“My dad’s a builder and I only really had one school holiday job, which was being on the tools with him.”

I’ve always felt drawn to the construction industry.

My dad’s a builder and I only really had one school holiday job, which was being on the tools with him. I really enjoyed that, but I’ve also always drawn, and I was keen to get into the design and documentation side of construction. Since qualifying as a draughtsman in the mid-'90s, I’ve worked on all kinds of projects – from residential to light commercial, healthcare and education.

As part of Ignite’s retail and commercial team, my role is all about looking after people, projects and clients. I really like the client-liaison aspect of my job – I think it’s important to look after clients and ensure they are heard, and responded to, throughout the life of the project.

I love the challenge that comes with balancing client objectives, user needs and the technical requirements of the site. I also think it’s important to remember that every element of a design is bigger than the single bit of paper you’re looking at. I am constantly reminding my team to sit back and look at the big picture, keeping in mind that every decision they make will impact another aspect of the project. 

Here at Ignite, there is a real emphasis on encouraging each individual to be themselves. While the business has sound procedures and structures, there is the opportunity to express my own unique flavour and style within my work - and I love that.

I’m inspired by really tiny little buildings. They need to be so well thought through and crafted. On a massive building, faults can be hidden by the sheer scale of the structure, but tiny spaces have to be so well done, because they’re totally exposed.  

If I hadn’t pursued this career, I’d probably be coaching Olympic weightlifting. I used to be a New Zealand representative in the sport when I was younger, which gave me the opportunity to travel overseas and also to coach others.