Who will be the 2020 Novice Auctioneers Competition Champion?

7 September 2020

With just a few days to go until the Novice Auctioneers Competition (NAC) state final, excitement is building rapidly in anticipation of witnessing the next wave of auctioneers battle it out to be crowned 2020 champion.

The NAC has launched some of NSW’s most successful auctioneers’ careers. Damien Cooley won the competition in 2000 and in 2003 launched Cooley Auctions, one of Sydney’s premier auction houses. Jesse Davidson, Clarence White and Edward Riley are also NAC alumni.

With five strong competitors this year, the competition will be fierce, fast and fun. Find out more about this year’s competitors.


Sydney East    Lee Dowdall
Sydney CBD    Bret Ransley
Newcastle    Mel Payne
Wildcard    Josh Logan-Pye
Wildcard    Meredith O’Reilly

Sydney East heat finalist, Lee Dowdall, is renowned for his authentic and high energy approach. As a licensed Sales Agent at McGrath, what sets Lee apart is his hyper local knowledge, attention to detail and communication skills combined with his honesty and genuine care for those around him. Lee has always been interested in others and built long-term relationships with buyers and sellers who he now considers good friends. 


Bret Ransley is a Licensed Real Estate Agent, Licensed Strata Manager and Accredited Auctioneer. He started his career by mentoring landlords to help build rental portfolios throughout the Sutherland shire and St George area. Bret successfully focused his time on creating trusting long lasting relationships with his clients. Later Bret moved into Strata management spearheading the Business Development Department at Clisdells, constantly striving to better himself by setting ambitious targets. Bret brings with him extensive knowledge, adaptability, confidence, a level-headed and practical approach, passion and drive. Bret enjoys talking to people and with his approachable demeanour believes this is his key to success.

Mel Payne has been working with Ray White Newcastle Lake Macquarie, as a licensed real estate agent for 14 years and as an accredited auctioneer since 2018. Mel thrives in a challenging environment ensuring all avenues and markets are collaborated, identified and sourced while devoting all resources and energies into expediting a sale. As you can tell, Mel is absolutely passionate about property and is really looking forward to competing in the finals in Sydney.

With his personable approach, true enthusiasm and impeccable sense of integrity, Sales Agent Josh Logan-Pye is a professional of the highest calibre working at Belle Property Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. His honest, trustworthy nature means that he is able to connect easily with others and forge strong, lasting relationships. Refreshingly candid, and focused on delivering a seamless service, Josh is part of a new generation of real estate professionals who are young, dynamic and incredibly market savvy. Having played cricket, ice hockey, basketball and union at a competitive level, Josh understands what it takes to become the very best.

Meredith O’Reilly obtained her Real Estate Licence in 2009, then worked in residential sales on the Upper North Shore for Soames Real Estate for ten months, winning Novice Auctioneer of the year for NSW that same year. She became a Buyers’ Agent with House Search Australia in 2010 under the mentorship of the wonderful Jacque Parker and then opened her own Buyers Agency, Homefinder Sydney, in 2012. As Principal of Homefinder Sydney, dedicated professional Meredith has the flexibility to continue her award-winning career as a singer and actor in between clients and has appeared in a number of well-known musicals over the past few years.

Kickstarting auctioneer careers 
2019 winner Bryce Bevan entered the NAC to get exposure to property auctioneering. “The competition has been a springboard for so many successful auctioneers,” says Bryce. “I feel very privileged and honoured to have joined such an illustrious group of people who have won the competition and gone on to greater and bigger things within the real estate industry.”

You’re invited to come along and show your support for this years’ Finalists!

10 September 2020 | 6pm – 9pm

McGrath Head Office
55 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009


The ticket price includes drinks, nibbles, and the chance to WIN some awesome auction prizes! All money raised on the night and throughout the competition will go to RISE, our charity partner for this year.

Register now to be a supporter!

REINSW is taking measures to ensure all of our events are COVID-19-safe. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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