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Meet Gary: Ballarat's local painter


Gary Holdsworth has had a colourful career. A painter by trade, he has been colouring peoples’ homes for more than 25 years. “I was a bit of a beach bum when I was younger, but I knew I needed to settle down and do something with my life,” he says. “I was young, I saw there was a painting apprenticeship available, so I took it. I’ve been a painter ever since.”

After honing his craft as an apprentice in Williamstown, Gary spent the next eight years working for a painting company in Ardeer, in Melbourne’s west. But it was a move to regional Victoria that saw him swap his paint brushes for a project management role.

Gary, who grew up in Werribee, followed his work to Ballarat, where he quickly climbed the ranks to become a regional foreman and project manager. It wasn’t long before he started to miss being on the tools and, a few years later, took a leap of faith and decided to start his own business.“Being a project manager dominated my life too much,” he says. “I was never home, never saw my kids, was always on the road. I wanted to stay more local and have a better work-life balance. That’s when I went back to the brushes.”

And so was born G.H. Painting and Home Maintenance - Gary’s first foray into the world of small business ownership and, nearly a decade later, he has been using Metricon’s homes as his canvas ever since. “I’ve been with Metricon since day dot,” Gary says. “When I started on my own, Metricon was the first builder I painted for and I’ve been with them the whole time. Over the years I’ve developed good relationships with supervisors and area managers from Ballarat to Geelong and everywhere in between. It’s been like a family in a sense.”

Like any other business owner, Gary has had his fare share of ups and downs and admits there were days he questioned whether or not he’d made the right decision, but he says the support he received from Metricon helped him through the tough times. “Over the years I’ve had a couple of quiet patches. The first year was a bit concerning - always having to worry about what money I had coming in and going out but, once I got the cash flow going, it started to become a lot more manageable. I’ve been pretty lucky, actually.”

As well as a sense of support, camaraderie and community, Gary loves Metricon’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship. “When I started my apprenticeship everything was cut and roll,” he says. “I learned all the old school ways of painting and can now mix old school techniques with new school technologies to achieve a really good balance between efficiency and excellence. A lot of painters these days sit there and spray everything because it saves time - but the quality just isn’t there.”

While loving what you do is important, Gary says the best part about his job is being a role model for his kids. “Whenever I have the kids in the car, we’ll be driving past a house and I’ll say, ‘I painted this’ or ‘I painted that’ and they always roll their eyes and say, ‘we know dad, you’ve told us 50 times’. Sometimes they even point the houses out before I say it. It’s nice because they get to see that I take pride in my work. And if you don’t have pride in what you do, what's the point in doing it?”

For more information on Metricon's regional building services, click here, or visit one of our award-winning display homes.