Gift of The Gavel Auctioneering Competition 2023 perth western australia feature
Both winners and runners up of this year’s Gift of The Gavel Auctioneering Competition will compete at nationals.
  • Richard Kerr from EXP took the crown for the Senior division.
  • Jason van Straalen from Milestone Realty won in the Novice division.
  • Cath Hart has endorsed both the Champion and Runner Up to the nationals.

As my imaginary gavel came down with a resounding thud, signalling the end of REIWA’s Gift of The Gavel – WA Auctioneering State Competition, emotions swirled within me like a tempestuous sea.

The echoes of bids, the rhythmic cadence of my voice, and the camaraderie between competitors had been my constant companions throughout the year-long journey of training since I represented WA at the Australasian National Auctioneering Competition in Sydney after being crowned the 2022 Gift of the Gavel champion.

Richard Kerr wins Senior division

This year, I stood there, second place in the senior category. In my heart was a mix of pride and bittersweet satisfaction.

The crown of victory, this year, adorned Richard Kerr of EXP, who emerged as the undisputed champion in the Senior division. With his magnetic presence and commanding voice, Kerr will now hoist the banner of Western Australia on the international stage in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand.

“They say to play better golf you need to play with better golfers, and competing with Prash has certainly made me dig deep down to call better competition auctions, Prash is a very accomplished adversary!”

Richard Kerr, EXP

“It’s been ten years since I have competed in the international event that the Australasian National Competitions are, and I couldn’t be happier to return to my hometown and have Prash compete alongside me with the best auctioneers in either country – it’s going to be tough for sure!

“We will both return to offer even better service to the wise Perth vendors who choose to sell by auction. Here’s to an epic adventure!” said Kerr.

His prowess was undeniable with a firm control over the bids, a brilliant connection to the crowd, and his journey to the top was a testament to his dedication to the artistry of auctioneering.

Jason van Straalen wins the Novice division

In the Novice category, a rising star named Jason van Straalen from Milestone Realty shone brilliantly, an improvement from his performance in 2022. His auctioneering finesse allowed him to clinch the top spot with a captivating performance.

“It was so much fun and I can’t wait for the NZ comp in September. Go get ‘em guys!” van Straalen remarked.

Bee Khaw of Nest Realty, a fierce contender in the Novice category, captured the runner-up title. Her performance was a symphony of confidence and charm, leaving an indelible impression on all who witnessed her mastery of the auctioneer’s craft.

“The entire experience was nothing short of extraordinary. The competition provided a challenging yet enriching platform to learn from one another.

“Each of us has contributed to making this competition an unforgettable experience, and I am certain that the friendships forged during this time will last a lifetime.”

Bee Khaw, Nest Realty

“I am immensely thankful to Tom Esze and David Lynch for bringing us together, to our CEO, Cath Hart, for providing us with the platform to compete, and last but not least, to Prash Nayar for your generosity to provide us with an amazing office space to practice week after week,” Khaw shared.

With the novice category, the goal is to encourage new agents to join our auctioneering fraternity, and it is more than just about the bids; it is about engaging the crowd, mastering the rhythm, and truly embodying the spirit of auctioneering, so this can form part of the sales process in Western Australia.

Gift of The Gavel Auctioneering Competition 2023 perth western australia

For me, standing as the runner-up in the Senior category was a culmination of countless hours of practice, dedication, and a fervent passion for auctioneering. The journey had been nothing short of transformative, sharpening my skills not only as an auctioneer but as a person. The experience taught me to think on my feet, adapt to ever-changing dynamics, and maintain an unwavering composure in the face of intense bidding wars.

However, what truly elevated this journey was the remarkable camaraderie that flourished among the competitors. Despite being rivals on stage, we were united by our shared love for the art of auctioneering. All of us trained as much as we could over the last few months, putting scripts and auctioneering styles to the test amongst ourselves.

The backstage conversations, drinks, encouraging nods, and genuine appreciation for each other’s performances fostered an environment of support and mutual growth. The friendships forged amidst the whirlwind of competition are ones that I will cherish for years to come.

An opportunity to showcase ability

This has been long cultivated by WA auctioneering legends David Lynch and Tom Esze.

Esze, who has led the Auctioneering Committee this year, managed to bring together an incredible event which was held at REIWA on 27 July 2023.

On the success of the competition he organized this year, Tom said:

“REIWA provides a platform that is a great opportunity for all budding auctioneers to showcase their ability, as well as to learn and grow at the same time “

Tom Esze

Aspiring auctioneers and budding sales agents seeking to explore the captivating world of auctioneering are invited to join our weekly training sessions. These sessions serve as a treasure trove of insights, techniques, and strategies, all aimed at honing your auctioneering skills and preparing you for the exhilarating journey of representing Western Australia on a national stage.

REIWA has been a long supporter of the auctioneering fraternity and this year, Cath Hart, the CEO of REIWA, has decided to endorse both the Champion and Runner Up to the nationals. This means that I will, once again, have the opportunity to represent WA to the nationals this year.

Auctioneering is not just a profession; it’s an art form that demands precision, charisma, and an unbreakable connection with the audience. It’s about creating an experience that transcends the mundane exchange of goods and transforms it into a thrilling spectacle.

So, whether you’re drawn to the rhythmic cadence of the gavel or the electrifying atmosphere of the auction room, take that leap of faith and join us in mastering the art of auctioneering.

In the end, the experiences, the friendships, and the personal growth that I’ve garnered from this journey are invaluable. I stand here, not just as an auctioneer, but as a testament to the transformative power of pursuing one’s passions with unwavering dedication and zeal. Here’s to representing WA to the finals in September alongside Richard Kerr and bringing the golden gavel home.



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