Alex - Tool Belt

Like most teenage boys, Alex wanted to follow in the footsteps of his idols. As a 17-year-old he counted visionary construction firms, property developers, architects, construction managers and supervisors among his many heroes and mentors.

Alex was training as a carpentry apprentice. Not content to just be on the tools, from a young age Alex set his sights on starting his own construction firm. He wanted to change perceptions of the industry for the better, to build everlasting skyscrapers comparable with the Eureka and Rialto towers and to then be counted alongside his heroes.

After hanging out at a friend's place one night in September 2012, Alex got on his motorbike to head home for work the following day. Just a few hundred metres away from his front door he took a shortcut through a petrol station to avoid having to stop at the red light. He knew these streets like the back of his hand. That textbook teenage boy confidence made Alex feel like he was invincible. This was a dangerous attitude, especially when combined with a high-powered motorbike and momentary lapse in attention. That night, Alex rode back onto the road at the same time as an oncoming vehicle.

The crash broke almost every bone in Alex’s body, from the vertebrae in his neck down to the navicular bone in his right foot, leaving him a quadriplegic and his dreams of becoming a builder in ruins.

In the years since, Alex has gone back to Victoria University to acquire his Diploma of Building and Construction, although only being able to complete 90% he received a letter of attainment. It would at least get his foot in the door of the industry he'd spent so long admiring from afar.

Before his crash, Alex prized the straps of leather he slung around his waist every day. The tool belt symbolised his entry into the industry where he was to begin his building journey and champion the changes he envisioned for the future.