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Housing : November 2008
stepping up to the mark A business partner who joined BPN to be recognised as a valuable player turned out to be priceless. Lieske Tigchelaar reports. T Below: This home built by Glen Hull Building won the NSW 2007 HIA-CSR Custom Built Home under $300,000. ania Skinner is a business partner who has had her dedication severely tested. She and her partner Glen manage Glen Hull Building, just out of CoffsHarbour on the NSWnorth coast. InApril this year, Glen broke his neck playing rugby, and although he has suffered no damage to his spinal cord and is lucky to be alive, Tania’s role in her business drastically changed. ‘We built our business on the quality of work that we do’ Glen is still in a neck brace and is now well enough to supervise the business part-time, but Tania admits it was touch- and-go for a while. They are still unsure howmuch involvement Glen will be able to have in the future. Some facts on backs The upper spine is defined by the two vertebrae nearest the head in the upper cervical region: C1 and C2 vertebra; also known as the atlas and axis. The head more or less rests on the C1 and allows most of the movement of the head through the neck. The vertebra or backbone serves to protect the spinal cord from injury. If the individual vertebrae are fractured or severely dislocated, but the spinal cord is unharmed, then no neurological problems result. People with back and neck injuries are treated carefully while the bones heal to avoid potential spinal cord and nerve damage. If damage to the spinal cord occurs below the shoulders, it causes paraplegia. Damage above the shoulders – in the cervical section – results in quadriplegia. 106 HOUSING NOVEMBER 2008 ‘We aren’t sure if he will ever be able to go back on the tools or not,’says Tania. ‘We’ve been going to Sydney every month to make sure everything is healing properly, [but] he could still need surgery; we don’t know.We just have to wait and see.’ Tania joined the HIA Business Partner Network three years ago – to feel more a part of the business and to be recognised as a valuable member of the partnership. That was before the accident, when she kept the books in order and was the first port of call for their clients. Since then, she has really been thrown in the deep end.