Property Australia

People on the Move


The Australian Constructors Association appoints its first CEO, Jon Davies, legal specialist in real estate transactions Astrid Beemster joins EY, and  Ming Long and Rosemary Smithson are awarded Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The board of the Australian Constructors Association has appointed Jon Davies as its first chief executive officer. According to chairman Craig Laslett the appointment was made to ensure “construction remains central to the country’s economic recovery and the sustainability of the industry and its participants is maintained”. Davies was most recently CEO of the Queensland Major Contractors Association.

Astrid Beemster has joined EY’s law services team. Beemster specialises in real estate transaction advisory across a range of sectors and asset classes, notably office, industrial and retail. She spent more than six years with King & Wood Mallesons and, most recently, spent seven with DLA Piper in Sydney, rising to the role of partner in real estate. Beemster has particular expertise acting for offshore entrants into the Australian real estate market.

Several property leaders have been acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Ming Long, chair of AMP Capital Funds Management Limited and former CEO of Investa Office Fund, was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division for “significant service to the financial and real estate sectors, and to diversity and inclusion”. Rosemary Smithson, former CEO of the Property Industry Foundation, was awarded an AM for "significant service to youth, who are homeless, through charitable initiatives". Smithson led PIF for 17 years. Other AMs went the founding director of Architects without Frontiers (Australia) Dr Esther Charlesworth, La Trobe University’s professor of engineering Chris Stoltz and real estate agent Robyn Waters, who was the first Australian woman appointed World President of the International Real Estate Federation. Eddie Kutner, executive chairman of Melbourne-based property development firm Central Equity Group, also picked up an AM. Kutner established Wonderment Walk in Melbourne to create open air galleries combining science, mathematics and art. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was awarded an AC, while former NSW premier Bruce Baird and former Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine were presented with AOs. Economist Professor Ian Harper also received an AO for his distinguished service, notably heading up the federal government’s review of competition policy  which culminated in 56 recommendations the Harper Review in 2015.

Liverpool City Council CEO Kiersten Fishburn has announced her resignation to take on a new role at the Department of Planning Industry and Environment. According to the Property Council’s Western Sydney regional director Ross Grove, Fishburn’s three-and-a-half years with the council delivered “progress on the Liverpool Innovation Precinct, the signing and early implementation of the Western Sydney City Deal, an unprecedented number of cranes on the Liverpool skyline and a flourishing relationship with the Western Sydney Airport”.

Savills has promoted Andrew Hogg to the role of national director for clients and strategy. Hogg has been a member of the Savills project management business for nearly a decade, most recently as national director for retail project management. Hogg has led and been involved with several major national projects, such as the Four Seasons hotel refurbishment in New South Wales, and Grand Central and Sekisui House’s West Village in Queensland. An industry contributor, Hogg was chairman of the Property Council's retail committee for two years, and spent another two sitting on the Gold Coast regional committee.

Michael Simpson has been appointed to lead the CBRE Hotels capital markets team in Australia and New Zealand. Simpson was previously managing director of Savills Hotels. He joined CBRE after more than seven years overseeing major hotel investment sales, joint ventures and structuring hotel and mixed-use developments for Savills. Concurrently, Tom Gibson has re-joined the CBRE Hotels team as a director after nearly seven years in JLL’s hotels and hospitality Group. Gibson held vice president and senior vice president roles with JLL in Australia and the US.

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council Australia, ISCA, continues to expand with a new general manager for New Zealand. Adrienne Miller has worked in the construction, water and waste sectors as an executive and adviser, including nearly five as chief legal counsel for Downer in New Zealand. She is a trustee on the board of Diversity Works, New Zealand’s national body for workplace diversity and inclusion, and recently spent six months as interim chief executive.

Jackie McKeon was recently appointed director of energy services at Renewable Energy Hub, part of wholesale energy broker TFS Australia. McKeon was most recently co-founder and program director of Business Renewables Centre Australia, a joint venture between Climate-KIC Australia, WWF Australia, the Institute for Sustainable Futures and UTS. The hub has been backed by ARENA to develop new financial products and a world-first trading platform designed for renewable energy.