November 24, 2014
At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
I have been in the construction industry for over 10 years. I have a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master Degree in Project Management. I'm also a Chartered and Certified Professional Civil and Structural Engineer and qualified Welding Inspector.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve always loved creating things and anything building and construction related.
I loved playing with lego and building things in the shed with my Dad.
That’s why I became an engineer.
I attended James Cook University in Townsville and worked part time at the local council.
When I graduated university, I worked as a structural design engineer in Brisbane for GHD designing large industrial structures and ecological land developments.
I then moved to London in the UK and worked as a structural design engineer on high-rise residential and commercial developments for two years.
I then backpacked around Europe for 6 months before returning to Australia and started working as a Project Manager and Engineer delivering multi-million dollar construction projects from subdivisions to LNG marine facilities.
I was working Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO), 14 hour days in very remote locations with not much spare time.
At the same time, I also started building my first home which I designed as a unique property that suited the topography and layout of the block.
When I became pregnant with my first child, I decided to start my own business as the FIFO lifestyle would not suit a young family and I wanted to be able to create a family home.
I realised that the building industry is not transparent and building can be a complex process.
I wanted to start a business to help others with building their own home. Homes are where we discover our stories, share our emotions, and convey our thoughts.
Capturing the unique personalities of the owners and conveying these into a home design is what I aspire to accomplish each day.
I also provide civil and structural design certification for retaining walls, carports and house extensions.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
My greatest achievement to date was getting certified as both a civil and structural engineer. Also designing my own unique home that well suited the land topography and being nominated for a Master Builder’s Award.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
Whilst constructing marine facilities for LNG plants, I was working on an island with a predominantly male workforce who were not accustomed to receiving directions from a young woman and I was the engineer in charge.
I created a great working environment by treating everyone the same and letting my actions speak for themselves.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
The biggest lesson is to always be open and honest with everyone, from your team, to clients and subcontractors.
This builds strong relationships that last longer than a project and are based on mutual respect.
Vision and passion are very important, if you believe in something, other people will too. Be positive and approachable and you can overcome all barriers.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
I love my Apple Mac Air.
It’s so light and easy to use, and allows access to any required engineering resource or standard. It allows me to be creative and design unique spaces and also has the functionality to explore the internet looking for inspiration.
I manage my entire business from my Mac.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
I admire Janet Holmes a Court. She is a remarkable business woman, philanthropist and mother who inspires me.
Janet has persevered and successfully built up and lead many companies. She is an active participant in social issues and a positive role model for women in business.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
The construction industry encompasses so many different facets and avenues that there is always the opportunity to start your own business. Aspire for creation and you’ll never have to compete as you can create your own unique style and vision.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
When I became pregnant. I knew I needed to do something different to juggle both a career and being a Mum.
Since launching my business I have had many people contact me asking for design certification and assistance with building a unique, architectural style home.