2013 Novice Auctioneers Competition

The competition was tight at this year’s Novice Auctioneers Competition State Final with only a couple of points between the winner and runner-up.

Seven finalists took to the stage at the Mercure Hotel Sydney to showcase their auctioning abilities. A total of $9,690 was on the night, bringing the total amount raised over the course of the whole competition to $46,000.

The Novice Auctioneers competition gives entrants a chance to try their hand at auctioneering, without the pressure of having to sell a real property.

There was a mix of items auctioned on the evening, ranging from a Pure Bred Rahman cow to an overnight stay at Kangaroo Valley Gold & Country Resort.

The winner, 17-year-old Alex Pattaro from LJ Hooker Concord, captivated the audience with his confident description and sale of Santa’s Sack, which came complete with a Christmas ham and the chance to win a truckload of cash.


Winner  Alex Pattao
Agency  LJ Hooker Concord
Division  Inner West Division
Auction item  Santa's Sack
Money raised  $1,005

How did you prepare for the event?
I prepared over a couple of weeks, with the help of my team at LJ Hooker Concord. Writing a script and preparing was very daunting, but I managed to get all my items together eventually. I absolutely love Damian Cooley; I think he is a great auctioneer. That is who I model myself on; it’s my goal to be like him.

What did you find the most challenging?
Physically controlling your nerves before you start is by far the most challenging part. Once you are up on stage and looking at everyone, you take a few deep breaths in and the nerves just disappear. To overcome my nerves I focus on breathing deeply and concentrate on what I have to do. I have had a lot of people give me advice and I’ve used that to work out a way that works for me.

How did you pick what item to sell?
With Christmas so close I thought why not do something related to the festive season. In my Inner West Division I did another item along the same theme, which was a Christmas tree with scratchies attached. I found that choosing an item made up of a number of smaller items was a real success, so I applied that theory again today. The charity is obviously the most important part, but the opportunity to win on that item proved attractive to people as well.

Why did you pick your charity?
Heart for the Homeless already has a strong connection with the real estate industry. It’s an initiative that connects charities with individuals in the local area who are moving and have furniture and other unwanted household items to donate.

Is auctioning something you would like to do more of in the future?
When we sold our house a couple of years ago, watching the agent and the auctioning process made me click that this was what I wanted to do. I did a bit of work experience and fell in love with the way real estate works. I love to help people and get a kick out of seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they sell or buy a home. My next goal is to hurry up and turn 18 so I can become a licensed auctioneer.


Division Finalists
Finalist 1
Name  Tom Barnier 
Division  East 
Auction Item  Gorge Discovery Flight 
Money Raised  $475
  Finalist 2
Name  Oliver Lavers 
Division  Nepean, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains 
Auction Item  Sydney Harbour Cruise 
Money Raised  $1,000
Finalist 3
Name  Nathan Dobbs 
Division  Coffs Harbour 
Auction Item  Coffs Harbour Weekend Away 
Money Raised  $1,350
  Finalist 4
Name  Jerome Smith 
Division  North West 
Auction Item  Cricket Memorabilia 
Money Raised  $600
Finalist 5
Name  Matthew Mckee 
Division  Newcastle & Hunter 
Auction Item  Kangaroo Valley Gold & Country Resort Package Money Raised  $450 
  Finalist 6
Name  Lachlan Sewell 
Division  New England 
Auction Item  Pure Bred Red Brahman Cow 
Money Raised  $680 
Finalist 7 
Name  Alex Pattaro 
Division  Inner West 
Auction Item  Santa’s Sack 
Money Raised  $1,005

The judges
REINSW invited the following to judge this year’s Novice Auctioneers Competition State Final:
  • Chief Judge: Bob Jury, REINSW Trainer and Auctioneer
  • James Pratt, Auctioneer, McGrath Estate Agents
  • Oliver King, Principal, Richardson & Wrench Miranda
  • Andy Madigan, CEO, Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association


Money raised

REINSW raised $46,000 in total through the 2013 Novice Auctioneers Competition. The money will be divided between the St Vincent de Paul Society and Heart for the Homeless, the chosen charity of this year’s winner.

REINSW has held a long-standing relationship with Vinnies since 2008 when it formed a community partnership with the charity. Members have taken part in the annual CEO sleepout and Board members have also volunteered on the Vinnies night patrol and Matthew Talbot Hostel.

The Novice Auctioneers Competition has raised more than $250,000 over the past three years.

For more information on how to get involved with Vinnies visit