Property Australia

People on the Move


Charter Hall’s office division has a new CEO, after Carmel Hourigan steps into the shoes of Adrian Taylor. Meanwhile, there’s movement at the Greater Sydney Commission, Western Parkland City and the Property Council.

Charter Hall Group has appointed Carmel Hourigan as CEO of its office division, replacing Adrian Taylor who leaves the company to pursue other opportunities. In her previous role as AMP Capital’s global head of real estate, Hourigan was responsible for leading a $29 billion property investment and management business. Prior to AMP Capital, Hourigan held senior roles at The GPT Group, Lendlease and Colonial First State. Hourigan sits on the Property Council’s national board of directors and is a special advisor to the Property Male Champions of Change group. Taylor joined Charter Hall with the acquisition of the Macquarie real estate platform in 2010. Since Taylor began leading the office division in 2016, Charter Hall’s office funds under management has risen to $19 billion and 1.6 million sqm.

The Greater Sydney Commission’s inaugural chief executive officer Dr Sarah Hill has been named CEO of the new Western Parkland City Authority, formerly known as the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority. Hill will oversee the development of one of Sydney’s ‘three cities’ as outlined in the plan that she helped to create during her four years with the Greater Sydney Commission. The current CEO of the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority Sam Sangster will retain a senior role with the organisation.

Meanwhile, the Property Council’s NSW executive director Jane Fitzgerald will step into Hill’s shoes, after being named interim chief executive for the Greater Sydney Commission last week. Fitzgerald has led the Property Council’s NSW division since 2016, playing a major role in tax, planning and infrastructure advocacy. Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison says of the move: “The Greater Sydney Commission is a vitally important body and Jane’s role in helping the NSW Government and the people of Sydney shape the future of this city in a post-COVID world will be vital.” Fitzgerald hands the reins to the Property Council’s executive director for capital markets, Belinda Ngo, who will assume the role of interim NSW executive director while a recruitment process is undertaken.

Also in Western Sydney, Simon Hickey has been appointed to lead the Western Sydney Airport Corporation following the resignation of Graham Millett last year. Hickey comes to the position of CEO holding senior roles at Lendlease and Qantas International and Freight. The airport remains on track to open in late 2026.

Professor John Thwaites has been appointed to The Lancet COVID-19 Commission, a body established to accelerate global solutions to the pandemic. Thwaites is chairman of Monash University’s Sustainable Development Institute, Melbourne Water and think tank ClimateWorks. He was chair of the Australian Buildings Code Board for six years, a long-time board director with the Green Building Council of Australia and former deputy premier of Victoria. The commission, made up of 26 scholars, public health professionals, environmentalists and policy makers, will be chaired by professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

After five and a half years leading sustainability at Vicinity Centres, Melissa Schulz is taking up a new role as general manager of sustainability at QIC Global Real Estate. Among her achievements at Vicinity, Schulz negotiated a public commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and delivered a $73 million onsite solar program. Her new role is Melbourne based, and Schulz will sit on the company’s executive committee. Schulz is currently chair of the Property Council’s national sustainability roundtable.

Justin Punch has been appointed chair of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, replacing Martijn Wilder who had completed his tenure. Punch is currently chair of the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust, which works with Indigenous ranger groups to manage land conservation and sustainability projects. Punch previously served as a partner in equity investment firm Archer Capital, and has held senior positions with Simplot Australia and the Boston Consulting Group. Wilder was appointed to the ARENA board in April 2016 and his appointment was renewed for another two-year term in 2018. He has made significant contributions to climate and energy policy in roles with Baker and McKenzie, as chair of the NSW Climate Change Council, as president of WWF Australia and as a founding partner of the Pollination advisory group.

The hotel division of global real estate developer Crown Group, SKYE Suites, has appointed Ari Foo as sales director Foo will lead all hotel-based sales activities and will be responsible for developing sales strategies and operations for the SKYE Suites’ portfolio of luxury boutique hotels including SKYE Suites Sydney, Parramatta and Green Square. Prior to joining SKYE Suites, Foo was director of global sales at Hyatt Sales Force for five years, managing a $US30 million portfolio.

Mark McKenna has been promoted to global sustainability director at global engineering consultancy NDY following Tony Arnel’s departure. McKenna has been working in sustainability roles at NDY for almost a decade and is the architect of the firm’s recent carbon neutral commitment.

DesignInc Melbourne has welcomed Darryl Suttie into the newly-established role of principal. Suttie will work with directors Christon Batey-Smith, Stephen Webb and Rohan Wilson to drive practice growth. Suttie has led large projects, like the 75,000 sqm Melbourne markets relocation project. He has been a senior associate at DesignIn for six years.