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ISSN 2652-0044


A reputation built on style 9 772652 004002 > FLORENCE | ISSUE 2 | $9.95

exceptional projects

enduring relationships

we take pride in giving back to the community With the help of our valued network of sub-contractors and suppliers, JDV Projects created a dedicated workspace for the committed team of volunteers and staff at the Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter. To read the full story, please refer to p54 JDV Projects would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the following companies for their generous donation of supplies and labour to this worthy and much needed cause.

JDVPROJECTS.COM.AU (02) 9805 6100

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EXCEPTIONAL PROJECTS & ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS At JDV Projects, we understand that every client has a different motivation for their move or refurbishment. As your fitout and construction partner, our objective is to get to know your team and to understand your business model and DNA.

We will align ourselves with your vision and aspirations to create an innovative and functional work environment with the ability to flex and change as your business grows and matures.

JDVPROJECTS.COM.AU If you are considering a refurbishment or fitout, talk to our new Client Relationship Manager Claire Richardson:

JDV Projects are proudly supporting mental health charity ‘ReachOut’ as Gold Sponsor of Dance for Life 2020

clairer@jdvgroup.com.au / 02 9805 6100



10 Our cover is the incredible Penelope Seidler, architect, businesswoman and philanthropist. Photo Dirk Meinecke (rear colour changed) © Penelope Seidler




Executive Director’s Welcome .............................. 06 Leading Lady .............................................................. 08 Odd Woman Out ....................................................... 23 Mental Health .............................................................. 24 Health and Wellbeing ............................................... 25 Tradie Talk .................................................................... 50 Legal ............................................................................... 51 Business ........................................................................ 52 Finance ......................................................................... 55 Apps and Software ................................................... 60 Technology ................................................................... 61 Calendar of Events ................................................... 64 Insta Sistas ................................................................... 66

10 Penelope Seidler A reputation built on style 15 Winning build evolves into change of pace Michelle Bishop’s new role at Bangalay Villas 16 Building a new perception Melanie Kurzydlo 28 Women of architecture Jo Butler sits down with three leading architects 44 Parramatta project delivers diversity With a team comprised of 35 percent women 52 Five minutes with ... Penny Petridis Teaching women to take up the tools

Editor: Josie Adams; Editorial Coordinator: Amanda Kelly; Journalist: Alyssa Welke; Design: Marlize Duggan; Cover image: Penelope Seidler. Custom Publishing Manager: Brooke Gardner. Advertising inquiries: 07 4690 9309. Editorial inquiries 0437 819 696 Email: josie.adams@news.com.au Subscriptions: 07 4690 9360. News Corp Australia is the exclusive publishing partner of Florence magazine in conjunction with Master Builders Association of NSW. ABN 63 009 820 035 Phone: 07 4690 9309. Website: www,newscorpaustralia.com. Printed by: APN Print, 56 Kenilworth St. Warwick, QLD 4370. This publication is copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meansincluding electronic, mechanical, microcopying photocopying without prior written permission from the publisher. Disclaimer: The information contained within Florence is given in good faith and obtained from sources believed to be accurate. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. APN, News Corp, Toowoomba Newspapers and the Master Builders Association of NSW will not be liable for any opinion or advice contained herin.


FLORENCE BUILDING MOMENTUM Since publishing our first edition of Florence, we have been inundated with emails and phone calls re-telling stories of women (and men) determined to create meaningful change in the industry. The momentum is building. One such email was from Jo Butler at Living Constructions. After reading the magazine, he wrote that he couldn’t help but think of the talented female architects he has worked with over the years. What started as a story celebrating these women (page 28) - has turned into friendship and fresh resolve. Bronwyn Litera, Amy Eccles and Christina Lucic are now talking to schools to see how they can encourage young women into careers in the built environment. On the topic of schools, on page 16, we talk to Melanie Kurzydlo, Director of Strategy and Business Relations at Growthbuilt. Through her experience as a vocal advocate for diversity, we discuss the perception young women have of the industry and how it affects recruitment. Could building and construction be in need of a PR overhaul? We think so, and a part of that is highlighting industry success stories – girls need to see other women thriving in their chosen careers. Our cover this issue features the truly inspiring Penelope Seidler; CEO of firm Harry Seidler & Associates, architect, businesswoman and benefactor of the arts and architecture. Her home in Killara, where she has lived for more than 50 years, with her husband, Harry Seidler and their children, has a place in architectural history. Their work heralded a new era in post-war design in Australia. Penelope’s career achievements are so many and so varied (read all about them on page 10). However, what appeals to me personally is that hers is essentially a love story. A passion and commitment to art, architecture, community, family and more than anything - her late husband and his legacy. I hope you enjoy this issue of Florence magazine.


44 FLORENCE | | 5




hat is most encouraging about Florence is its unconditional acceptance by industry – all sectors of our industry want to tell their special stories about women. Stories that record the success of women who physically construct the built environment, who manage specialist trades on site, who design and renovate complex structures, to those female tradies who undertake work at the coal face are all inspiring. Florence has been approached by many people all wanting to tell how great their women are. Interestingly the building and construction industry wants to acknowledge these stories which many of us take for granted, and others see as extraordinary. We don’t know peoples’ backgrounds, nor their contributions, but Florence will tell the stories of the ordinary, the quiet, and the publicly successful women. Recently I was privileged to witness a presentation made by four women, who would probably describe themselves as ordinary. These four women told their stories and experiences of working in the building and construction industry. All were from small businesses and operated their companies with their partners. One was on the


tools, one was an architect, one provided unique and specialised timber products for the industry and the other ran the back end of a small, but highly successful, award-winning residential building company. Each of them participated in an informal chat in front of about 100 people at a local golf club on a Thursday night. They told their stories of juggling family life, business life and sickness. What was extraordinary was the resilience of these women and their capacity to continue at not only supporting the family unit, but the business. What became evident however was their commitment to not only their family and business but their commitment to the building and construction industry. What was most interesting was they told of their experiences, their trials and tribulations of working and supporting small business. One could see the connection they made with other women in the audience – so much so there were a few tears shed. What is clear, women are the backbone of small business, particularly in our industry, where 95% of businesses in the building and construction industry are considered small. These four women emphasised this point and Florence will tell their stories.

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FEMINISM AND CITY LIVING In the 1930s, Florence Taylor sought to make town planning a cause for all women


ore than any other indivdual, Florence Taylor, through her early writing, advocated women’s greater invlovement in the process of town planning. She possesssed a unique understanding of the issues women faced at the time, and firmly believed that women, as “mothers and keepers of the home” had a natural stake in how cities were planned and designed. As an extension of her philosophy on architecture, she thought cities should be planned to “lighten the burden on motherhood” by making “healthy and happy” surroundings. In the early years of her career, Florence’s central pillar of reform was to create suburban, owner-occupied homes and gardens. She urged housewives to involve themselves in creating suburban communities as an extension of the interest in their own homes, as well as to develop their intellects. She wrote: “We agree that there are a hundred and more small details in municiple life on which women’s advice and practical knowledge may be of inestimable value. For after all, the shire or municipality is only the larger house, and the organising power and grasp of detail which are neccesssary in the management of a large household, should be very helpful in the management of a suburb... it would certainly let light into many a council meeting if the housewives of the district could air their opinions on things as they are, and things as they ought to be.” (Building, February 1914).


PENELOPE SEIDLER A reputation built on style


he wife of the late Harry Seidler is an architect in her own right, an accountant, the CEO of architectural firm Harry Seidler & Associates, and a benefactor of the arts and architecture. Her home in Killara, NSW, where she has lived for more than 50 years, and with Harry raised their children, has a place in architectural history. Its open layout, creative use of technology and relationship with art and nature heralded a new era in international design concepts in post-war Australia. The Austrian born Harry came to Australia aged 24 in 1948. He arrived with an amazing architectural education; he gained his Bachelor’s degree with 1st class honours at the University of Manitoba and won a scholarship to Harvard for his Masters where he studied under Walter Gropius the founder of the famed Bauhaus; he also studied and worked with Marcel Breuer and Josef Albers, both of whom were Bauhaus teachers. On his way to Australia he stopped and worked with Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil. Harry brought with him the modernism of his Bauhaus teachers and the first house he designed was for his parents in 1948. Rose Seidler House was a timber home hovering at the edge of the bush. Its cube-like form and extensive use of glass divided both professionals and the public on Sydney’s upper North Shore at the time. Penelope said it was a new type of architecture looking to the future. Today the home is a museum for the Sydney Living Museums. “I do think that Harry put architecture on the map in a way. There was a huge amount of publicity around that house,” Penelope said. “People were talking about architecture in a way that they never had before.” Penelope grew up in Wahroonga, in Sydney, the daughter of the Hon Clive Evatt QC, a prominent barrister and NSW Labor politician, and his wife Marjorie Evatt. Penelope and Harry met in 1957, when she was studying liberal arts at the University of Sydney. They were married in December 1958, on Penelope’s 20th birthday. “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life


but when I married Harry, I knew I didn’t want to just be an architect’s wife,” she said. “All he and his friends talked about was architecture. So, I switched to architecture in order to enter Harry’s world on an equal footing. I graduated five years later.” Penelope said she became fascinated with the idea of building things for people, and the new world of aesthetics in Harry’s Modernism. “Modernism is more than just an aesthetic, it’s about planning for living a good, healthy life,” she said. “After the devastation of the war, the notion of Modernism was to create a better world for everybody.” Realising that what the firm needed was a manager, Penelope enrolled in a business degree while raising the couple’s two small children. This way, Harry could focus on cementing his career, which included the completion of Australia Square – it was the world’s tallest, lightweight concrete building at the time it was built. “I don’t think I’m the world’s best architect. However, in saying that I think I am a very good critic and I understand it well. And my husband and I had a great collaboration,” she said. “We always worked together. Our desks were next to each other and at home too. Harry was the principal designer, but he would always show me everything and we’d talk about it.” Despite her position in the business firmly beside her husband, she was often referred to in those days as “Mrs Harry Seidler”. “It didn’t bother me, but it’s a bit old-fashioned isn’t it?” Harry and Penelope designed their Killara House together. Harry’s ideas had by this stage, developed in a different direction. He began exploring concrete construction, with his work becoming more sympathetic to the Australian climate and landscape. The site of their house took two years to secure. “It was what you’d call an architect’s block: steeply sloping, surrounded by trees, a creek at one end, a bush reserve at another, and no immediate neighbours. It was just what we wanted,” Penelope said.

Penelope Seidler in Harry’s Park



ABOVE: Harry & Penelope Seidler House, Killara Sydney, 1966-67, photo by Max Dupain ©Penelope Seidler IMAGES RIGHT CLOCKWISE: Rose Seidler House, Penelope Seidler with Tsquare and artwork by Peter Upward (courtesy Utopia Art Sydney) Photo Harry Seidler c1960-3. Harry& Penelope Seidler © Eric Sierins 1999.

“Harry came up with the plan almost immediately. I had input and made some modifications, but my role was really one of the enlightened client, if you like. If I’d designed the house alone, it would have been very different … probably not as good.” Completed in 1967, the house has a split plan over four half-levels, which organises the internal functions and helps fit the building into the sloping site. Communal areas – dining, living and sitting rooms, kitchen and children’s playroom – all face north, while the bedrooms, utility areas, bathrooms and a study face the south. “Everywhere you go you experience the outdoors and the trees, which is what I’ve loved the most about living here,” Penelope said. Concrete block support pillars are left exposed. The concrete walls, embossed with the timber grain of their formwork, wrap from outside to in. The floors are quartzite stone, and ceilings Tasmanian oak. Cutting through the levels is a fireplace of local bluestone, around which all the living spaces sit. Penelope said, funnily enough, people like the home more now than they did when it was built. “People were sort of amazed by these concepts that a room isn’t just a little box, or a little rectangle…that it was open,” she said. “I think a lot of people took to it, but they probably didn’t get the finer points of what the architecture was about. “They thought it was all too stark and found the concrete too confronting. I think it’s beautiful. There’s a medieval quality to the masonry walls, and the texture of timber all around, it’s like my castle. Harry liked things tough; he always said


this house was indestructible, and he’s absolutely right.” Today, the home remains largely untouched. Harry’s office shelves still display miniature building models the couple collected during their travels. The original Breuer furniture and woven rugs are still there too, along with the couple’s private art collection. “Harry would argue, and I would too, that in all the great buildings anywhere, art – the major pieces – is part of the building. It all goes together, it’s not just a capricious thing you change every five minutes.” Penelope’s interests are international and Australian contemporary and ethnographic art, which she also collects. She is directly responsible for commissioning artists for her architectural firms’ work. She currently sits on the boards of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation and Sydney Living Museums. She has been a member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 1973, and in 2011 was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur of France. In 2008 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the preservation of cultural heritage, particularly through the Australiana Fund; to visual arts organisations; and to architecture. “I don’t think of myself as a patron. I see myself as an observer of the arts. For me, art is crucial for life. Why keep your money when you can give it away and enjoy the good that it does? If you are going to do something with your money, do it while you are alive.” In 2014, after seeing several buildings spring up in


Sydney, much of which she disapproved of, she founded the Seidler Chair for architecture practice at UNSW. “I am excited about this collaboration. I was a member of the faculty’s advisory council and I care very much about education, particularly in architecture. It is important for me to ensure the next generation of architects has as many opportunities as possible to learn from the best – someone who is a master in their field,” she said. Today, Penelope is director of Harry Seidler & Associates. She spends weekdays at the Milsons Point Offices built in 1973. Her city residence is in the Cove Apartments in The Rocks, the last residential building Harry completed in Sydney, two years before his death in 2006. In a long list of achievements, Penelope said her greatest personal accomplishment was the acquisition of the block of land next door to her office. “They were going to build a building on the cliff top above Luna Park, which would have been very harmful to our building. And this was when my husband had had a stroke… and he was dying,” she said. “And I thought ‘I just can’t let this happen’ and I used all the power I had … I don’t have much power, but I finally got an interview with the minister for planning and it took me months to


do that. And I convinced him that what they were doing was wrong.” Penelope acquired a covenant over the site at great expense and created Harry’s Park in memory of her late husband. “It’s next to our office and its very beautiful, and I did it all by myself, and I’m very proud of that.” In June 2019, Penelope and Harry were both inducted into the Australian Property Council Hall of Fame, honouring individuals who have provided leadership and left an outstanding legacy to the property industry and the Australian community. It was the first time architects have been celebrated in this way. “While the financial return on investment is a core consideration of any development, ultimately it is great architecture that is the legacy we leave for future generations,” Penelope said. “Good design ensures enduring value for the city and its people.”

TOP LEFT & RIGHT: Wedding day, photo by Marcell Seidler. Harry & Penelope at Seidler House, Killara ©Ross Honeysett 1998. BELOW LEFT & RIGHT: Penelope in a Marimekko dress below Seidler House in 1967, photo by Max Dupain ©Penelope Seidler. Harry Seidler & Gropius at Harvard in 1946.

Inset: Michelle and Tom Bishop. The beautiful Bangalay Villas.



or Evolve Building Group’s Tom and Michelle Bishop, Bangalay Luxury Villas are an award-winning testament to their exceptional design and building techniques – and an opportunity to get back to the region they love. Winning Hospitality Project $10M & Under in the recent Master Builder NSW awards, the stunning villas opened their doors in September 2018. The project included the design and build of 16 luxury villas and a restaurant at Shoalhaven Heads, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney. Michelle said the couple wanted the accommodation to work within the natural surrounds, nestled amongst the sand dunes and around the Banksias. “We purposely chose to use the materials that will weather and age well not only from a maintenance perspective but also to really enhance that authentic experience of the coastal environment and coastal living,” Michelle said. “The building process has been pretty incredible,

we had a wonderful team help bring it to life. “I have been able to work with lots of friends and people I have known for years. “There is no text book available for what we have done.” For the previously Sydney-based couple, the completion of the project heralded a homecoming, with Tom, Michelle and their four children settling back on the south coast to manage the villas. “Transitioning from what we are very comfortable doing, property development, into the operations of Bangalay was a challenge, we have 17 different pieces of software needing to speak to each other, 50 staff and weather to contend with,” she said. “I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish so far but know there is still a huge amount of work to be done. “It feels like Bangalay has been an opportunity for so many talented people to shine.”



BUILDING A NEW PERCEPTION How can girls be what they can’t see in the construction industry? JOSIE ADAMS


elanie Kurzydlo is proud of the industry she has thrived in for over 15 years. Growing up in her family’s construction business, her career moved from an interior design student to design management, project management and development, then to business development and advocacy. She’s spent time on work-sites, in offices, boardrooms and working from home. She married her partner, raised children, all the while moving steadily up the corporate ladder in an industry with a reputation as being exclusionary and male-dominated. Melanie, currently Director of Strategy and Business Relations at Growthbuilt has found her place, her voice and her work fulfilling. “I never envisioned I would be sitting in the role I am now from what I studied at University,” she said. “But I just kept putting my hand up and took some risks. And when one door closed, another one opened… as a result my work in this industry has been so diverse and so absolutely rewarding.” Without gender diversity the country’s third largest employer is missing out on the talent pool of half the population. The challenges the industry faces are many, including an impending skills shortage, high staff turnover and high attrition. Despite continuous calls to improve the imbalance and actively recruit women into the industry, the number of women entering in the sector continues to sit well below parity. Melanie is a champion for The Property Council’s diversity agenda, and a speaker at the Girls in Property initiative. Reflecting on her own experience she said school girls are not aware about what possibilities are available to them in the industry.

“Programs like PCA Girls in Property are essential for expanding the diversity and inclusion within the industry because career pathways take off and are set in high school. By the time the young women are in university they have already chosen their career and even though we know career paths change along the way, it’s important the younger generation are educated about career possibilities at school,” she said. “I was excited to be back in schools educating the younger generation”, she said. “What I found though, was that there was generally a residential real estate career topic being discussed but there wasn’t always a career discussion around the possibilities available in Property Development, let alone Construction.” “Many of the girls thought that a career for ‘Girls in Property’ meant standing out the front of a house holding a clip board and taking names as they entered a residential property for sale. The other industry options and possibilities in funds, assets and investments wasn’t ever considered a possibility on their radar.” A research paper released in March this year by Dr Phillipa Carnemolla, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, revealed a similar theme. Funded by the National Association of Women in Construction and titled Girls’ Perceptions of the Construction Industry: Building a Picture of who isn’t Interested in a Career in Construction and Why, The report presents insights from female Year 11 students at an all-girls high school. The results align with Melanie’s observations and current Australian research on the nature of gender barriers in particular careers, which include awareness, exposure and parental influence. Participants in the study were unaware of the scope of the construction industry and



could not visualise the concept of achievement outcomes in the industry or how they could make a difference. Essentially, young women couldn’t see themselves as successful in the industry. Neither could their friends, teachers and parents. “To me it seems like there is a misconception with the young girls as to what the industry is all about,” Melanie said. “So, we need to reassess what are they imagining when they think about Construction, Property and Development? It is not just a site with men in hard hats on machinery; there currently seems to be the visual cue that girls have in their heads, and it’s holding them back from investigating career options further.” “That is only one part of any project.” “We need to continually push to show the diverse and inclusive roles that women can have even just on a construction site, not to mention the diverse role within the Property and Development arena.” Including the role of accomplishment and social responsibility. The feeling that girls are making a difference through their work rated highly in choosing a particular career path. Female students, for example, who excel in science and maths still tended towards careers that are considered more socially aware, such as medicine or veterinary science. Again, Melanie said, the perceived idea of what the industry can’t offer, is inaccurate. “Construction is such a tangible career,” she said. “Just going from a concept in a meeting room to walking on-site, watching it being built and then seeing it finished with people using the space. It’s such an incredible thing to witness. You have a part in creating cities and communities that people can thrive, love, enjoy and interact socially within and that is so important and rewarding.” “Not only that though, businesses that make


money are businesses that can make impactful change, and there are plenty of opportunities through charities and industry foundations for there to be a large element of social responsibility in the industry,” Melanie said. As well as the opportunity to become a trailblazer and mentor for other women in the industry. “I believe that early exposure to mentors and successful women in the industry is critical, and not just in the public-school system but also the private schools as well, we need to educate everyone. There are so many smart and incredibly talented young women and men that need to have an understanding of what the industry can do for them, in addition we are letting them down if we do not make an effort to educate them.” “I think the industry has realised this and now banded together.” “We have to start somewhere and educating these girls who are in school now is a positive step forward. Then we need to encourage them into industry roles and construction, development and property firms so they can apply for leadership roles. In around six years’ time, there could potentially be a critical shift in the industry. “It’s also important to educate the younger men about the importance of diversity, not from a gender point of view but from how diversity relates to profitability, and when you have a diverse and inclusive culture involving all forms such as diversity of thought, acceptance of opinion regardless of age, openness to discuss mental health, and no barriers to performance due to sexual orientation etc. In my opinion this is one initiative that we are yet to implement across our industry, although I believe it is the ultimate closing argument.”


IN THE RESEARCH PAPER GIRLS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: BUILDING A PICTURE OF WHO ISN’T INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN CONSTRUCTION AND WHY, DR PHILLIPA CARMONELLA MADE THE FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATIONS.  Construction needs to reposition itself as a career for both women and men. The construction sector’s employer groups and leading companies should undertake a campaign that rebrands construction as an aspirational career. Students, parents and schools need to be convinced.  The industry needs diverse role models and champions to communicate the potential and diversity of roles within a construction career.  Further research into the role that schools play in supporting careers in construction for girls is recommended. This will enable a better understanding of how schools can be better informed about opportunities within the construction industry for all female students, across all levels of academic achievement.  The construction industry should be encouraged to review its recruitment practices to include non-school leavers, warranting further research into exactly where interest in construction training comes from and how it can be encouraged from an early age. Further research is needed into how construction training and tertiary education is marketed/targeted to understand why particular schools are drawing more interest. Nawic.com.au


SUSAN’S GOT BUSINESS IN THE BAG ONLINE TOOL SHOP TO HELP TRADIES A TRADESPERSON is only as good as their tools, and Susan Hawley of Australian Online Tools, is proud to play a part in ensuring they have the best quality tools at the best possible price. It is this thought that has driven Susan in the past and continues to drive her. It was her desire to make life easier that Australian Online Tools was built out of five years ago. As part of Susan’s other business, an online car parts and accessories retailer, she wanted to put together bundles to allow people to change their oil and air filters bought from her, but to do so she needed to find the right tools. After failing to buy the right tool from a major franchise retailer, and after being given the run-around in trying to special order the tool, she decided to go straight to the manufacturer, T & E Tools. In less than 24 hours, she had the right tool in her hand. Over the years she’s continued to build her relationship with T & E Tools and has added a suite of tool makers to her list of suppliers


including SP Tools, Kincrome and Kromex. Susan said she had learned so much about the building industry since opening Australian Online Tools. “A builder knows what it is they want, and I’ve had instances where customers have asked us if we have anything like a particular tool and we’ll speak to our suppliers and they’ll send through a couple of different options that fit what they want,” she said. “It’s surprising what I’m learning about the building industry, as it’s not my background. “But now I can visualise it; I can know what it is they are talking about and help them.” Susan said she wanted to be able to help people on the tools get the best prices and quality tools they could, as well as the after service available. “The most important part for us is knowing our customers can contact us by phone or online,” she said. “Nothing worse than wanting to get on with a job and you’re waiting on an item to arrive or for a question to be answered.”

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WHAT WE DON’T TALK ABOUT: MEN Making the industry a better place for men will attract more women, writes Dr Natalie Galea


here is no crying in construction. I learnt that rule early in my construction career. I still remember the look of disgust on my general manager’s face as I teared up. I had approached him to report that a colleague had threatened to “rip my head off my shoulders”. From that moment on, if I needed to cry onsite, I hid from view. Later, in my PhD research, I discovered that hiding your vulnerabilities is common in construction. Men hide stress, anxiety, panic attacks and even marriage breakdowns from their peers and managers under a blanket of silence. Early on in my research, I shadowed a foreman who told me he had a panic attack on the drive into work most mornings. He wasn’t alone. Day after day, men I interviewed and shadowed disclosed to me the effect construction work was having on them personally and on their


families. It shouldn’t have been a surprise. Mates in Construction remind us that a young man working in construction is 10 times more likely to die by suicide than die from a workplace accident. In our sector we lose a construction worker every second day to suicide. Some of the factors underlying men’s poor wellbeing are the same factors keeping women’s participation in construction low: old-fashioned work practices that don’t fit our modern-day lifestyles and actual or perceived public shaming of those who don’t demonstrate a Teflon-tough exterior. He works hard for the money Clients and contractors are stuck in a time warp when it comes to their expectations of how construction projects are delivered. Construction projects are still set up and won

There is little recognition that men want to be part of their children’s life. We talk a lot about safety, but there is little recognition of the impact on wellbeing and safety from these outdated work practices — despite those shocking statistics about the suicide rate, and the advocacy of groups like Mates in Construction. And few in the sector are ready to discuss the fact women will continue to leave one by one, no matter the recruitment campaign, if they continue to be offered a job where only an old-fashioned choice remains: career or family. We also need to talk about the fact that when men do step out of the tough, silent façade — the straitjacket of masculinity — for example, by requesting more time with their family, they can be shamed and silenced by leaders and peers to keep them in line. These sanctioning behaviours keep the blanket of silence firmly in place, preventing change.

on the premise that those working on construction sites have a sole responsibility in life: to put bread on the table. The very slim margins factored into these schedules give workers little room in life for anything else but work, especially towards the end of a project when workers are expected to put in one last push to nudge it over the finish line. Once the project is complete, workers are ‘rewarded’ by being moved on to the next difficult job. Contractors are rewarded for their ability to deliver to tight timeframes. And so, the cycle begins again. The toll on the human workforce is never acknowledged. There’s so much we don’t say about men in construction. We all know one income doesn’t support a family in most Australian capital cities anymore, but we don’t talk about it. Bread-winning is done by men and women.

A glimmer of hope: the five-day week I’m about to begin new research with Roberts Pizzarotti and the health facilities construction arm of the NSW Government – Health Infrastructure, on how a five-day working week impacts the 1000-person workforce at the Concord Hospital redevelopment in Sydney. Called ‘Project 5: A weekend for every worker', the five-day work week challenges the stubborn idea that we have to work six days, sometimes seven days, to successfully complete projects. If it doesn’t sound like a big change, consider that the extra day off per week is equivalent to six weeks of additional leave per year, and what you could do with that time. Our research team will also speak to their next of kin to learn how working five-day weeks changes their lives over the two-year project. We want to know whether they stick to working five days, whether they feel less tired and less stressed, and whether it allows them to be more active in family and community life. This project is also about showing clients that running six-day weeks has huge human costs that they may not see or hear about. By having this conversation, and addressing the causes of these issues, we might make the sector a better place for everyone. Dr Natalie Galea is a postdoctoral fellow at the Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney, and co-founder of Cultivate — www.cultivatesponsorship.com. Natalie tweets @galeainvegas. If this story raises concerns for you, please contact Lifeline: 13 11 14, MensLine: 1300 78 99 78 or Mates in Construction: 1300 642 111.




OK? Have you ever thought something wasn’t right with a colleague?

Are you OK?” This simple question could save a life. So why don’t we ask it at times? Is it because we don’t know what to do next if someone isn’t travelling too well? Will we offend them? Will they get upset? Thursday, September 12 was Fly the Flag for MATES, in conjunction with R U OK? Day. Australia-wide, the construction industry showed its support of the awareness of suicide prevention in the industry. In 2018, there were more than 1000 sites and workplaces in the construction industry that stopped to take a moment to reflect and pledge to watch out for their mates. Research reveals sobering facts that every year in Australia, about 190 workers in the construction industry kill themselves. This means we lose a construction worker every second day to suicide. And there are many more suicide attempts that we don’t hear about. The causes can vary and include the transient nature of workers employed on a project-by-project basis for periods from a few weeks, to at best a few years. Financial instability and the sense of not belonging can exist. The industry struggles with alcohol and drug abuse which can make individuals even more depressed. Also, a culture of “build a bridge and get over it” or “have a cup of concrete and harden up” appears to be commonplace. Fortunately, there is a shift but there is a long way to go. This attitude or culture makes discussing feelings and emotions with colleagues difficult


when struggling with what life deals. Also, quite often pride will get in the way of someone asking for help. No wonder it is hard to talk about issues, and that’s why it is necessary to make the first move and ask about someone’s wellbeing. MATES is a charity established in 2008 to reduce the high level of suicide among Australian construction workers. The program is based on the simple idea that suicide is everyone’s business. If the building and construction industry in Australia is to improve the mental health of workers, the industry must play its part. MATES’ motto is Mates Helping Mates. You can find us in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In my experience working for MATES as a case manager/field officer since 2013, it is evident that not everyone needs or wants counselling, but everyone needed someone to talk to about their issues. Don’t hesitate if you notice someone struggling with life issues, as we all do from time to time. It is important that everyone knows that they do not have to go through it alone. If you notice anyone in your workplace or in your personal life struggling, just do it, ask “are you OK?” – don’t hesitate.  Call the MATES 24/7 Helpline for further information or support on 1300 642 111.  For information on fundraising events and how to donate, visit www.mates.org.au.  MATES relies on the support of the industry to keep going and donations are tax deductible. Thank you for your support.


CHOOSE YOUR CREW If your circle isn’t cheering for you ... is it time to find a new one?


t’s important to fill up your own cup first, so you can show up and be the best version of yourself for you, and for everyone else around you. This includes who you have in your circle of influence. Those you spend the most time with have a huge influence on your moods, how you view the world and the expectations you have of yourself. When you surround yourself with positive people, you’re more likely to adopt empowering beliefs and see life as happening for you instead of to you. After all, you are essentially what you do, what you hear and what you see. The energy that people around you have impacts on yours. So are the people around you building you up? Empowering you? Encouraging and supporting you? Or, are they constantly being negative? Jealous or bringing you down? Are they “taking” without balance or exchange? While I’m not saying these people are bad people – if your circle isn’t inspiring you to achieve your goals and cheering you on, is it time to find a new crew? What I’ve learnt is the key to healthy relationships are boundaries, space, communication and most importantly, comprehension. You can communicate all you want, if the other person doesn’t understand you, it can be like talking to a brick wall. Understanding this is going to be subjective to the individual, your definition of love, what is “normal”, success and beauty are different for

everyone. It’s important to note that people who are “good” for you are not necessarily people who are similar to you. Too much of the same thing can inhibit growth. You want to have diversity in thoughts and an eagerness to soak up knowledge. Differing perspectives can help you with that. It’s also important to recognise that life has its ups and downs and sometimes that negative person that you think you need to cut out of your life is in fact presenting you with a chance to grow. In a society obsessed with “positive vibes” and celebrating everything from coffees to Fridays, being around people when they are at their lowest is a challenge. Something to consider is when you are communicating to someone and they give you “feedback” is where is that feedback coming from? A place of love or their shadow? We all have a good and a bad side. Who we are when we are in our good is not necessarily who we are when we are in our bad. A big part of knowing who you are and being confident in that is choosing what to take on board and work on or knowing what is a reflection of them and not to let it get to you. Sometimes easier said than done. Those you spend the most time with have a huge influence on your moods, how you view the world and the expectations you have of yourself. When you surround yourself with positive people, you’re more likely to adopt empowering beliefs. Just as you benefit when you surround yourself with people who make you happy, you suffer when those in your business or social circles are negative or narrow-minded.




When did you join FDC? I joined in 2014, having worked in commercial construction since 2009. Before that I completed a degree in Construction Management at the University of Newcastle.

I love working in construction and want more women to enjoy the same challenges and opportunities I’ve had. The industry has so much to offer, but unfortunately it doesn’t cross the radar of most women I know.

Do you have a favourite project to date? Phoenix Central Park. It’s the private art gallery and performance space of Judith Neilson, located in Chippendale in Sydney. We’ve had the privilege of working with two amazing architects, John Wardle Architects and Durbach Block Jaggers, on a truly once-in-a-lifetime project.

If you could meet anyone? Bill Gates. He is a great problem solver in both business and philanthropy and he isn’t afraid to tackle the biggest challenges, which I find really inspiring.

Hidden talent or passion? I’m very passionate about making the construction industry more inclusive for women.


In twenty years I want to be… Continuing to build amazing projects, developing the next generation of talent and using my time and skills to serve people in our community who need it most.



ARCHITECTURE Jo Butler sits down with three leading architects to talk about their experience, motivation, inspiration and advice for aspiring women in architecture


LEFT: Christina Lucic RIGHT: Amy Eccles PHOTO: OLLIE KHEDUN


ydney has its fair share of beautiful homes, and from the distinguished guard of architects designing them now rises a new breed of assertive and deeply persuasive excellence defining the next generation and leaving an indelible mark on tomorrow’s architectural landscape. Three such women are creating not only an impressive portfolio of architectural achievements, but they are unwittingly united in their approach and ethos — all sharing in common threads that weave the fabric of their respective careers, and each becoming cornerstones of three of Sydney’s notable architectural firms. These women are refreshingly inclusive and profoundly intelligent; not only designing with intuitive intent, but also taking you along for the ride. Having the opportunity to meet and discuss this journey with Bronwyn Litera, associate architect, Stafford Architecture, Christina Lucic, associate architect at Popov Bass and Amy Eccles, associate architect at Corben Architects, to discuss the common denominators, the similarities quickly become apparent and much like the construction process, their robust and diligent foundations support the quality of their aspiring direction.


Where did the architectural journey begin? Christina As a 17-year-old I had little idea of who I was or who I wanted to become. I had thoroughly mapped out my personal life but had given little thought to my career path. On a whim, I submitted architecture as my preference for university and was accepted into the University of Sydney to begin my architecture journey. University gave me sleepless nights, countless tears, enough model offcuts to fill a small skip bin and, above all, an opportunity to think big — nonetheless rooted in a strong conceptual framework — a lesson central to my design approach today. I also worked in retail and when I wasn’t in a pink Priceline shirt offering advice on skincare, I was working full-time at Popov Bass as a student. This offered an insight into the real world of architecture. Bronwyn I very nearly dropped out in my first year at university. Looking back, I didn’t fully grasp how to take a blank canvas and turn it into architecture, but RMIT teaches you how to think. University was inordinate amounts of work, which, coupled with actual paid work made for very little sleep. I worked at my local supermarket throughout my study, which helped me develop leadership and time-management skills. In my final years, I started with Suters Prior & Cheney Architects. Work experience as a student is one of the best things you can do to kickstart your career — universities are fantastic to push thinking and creativity, and real-world experience will educate in the practicalities and formalities. Amy My interests at school led me to consider architecture as a career path. I loved the freedom of creative subjects and the process of turning a concept into reality. I grew up near London and emigrated to Sydney when I was 17. My parents suggested a career in architecture, and I enrolled at UNSW. I definitely had tough times, long days, late nights and the commitment to the career was tested. I went to Sweden to start my master’s degree and believe the collaborative style of learning/teaching in Sweden has influenced the way I like to work today. Part-time work during university made the art of balancing work, study and downtime challenging, however, it was important to develop time-management skills crucial to the job. I’ve learnt that you actually never stop learning. Is there something inside that really motivates and drives you about being an architect? Bronwyn Definitely the journey. The physical journey that we create in the design for the client and the house, also the physical and emotional journey of bonding with the client, the builder, the consultants and contractors seeing an idea


become a reality. Being able to experience that journey, in the created space, the light and the simple functionality. I think it is an integral skill for any designer to be able to step back and refocus on the big picture. I believe that’s really the only way you can finish. Christina The deeply personal task of designing someone’s dream home. Architects wear a lot of hats — negotiator, lawyer, project manager — but the most important one is that of communicator. Our role is to interpret the wants and needs of our client and communicate them effectively through our designs. It’s incredibly humbling when clients love your idea, and even better when they love the finished product. Amy I count myself lucky to work directly with the stakeholders of each project. Seeing a project through from the initial concept design to a completed home can take many years, during which strong working relationships are built through the collaborative process. Nothing is more satisfying than to see clients happily living in their completed home, especially when it exceeds their expectations. Everyone’s contribution makes the finished product the best it can be and that is in itself motivating. If inspiration is the breath of life, what breathes life into what you do? Amy I have no singular source of inspiration. There is a lot to be said for the quality of the space around us, whether it be in nature or the built environment, and the positive effect it can have on the way you live your everyday life. I aspire to produce architecture whereby the design enhances lifestyle. Timeless design evolves with the user — material selections that age gracefully and continue to improve with the patina of time. The experience of the building should remain meaningful and continue to be relevant regardless of time. Bronwyn The excitement of seeing something beautiful, clever and well considered creates a little balloon in my chest; awe, delight, maybe even a little envy, and most definitely a desire to do better. Architecture creates that experience for people and evokes feelings. What I find truly inspirational is that architecture can and does create a better world. I’m constantly inspired, not just by interesting design but also the ingenious model which makes it possible, the careful thought that goes into the entire process, satisfying not only the end user but the builder, the investors, the authorities and the environment. Christina The work of David Chipperfield has always inspired me. The refined palette and clean

LEFT & ABOVE: Bronwyn Litera


lines exude an architectural finesse and sophistication that is beyond compare. Closer to home, there are so many successful women leading the charge in the architectural and interiors fields, Hannah Tribe and Miriam Fanning to name a few. Aspiration is like the distant mountain peak — the contented long grass valley of our careers. I don’t actually know what the end game will be, but the aspiration is? Amy I would love to elevate the role of craftspeople on my future projects. Similarly, sourcing locally made products or purchasing from local artists and furniture makers. Producing restrained, timeless architecture that responds to its context and experience of the client it was designed for — the definition of bespoke — where time wears in as opposed to wears out. Bronwyn To be inspirational to others. I definitely do not aspire to fame or a spotlight. Ideally a small practice, known for its attention to detail and design philosophies, where I could focus more broadly on producing a high quality of work and educating another wave of architects. I’d like to be more involved in the architectural community too, whether through the institute, universities or other avenues. It would be fantastic to travel and research in order to keep learning to then be able to give something back — share the experience. Christina The ideal is a balance of work, travel, having a family and perhaps even designing a home of my own (if Sydney property prices ever come down). Above all, my ultimate is to achieve fulfilment in whatever journey life takes me.


drawing is, which sounds so basic, but it’s such an easy thing to do poorly. I’d also always encourage speaking up. It doesn’t have to be in that big meeting, but maybe one to one — everyone has a perspective, regardless of rank. All those painful little tasks just build up to good practice and good habits.


Advice? Christina Don’t give up. Eventually you will be given more opportunities and greater responsibility — good things take time. In the interim, be inquisitive. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it shows interest and is a great way to build your skills. Amy Definitely learn the basics. We’ve all started in the same position. Experience and knowledge take a lifetime to build up. The years at university will equip you with the skills for the job, and beyond that your experience and your communication skills will speak volumes. Learn to produce beautiful, clear and considered drawings. Ask questions — tutors, peers, colleagues, builders, consultants and tradespeople, clients are all a source of experience and expertise. Asking questions will help develop working relationships, your design knowledge and ultimately improve the final outcome. Bronwyn As painful as it is, embracing even the most menial and mundane tasks assigned to you as a junior. I see now how valuable a clear and concise


In the architectural workplace, what strengths do women bring to the table? Amy Great architecture is created by men and women working together. I work in an office that has a very equal mix of female and male staff. I work alongside a dedicated and talented group of women, many of whom are working mums who have skilfully created a balance between caring for their young families while rising to the demands of a professional career. This isn’t an easy task and I consider them role models. A commonality between myself and my female peers would be communication. We’re good listeners and I think are seen as approachable because of this. Bronwyn One of the most important factors in our work is our communication and relationships with everyone involved; trust from the client is paramount. I do feel in a lot of cases women nurture this and can be very rational in high-intensity situations, and often a calming force. A woman in a construction role today is inevitably determined, driven and strong, because that’s what it takes to get where we are. Christina Women are emotionally driven — we have an innate nurturing and nesting quality which aligns with architecture. It reflects in the way we approach design, but also in the way we communicate. We listen, we’re empathetic and we’re assertive. Women in these roles tend to be supportive of one another, we lift each other and work towards a common understanding of how our roles are evolving. What resounding milestone has left an indelible mark with you? Amy A momentous milestone in my career to date was becoming a registered architect. It took a decade to achieve and the support from so many people — family, friends, colleagues, tutors and mentors. And of course, the very first job that I project managed. A more recent achievement would be the DA approval for a 700sq m single residential project in Mosman which successfully gained DA approval without receiving a single neighbour objection — which is almost unheard of. Bronwyn I don’t know if I would ever forget the Rock House even 50 years from now. It was my first project in the office, and I started it at concept design almost five years ago. The project began with a traditional tender, however, the clients decided to construct as an owner-builder. This meant as the architect, and without a project manager, I was inherently far




more involved in all aspects of the build than the architect might usually be. It was incredibly challenging at times, and incredibly rewarding, and I feel as though I’ve learnt a lot — and am still learning a lot as it finishes up. The learning curve was steep, not just in building methods and detailing, but also in personability and relationships. In the end, I honestly believe it’s these relationships that have produced/are producing such a beautiful result. Christina The adaptive re-use of the Griffiths Teas building in Surry Hills would have to be the stand-out project in my career to date. The building had been derelict for 30-plus years when our office participated in a competition which called for the design of a mixed-use development. The big idea was poetic — to insert tea boxes within the original structure, a play on the original use of the building as a tea storage facility. As project architect, my task was to see the project through construction. The project opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, different ways of communicating and boosted my confidence tenfold. Conclusion

It is a remarkable composition to consider the future of construction is driven by a common ethos of communication and relationships — where the old guard of hierarchy has made way to a new guard of a more collaborative and defining journey. If this is the future of construction, as it seems to be, where the attention is not only in the detail but the establishment of strong and enduring relationships; if this is to be the foundations of a house, it will indeed form the structure of a gracious home.

Contacts: bronwyn@staffordarchitecture.com.au c.lucic@popovbass.com.au ae@corben.com.au Photography: Ollie Khedun hello@oanda.works www.oanda.works Written by: Jo Butler





ur culture A pioneer of the philosophy of co-operative contracting in Australia, Phillip Lipman established the company over 53 years ago. From the outset, the spirit of co-operation has been deeply ingrained in our corporate DNA and has always remained a core value. The Lipman culture is something we are proud of, something we cherish and protect. Our values are not merely glib marketing lines, they are central to the way we conduct our business both personally and professionally. Through living by these commitments, we have forged a reputation as one of the premier providers of design and construction services in the commercial construction market. Acknowledged not only for our quality, integrity, and creativity, but more importantly for the certainty we provide our clients. Our reach In 2014, Lipman developed a long-term strategy for regional expansion across NSW & SEQ. The strategy revolved around modest, organic growth based on local people, clients, and relationships. This has been the hallmark of our 53 years of success in the Sydney market and this


same strategy has underpinned the establishment of offices in Port Macquarie, Bathurst and Ballina (acquisition of Bennett Construction) over the past four years. Our ability to add value Our genuine pursuit to provide all Lipman clients with ‘best for project’ outcomes has led to an ongoing ‘self-education’ process with respect to alternative construction methodologies. We have adopted a ‘go and see’ approach and have invested a significant amount of time and money to understand the technologies that are available in the market today and those that are emerging on the horizon. Understanding the application of new technologies in detail is extremely important to us as we feel that if we are not well informed in this space, then we are not providing our clients with the best advice as a design & construct Head Contractor. Our research has extended to all aspects of material including mass timber, modularisation and panelisation. We are committed to applying this understanding to continually improve outcomes across the key delivery metrics of time, cost, quality, sustainability and safety.

.a u m an .c om w .lip w w Sydney • Port Macquarie • Bathurst • Ballina


BLITZ YOUR BUSINESS IN 2020 Get ahead in the new year with these plans in place


love the first week back at work after the Christmas break. It feels like a clean slate and is a great opportunity to put a few things in place that will set you up for the new year. Here are a few things I do in our trade business the first week back: Plan the year – I actually start this by doing anything that was left unfinished at the end of last year like clearing out our emails, responding to quote inquiries or following up unpaid invoices. This new year I plan to send Happy New Year cards to our clients. I read a great tip somewhere last year that sending a Happy New Year card is a great way of keeping you front of mind once the haze of Christmas has been and gone. The start of the year is also a good time to advise clients of any price increases that may be taking effect. I like to do a personal budget and write down a list of goals we want to achieve. We also get all our equipment cleaned and serviced and ready to start our first job of the year. Get in touch with quotes not converted – Towards the end of the year we seem to do a lot of quotes for people who want to get an idea of pricing so they can budget it for the new year. A lot of our work actually comes from quotes we have done the previous year, so following these up is a priority for us. Schedule social media posts – While my mind is


fresh, I like to schedule a good month’s worth of social media posts, so I don’t have to worry about it for a while. I do a mix of before and after pictures of jobs, progress photos of jobs, tips on looking after various plants (we are landscapers), the team in action while working on site, and funny memes that I think our audience might relate to. I use a scheduling app for this called Later. Update the website – The new year is a good time to update your business website. I upload photos of jobs completed in the previous year and post a new blog. I also like to get a few blogs written ready in advance to post in the year when things get too busy to write them. Reassess systems/processes – We like to assess all our systems and processes. We look at what worked in the previous year and what could be improved this year. Having strong systems and processes in place definitely takes some of the stress of running a business away. I have had enough of swimming in receipts and invoices, so we want to go paperless in our business. We will be implementing some new software to enable us to do this and I couldn’t be more excited to see the back of paperwork. I hope these tips will assist in setting you up for a great new year and that 2020 is one of the best years for you yet.

THE COUNTER OFFER Should you stay or should you go?


ne of your new year’s resolutions might include finding a new job. Hopefully you are lucky enough to be offered your perfect career role. The next step is to hand in your notice. So, what happens if you receive a counter offer from your current employer? Should you stay or should you go? It’s flattering and tempting when more money is offered and better conditions are promised. However, be cautious about accepting a counter offer. Didn’t you already decide to move when you applied for other jobs, attended interviews and signed a new contract? If your current employer is happy to increase your salary now, why didn’t they do it before? Will you have to fight for every pay rise in the future? Think back to all the reasons you decided to move initially. Was career growth important? Assess the long-term picture — if your current company couldn’t fulfil

your career needs last month, what has suddenly changed? If you were disillusioned with the company management or your direct line manager, then it’s an incredibly easy decision: move on, because the way people behave rarely changes. Most people who accept counter offers end up leaving within the next couple of years regardless. Keep in mind that the counter offer is a cost-saving strategy. The budget to recruit and train your replacement likely exceeds your pay rise. Considering a career change? Perhaps try talking to your current employer before you start job hunting. At least then you know where they see you within their organisation and how much they really value your contribution. On most occasions, if you do get a counter offer, the best thing to do is politely decline and move on.

Constructing Relationships That Last


Clinton Recruitment is a boutique Recruitment Agency based in Sydney that specialises in the recruitment of Building and Construction professionals throughout Australia. At Clinton Recruitment the focus has always been on quality rather than quantity. Clinton Recruitment is the preferred Recruitment Agency of the Master Builders Association of New South Wales and is proud to be a sponsor of the annual Construction Awards in Sydney. Managing Director, Louise Clinton has over 20 years experience of recruitment within the Building and Construction sector and is a passionate advocate of women working in construction. If you are seeking a new career opportunity within the Construction Industry or looking for key members of staff to join your team, let’s talk.

T: 02 9664 8653 E: louise@clintonrecruitment.com.au W: www.clintonrecruitment.com.au FLORENCE | | 39




eve The workwear taking tradie chic to the next level


ve workwear is a brand born out of necessity to provide women a choice with their workwear. The brand was established in 2012 by tradeswomen Laura and Juanita, owners of a construction company in Brisbane. How can we feel part of an industry when we don’t have the appropriate clothing? All the girls in the photos are tradeswomen, apprentice carpenters, carpenters and electricians. eve is more than a brand, it’s a community. eveworkwear.com.au @eveworkwear


SUITABLY HIP FOR WORKING WOMEN Green Hip designs are durable, comfortable, safe and great for the environment




lothing is the visual validation of a person’s sense of identity and the outward expression of their sense of worth; of how they see themselves fitting into society. Green Hip enhances a woman’s sense of self worth and identity and delivers a tailor-made fit of workwear for all women in the workforce. Through clever design and fabric development, Green Hip allows women to work in comfort and style, day in, day out. Over the years, Green Hip has joined forces with Landcare groups and have planted more than 30,000 plants in Victoria. This is the company’s environmental pledge: for every garment they sell they plant a native grass, shrub or tree. Giving back makes the Green Hip team feel great and spending time with the community gives them a great feeling of connection. greenhip.com.au


PARRAMATTA PROJECT DELIVERS DIVERSITY With a team composed of more than 35 per cent women, this project is set to change more than the Parramatta skyline


et to become a landmark building in Western Sydney, 32 Smith Street will reinvigorate the region with its cutting-edge technology and Green Star credentials. In line with Parramatta’s Smart City Vision, the construction team driving project delivery is 35 per cent female, demonstrating the opportunities available for women to be successful in the industry. Richard Crookes Constructions Construction Manager, Bill Stavrinos, said creating opportunity for women onsite was always a priority. “A diverse and inclusive team culture creates a collaborative and innovative environment which we believe achieves the best results for all stakeholders.” Thanks to the company’s culture-driven EVP, they were lucky enough to attract a number of key female team members for the project. “We targeted Jano Yousseph, Senior Design Manager, as she has a high level of commercial and fit-out experience and a focus on developing women in the industry. She has been an inspiration to Sally, our Digital Engineer and Emily who joined the team after receiving our Merit Scholarship for Women at UTS. As with any project, we pair new starters with existing RCC staff to ensure our values are embedded in every team.” Bill said RCC and their client GPT shared a commitment to diversity and a positive, high-performing culture. “The team has developed a collaborative culture onsite. Having a strong female leader like Celine Dunne has been an amazing development opportunity for everyone on the project. She also promotes a culture of flexibility within the team, and she herself works from home one day a week.” RCC has a women in construction program, focused on creating opportunity and supporting career development for female employees. The initiative involves an onsite buddy system which promotes a collaborative team culture by giving new starters the opportunity to learn and develop with the comfort of a supportive environment and relatable leaders to bounce ideas off.






’m a site engineer on the 32 Smith Street project. Having relocated from the Hunter region to Sydney for the project, one of the highlights for me so far has been the opportunity to diversify my professional network. There are challenges on all projects, but it has been a lot easier working with such a bunch of talented individuals and under a strong female Senior Project Manager. I’ve enjoyed and learnt a lot working with Celine and look forward to observing how she maintains such a strong position in the project as the program advances. For me personally, this job involves adapting to a new landscape and establishing new connections without the support of familiar team members around me. I am lucky to have the support of the company and a great team to make this easier. I think these challenges apply to everyone no matter your gender, although finding a strong

voice in any environment where you are the minority is challenging. I believe as time progresses that a strong female voice is being more valued in our industry. I’d say that how comfortable a workplace is, is less about the industry and more about having the right individuals on site. I do think the industry needs to increase awareness amongst young females about the growing number of opportunities in construction in Australia and the exciting nature of a career in this field. Better explaining what a career in construction involves and specifically upskilling young women in the areas necessary to succeed in the industry should be a focus moving forward. I like that my job exposes me to a varied environment, where I’m consistently learning new things. Every project has its own complexities and it’s very satisfying to be able to look at a completed building and know you played a part in delivering it.




s Senior Project Manager, I have overarching responsibility for delivering the 32 Smith Street project. I focus on time, quality and budget while also managing our relationship with GPT, QBE, our project partners and mentoring the team. Being able to work on such a high-profile, beautifully-designed landmark project, which will form part of the revitalisation of Parramatta, is one of the highlights of this role. I also enjoy being able to lead an incredibly talented team and work with such an innovative and socially responsible client in GPT. There are challenges with every project, however this is what I enjoy the most about my job. One of my strengths has always been to be solution-focused and I aim to inspire the same approach from my team, encouraging them to think ‘outside the box’. I believe that the industry has a responsibility to work together to showcase the opportunities for women in construction. This commitment needs to start with school-age females in order to educate young women on the variety of options which are now available in the industry as well as start to change the language we use to talk about career choices. If we can inform young women of the breadth of opportunities which exist in construction and


remove any stigma around working in any historically male-dominated industry, then we are better supporting them to pursue the career of their choice. I would definitely recommend construction to other women and to anyone who wants a challenging and rewarding career, where you can stand back at the end of each day and be proud of what you have delivered.



am the senior design manager on the 32 Smith Street project. In my role, I lead the design team to maintain the client’s vision whilst coordinating each element for safe construction. Working hand-in-hand with GPT as a collaborative team to tackle challenges and leverage opportunities as the project evolves is proving to be really rewarding. This approach encourages full ownership of the process and outcome by GPT and will provide them and their tenants with a seamless transition into the completed building. Budgets, scope and construction programs don’t always align – and our challenge is to align the design and construction process to deliver an exceptional outcome for GPT. I approach things a little differently than some of my male colleagues; I can be tough when I need to be – but also find that an honest and open approach solves most issues. My experience working client side on previous projects also allows me to look at things from a different perspective – I always ask myself – what would I expect if I was the client – and that seems to work. I started in the property industry over 25 years ago, and in the beginning, it was very difficult for me to adapt. There were some uncomfortable moments, but I found it was all about how I handled it. Back then, you needed to be thick skinned in this industry – I discovered that you just need to politely point out how offensive something was and normally that would be enough for people to change their behaviour. The industry has matured since then and has provided me with amazing opportunities over the years, including raising awareness among my male and female colleagues about gender discrimination and the need for all colleagues to be treated with respect.


Compared to other industries, the hours are long, the conditions aren’t always glamorous – but the rewards are unbelievable. It’s been really nice to see a meaningful change in work life balance since joining RCC. The business has a number of initiatives in place to attract and support women in the industry, across all roles. As an industry, there is also some room for improvement in the corporate environment – recruiting more women into senior leadership roles and supporting them to stay there and to succeed is critical. It is important that the experience and expertise of women is valued in the same way as that of men. And of course – it goes without saying – there should be equal pay for equal work. In this industry, as in many others, women are still getting paid less than men for the same work. Seeing this positive shift play out successfully at RCC has been great and the people who have joined and remain with the business as a result, speaks for itself.


Lots of Activities Available for you and the kids in this area:

• Aquapark • Ask us for discounted tickets to Australia Zoo • Hire Paddleboats at the Noosa & Maroochy Rivers • National Park • For the fit and energetic why not walk up Mount Coolum and enjoy the spectacular views • Whale watching tours available

Luxury 2 & 3 bedroom ocean front apartments • Heated pool & spa Full size tennis court • Wi-Fi • Gym & games room • On site restaurant Barbecues & undercover parking

5446 3888

enquiries@clubbcoolum.com.au | www.clubbcoolum.com.au



HOW TO TALK TO TRADIES Building rapport will go a long way


or women working in the still male-dominated construction industry, talking to tradies can feel intimidating. Trade business owner and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, Angela Smith, explains how to nail every conversation Thankfully, today’s tradies tend to be from a different mould to the traditional stereotype. Even so, talking to the modern tradie presents its own set of challenges (and vice versa). That’s why the best starting point is to show respect. Be firm, but fair in every interaction The trade industry operates like a pack of cards. There is a massive knock-on effect on any project if the schedule is impacted in any way. It puts pressure on everyone involved (including you) to stay on track from both a time and budget perspective. Here’s where you can set the tone when talking with tradies. When emotions are running high, aim to remain level headed. Everyone has goals to achieve on construction sites. If you want to achieve your goals, with the help of tradies, always be firm but fair in your communication. Understand these tradie pet peeves It is no secret most tradies are straight shooters. Typically, they have a no-nonsense approach. In my experience, tradies have little patience for beating around the bush. Get to the point. Fast. Explain exactly what you need them to do. Also, tradies aren’t dazzled by qualifications. They’re practical, knowledgeable professionals, too. Establish a collaborative relationship from


the start. Be open to any feedback or advice from tradies. It may improve the project you’re working on. For example, there is often a disconnect between building plans and the practicalities of making it happen. Experienced tradies will flag any potential issues, and offer solutions. It is important to listen to these pearls of wisdom. Speak the same language The easiest way to get traction when talking with tradies is to build rapport. A good way to go about this is to identify any personal interests. Drawing on what we know about our trade business members, these are the most popular discussion points:  Sport. Discuss the latest sporting headlines or ask a tradie which sporting team they follow. It will spark some friendly banter.  Cars. Is your tradie a Holden or Ford lover? You will find most tradies have a strong opinion about which brand is better!  Fishing and camping. Many tradies are fans of the great outdoors. Perhaps enquire about their favourite fishing or camping spots?  Family. Every tradie I know has a soft spot for family. When all is said and done, talking with tradies is pretty straightforward. You will find most tradies are really friendly and helpful, if you’re friendly and helpful, too. Lifestyle Tradie is Australia’s #1 trade business education and coaching platform, designed for trade business owners to make more profit, connect with a like-minded community, and create a better lifestyle. lifestyletradie.com.au




SECURITY OF PAYMENT AMENDMENTS A number of important changes to the Security of Payment legislation took effect in October, 2019 Reinstating the requirement to include the notation that an invoice is a “payment claim” under SOP Previous amendments to Security of Payment removed the requirement to write: “This is a Payment Claim made under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW)” on the invoice or cover sheet of the claim. The amendment was introduced to automatically turn every contractor’s invoice into a payment claim, whether or not they intended to utilise the procedures under the Act. One of the consequences of this was that claimants were unintentionally issuing payment claims, in some cases where they only had one shot to issue a payment claim, and were then missing the opportunity to carry the process through to adjudication and recovery of the debt owed. This new amendment will mean that for a payment claim to be valid under the Act, it will have to include the statement or “endorsement,” flagging it as a payment claim. Parties will have a choice between making all of their invoices a payment claim, or saving the ability to activate the Security of Payment procedures for a later date. Removing the “reference date” terminology The phrase “reference date” caused a lot of confusion for people. In addition to the confusion, principals and head contractors were limiting the ability of those downstream to make payment claims by including only one or few reference date(s) in contracts — for example, only one on completion of work. This impacted cash flow for these contractors. Now, instead of limiting the right to a progress payment to a reference date, the Act will simply provide an entitlement to a progress payment (and in turn a payment claim) once a month. Parties to a contract will be able to agree that claims can be made more frequently, and will still be able to agree on “milestone” payments, providing a minimum entitlement to claim once a month. Payment claim after termination A Court case in 2018 held that no reference dates

arose after termination of a contract. This meant that in the event of a dispute, a principal or head contractor could terminate the contract (either validly or not) and the other party was not able to issue a payment claim afterwards, unless a previous reference date had not been used up. This severely restricted the rights of party to use SOP, even if their contract had been improperly terminated by the other party. While the phrase “reference date” will no longer be used, the new amendments expressly give a claimant a right to make a payment claim after termination of the contract. This will give claimants an avenue to obtain an adjudication determination in relation to the value of work they have completed, even if on an interim basis if the dispute ends up in court. Shortening payment due dates Previous amendments to the Act in 2014 inadvertently lengthened the time for payment for smaller operators, who had previously relied on the 10-business-day due date provided for in the Act prior to those amendments. The new amendments will shorten the time frame for payment to a head contractor by a principal from 15 business days to 10 business days. The time frame for payment to a subcontractor by a head contractor will be reduced from 30 business days to 20 business days. Both of these time frames can be shorter if provided in the contract. Fine for not including a Supporting Statement to increase to $110,000 The fine for a head contractor which is a corporation not serving a Supporting Statement with a payment claim will increase from 200 penalty units to 1000 penalty units. A penalty unit in NSW is $110, so this is an increase from $22,000 to $110,000. The reasoning behind the amendment is so the applicable fine provides an effective deterrent to the commission of an offence under the Act. This article does not outline all the recent amendments and is intended to be a guide only. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to particular circumstances.



5 minutes with... Penny Petridis

KNOWING THE DRILL Female Tradie’s Penny Petridis talks about making it her business to encourage women to take up the tools


ith 23 years of experience in the trades, small business owner Penny Petridis wants to get more women into the construction industry, through training courses at Female Tradie. How did Female Tradie start? After school I got into metalwork and I spent some time building race cars. Then I moved into carpentry and started my own business called Decked Out. I noticed when I turned up to a job that people would be surprised that I was a woman, and I would spend a lot of time explaining myself, assuring them that I was qualified and could do the work. Basically, I started to get fed up with having to do this at the beginning of every job and I was thinking ‘what can I do about this?’ So that’s how Female Tradie came to be. I thought ‘this way people know what to expect, they know they are calling a woman’. So I could just get straight into the job. As I went on working, I realised that there were a lot of women watching me and wanting to know about what I do. They would say ‘I wish I could do that’. There are a lot of people out there who would like to be handy, who would like to be able to put pictures frames up on their walls. And I thought to myself ‘this is how I can help’. So the workshops have now become the focus of your business? I still run my own building business, but I really enjoy the training. The workshops are open to everybody – men and women, and they really cater to two different groups. I do the DIY and Get Handy workshops for people who just want to be able to fix a few things around the house without having to call a tradie. Then there are the people who are interested in


Penny Petridis talking tools at a workshop at the Sydney Opera House for

starting in a trade. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, when an apprentice starts on a job site they barely know the difference between their drill bits. As an employer, I found this really hard, because while you want to give an apprentice a chance and support them, as a small business owner you still have to pay their wages and if they don’t know what to do on a site, that can be a problem. I did a six-week carpentry course with a group of girls for this reason. They wanted to get into a trade as a career and this way they learn the basic skills they need, so they have a better chance of getting an apprenticeship. Is not being able to get an apprenticeship one of the reasons why there are so few female tradies out there? I think so. I always thought that the girls don’t really get a chance, that they struggle to get apprenticeships. I think the government has a role to play. There are government grants to encourage builders to employ women but to be honest, it wouldn’t

ouse for International Women’s Day 2019

even cover their superannuation and that’s not going to make it any easier. There needs to be more programs and incentives not only for women who want to take up a trade but for the businesses wanting to employ them. Because the reality is there are not that many small building businesses that can afford to support these girls. Especially if they are fresh on a job site with no previous experience. At the end of the day it’s still a business. Are there any other reasons? It’s a physical job and it’s hard work. In the early years especially, you pretty much work, get home, eat, bath and bed. That’s what it is. And sometimes I think that girls don’t think they have the strength and confidence to do it. But they can do it and I think it’s an amazing job to be able to build. Sure, it is hard work, but it’s totally worth the hard work. Its clearly something you love. Would you recommend learning a trade to young women? Yes, it’s so satisfying. I’d tell girls just out of


school to go for it …get out there! You’ll never regret having a trade skill under your belt. You really can’t go wrong. Even if you decide later to move into something else, it’s a skill you will have for the rest of your life. That’s one of the things I like most about the workshops. You can get a young girl who has absolutely no experience on the tools who finds out she absolutely loves it. And it goes from there. Female Tradie will be holding Get Handy workshops on the first Saturday of every month from 9am to 2pm. The one-day workshop will be jam-packed full of knowledge on what and how to use hand tools/ power drills and impact drivers. For more information on carpentry workshops like Decking – How to Build your own Deck, visit femaletradie.com



Before and after: JDV Projects restoration of the previously disused garade to create a workspace for volunteers & staff

Restoring the faith “The Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter (NBWS) was established by our community, it exists to serve our community, it serves because of our community.” Rosie Sullivan, Founding Board Member. In July this year, JDV Projects were approached by the Shelter Manager at Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter to see how far their limited budget gathered through fundraising could stretch towards creating a dedicated workspace for the committed team of volunteers and staff. Instantly keen to participate, JDV made it their mission to conserve the funds of the shelter - which are required to operate the shelter and help those in need – and deliver the project at no cost. Partnering with a local firm Careel Designs, the combined team - who offered all work pro bono - went about creating a new space for the administration team. The conversion of a previously disused garage freed up

desperately needed crisis accommodation for women in danger of domestic violence, mental health issues and financial hardship and homelessness. The project rapidly gained momentum and JDV Projects gave their full support by reaching out to their dedicated subcontractors and friends to seek donations of supplies and labour to this worthy and much needed cause. The response was overwhelming and truly embodied the strong community spirit and support that lies within the construction industry especially for the welfare of those less fortunate and in particular women. With the mission complete, we are so very proud to have delivered the project, together with our team of dedicated subcontractors, suppliers, industry friends and colleagues, at nil cost for the NBWS “What a difference the office makes. It is wonderfully bright and spacious and away from

the residents’ private space. The improved quality that brings to the residents and the staff experience at the Shelter is enormous. For so long this has been a dream of not only Jacqui our Shelter Manager, but the staff and board as well. It was your effort, connections and your expertise that made our dreams come true. We are indebted to you.” Kim Backhouse, Acting Business and Communications Manager JDV Projects would like to offer sincere thanks and acknowledge the generous contribution to all who contributed to this wonderful project - such a terrific team effort.

02 9805 6100 info@jdvgroup.com.au 16/78 Reserve Road, Artarmon NSW 2064


NEW SET OF WHEELS? There are plenty of finance options available


s a woman working in a banking and finance world, I am excited to be part of this edition of Florence. About nine years ago I was asked to be part of the Master Builders financial services team. I have always been proud of the level of understanding and education I can bring to the team and our members. However, I never thought I would take such genuine interest in the specifics of the building and construction industry. I was very wrong. I have grown in knowledge and understanding by being part of it all. So I thank you and I aim to continue to bring the same level of knowledge to all in the building and construction industry looking at any financial services products. At some stage in life and in business we all need tools to keep growing, supporting and enjoying what we do. We need homes, cars, trucks, computers, fit-outs, machinery and so much more. Some may choose to pay cash, others may agree with me, and find a solution that is effective for them.

Asset finance frees up your cashflow. The benefit of leasing a vehicle rather than buying up-front, is that you usually get more car for your money. As cars depreciate over time, why pay the full purchase price up-front? Leasing a vehicle for commercial purposes can generate significant tax savings for some. For more information about this, talk to a registered tax agent or one of our specialists. Leasing provides the freedom to customise your loan structure in a way that is affordable, suitable and effective for you and your business. With each loan repayment you can build up equity for the future should you decide to sell or upgrade to a new model, keeping your monthly expenses low and freeing up cashflow. Access our fleet pricing and finance packages through MBFS. We work with you to choose a funding solution that benefits and suits you, providing the pleasure of you owning or driving a new car every few years.



HYBRID POWER Amanda Kelly takes the new RAV4 for a test drive


he first RAV4 defined the compact SUV and pioneered a new attitude in everyday possibilities. In the spirit of the original, RAV4 is again making a bold statement in modern performance, capability and design. RAV4 has been completely re-engineered and epitomises intuitive modern thinking. From the purposefully chiselled exterior lines, through to the latest technology, including Toyota’s first SUV Hybrid powertrain option, every RAV4 blends admirable fuel efficiency with formidable performance. Performance The exterior design features a wide stance for increased stability and brilliant on-road behaviour. The superior handling, stability and comfort that come from the advanced aerodynamics all help minimise driver fatigue over long distances. These design features, including aero stabilising fins and a rear spoiler, also contribute to improved fuel efficiency. There are three choices of highly refined engines. The 2.0L 2WD petrol engine available on GX, GXL and Cruiser models; the 2.5L Hybrid engine comes in 2WD and electric AWD options and is available on GX, GXL and Cruiser models; and the 2.5L AWD petrol is available in the RAV4 Edge model. The RAV4 I drove was the AWD Cruiser, which was equipped with the 2.5L Hybrid engine. It offers the best of both petrol and Hybrid electric power, delivering an impressive 163kW of combined power on Hybrid electric AWD models and fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km.


It also automatically recharges as you drive, so never needs to be plugged in, and is paired with the smooth response of an auto CVT. I certainly noticed the quick response with the acceleration. I mostly drove it around town and it performed well. The on-road noise was minimal. The start/stop feature at lights definitely took some getting used to as my current car doesn’t have that feature. But once I got over the initial panic when the engine stopped running when pulled up at traffic lights, I quite liked that feature. Another feature I had to get used to was the keyless entry and start, but again I liked it once I got used to it. The RAV4 2.5L Hybrid delivers unparalleled low fuel consumption and performance with the ability to travel up to 1145km uninterrupted, without ever needing to be plugged in. Comfort Within the spacious RAV4, soft touch surfaces and outstanding visibility deliver an experience unlike any other. The RAV4 Cruiser possesses the premium feel of leather-accented seats, with heated front passenger seats and driver’s seat memory (two positions). Exceptional leg room provides enough space for everyone to stretch out, and the tilt and slide moonroof on the RAV4 Cruiser and Edge grades further enhances the bright, spacious atmosphere within. For those in the back seat, adjustable head rests and rear air vents circulate air to provide an enhanced standard of comfort.

photo: contributed

My husband is 192cm and I have two teenage sons and all four of us were comfortable. My husband could put the seat all the way back and there was still leg room in the rear; he could also fit in without hitting his head on the roof. We were also able to comfortably fit a third adult in the back seat. I really loved the moonroof as it lets in a bit of fresh air without blowing your hair out of place and it makes cabin temperature very comfortable. The seven-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) on the RAV4 Cruiser and Edge delivers important trip and performance information, including odometer, outside temperature and driver-assist functions. The eight-inch colour touchscreen display includes satellite navigation, USB and AUX input, digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity. I’m bad with street names so the street name display with the satellite navigation was a really handy feature. Siri mobile assistance function, for compatible iPhones, allows Siri voice commands to access calendars, check weather, look up contacts and more. Miracast allows a compatible smartphone screen to be duplicated on the multimedia display via a Wi-Fi connection, so you can use your favourite apps with ease. Toyota Link connects via your smartphone to deliver real-time traffic and weather updates, local information and more. The wireless phone charger on GXL grades and higher provides added convenience. A 12V DC accessory socket and AUX/USB jack are also

located in the centre console of every RAV4, with an extra two fast-charging USB ports in the armrest storage and two further USB ports for rear passengers in GXL, Cruiser and Edge. Practicality The dynamic lines are accentuated with premium finishes and matched with contemporary touches. Up front, the sharp design of the long, sleek headlamps is accentuated by integrated clearance and daytime running lamps. Every RAV4 boasts stylish alloy wheels, rising to 19 inches on the RAV4 Cruiser petrol and Edge grades. In the RAV4, you’ll find an expansive boot space coupled with a power back door in Cruiser and Edge grades. The back door also includes handy hooks to hang items such as a wetsuit, while the reversible boot floor available on variants with a space-saver spare wheel, allows you to switch between durable plastic or soft carpet. I particularly liked the large boot — it seems to be a lot bigger than previous models. We could fit all the groceries in or cricket kits or soccer training kits. As my husband coached a soccer side this year, we quite often would have a bag of balls and other training equipment to transport around. On the road, the re-engineered suspension and chassis provide an exceptionally smooth and satisfying ride. A reversing camera is fitted on all models and features guidance lines on GXL as well as a panoramic view monitor on Cruiser and Edge. The reversing camera was very handy to have, especially with city parking. I always knew I could get up close and personal while being reassured I wouldn’t hit the car behind me. I also have a long driveway at home and it helped immensely with reversing out. Working in the city, sometimes I need to squeeze into little spots, and even though it’s a big car I felt like I was parking a much smaller vehicle. The turning circle was fantastic, which made it easy to do a U-turn, which is very good in the city for parking. When reversing out of a blind car space, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) can help warn you of vehicles approaching from either side and crossing behind you. If you’re driving on a multi-lane road, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) helps detect vehicles driving in, or rapidly approaching the blind spots and alerts the driver with an indicator in the wing mirrors. Chatswood and Ryde Toyota were kind enough to loan me the RAV4 for an extended test drive. After driving it I would definitely buy one, especially the hybrid model. It was a big adjustment for me, coming from driving an older vehicle, but once I was used to it, it was fantastic and ticked all my boxes. The hybrid has such low running costs and the hybrid engine only needs to be serviced once a year, further reducing the costs.







With over 3,500 products, Abey’s extensive range is a result of consistent and on-going development with a focus on innovation and quality. Offering the largest range of kitchen and basin taps and sinkware in Australia as well as exclusive Italian collections including Gessi, Armando, Vicario and Barazza appliances. abey.com.au Gessi Interccio High Bathroom Mixer Tap in Copper Brushed Finish & Stainless Steel Countertop Washbasin in Copper Brushed Finish. Gareth Ashton Park Avenue Countertop Basin & Poco Brushed Brass Basin Mixer. Gareth Ashton Poco Bathroom Mixer & Spout in Black and Byron ClearStone Basin in Gloss Abey Piazza Single Bowl Sink with TINKD Black Pull Out Kitchen Mixer. Schock Bowl and a Half Black Sink with Emporio Pull Out Mixer Chrome.

01 Lakri bathroom accessories, Morgan & Finch. 02 N&P Hicks Hexagon - Green, Cole & Son. 03 Salt & Pepper Amarna Woven Hampers with Lids , Temple & Webster.


FIND YOUR OFFSIDA New app makes labour hire easy LOOKING for some help on site? Launching in February is Offsida; the easiest way building contractors can hire labourers fast. Right now, when tradespeople and builders need to hire extra hands at short notice, they have to rely on phoning friends or trawling through Gumtree and Facebook. The Offsida app allows builders and labourers to connect in real-time, with just a few clicks and swipes. So, how does the Offsida app work? A builder

needs to hire a labourer to help them out for the day. They open the Offsida app, enter the job start-time and click “go” ... It’s that easy. The builder can immediately see a list of workers nearby who want the job, with ratings and reviews from previous hirers. They choose a worker they like, click “hire,” and they’re done. In less than an hour, the labourer arrives in boots and gloves ready to go. Honestly ... this app will be the most useful tool in your pocket. www.offsida.com


7 Minutes Workout This seven-minute workout consists of only 12 exercises to be done for 30 seconds, with 10 second breaks in between. All you need is a chair and wall.


Mealime - Meal Planner, Recipes & Grocery List Mealime is a simple way for busy singles, couples and families to plan their meals and eat healthier.

Tiny Scanner - PDF Scanner App An app that turns an android device into a portable document scanner and scan everything as images or PDFs.

Heads Up! Heads Up! is the fun and hilarious new game that Ellen DeGeneres plays on her show — and now you can play it with your friends!

ON TREND Build homes that stand out using Dahlsens products that wow.

Nara Vessel Mixer by Phoenix Tapware, baths and basins to make a statement. Dahlsens can recommend the range to suit your market and project.

Digital Door Locks by Samsung Get the attention of tech-savvy homeowners by offering digital door locks.

Vertical Groove Axon by James Hardie Create a contemporary, beachy look with this range of stylish and hard-wearing cladding.

EasyVJ by Easycraft Add warmth and texture to the walls or ceiling of any room with the addition of internal linings by Easycraft.

Barn Doors Sleek style meets modern day functionality with beautiful Hume Doors.

ONE STOP SUPPLIES Benefit from whole of house building products Streamline builds and save time with one supplier. With a network of 26 trade and manufacturing locations across Victoria and southern New South Wales, family owned Dahlsens helps builders to get on with the job by project managing the delivery of materials from the slab to the fit out. One account, one point of contact equals less hassle. As part of the Dahlsens group, one of the largest truss and frame manufacturers in Australia, Dahlsens produces customised roof trusses, wall frames, cassette flooring and floor truss systems that assist builders to build faster, increase capacity and get to the all-important lock up quicker. The ‘whole of house’ building supplies range includes timber, doors, windows, kitchens, blinds, plumbing and more. To find out more about the solutions available in your area, speak to your local Dahlsens store. dahlsens.com.au.


We are committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, not only for our people but also for future generations. CATHAL O’ROURKE Managing Director, Australia Hub

LAING O’ROURKE ENGINEERING THE FUTURE Laing O’Rourke is a $6 billion international operation with 50 years of involvement in Australian construction and infrastructure including more than a decade under the Laing O’Rourke banner. In Australia, our industry remains the most male dominated sector in the country and the representation of women, especially in leadership and senior management positions, has remained unacceptably low. As we strive to become the industry’s recognised leader of innovation and excellence, we understand the importance of building a workforce that reflects the diverse communities in which we live and work. We have embarked on a journey to tackle the low levels of female representation in our business and in the industry from a number of different, yet equally important angles.


SYDNEY BUILD EXPO 2020 When: March 19-20 Where: ICC Sydney Sydney Build is Australia’s largest construction and infrastructure expo. In 2020, alongside Sydney Build Expo, the team are returning with the Roads and Transport Expo along with CIVENEX Infrastructure Exhibition. It is free to attend and features over 300+ speakers in 20 Summits across 8 Stages. Certain presentations are CPD accredited.

LEAD EMERGING PROGRAM When: June, 2020 Where: Sydney LEAD Emerging has been designed by Business Chicks for aspiring and emerging female leaders who want to develop the leadership capabilities they need to help them succeed in their roles today, and set them up for future career success. Whether you are establishing yourself as a leader or business owner, or are an experienced professional who wants to boost your skills in leadership, this could be the opportunity you have been waiting for. Being part of the LEAD Emerging program, participants will experience a unique and cutting-edge offering that includes learning about yourself as a leader through online psychometric tools and coaching. The tools will give you the opportunity to explore your individual style as a leader along with your motives and values. Also available is 1:1 Coaching before and after the program, to gain better self-awareness and focus on the specific goals or challenges that matter most to you. Participation in an immersive, challenging 2-day learning experience with a cohort of passionate, driven women.


A MORNING WITH ELIZABETH GILBERT When: March 10, 2020, 9am-11am Where: Big Top Sydney - Luna Park Business Chicks brings Elizabeth Gilbert to the Big Top. Elizabeth Gilbert needs little introduction. Unquestionably one of our generation’s most beloved voices, her memoir Eat Pray Love, spent 199 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, has been translated into more than 30 languages, and sold over 13 million copies worldwide. In Gilbert’s bestselling non-fiction book on creativity, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, she explores the mysteries of how to lead a bold and inspired life.

KEYS TO PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR When: February 5, 2020 Where: MBA Norwest Education Centre, 5 Burbank Place, Norwest Master Builders Association of NSW presents leading representatives, who are successful in property development, sharing their insights in this informative training seminar. This seminar gives participants the opportunity to gain knowledge and learn the industry secrets from the experts.

26TH WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT When: February 17-21, 2020 Where: Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay The world of work is changing. Geographical and industry-specific particularities still exist, but we’re experiencing a shift in how technology impacts business processes and a movement towards a holistic approach to leadership. So how do you sustain a commercially viable career amidst this transformative landscape? Do you have the crucial leadership skills needed in the modern workplace? The first part of this conference will allow you to step back and reflect. Discover your ‘why’, then learn how to unlock your leadership capability. Then lock down the practical skills to supercharge your leadership career and future-proof your skill set in part two, with expert guidance from trailblazing executive women.

AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP SUMMIT When: March 17-20, 2020 Where: 10 Spring Street, Sydney Back for its fifth year, the Authentic Leadership Summit 2020 teaches you how to lead with greater purpose in the contemporary business climate. It is a carefully curated, 4-day program focusing on the core tenets of Authentic Leadership and how you can employ its principles in your organisation to drive better business outcomes and make our world a better place at the same time. Speakers include Ita Buttrose AC, OBE, Chair of the ABC, Media Tailblazer,health advocate and author.





Trades Women Of IG Empowering and Inspiring ‘lady tradies’ and connecting woman around the world of trade.

Aussie Girls On The Tools Supporting Australian girls who are thinking about learning a trade as a career choice.



Caitie Rose Follow Catie Rose as she tiles, paves and landscapes her way through Melbourne.

Janaya Markwell Join 22-year-old, Janaya Markwell in the second year of her carpentry apprenticeship.



Follow this Brisbane-based electrician and eve workwear ambassador.

Jenaya Lane Keep up with Jenaya Lane as a commercial glazier and qualified shopfitter around Sydney



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Our strength lives in our differences. Not our similarities.

At FDC diversity of thought has been a key strength for almost 30 years. We bring together and celebrate people who think differently from one another. We have the analytical types with the creative ones, “big picture� team members with the detail orientated. This creates great conversations that stimulate new ideas and ensures the highest quality for our clients.

We are always looking for talented people to join our team. From graduates to experienced leaders we would love to hear from you. recruitment@fdcbuilding.com.au