I do what I love and, I love what I do

About Independent Cabinetmaker

Derek Owner Independent Cabinetmaker Cairns

Derek Whitmill

Born in South Africa, Derek arrived in Australia in 1988

A butcher by trade, he started his career in Australia in the food industry, which included a pizza shop and then a pie manufacturing business. He also invented a fishing product which he sold on the internet.

He’s always had a creative side, even from an early age. He would make and renovate things at home to find joy in his creativity!

When Derek’s children were in school, he volunteered to make the desks and chairs for their new Cairns Hinterland Steiner School. This is when his passion came to light: handwork was what mattered most to him!


At the age of 48, Derek had the opportunity to do a mature age student cabinetmaking apprenticeship which led to the start of his business in 2010.

Derek’s motto, ‘I do what I love, and I love what I do’ is evident in the quality of his work and the personal service he provides his clients with.

In 2021, Ebon joined Independent Cabinetmaker as an apprentice and has proved to be an invaluable member of the team.

Derek and Ebon: Independent Cabinetmaker

Customer Testimonials

What Our Clients Say!

I was overwhelmed with all the choices and really had no idea, all I knew was that we needed a new kitchen. I got 4 people to get me a quote. Most of them were like "what do you want?" Not Derek. He talked to me, he got me excited, showed me what was out there. "I see you have lots of spices, what about x,y,z". He also gave me great advice "don't worry about the colour, that comes last. Let's create a kitchen that is functional and will make cooking a joy". He emailed me the drawings without a quote and no expectations whether I chose him or not. Once I received all the quotes, except his, I got a bit worried. So I told him my budget and that I didn't want to waste his time if that wasn't feasible. "No problems, we can work within your budget". Derek takes the time to talk to you and to create your kitchen within your budget. He gave me constant updates, where he is at, and organized the electrition and plumber. His kitchen work is outstanding and I am in love with my new kitchen. Five stars
Nicole Kenyon
We are so pleased with our new kitchen. It’s amazing! Thank you Derek & Evan. Right from the start with the design, to your recommendation of products, your workmanship & finished product, everything has been 100% perfect. Your professionalism & expertise in your field are second to none! The best! We will be using you again for our bedroom cabinets & design at some stage!. Definitely recommend you again & again. Thank you
Debbie Rayner
Derek has built a couple of kitchens for us. His professionalism and quality of work made it a very easy experience with an amazing outcome. Tks Derek
Ben Versang