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2017 NAWIC Awards for Excellence Put Female Talent in the Spotlight


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Ali Blanch, CPB Contractors (winner) with Danielle Edberg, Procore

The only glass ceilings in tomorrow’s Australian construction industry will be skylights and atriums, if the winners of this year’s National Association of Women In Construction Awards for Excellence are any indication!

The 2017 awards drew a crowd of over 900 people to a gala event hosted by NAWIC’s NSW Chapter at The Star in Sydney on Thursday August 24.

NAWIC NSW Chapter President, Sarah Hogan, said the awards celebrate the practical and positive changes occurring across the industry. They also celebrate the companies supporting and guiding female talent.

“More and more company leaders in our industry now see gender equity as a driver of productivity, innovation and enhanced financial performance. The rewards are great – as the individuals and companies acknowledged can confirm,” Ms Hogan said.

Among the winners were women who have used their roles to help other women in their companies succeed and grow in their careers, including Jones Lang LaSalle Project Director, Esti Cogger, who took home the Lendlease Crystal Vision Award for Advancing the Interests of Women in the Construction Industry.

Emerging leaders were also recognised, such as Ali Blanch from CPB Contractors, who won the Procore Scholarship for Future Leader Award.

“Ali’s leadership qualities impressed our judges. As the HR and IR Manager with CPB Contractors, Ali has a detailed understanding of the industry, a strong view on the key challenges it faces and most importantly, a passion and vision for the ways in which she can address opportunities,” Ms Hogan said.

“She is committed to having a meaningful impact by pioneering change and inspiring and motivating those around her.”

Vicki Rushton, Hansen Yuncken, Project Development award

Excellence in trade skills was also in the spotlight, with John Holland Group Apprentice Carpenter, Tamara Currey, awarded the PROBUILD Tradesperson Scholarship.

Amanda Hackett, a trade-qualified carpenter and now site manager for SHAPE Australia, won the MPA Award Achievement in Construction, Refurbishment and Fit Out for her work delivering Domain Group’s new office space.

She worked closely with the base building contractor to develop innovative solutions, and Ms Hogan said her career development demonstrates her “skill, resilience and contribution to the industry”.

Innovative design approaches and ground-breaking projects also gained kudos for women working on them. They included Australia’s first major commercial office building constructed from engineered timbers – International House at Barangaroo. The Lendlease project team won the John Holland Award for Team Innovation.

Hansen Yuncken’s Macquarie Rapid Build Prison project at Wellington in Western New South Wales, which combined offsite prefabricated steel structures, precast concrete structures, modular buildings and Dincel permanent polymer formwork won HY’s Design Manager Vicki Rushton the Roberts Pizzarotti Award for Contribution to a Project’s Development.

“The judges were impressed by Vicki’s leadership on Macquarie Rapid Build prison,” Ms Hogan said. Her role included responsibility for appointing the design consultants and design and construct subcontractors as well as leading the design team

“The 400-bed prison’s 12-month completion program demanded early resolution of design,” Ms Hogan said. “Vicki’s inspiring work ethic and loyalty drove her team to 80% completion within an eight-week period.”

Smart thinking won Mirvac Design’s Chevalier residential development project architect Teenie Lee the CPB Contractors Award for Innovation in Design. Ms Lee developed a unique self-supporting fibreglass screening solution for rooftop telecommunications equipment.

The design considered the end user, code and compliance constraints, as well as functionality of the equipment, buildability, affordability and overall building aesthetics, Ms Hogan said.

Other category and merit winners include:

John Holland Award for Team Innovation

Teenie Lee, Mirvac Design (winner) and Martin Wood, CPB Contractors (winner) Innovation in Design

Merit: Mirvac Design team, Brighton Lakes

Master Builders Association of NSW & Clinton Recruitment Project Manager Award

Merit: Kirsten Evans of CPB Contractors

HASSELL Award for Business Woman of the Year

Winner: Juliette Economo, Downer Group.

Procore Scholarship for Future Leader Award

Merit: Ruth Hoog Antik, Lendlease

Acoustic Logic Award for Contribution to Sustainability

Winner: Jo-Anne Gamble, Lendlease

Merit: Sharon Gray, John Holland Group

CBRE University Scholarship

Winner: Alayna Topolovec, UTS, Bachelor of Construction Project Management

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