NEW START: Julian Harris from Kawana Cabinets found himself a job with the company after a month with its predecessor.
NEW START: Julian Harris from Kawana Cabinets found himself a job with the company after a month with its predecessor. Jann Houley

Former JM Kelly workers find new roles in time for Christmas

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MEET the faces of Kawana Cabinets - a new start for ex JM Kelly employees.

For Jeff Gallagher, a new opportunity after the recent collapse of his former workplace was "a godsend".

After he lost his job with the liquidated company earlier this year, Mr Gallagher found himself a new position with the newly-established Kawana Cabinets in North Rockhampton.


Warren Irwin at Kawana Kitchens
General manager of Kawana Cabinets, Warren Irwin. Jann Houley

A new door opened for him after a conversation with their general manager, Warren Irwin.

Mr Irwin had told Mr Gallagher there'd be a job for him at Kawana Cabinets and he now works in sales with the company.

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He has proved to be an asset to the company, having been involved in cabinetmaking for about 35 years and has knowledge of every aspect of the industry.


Gene Siddins at Kawana Kitchens
Gene Siddins at Kawana Cabinets. Jann Houley

"I worked my way from edging to foreman, site installations to assembly and sales," Mr Gallagher said.

The fallout of JM Kelly left Mr Gallagher feeling "gutted".

"We always knew they had money dramas but we thought one day, they'd just get out of it," Mr Gallagher said.


New staff at Kawana Kitchens
Kawana Cabinets staff (L-R): Josh James, Jeff Gallagher, Warren Irwin, Brodie Fishlock, Janelle Boyd, Nathen Death, Jocelyn Becker, Tara Moss, Scott Minto, Gavin Bendall, Gene Siddins and Julian Harris. Jann Houley

It was a worrying time for the former JM Kelly employee.

"I never knew what was going on and whether you'd get paid your entitlements," Mr Gallagher said.

Now a salesperson at Kawana Cabinets, it is another chance for him to meet new people.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old and fellow ex-JM Kelly employee, Julian Harris, was lucky he fell into his new position with Kawana Cabinets.

After being out of work for mere days, he worked for Tomkins Kitchens for a month before the business was purchased to become Kawana Cabinets.

"I didn't have much time to stress, I just had to find a job - what do you do?"

Mr Harris' role includes building and fitting, cutting and edging kitchens.

Mr Irwin said he felt a sense of satisfaction he could help those who were out of a job.

"Kawana Cabinets boasts an experienced team and we are genuinely excited about our future and what we can offer central Queensland," he said.

"This business will be a one-stop shop for clients, servicing both the residential and commercial sectors - there will be no better place to go for all your kitchen and cabinetry needs."

People can visit Kawana Cabinets at 11 McLaughlin St.