• Australia’s Branch Reports

    29 May 2018

    The Australian economy seems to largely be recovering from a lacklustre 2016 and 2017. This is largely thanks to a boom in Sydney transport and infrastructure spending and a marginal recovering in the Perth commercial building sector. With these positive signs of life have come healthy turnouts to Lighthouse Club events in most states. More on this later.

    Lighthouse Club in Adelaide, South Australia

    Our big news this quarter is that the Lighthouse has come to Adelaide, courtesy of our man on the ground Graham Hartland (of Singapore Lighthouse Club fame). The first monthly Get Together was on 23 January 2018 at the Duke of Brunswick Hotel. We had a phenomenal 21 people turn up for this event which is a very promising start. Future events will be on the last Tuesday of each month at the Duke of Brunswick Hotel. We are seeking sponsors for the remainder of the year. Please do get in touch if you can help. Please do go and support Graham and the team if you’re in the area.

    Australia Committee Appointments

    December saw a few changes in the committee members as standing members moved onwards (but, I would venture to say, not ‘upwards’) or stepped back to enjoy their own lives. The current committee is:

    • Lee Armstrong (President)
    • Suzy Cairney (Secretary)
    • Paul Roberts (Vice-President, Brisbane)
    • John Gurney (Vice-President, Melbourne)
    • Karen Wenham (Vice-President, Sydney)
    • Kevin Anderson (Treasurer)
    • David Lewis (Assistant Secretary)
    • Jillian Rathbone (Website and Media Manager)

    We believe this is a good mix of experience and new blood. Here’s to the next 12 months!

    Donations to TAFE NSW Recipients

    Our Sydney branch has been working hard with TAFE NSW to be able to provide some hardship bursaries to young people in need of assistance. It was with great pleasure to present bursaries to both Andrew Everingham and Ali Bahrami who were selected as being deserving students attending TAFE NSW in Mt Druitt, the SkillsPoint HQ for Infrastructure, Energy and Construction. Both students received funding which went towards TAFE fees to the end of 2018, as well as essential tools. Ali imparted a very moving story of his move from Afghanistan to Australia and the challenges he has faced along the way. His ambition is to become a qualified carpenter and eventually own his own business. Andrew’s ambition is to complete vocational work in Third World countries using the skills he has learnt in plumbing and then develop his career to the next step of opening a business.

    The bursaries were primarily funding following the success of “Tracing a Construction Case” held in the Supreme Court in Sydney in April 2017. Thanks to everyone that has helped make this happen.

    All of us in LHC Australia wish both Andrew and Ali every success in the future and look forward to sharing their future successes with you. Special thanks to Robyn Addie and Chris Pracy of TAFE NSW who assisted us in the selection of suitable candidates and organising the presentation. Stephen Bolt representing Lighthouse Club Sydney made the presentations.

    Brisbane News

    The Brisbane chapter of the Lighthouse Club has been going from strength to strength in the last quarter. We’ve welcomed several new individual and corporate members and look forward to meeting new faces at each event. We would especially like to thank our recent sponsors, dts builders. Get Togethers are held on the third Thursday of the month at either the Pav Bar or the offices of our sponsors – you’ll find details on the website.

    The Ball Committee is underway with planning our annual event and it is looking to be bigger and better than ever this year! Sources are telling us to keep your diaries free in September.

    Perth News

    Perth – and by extension the Perth branch of the Lighthouse Club – suffered a little due to the downturn in construction-related activity in early 2017. We’re not going to see the boom times of 2012 or 2013 for some time (they’ve gone on holiday to Sydney for a while, but we’ll have them back eventually!), but we’re certainly now seeing a return to the good times commercial building is picking up, the government is funding a number of medium-sized road projects, and mining companies are planning extensions, maintenance and new projects.

    The numbers at our monthly Get Togethers are solid, and a movement to a new venue in February 2018 should give everyone an injection of enthusiasm that everyone needs. Thanks to our sponsors TBH and Clifford Chance for allowing us to continue into 2018.

    Our Tracing a Construction Case event was a sell-out. Thanks to the participants who travelled from Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur to speak at the event. It was a great night and helped raise money and profile for the Lighthouse Club. Thanks to our sponsors 39 Essex Chambers, Jones Day, Clifford Chance, Contract Solutions International, Pinsent Masons and TBH.


    We’re busily planning for a number of additional events this year, including a quiz night, a golf event and our Winter soiree. Watch this space, and check our website for more information.

    Melbourne News

    We’re still looking for sponsors and active people to help out in Melbourne. Please contact us at info@lighthouseclubaus.org for more information.

    Sydney News

    After a brief hiatus over Christmas, the Sydney branch continues to hold monthly events where possible. The Sydney infrastructure sector is booming, and this alone is enough to have sent the state of NSW into a frenzy. Our man on the ground in Sydney, Julian Hemms, has put together the following review:

    With an unprecedented spend and growth profile the New South Wales market is hot, and certainly the place to be for business. With an astonishing AUD$72 Billion committed in various sectors, the skills shortage and pressure on the Sydney market is expected to increase. The major spend in infrastructure is likely a welcome break to the downturn in investment in oil and gas, with the redeployment of key civil resources to deliver this incredible boom in the market – not to mention that there is no sign of the market slowing down. The transport strategy is currently a move West from Sydney, which looks certainly to create future growth and force expansion into new cities. This change already visible in Parramatta and we’re likely to see similar trends as in the UK, where big businesses are moving out of the CBD to find easier commuting times and more competitive leasing rates.

    For further information, please contact Julian Hemms or visit the NSW web site, which retains details on the current spending and expenditure. Who said construction was a bad choice for a career? Thanks Julian. Any questions or comments on this snippet, please contact Julian via our main contact address: info@lighthouseclubaus.org.


    2018 promises to be an exciting year for Australia. The Lighthouse Club Australia fully intends to be an integral part of this excitement. Subscribe for updates to all our Australian groups on our website at www.lighthouseclubaus.org.




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