A vital thread in Gold Coast’s rich growth tapestry: Hickey Lawyers

AN OVERVIEW of the most significant and innovative developments that have sewn the Gold Coast’s rich tapestry over the past quarter century sees one legal consulting group’s name come through consistently: Hickey Lawyers.

Over the past 25 years, Hickey Lawyers has established a reputation as the region’s pre-eminent commercial law firm, renowned for being able to deliver proactive solutions for clients across the Gold Coast and, now, well beyond.

Led by the partners, many of whom have been with the firm for a majority of that quarter century, the Hickey team is well known for its extensive experience across the full range of property development projects ranging through master planned communities, mixed use developments, high rises, land subdivisions, hotels and shopping centres. 

“That includes negotiating and documenting complex joint venture arrangements, construction and funding agreements and off-the-plan contracts,” Hickey Lawyers managing partner, Mark Lacy said. 

While much of that work is concentrated in Queensland and New South Wales, Hickey Lawyers’ property experience spans Australia.

“We deliver high quality legal services and specialised advice to a stable of clients that include major ASX listed companies, international and national businesses,” Mr Lacy said. “Our team has a strong track record of service in the areas of business advice, hotels and tourism, planning and environment, property and development, banking and finance, mediation, dispute resolution and litigation.

“We advise across many facets of business for medium to large enterprises, from property and business advisory to business structuring and dispute resolution.”

In recent years, Hickey Lawyers has also helped clients understand and adapt to legal and technological change in their businesses – and across industry sectors.

“Looking to the future of the dynamic business world in which we practise, Hickey Lawyers embraces advances in knowledge across e-commerce and automation to provide clients with up to date, practical advice to advance the growth of their business,” Mr Lacy said.

“Nationally accredited mediators and accredited commercial litigation specialists are available to offer practical advice for mediation, dispute resolution and litigation.”

In fact, one of Hickey Lawyers’ greatest strengths is the firm’s long-standing and committed staff base.

“As a team we have been able to grow and maintain our relationships with key clients to ensure ongoing future stability,” Mr Lacy said. “In addition, we have established a strong reputation for experience and excellence in advice and service.”


Last year, Hickey Lawyers reached a milestone anniversary, celebrating 25 years of being at the centre of the growth of the Gold Coast region. Hickey Lawyers Hilton Surfers Paradise 400pxw

When now-retired founder, Tony Hickey, started the firm a quarter of a century ago, little did he know that that the name Hickey Lawyers would become synonymous with urban regeneration and development along the Gold Coast strip.

“When I started Hickey Lawyers my goal was simply to run a business that provided the best service to our clients and the best way to demonstrate that objective was to work with the clients doing the most cutting edge stuff,” Mr Hickey said.

Hickey Lawyers managing partner, Mark Lacy, who joined 19 years ago, said he was extremely proud of the role the firm has played in the growth of the Gold Coast over the past 25 years.

“The team has provided legal advice on a number of large mixed use developments over the years, some of which were at the forefront of architectural design and some of which really kick started a regeneration for that part of the city,” Mr Lacy said.

The firm’s relationship with urban regeneration is not only limited to the Gold Coast. Just over the border, Hickey Lawyers advised the Ray Group in the launch and development of Salt, a huge residential land development, which changed the face of the Tweed Coast.

Hickey teams worked with Aquis on the development of the Cairns Casino and led the planning and legal team in the development of Naisoso Island in Fiji.

“One of my personal favourites to be involved in was the development of James Street Markets in Brisbane, which was a major contributor to the regeneration of the area and in turn, the Brickworks in Southport,” Mr Lacy said.

More recently, Hickey Lawyers has worked on Sunland’s Marina Concourse near Royal Pines and the Lakes, and the Lanes in Mermaid Waters, both major contributors to the regeneration and continued growth of their respective locations.


It’s not just mixed use and urban regeneration in which Hickey Lawyers specialises.  The team has advised on a number of landmark projects over the years including the Hilton in Surfers Paradise; Aria, the Wave and the Beach Hotel (now Avani) in Broadbeach; Victoria Towers in Southport – the first vertical aged care facility on the Gold Coast – and Hickeys were the lawyers for Ridong Group, the original developers of Jewel.

“We are extremely humbled and proud that we have had the opportunity to work with some amazing developers and continue to contribute to the growth of our city,” Mr Lacy said. 

In addition to property planning and development, Hickey Lawyers has also been at the centre of some landmark litigation cases, including Weightman v Gold Coast City Council & Anor, which determined the test to be applied in deciding whether there were sufficient grounds to justify approving a development despite conflict with the planning scheme; and Liquorland (Aust) Pty Ltd v Gold Coast City Council & Anor, which considered the application of the Pioneer Principle from the decision of the High Court in Pioneer Concrete (Qld) Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council, and the requirements for a properly made development application.

“The firm also acted for the successful parties in a number of significant cases regarding the interpretation of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act, one of the main pieces of legislation over the past 15 years regarding how property transactions are conducted,” Mr Lacy said.

“The cases in which we acted significantly impacted upon the interpretation of that legislation.

“The partners are extremely proud of what the firm has achieved. But mostly we’re proud of the fact that we have been able to create a fantastic work environment that still exists today,” Mr Lacy said.

“We have not only had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients, we’ve also initiated and grown the careers of the Gold Coast’s best lawyers and administration staff.”

The firm continues to work with the biggest and most innovative developments on the Gold Coast. 


About Hickey Lawyers

Founded by now-retired lawyer Tony Hickey OAM in 1993, Hickey Lawyers today is headed by seven highly experienced partners: Joe Welch, Simon Chan, Dan Marino, Scott Eustace, Damian Hodgson, Liam McLindin and managing partner Mark Lacy.

Hickey Lawyers began with a mandate to assist the most innovative and progressive property developments in the Gold Coast region and across South East Queensland – and today that fundamental continues with the firm renowned for its work in urban regeneration and dynamic new projects. Hickey Lawyers is regarded as the Gold Coast’s pre-eminent law firm in the fields of property, development, business and tourism and today acts for clients nationally and internationally.


Taking the DAIS on branding

By Mike Sullivan >>

WHEN you have been successfully navigating one of the world’s most tumultuous industries for 30 years – this year – you know a fair bit about how to achieve success. In the case of branding specialist group DAIS, you also know how to provide a foundation for others to succeed, for that is your business.

To succeed in the branding and design industries, it literally does pay to be acutely aware of a business’s capabilities, aspirations, and the forces that impose themselves upon a particular business.

Which is why DAIS Brand Strategy took a dose of its own medicine in 2018 and re-engineered for sustainability and to enhance its client-centric creativity. Naturally, they branded this evolution: DAIS 3.0. 

“The last 12 months has been a resettling of the business into its next generation,” DAIS founder and director Jack Perlinski said.

“We call it DAIS 3.0 because, after 20 years in one premises, we successfully found and moved into a new creative studio space (in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley) which has provided a new energy and focus. It’s been about re-establishing our processes and creating a fresh vision for what we see as our next 10 year plan.

“Our aspirations are definitely in relation to relevancy and sustainability,” Mr Perlinski said. “My passion for the future is focused on where we can diversify the business and grow our offerings in line with changing market trends so that we are relevant for the future and continue to innovate with energy to fuel our passion for what we do.”

The new office design and location is a milestone.

“One of the proudest moments was standing across the road from our new office watching the sign go up on the building – that was really powerful and emotional,” Mr Perlinski said.

“However, our main successes are always linked to the success of our clients and the brands that they come to us to help them build. We’ve seen some real success stories grow out of the work we’ve delivered from the previous year and we always celebrate and acknowledge that – it’s a payoff for us when they succeed.”


Part of assisting clients to find success is interpreting market changes and innovating to meet new demands. DAIS is already navigating that curve.

“I believe the next era of evolution in our industry is presenting us with a completely new dialect of communication with new rules of engagement,” Mr Perlinski said. “Ensuring that we take the time to make sure our clients understand what is happening around them and in their markets will be a new responsibility for us.

“These new cultures are driven by technology and change on an almost daily pace, so we must include the new generation thinkers in our teams to make sure we’re giving our clients what they need to stay relevant.”

It is not the first time Mr Perlinski and DAIS teams have taken a helicopter view of the business, taken new headings and re-navigated.

“The business has had a few evolutions over the years,” Mr Perlinski said. “We originally began as a traditional graphic design studio, then a web and corporate identity agency and progressed through to a branding and digital strategy consultancy. 

“We quickly grew with the advent of the internet to provide integrated internet and data management solutions where the business diversified from purely a design studio that was called Multi Graphic Communications. We had a strong capacity for development of web enabled data solutions including building e-commerce websites and complex relational database solutions for clients.

“This included building systems to manage medical practitioner quality standards nationally,” Mr Perlinski said.

“The web stream of our business was successfully sold and we then refocused back into our core, driving our focus and specialisation of brand strategy which continues to fuel our growth.”


DAIS’s next biggest evolution extended throughout the past decade. DAIS developed a highly resolved personal branding program and delivery ecosystem called BrandME.

“During this period we published a book, The Why in YOU, built a licensable mentor training framework, launched a scalable self-paced online training program and built a personal branding experience, engagement and benchmarking app,” Mr Perlinski said.

“We have been successfully delivering these solutions to individuals looking to build a competitive advantage in life or in their career and organisations committed to building strong performing teams.

“Throughout this period we’ve become quite diverse in our specialisations adding more skills to our portfolio but still always focused on communication strategy and the value of brand as an asset.

“More recently, the pressure of emerging technologies speed of evolution – and the significant pace of change we are experiencing in how we communicate – has inspired us to continue to innovate. We must be open to adapting and flowing to ensure that we are tuned into the frequency of this change while responding by developing creative solutions that will keep our clients and their brands relevant.”

But long experience has also taught Mr Perlinski to pace that change.

“One of the biggest challenges is the eagerness with which we want changes to happen and the reality of how the universe makes us wait for the right things to happen in the right order,” Mr Perlinski said.

“Not everything can happen at once and sometimes it takes a long time to conceptualise, create, embed and bring something to the point where it’s deliverable.

“The last 12 months and this year moving forward will see many long term building blocks fall into place helping us realise our 2020 strategic plan.”


DAIS is certainly a company that heeds the advice it gives to clients: put the best minds to work for you.

“Over the course of our business journey there have been various people that we’ve worked with,” Mr Perlinski said. “Most importantly, our external advisers, business coaches and mentors that have helped us to evolve.

“These have been important because as we’ve grown, we’ve developed different needs and viewed things from a different perspective – so have looked for a diverse range of people to help us.”

But there is one person who has been a pivotal contributor to DAIS growth and achievements, he said: Jodie Perlinski, DAIS director of business development.

“About 15 years ago, my life partner and partner in business, Jodie, stepped into the business and has been instrumental in shaping that journey, helping me to build and scale the business.  More recently, we’ve had another family member join the business which gives us a vision for a possible soft exit strategy sometime in the distant future with someone to care for the brand we have built. 

“As the founder, this year is very special as we’ll be celebrating our 30th year in business,” Mr Perlinski said.

The business grew out of Mr Perlinski’s academic career lecturing in the School of Design at Griffith University. He held a firm belief that ‘if you taught, you had to do as well’ and he maintained a commercial practice even when he taught at Griffith for nine years full time.

“In addition to this, I was working as a design creative in various roles as well as starting my own design agency until it grew to a point where I left the university,” Mr Perlinksi said. “Along the way I was a partner in a pioneering online training technologies company and then settled into the design business full time.”


As a business that guides and helps prepare other businesses for positioning well in changing business environments, DAIS teams have to engage in some well-informed crystal ball gazing. DAIS has a strong track record for helping clients anticipate and cope with industry changes – and the overarching societal changes driven by technology.

“I believe that the new technology era we are evolving into will challenge traditional models of engagement and communication, where the delivery of the product and service needs to become more innovative,” Mr Perlinski said.

“A new breed of multi-dimensional engagement is required where branding strategies need to be driven beyond the decorative to truly realise their commercial value.

“This momentum will drive a different dynamic of collaboration and models of partnering where risks and profits are shared to cultivate braver innovation mindsets.”

DAIS has chosen to lead by example in terms of business sustainability and passes on those methods to clients and other businesses they are mentoring, especially through Queensland Leaders.

“We’ve always had a very firm commitment to the importance of building process documented, sustainable, teachable and scalable behaviours that define our difference as a brand and as a culture,” Mr Perlinski said.

“The process of mapping and embedding these processes means that the knowledge we’ve gained over the years can then be passed onto others quickly to allow them to be their best. We’re now also building our teams with a legacy mindset and giving them ownership of these processes so they can lead and build other leaders using the same foundations.”

On a broader scale, and from his experience in working with hundreds of small businesses and scores of big businesses, Mr Perlinski said Australia needed to focus on the realities of doing business in this country.

“Government policy that is supportive of small business is the key to our country’s success, in particular the success of creative and emerging industries,” he said. “SMEs are an incubator of micro start-up innovation businesses that grow into stronger and more significant businesses that fuel our future. 

“Creating an environment where these businesses can be cultivated and supported for growth through government policy is imperative for all our futures.”


It is surprising how many successful brands around Australia sport a logo developed in consultation with DAIS. More importantly, Jack Perlinski insists, those businesses are making a statement about their commitment to excellence through the expression of the essence of their brands.

DAIS has assisted and helped bring out the best in brands including Emporium Hotels, LGIAsuper, QScan Radiology, Clovely Estate Wines, Hema Maps, Master Electricians Australia, FKG, Vision 6, U&U Recruitment, Queensland Leaders and was instrumental in the organisation’s master brand development, International Leaders. 

Recent work with employment and community support service group, MAX Solutions, demonstrated the broader scope of DAIS’s capabilities.

“One of our larger and more recent projects was a national rebrand strategy for MAX Solutions, delivered over the last 12 months, which is now being rolled out across Australia,” Mr Perlinksi said. “MAX Solutions provides employment, support and community services to over 250 locations across Australia alone, so this was a significant and important project requiring us to engage the client's national leadership team as well as with multiple international stakeholders and US owners.

“The complexity of such a project summoned all of our creative and strategic talents but also gave us the scope to do our best work. We have now successfully implemented the project strategy and engaged all stakeholders in the process to deliver a solution that not only helped elevate the brand of the Australian network, but had a resonance back through to the broader international member community.”

While corporate branding services are a constant for DAIS, the innovative ‘personal branding’ space is also an area of growth.

“The personal branding area we’re building, and putting significant energy behind, continues to evolve and develop and this year will see us focus on the productisation and scalability of our product offerings,” Mr Perlinski said. “We are also currently evolving into collaborative brand partnerships of associated brands with capabilities and solutions that complement our own. 

“We want to be doing the things we’re best at while allowing other specialists to join us where there is a valuable alliance that creates a benefit to the customer. This will allow us to offer greater end-to-end solutions while still providing the deep specialisation required by our clients.

“We are very excited to be launching new collaborative brand partnerships providing solutions for intellectual property management, trademarking and digital marketing in both Brisbane and Sydney markets.”

Naturally, for a firm of brand specialists, a percentage of energy is always devoted to driving DAIS’s own brand marketing and development.

“Marketing highlights for us are quite varied and at times subtle but have significant impact in generating interest and referral in our business,” Mr Perlinski said.

“One of the key things we’re proud of is our visibility as a leading national brand strategy consultancy, particularly in the digital sphere, so it’s proof that our marketing activities and long game investments are paying dividends. 

“One of our main marketing activities has been a 10-year work of passion and a showcase of our creativity. Each year, for the past nine years, we have published a DAIS Book of… as a gift to our clients and supporters. This year’s book The DAIS Book of Colour showed what we can do with design, animation and augmented reality.

“The impact and response in social media has been fantastic and we have secured new projects that will allow us to showcase even more creativity using these skills. We are currently working on our tenth and last book in the series, due for release in December 2019, in celebration of our 30th year in business.”


Just as DAIS teams emphasise the ‘power of their people’ in driving innovation, so does DAIS practice what it preaches.

Jack Perlinski may have created the business but the DAIS team today constantly recreates the business, moving it ahead.

In many respects, the key business motivator and catalyst for development is Jodie Perlinski.

“I really have to acknowledge Jodie Perlinski, our director of business development,” Jack Perlinski said. “Her work to develop relationships with new clients, existing clients and new markets is a constant inspiration to everyone at DAIS. Her ability to innovate and make connections into new markets and industries has continued to generate opportunities that enable us to do what we do best.

“We are not a big team, so growth and introduction of new team members is something we take our time with. Working at DAIS is optional, sharing our passion isn’t,” he said.

“We have recently brought in new, fresh thinking staff into both our creative and marketing teams.  The new talent within our creative team have strong digital capabilities, passions and interests allowing us to really diversify our product and solution offerings to our customers.”

DAIS is adapting its technology, not only for efficiency but to empower staff.

“The whole concept of digitisation of our studio and resetting everyone’s work stations to be mobile and collaborative has made a big change in how we work,” Mr Perlinski said. “We’re no longer tethered to one spot and can work from any space together due to the investment we’ve made in that technology. 

“Another example is our main print capability internally which has allowed us to not only produce work at a higher quality, but to also slowly transition into using less paper and becoming a truly digital business.”

Jack Perlinski admits he and Jodie remain in love in many ways … not least of which is the love for what DAIS teams can do to help other businesses and business leaders achieve.

Mr Perlinski explained it simply: “Love what you do. We have the ability, through the craft of what we do, to change how others feel about themselves.

“If we remain committed to that as our passion to create, to lead and to inspire others, we will always find ourselves loving what we do.”


DAIS Brand Strategy

Brands: BrandME, The Why in You. The DAIS Book of …

Best-known client brands developed:  Emporium Hotels. LGIASuper. QScan Radiology. Clovely Estate Wines. Hema Maps. Master Electricians Australia. FKG. Vision 6. U&U Recruitment. Queensland Leaders. International Leaders.

Leadership team: Jack Perlinski, CEO and Creative Director. Jodie Perlinski, Director Business Development.

Ph: (07) 3216 0990. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Address: 2/200 Barry Parade, Fortitude Valley, QLD, 4006

Website: dais.com.au




Internet of Things is a hi-wire act for Forrest Electrical

THE EMERGING world of the Internet of Things (IoT) is both a challenge and an opportunity, according to Forrest Electrical Group, which specialises in creating smart electrical solutions for residential and commercial clients throughout South East Queensland.  

“The rapid increase in demand for automated electrical systems has been aided by the release of products like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and there is also the timely linkage with energy efficiency,” Forrest Electrical Group director and founder Luke Forrest said.

“Sensible programming, such as movement-sensitive lighting, is enabling homes and businesses to perform with better environmental responsibility. 

“As in most areas of modern life, the technology moves fast and product choice can be overwhelming.  Our clients are wondering what automation products they should use and which are reliable, and it’s our job to navigate these waters.”

Forrest Electrical has been involved in the industry for 25 years, and has been at the forefront of the introduction of sophisticated automation and control systems.  

“Of course technology constantly improves, but this is a positive thing as its applications become broader, enabling us to diversify across sectors and reach new users,” Mr Forrest said. “There are currently possibilities within the disabled sector, as automated technology is being introduced to improve the lifestyle and capabilities of disabled persons in the community.

“Opportunity is knocking everywhere we turn, and it’s an exciting time.”

However, Mr Forrest said his teams were also mindful of the security challenges new technologies may introduce.

“Introducing sophisticated technology raises occasional concerns for our customers, and our industry is not immune to questions of internet-based security threats,” Mr Forrest said. He said most concerns were mitigated “by ensuring we use all manufacturers’ security protocols to protect our clients” and attention to “future-proofing”. 

“With regard to this, the fact is most of these automated technologies have been around for many years already but, until now, not at an accessible price point,” Mr Forrest said. “They have and will continue to require software updates etc, but rather than panicking about obsolescence, we choose to minimise risk by dealing only with reputable suppliers and encouraging clients to maintain current software.”

Forrest Electrical increasingly found its teams were fulfilling much more of an advisory role regarding technology.

“Narrowing down the appropriate product always starts with questions,” Mr Forrest said.

“How does the device need to work? Is it Bluetooth-based for access while you’re home, or wi-fi-based, so that you can control it from anywhere in the world?  Does it require secure keypad coding for 10 different users? 

“We like to spend time with clients to educate them in all options, so they can feel empowered to ultimately decide what will best suit their requirements.”

Forrest Electrical Group is a 2018 Queensland Leaders Executive Member. 



Premium Pilates and Fitness means business

PREMIUM Pilates and Fitness director Christopher Boult wants Australian business leaders to help overcome the rise of cardiovascular disease – the nation’s biggest killer – by simply encouraging staff to ‘get moving’.

“Throughout the corporate landscape, sedentary lifestyle has become quite prevalent, particularly with rapid technological advances,” Mr Boult said. 

“Greater education and awareness regarding recommended movement and health patterns, set out by the Department of Health, can help in preventing Australia’s leading killer.”

Mr Boult said physical activity was “a great way to increase energy levels, release feel good hormones, build healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis in later life”.

“A minimum of 30-minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise a day is recommended for healthy populations to maintain current health status as well as two resistance training days per week,” he said.

Cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death in Australia in 2011 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2013 health survey.

“Negating any genetic predisposition, cardiovascular disease is entirely preventable,” Mr Boult said.

“However, an increased sedentary lifestyle has become a greater social norm resulting in decreased exercise, poor dietary habits and an upsurge of mental illness.

“Examples of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, running. Examples of resistance training include free weights, circuit training or Reformer Pilates.  

“In the same ABS survey, only 43 percent of Australians were reported to be reaching this exercise goal.”

Mr Boult said healthy physical practices should coincide with healthy nutritional practices. 

“Fad diets are not the way to maintain a healthy lifestyle or eating practices,” he said. “All macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats – are necessary for the body to function optimally.

“Cutting out carbohydrates will not make you a healthier person even if you have lost a few kilos doing so. It all comes down to how much energy you are putting into your body and how much you are expending.

“Part of a sedentary lifestyle is the overconsumption of nutrient poor, energy dense food. So instead of reaching for that Snickers bar while you’re at your desk, try a piece of fruit. Sugar is not your enemy; the glucose that results from the broken-down starches provided by carbohydrates help your brain to function.”



Mr Boult has developed an easy routine to assist workplace movement:

  1. Get up from your chair every 25 minutes and do 10 squats. By the end of your work day, you would have done 190 squats.
  2. Snack on fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes rather than chips, lollies, chocolate and biscuits.
  3. If you feel hungry, try drinking water. Thirst responses are more delayed than hunger so you could be drastically dehydrated by the time you start to get dry mouth and lips.
  4. Lower your portion sizes. Overconsumption is a major cause of energy excess for individuals. The recommended serving size for a piece of steak, for example, is 65g.
  5. Prepare your own meals. This way you know what goes into it and you know how much you are eating.


Three Optimum Recoveries team members reach the Pinnacles

BRISBANE-BASED debt management business, Optimum Recoveries, has recently had three staff nominated for the prestigious Pinnacle Awards, run by the Australian Institute of Credit Management (AICM).

The Pinnacle Awards recognise the year’s leading performers in the credit industry in each state, and they are presented at end-of-year awards dinners in November and December.

Three Optimum team members were nominated by their clients across four categories. Angela McDonald.

Lydia Harris has been nominated for NSW External Collections/Mercantile Agent of the Year; Angela McDonald was nominated for the Queensland External Collections/Mercantile Agent of the Year; and Tim Sullivan was nominated for both Queensland External Collections/Mercantile Agent of the Year, and the High-Five Award.

Optimum Recoveries director, Angela McDonald said the team was delighted with the nominations.

“We feel extremely honoured that our clients took the time to nominate us,” Ms McDonald. “We take our role of helping protect our clients’ businesses very seriously, and knowing that they value the work we do for them so highly is so rewarding for all of us.”

As part of the Pinnacle Awards nomination and voting process, nominees are allowed to sight the submitted comments, but all company details are withheld.

According to Ms McDonald, the comments received were overwhelmingly positive.

“It was quite humbling to read what clients said about us,” she said. “They volunteered that we have an unrivalled commitment and passion for the industry, and that they found our service, and the results we achieve for them, to be consistently outstanding.”

Ms McDonald noted that the most common themes in the submitted comments included Optimum’s high level of professionalism, exacting standards, and responsive and supportive customer service.

“For me personally, the most pleasing feedback was that clients view us as their true partner who goes above and beyond to achieve excellent results,” Ms McDonald said. “This is really our internal mantra, and this feedback shows that we are living and breathing it.

“Whatever the result, we’re thrilled to be in with four chances to win a Pinnacle and we look forward to celebrating with our team and some of our clients at the awards dinners.”

Optimum Recoveries is an Industry Expert member of Queensland Leaders.




Industry changes and the importance of your people

PENSAR managing director Karl Yunker knows how to best manage changes to any construction cycle – focus on having the best people on board.

As managing director of one of Australia’s best-regarded infrastructure solutions companies, Mr Yunker knows from experience that no matter how the market turns, making the most of it comes down to having the best people on board and keeping them motivated. It is a strategy that continues to pay off for Pensar nation-wide. 

“As does any managing director, I closely observe industry trends and predictions to ensure our organisation is always positioned to manage what the market may present,” Mr Yunker said.

Right now, he was observing a trend similar to that which followed the residential housing boom of the early 2000s.

“Across the infrastructure sector there is currently much rhetoric around imminent government spending on infrastructure and a potential boom period similar to that experienced in the late 2000s,” Mr Yunker said.

“This boom was preceded by a significant growth period in sub-division led residential housing. As this growth slowed, the government invested to stimulate the infrastructure and construction sector.”

Mr Yunker recalled that as a telling period for Australia’s construction and infrastructure sector, with skills challenges, funding risks and rising construction prices a result.

“Periods of big government spending in any industry hold the promise of opportunity and substantial work, however we know from the previous investment cycles that it can also create many challenges,” he said.

“As costs escalate and people resources become scarce, contractors and sub-contractors can quickly find themselves in trouble. Projects overrun their timeframes, costs continue to escalate above budget throughout the project life cycle as resources become more scarce, quality can be compromised due to inexperienced people and cost-saving efforts, and finally – and devastatingly – safety can be compromised.”

The signs are there, Mr Yunker said, for an upcoming infrastructure construction boost – and Pensar was preparing as it always has, by focusing on staff development and astute recruitment.

“As we observe the slowing of the recent apartment construction boom in Queensland, we need to be ready for the possibility of a new government infrastructure boom, and ensure strategies are in place to mitigate the possible risks,” Mr Yunker said.

“I believe the keystone of this strategy is quality people – and it’s a keystone for Pensar regardless of market cycles. 

“Effectively managing your people resources is fundamental to success across any industry.  The ability to recruit and retain quality people has far reaching implications for managing project timeframes, costs, quality, and safety,” Mr Yunker said. 

“As industry leaders it’s important to remember that our organisations are more than simply what we make, produce or deliver – they are about the people who make it possible.”


Pensar is a current Executive Leaders member of Queensland Leaders.


National HR consultancy emerges from Livingstones-SHR combination

HUMAN RESOURCE consultancies Livingstones and SHR have signed a heads of agreement to merge their businesses and create a broad based multi-faceted national consultancy aiming to better serve their combined client bases. 

Livingstones and SHR have worked together on many projects in the past and this highlighted the professional and cultural synergies both companies share. This prompted merger discussions and culminated in a period of extensive due diligence, according to the companies’ CEOs. 

The new company will commence operating on December 31, 2018, to be chaired by Alex Aspromourgos – he is Livingstones’ current managing director – and CEO will be Steve Rayner, SHR’s current CEO.

“As Livingstones and SHR join forces we remain fully committed to providing the very best services our clients have come to expect,” Mr Rayner said.  

“Our new national footprint will significantly strengthen our capabilities allowing us to increase our value proposition by providing more comprehensive people solutions.”

Livingstones teams are employment relationship advisors who provide employers with an extensive range of specialist services across industrial relations, human resource management and organisational development.  

Working within a wide variety of industry sectors, Livingstones services clients as diverse as independent schools, government departments and statutory authorities, government owned corporations, as well as clients in the power, utilities, fast-moving consumer goods, hospitality, entertainment and not-for-profit sectors. 

Livingstones have been in business for over 35 years and operates from offices in Queensland and New South Wales. 

SHR is a team of experienced human resource practitioners and specialists providing broad human resources consulting, industrial and employee relations, contracting, business migration and managed services to clients throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific region.  

While SHR supports clients across many industries, they are recognised for their experience and capability in the oil and gas, mining, construction, engineering, infrastructure and utility industries. SHR – Strategic Human Resources – has been in business for nearly 25 years and have offices in Western Australia and Victoria.

Livingstones is an Industry Expert member of Queensland Leaders, NSW Leaders and Victorian Leaders, the organisations fostering the next generation of leading Australian companies.




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