COLORBOND® magazine issue #1

Emma Vangelovich
Emma Vangelovich
Emma Vangelovich

Hi, and welcome to the launch issue of the COLORBOND® steel eMagazine. 2016 is a very special year for us, as we celebrate fifty years since the 'birth' of COLORBOND® steel. Fifty years on, it's amazing to see all the wonderful things that have been built using COLORBOND® steel, so what better time than now to draw together some of our favourite stories and images from around Australia. We hope you enjoy them!


Ivanhoe Grammar School - Plenty Campus

Inspiring colour

Plenty Campus
Peter Barnes

Where some architects are known for a particular style, and for designs that are instantly recognisable, McBride Charles Ryan (MCR) is renowned for creating buildings that ‘surprise’. Their latest project – the Science and Senior Years Centre at Ivanhoe Grammar School’s Plenty Campus, The Round, is a classic example. The brief comprised a straightforward list of requirements – a large building with classrooms and science labs for students from Prep to Year 12 – but the resulting design is astonishing in the way it combines a civic outward appearance with a fun interior that’s a blaze of colour and light.

A spirit of inquiry, curiosity and expanded horizons associated with science and education is embedded into the building’s design, according to MCR owner, Debbie Ryan, who says The Round takes its cues from an unusual type of spherical rock that forms in volcanoes. “We were inspired by thunder eggs which look like natural stones on the outside, but when you crack them open, they are filled with mad, vibrant colours, and they reveal an incredible wonderland,” Ryan says. “In a thunder egg, the inside is completely different to the outside and we’ve created the same effect in this building: the outer skin fits in so well with its environment but we’ve cracked it open to entice people to venture inside. The three entries offer glimpses of that burst of colour to lead people in so they can discover the kaleidoscope-like interiors.”

Wrapping the circular skin of this thunder egg in COLORBOND® steel in the colour Monument® was an easy decision, Ryan says. “We thought it was the obvious choice because it fits in so well in that environment,” she explains. “The lines in the profile work really well with the elements of the laminated spotted gum fins, and the Monument® colour is so perfect against the black-stemmed eucalypts.” “And budget was a constraint, as is often the case, so that’s another way that COLORBOND® steel helped us out enormously,” Ryan adds. “The cost was reasonable, the material is efficient, and it looks beautiful.”

The unusual shape of the building helped the architects to achieve many of their objectives for this project. “The site is dominated by Australian natives: the school has beautiful gardens with a lot of indigenous plantings that we wanted to maintain,” Ryan explains. “We determined that a round building with courtyards in the middle would sit comfortably within the existing trees, and be an efficient building type in terms of offering outdoor learning opportunities. The central courtyard makes the threshold between indoors and outdoors seamless, because when weather permits they can open big sliding doors to expose those classrooms to the courtyard.”

This building has received glowing praise from Ivanhoe Grammar School’s Deputy Principal and Head of Plenty Campus, Deborah Sukarna. “We are absolutely thrilled with The Round,” Sukarna says. “It has been wonderful to see our students and staff using The Round in a myriad of ways. From a Year 12 biology or prep Science class in the new cutting-edge Science precinct, to impromptu concerts being held in the central courtyard, this centre has a real buzz about it!”

Congratulations to McBridge Charles Ryan, on a wonderful design incorporating COLORBOND® steel in the colour Monument®.


Project: Science and Senior Years Centre

Client: Ivanhoe Grammar School

Architect: McBride Charles Ryan

Builder: Building Engineering

Steel Fabricator: Bahcon Steel

Cladding Contractor: Unique Metal Cladding

COLORBOND® and Monument® are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2016 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.
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1966 to 2016 - 50 years strong

History of COLORBOND® steel

50 years strong
Peter Barnes

In 2016, we celebrate 50 years of COLORBOND® steel in Australia, but as we celebrate, it’s interesting to look back even further, to where this amazing building success story really began; in England in the early 1800s. The origins of COLORBOND® steel as we know it today began in Bristol, England in 1837 as a bucket galvanising business. In 1843, it was discovered how corrugating a thin sheet of iron could produce a very strong, lightweight building material and within a decade, corrugated iron was bought to Australia, where it was quickly adopted by the early settlers as shelter from the harsh conditions of their new environment. Lightweight and stackable, it was easily transported across great distances, even on camel back.

This corrugated galvanised iron protected by a zinc coating, was a strong and long-lasting material that didn’t need painting for protection, but many people painted it to improve its appearance. For nearly a century, regular painting was the only way to keep the iron looking its colourful best. However, in the 1950s, things began to change when a way was discovered to successfully bond paint to a galvanised iron base, and the new technology was bought to Australia. Much time and effort was invested in getting the process and the resulting product exactly right and in 1966 the first coil of COLORBOND® steel rolled off the Number 1 coil painting line at Port Kembla, Wollongong. The new line was the talk of the steel industry, and its new product soon became a firm favourite with the building industry.

The No 1 coil painting line has ceased operations now, however over the last 50 years, seven more coil painting lines have been established throughout Australia, with five of these currently in operation. These five coil painting lines are located at Port Kembla (NSW), Erskine Park (NSW), Acacia Ridge (QLD) and two at Western Port (VIC).

Back in 1966, COLORBOND® steel came in just six colours that were used primarily for roofing, while today there are many more, including twenty-two standard roofing colours inspired by the colours of Australia and designed to not only withstand the harsh Australian elements but also to complement our natural environment. “Our taste in colours is something that changes with the times and colours can be seen as historical and cultural markers,” said Lisa Dent, Manager Marketing & Market Development - Sales & Marketing, BlueScope. 

“Of course the story of COLORBOND® steel is much more than just the colour. Its history is built on decades of innovation and improvement, which has earned COLORBOND® steel a position as one of the world’s toughest, most advanced building materials.

Over time, as you might imagine, a great deal has changed about the way COLORBOND® steel is made, not least the transition away from using galvanised steel as the substrate for almost all our COLORBOND® steel products. COLORBOND® steel roofing for example, is now predominantly made using a ZINCALUME® steel substrate – which has itself been through generational change and improvement. COLORBOND® steel roofing includes Thermatech® solar reflectance technology in all standard colours (except Night Sky®) which is designed to increase thermal efficiency as it reflects the sun's heat on hot sunny days.  In recent years we’ve introduced an industry leading metallic coating which incorporates Activate® technology (1), to provide enhanced corrosion resistance.

“Australia’s diverse environmental conditions demand a product that is specifically tested and developed for Australia. Our research and innovation teams have been conducting real-world outdoor exposure testing and accelerated laboratory testing to thousands of panels of COLORBOND® steel for almost fifty years to ensure COLORBOND® steel is an ideal building material from the heat of the Northern Territory to much cooler climate of Tasmania,” Lisa said.

For decades COLORBOND® steel has been a popular choice from roofs to fences, sheds, garages, public buildings and even art, and is much-loved by world-leading architects creating award-winning commercial buildings and residential homes, as well as farmers needing a strong and durable material  suited to Australia’s tough conditions. Examples of commercial buildings that use COLORBOND® steel in their construction include Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, the Kununurra Court House in Western Australia and the distinctive Crocodile Hotel in Kakadu. The use of COLORBOND® steel is only limited by the imagination, which is why architects love the durability of the product and the ability to create structures of expansive curvature and grace with it.

Indeed, people's passion for COLORBOND® steel seems greater than ever; we even see home-made creations from letter boxes and statues, to cubby houses and Christmas Trees!

So, although the humble galvanised bucket has been long-replaced by plastic, COLORBOND® steel as we know it today has gone from strength to strength and every year, thousands of homes and many significant commercial buildings carry the iconic Australian building material. It is a great pioneering success story….just like Australia itself.

(1) Activate® technology is not available for COLORBOND® Stainless steel, COLORBOND® Permagard® steel, and COLORBOND® steel products with a galvanised steel substrate. COLORBOND®, Activate®, Thermatec®, Night Sky® and BlueScope are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2016 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.
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Building better homes - since 1903

Plunkett Homes

since 1903
Plunkett Homes - Colorado
Tony Pritchett

Tony Pritchett, CEO of Plunkett Homes, talked to us about his company’s experience with COLORBOND® steel since the birth of the brand in 1966. Tony joined Plunkett Homes 30 years ago on arriving from the UK, and has been running the Plunkett Homes business for 16 years.

“Starting out with Plunkett Homes was pure chance and the luckiest break I’ve ever had”, he said, “apart from meeting my wife”.

How did the Plunkett family get into the building business?

Tom Plunkett (Snr) was a carpenter from NSW who came over to WA in 1903 to take on the ‘opportunities of the West’. He was an entrepreneurial man, creating one of the first fully integrated building companies in WA. Even in the early days they produced a lot of their own materials; they did cabinetry, there was a timber works, a brick factory and so on. Of course, back in those days they were using corrugated iron, not COLORBOND® steel; it wasn’t even invented!

What are some of the key milestones in Plunkett Homes’ history?

Tom Plunkett (Snr)’s entrepreneurial spirit has lived and breathed through the company as successive generations have run the business; first Charles and then Tom (Jnr). Under their stewardship, Plunkett Homes was one of the first building companies to use concrete slabs, one of the first to put in gas appliances and, of course, one of the first to trial steel roofs.

Plunkett Homes has also remained very active in the community and our taking on the role as principal sponsor and underwriter of the Variety Club Housing Lottery was a big milestone for us, in addition to our work with numerous football clubs and charitable organisations across the State.

Being in the building business for such a long time, we’ve also enjoyed some very long term relationships with particular families. Several years ago we completed the thirteenth Plunkett Homes home for a family in the Bunbury area; building for three different generations of the one family! That’s quite a milestone – for us and for them!

How did you celebrate your 100th Anniversary back in 2003?

We had a cocktail party in the Plunkett House; the place that Tom built in 1903 is still looking beautiful. 

Is there anything particularly different and or challenging about building homes in WA?

One of the hardest things about building in WA is the geographic spread; we build from Kalbarri down to Albany! We’ve got more Display Villages than anywhere else in Australia and it’s a real challenge to service people who are so widely spread. That said, on the plus side, we generally build on sand, which is a lot easier than on clay or rock, like you find in the other states. And of course, we typically build in double brick, which is a lot more labour intensive, and means we often work with large and complex roof structures. This is where COLORBOND® steel comes in, as it lends itself to this kind of roofing: It’s lightweight and therefore easy to transport and install.

What do you think has been the most significant trend in new homes’ design and construction in recent years?

Lots are getting smaller and smaller; the average is now under 400sqm, which creates challenges not just with the design, but also the building process itself. It can be a real challenge to get light and heat into the home. Also we’re finding people much more attuned to home fashion and design than they used to be. For example, they’re now looking for multiple, tactile finishes around the home  – particularly to give interest to elevations.

What do you think will be coming next?

Housing has become like fashion in general – having one big trend is hard to pick because there are so many niches. That said, I’ve no doubt that we’ll continue to see increase in the size of kitchens and living areas. A scullery is normal. An outdoor kitchen is normal. As are kitchen upgrades – with ever higher quality fit-outs.

What three pieces of advice would you give to someone building a new home for the first time?

  • Make sure you’ve done the homework…and then do it again on what you can borrow; making mistakes with finance and repayments is a real trip-up point. Make really sure that you can handle the weekly payments.
  • Think carefully about the balance of fitout and home size; don’t spend too much inside – especially on electrical fixtures and fittings. (We sometimes get people who want to spend more on electrical items, but it doesn’t add value to house.)
  • Be aware of getting good quality fixtures and fittings and make sure the prices you’re paying are good value.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about having a career in the New Homes building industry?

Have a go! It’s a dynamic industry, combining fashion and technical expertise; it is super customer-focused (it’s the biggest thing people buy); and it’s always subject to changing regulations. So, it’s always moving….and it doesn’t suffer fools gladly. If you’re nimble, can think on your feet – it’s a great industry and one in which you are never going to get bored! 

What do you look for in contractors to, and employees of, Plunkett Homes?

Above all they have got to understand the customer – and that everything impacts the customer; how they dress, how they talk etc. They have to understand how the customer is feeling. Understanding deadlines and the effect of deadlines on the customer is really important, and our industry is poor at this. It’s a huge challenge because there is always lots of variation because this is a hand-built product, but we have to do it well because it has such a significant impact on our customers’ lives.

Plunkett Homes uses a lot of COLORBOND® steel – why is this?

In addition to it being light and strong, so easy to work with as I said earlier, one of the other things COLORBOND® steel has done really well is the colours. Aesthetically, they’ve done a lot of hard work over the years on the colour ranges and they do seem to hit the target when it comes to what people want. Also, we experience extremes of weather here in WA such as intense heat, heavy rain and high winds, and COLORBOND® steel can be a great asset for a home in these types of conditions.

On a personal level, I can remember when I came to Perth in ‘85, ZINCALUME® steel roofs were a real trend – for country-look homes and in old parts of Perth. And then in the early 90s, COLORBOND® steel had a real push with colours that other roofing products couldn’t get close to and all of a sudden COLORBOND® steel took off. It went from 5% to 50% of our roofs and is now probably two thirds of all the roofs we do.

As a result, Plunkett Homes is totally set up for working with COLORBOND® steel now – we install it ourselves and there are no contractors. It’s really reliable and we get very little in the way of call back issues. Just what you need as a builder and a homeowner!


Thanks again, Tony, for taking time to talk to us. And congratulations to Plunkett Homes on 113 years in the business!


Image of original Plunkett home on 'cover' supplied by State Heritge Office, WA
COLORBOND® and ZINCALUME® are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2016 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.
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'Floating Form' - an inspiring home by Paul Katz Architects

Feature Home

an inspiring home by Paul Katz Architects
Featured Home
Paul Katz, Architect

Architect PAUL KATZ  chose COLORBOND® steel for his ‘Floating Form’ inner city residence in Melbourne, saying “being elevated, a strong, lightweight and easy to maintain material was required for the cladding…and it also needed to work with intricate details, like the folding of the COLORBOND® steel around the windows to create strong, modern outlines, while elegantly accommodating sun and privacy screens”.  It’s a really elegant design that’s brimming with practical features; everything you would expect when an architect is building a home for themselves. Paul was kind enough to talk some more about his experience as an architect, and as a home-builder….

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an architect?

An architect’s role is to surpass expectations rather than to merely meet them.  This is the greatest thing about being an architect.  We love to hear what clients are wanting to achieve, learn of their needs and requirements, and to resolve these in a way that delivers much more than they expected.  This may be through a clever functional response, or a poetic solution to the site.  Architecture in itself should not only achieve all the functional requirements and needs, but also excite and go beyond what is expected. I love the challenge that this presents, and realising it is the hardest and most rewarding aspect of being an architect.

Did you find it more difficult being the architect for your own home?

As my own client I am pretty difficult and demanding, but then I probably do that on all my projects regardless.  The design process is demanding and difficult with no right and wrong solution apart from what you define.  I find that I constantly question myself and decisions we are making through the design process.  I am constantly critical of what we are producing.  This self-critiquing is central to discovering the best solution for every aspect of the project.

Being both the architect and client does have challenges.  My own project is always the one that gets put off till we have time.  For this reason it can take some time to realise but this can be a great advantage, providing time to think and ponder the design over, and to imagine the way in which you will inhabit and use the building. This is often not always possible on projects, but giving the design process time can be advantageous.

What aspect of the ‘Floating Form’ design are you most proud of?

Simple ideas conveyed are the most successful. Floating form in essence is a simple object floating in space.  A full north facing glass wall separates the metallic form from the ground and gives the impression of it floating.  The reality of achieving this is quite difficult, and a number of clever structural techniques are employed. The projection of the metallic object over the northern glass below provides controlled shading to the glass.  I think the image of it floating is very successful.

What do you think makes Australian architecture different to architecture in other countries?

I think we are constantly searching for our own expression and unique regional approach. The outcome is a distinct response to our country’s values, aspirations and features.  For me, I am interested in architecture relevant to the place and context in which it is sited.  It needs to consider its immediate surrounds, respond to the natural features of the environment and be sustainable and responsible in its execution.  The Australian environment is harsh, but smart design can harness the inherent energy in our natural environment to complement our way of life.  This can stimulate a unique regional architectural response that may be further celebrated through the form, treatment and materials used.

What advice would you give to someone planning on building their own home?

  • Think outside the box and think BIG
  • Design smart and smaller rather than huge and lavish – quality not quantity
  • Really think about the spaces you need, how often they are used and look for ways in which to save space.  Saving space saves money – which means your budget may extend to include better quality finishes and fixtures
  • Think about spaces, not rooms – and consider volume.
  • Get good design advice – the amount of badly designed and poorly orientated homes absolutely astounds me.
  • Get orientation right and get northern light into your building.

What is the next project where you’ll be using COLORBOND® steel?

Every one of our projects uses COLORBOND® steel somewhere.  It is an affordable, sustainable choice that offers a terrific range of colours and finishes.  We have used COLORBOND® steel   for roofs, cladding, counters and even interior linings.  We are currently designing a new church and community building that we intend to wrap in COLORBOND® steel, providing an uplifting façade for a strong identity and appropriate regional response.  We love the flexibility offered by COLORBOND® steel:  it can be both a seamless wall and roof cladding solution to provide a grander, more monolithic response - which for this humble little building is important.  It also offers good value for money, as a highly durable and reliable cladding material that needs very little maintenance over time.

COLORBOND® is a registered trade mark of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2016 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.
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Emma Vangelovich
Do you have a COLORBOND® steel story to share?

If you have a story you'd like to see in the next eMag, we’d love to hear from you. Our email address is

And of course, we look forward to seeing your entries into the Feature Home promo here

Yours, Emma and the team at COLORBOND® steel

Making COLORBOND® steel - beautifully strong

Tested for 50 Years

beautifully strong
Tested for 50 Years
Peter Barnes

One of the many memorable moments for the team that shot the new COLORBOND® steel television commercial, was meeting Ross Fargher, owner of the Prairie Hotel, located half way between Adelaide and the Simpson Desert in Parachilna. Some 50km from the Flinders Ranges National Park, the Prairie Hotel was first licensed in 1876 and was purchased by the Farghers in 1991. As you can imagine, it’s an atmospheric place and the COLORBOND® steel verandah out the front gives the building a very distinctive look. Ross and his son Lachlan were helping out on the shoot, and while they were working, Ross said proudly “I replaced the roof well over twenty years ago and the place still looks great”. It was a lovely testimony to the years of development and testing that has contributed to the performance of the COLORBOND® steel available today.

So what is it that makes COLORBOND® steel so strong?  

Genuine COLORBOND® steel is far more than just ‘paint on steel’; in fact there are five distinct layers to our iconic roofing product.

First, the steel base is manufactured to meet relevant Australian Standards, ensuring strict adherence to the required grade and strength. For roofing applications, The base is then coated with a metallic coating incorporating BlueScope’s patented Activate® technology (1), to provide enhanced corrosion resistance. A thin pre-treatment layer is applied to optimise the adhesion of further coatings. Then a corrosion inhibitive primer is baked onto the surface. And finally, a topcoat of specially developed, exterior grade paint is baked on to provide resistance to chipping, flaking and blistering. Five distinct layers that have resulted from almost 50 years of outdoor exposure testing and accelerated laboratory testing on thousands of panels of COLORBOND® steel. And all to ensure that COLORBOND® steel is as strong as it is beautiful!

But to ensure you’re getting genuine COLORBOND® steel in your build, it’s important to look for the brand mark.

For roofing and walling, check for the ink branding on the reverse side of the sheet. On fencing look for laser branding on either side of each panel; it appears at least three times in each 2.4 m section. For guttering, you can look on the inside for ink branding, and, in some Australian states, you will find the protective wrapping that your COLORBOND® steel arrives in, is branded too. Genuine COLORBOND® steel garage doors are ink branded. This is an edge brand on the reverse side of the sheeting with ‘COLORBOND® steel made by BlueScope’.

Whatever you are building with COLORBOND® steel, be it a new home, a shed or a fence, it pays to check that you are getting what you’ve paid for and that the materials used are going to live up to the task – especially if they are protecting your investment from the Australian elements, which put all building materials to the toughest of tests….whether it’s in Perth….or Prahran…..or Parachilna.

(1) Activate® technology is not available for COLORBOND® Stainless steel, COLORBOND® Permagard® steel, and COLORBOND® steel products with a galvanised steel substrate. COLORBOND®, Activate® and BlueScope are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2016 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.
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Winning stories - from Leonie and Laurie

Share your experience

from Leonie and Laurie
Share your experience
Leonie and Laurie

One of the most enjoyable things about making COLORBOND® steel is the opportunity it gives us to read the stories sent in by people about their builds and their reasons for choosing COLORBOND® steel. Every story is different, of course, but there are always common themes, and one that comes through particularly strongly is that ‘COLORBOND® steel is easy to maintain’. Having been through the challenges of building a new home, or fence, or shed, few people want to have to return to their walling or palings to paint or oil or varnish, so COLORBOND® steel makes an ideal choice.

Two stories that stood out for us that talked to this theme came from Leonie and Laurie. Leonie and her partner undertook a substantial renovation of a 100+ year old home and used COLORBOND® steel for the roof and guttering. Laurie undertook a really unusual and striking interior make-over with COLORBOND® steel that started with a request from his wife for a walk-in wardrobe...

Leonie’s renovation

We bought this house because we felt we could turn it into OUR home. The house was over 100 years old and needed a lot of love. It had a lot of character and just needed a new look. It is on a busy corner and attracted a lot of interest. The main decision was what we were going to replace the exterior boards with. My husband is a builder and we have done a lot of contract work for clients building homes using COLORBOND® steel walls and roofing. We have found it to be a quality product that is cost effective. So when it came time to renovate our home he chose the materials that he prefers to work with and I chose the colour scheme. He decided to mix it up with a combination of COLORBOND® steel and Weathertex for the exterior walls and we re-roofed the house in COLORBOND® steel roofing and guttering. I chose the grey/white tones of WOODLAND GREY®, SHALE GREY™ and WINDSPRAY® as I had always wanted a home in these colours and found they went really well together. The different shades of grey look smart together and look great on any house regardless of age. Our supplier was Reece at Forster. The prices are always competitive and the service is second to none. We have found Reece to be a superior supplier of COLORBOND® steel products. As the renovation work was being completed, bit by bit, it came together beautifully. We are so happy with the finish. It looks like a brand new home but has kept the homely feel. What we love most about the new exterior on our house is it’s easy to maintain quality of COLORBOND® steel. You can give it a wash once a year and it comes up looking brand new. In this busy world, maintenance is really an issue and that is a major factor in choosing COLORBOND® steel. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to choose a colour scheme that fits in with the fencing colours. I would have loved a fence in SHALE GREY™. We will be building again in a few months’ time and are excited to be looking at colours again. This time I am thinking of using either WALLABY® or DEEP OCEAN® for the roofing. We have only ever had COLORBOND® steel roofing and would never choose anything else on our houses.

Laurie’s Interior Makeover

This is it, when you have used COLORBOND® steel for both the inside and outside of your mansion and your wife requires a walk-in robe you just have to create and build it using COLORBOND® steel. So, some of the decisions that had to be made were, how can I blend in such a request without losing the great look we already have. My task was to keep the same look i.e. 1 very large mirror and the lounge just under it. Consider the air con unit already in place and how my construction will affect it or redirect the air flow. So just have a look at what I created for my very happy gorgeous wife. Neat tidy profiles top, bottom and sides that surround the COLORBOND® steel walls. No ugly tech screws just pop rivets giving a sharp neat clean finish. And yes look at the photo; she has the large mirror fixed to the wall of the new walk-in robe and the lounge right under it as requested. In summary if I had to do all this without COLORBOND® steel I would still be painting the walls. Thankyou COLORBOND® steel! Thankyou for the opportunity to demonstrate how easy and great COLORBOND® steel is to use. I just love love it.


Two terrific renovations. (And the good news for Leonie is that with our recent update of the fencing colour range, it’s easier than ever to match your fencing colours to your COLORBOND® steel roof and walls. Check out

COLORBOND®, WOODLAND GREY®, WINDSPRAY®, WALLABY® and DEEP OCEAN® are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. SHALE GREY™ is a trade mark of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2016 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.
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Rising Australian star - in our #COLOURSofAUSTRALIAad

Cyclist, Alex Manly

Cyclist, Alex Manly
Peter Barnes

Alex Manly from Kalgoorlie WA, is a rising star on the Australian cycling circuit and despite being just 20 years old, has already won many medals on the track and secured a place on the ORICA-AIS road team. Alex, along with Annette Edmondson, features in our #COLOURSofAUSTRALIAad, riding around the stunning Adelaide Super-Drome (velodrome). Taking a moment’s respite from her gruelling training schedule, Alex talked to us about her cycling life….

How did you get into cycling?

Cycling found me in 2010 while I was on a basketball camp. I did a series of tests such as the beep test, arm span, standing jump, etc. From there I received a letter to a come & try session at the Adelaide velodrome. I fell in love with the sport and after some demanding lab testing I became part of the South Australian Sports Institute’s Talent Identification program. 

What’s it like competing at such a high level?

Competing at a high level is a massive thrill. The fans are screaming “Australia! Australia!” Everything you have done in the lead up to those competitions is all for that one moment. It’s still just a bike race but this time you are up against the best cyclists in the world and that gets the adrenaline pumping. It’s something special nobody can take away from you.

How often do you train?

I train around 20 hours a week, including gym, road and track sessions. It changes depending on what season it is and if I am in an intense training block or recovery phase.

What’s the toughest part about being a top level cyclist?

The toughest part is being away from home so much. During road season I spend 4.5 months in Europe and during the track season I am away competing a lot.

What’s your most memorable moment on the bike?

I have had many memorable moments on the bike. I would have to say the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour of Britain is one of my most memorable moments where every day was extremely ‘character building’. One of my favourite moments was winning the team pursuit at the 2015 Cali Track world cup with some of my best friends.

How long have you been racing/training at the Adelaide Velodrome? Is it a good facility? What do you like about it?

The Adelaide Velodrome is where I began my cycling journey back in 2010 and I have been training there ever since. It is a fantastic facility and is one of the best tracks in Australia. When I walk into the Super-Drome I feel like I belong there, another home.

Do you notice a difference with a COLORBOND® steel roof compared to other velodromes you have cycled in?

Yes. Every velodrome has a different feel to it, but the COLORBOND® roof certainly looks the best! The natural lighting is much better too.

What was the most enjoyable experience on the day of filming the commercial?

The team was so friendly and relaxed which made the whole experience really enjoyable. I loved seeing the outcome of the different angles and shots throughout the day.

Do you have COLORBOND® steel anywhere around your home?

The roof at our family holiday house is made out of COLORBOND® steel. It is the colour ‘Deep Ocean®’, designed to match the ocean of Cape Bridgewater and to merge into the coastal scrub.

Where to from here?

From here my goal is to keep improving. I want to become the best athlete I can be. I am racing a few world tour races in Europe and am really looking forward to seeing where my fitness is at.


Many thanks Alex for taking the time to talk to us. We wish you all the best in 2016 and beyond.


COLORBOND® and Deep Ocean® are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2016 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.
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Winner announced - Paul Robbins