:As we near the opportunity to celebrate Mick’s birthday next month, we thought it would be appropriate to tell his story. By the way, he turns 73.
As a 21-year-old back in 1964 who had recently migrated to Australia looking for work in his local area, he applied for a position with a company called Newlands, which was based in Reservoir (not associated with the current day name built by Concept).
Having a trade certificate as a cabinet maker and carpenter, Mick began with this company and stayed there for nine years, when he decided to move to Hacienda Caravans, purchasing the company and running the business for three years.
Making and building many friendships in the industry, Mick moved on 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 until 1988, when there was a split within Windsor and Roadstar was born. 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) purchased the company, he took over as the production manager and remains in that position today. He cited the exciting changes that lay ahead for the company under the guidance of Ken as motivation to take up this position and be part of the future development, in particular the introduction of quality machinery such as CNC precision cut materials and the development of new cabinetry.
The caravan industry in conjunction with the Northern Institute of Technology conducting apprenticeship training and Mick, with his vast knowledge and experience in training apprentices at both Roadstar and Windsor, was called upon to train this young aspiring group of apprentices. Roadstar also played a major role in this training, supplying many of the components and engaging other suppliers to donate products to allow these students to build a van from scratch and the van was sold and the proceeds handed to charity.
We asked Mick what were some of the changes in the industry he saw and there were lots of them.
One of the interesting ones was the internal painting of a van. A van would be completely finished inside and the painters would come in and spray paint the entire inside of the caravan.
Thanks, Mick, for sharing your story in the first of our series. From all your colleagues and the many Roadstar owners who have enjoyed their vans and your craft over the many years, we wish you a very happy birthday.