In a first for the Australian reconciliation movement, Aboriginal building company Marawar is taking the lead in a merger with M/Construction. The move will effectively increase the company’s capacity to rival Perth’s construction heavyweights.
Marawar was introduced in 2018 in response to the Federal Government’s policy initiatives to build strong relationships, respect, and opportunities for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities.
It was formed in partnership with Perth property company M/Group, the parent company of M/Construction, on a plan to transfer skills that would assist Marawar to independently build capabilities and enable growth across the operation, its staff and project portfolio.
Nyoongar Traditional Landowner and Marawar Director, Mr Gerry Matera, said the two-company merger is a perfect representation of what true reconciliation is about.
“It was never about creating a ‘them and us’ divide between cultures, nor was it aimed at encouraging tokenistic gestures. It has always been about standing together as a strong and capable force. This is what has been achieved at Marawar,” he said.
“Over the last four years, both companies have grown from working closely together, and Marawar is now a sophisticated building resource backed by a string of awards and accolades for its work.
“This merger will place the company in a new building category and give us the capacity to compete for higher value projects. What this means is that Perth will soon see an Aboriginal-led company take on large construction projects, sending a strong message to business and setting an example to emerging Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander industry.”
Marawar was recently named the 2021 Supply Nation Registered Supplier of the Year Award and continues to grow a strong client base.
The merged company will retain Marawar as a brand, meaning ‘West’ in Nyoongar, and will integrate a unique business model established to identify, and address the needs of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander workforce.
It will be the first time an Aboriginal business will be elevated to a position of authority within a multi-cultured organisation.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of M/Group, said the partnership has delivered much more than anticipated.
“Our association with Marawar has provided a depth of appreciation for Indigenous cultures, with shared learnings that have resulted in a highly productive and successful work environment that not only reflects the company’s values, but that of its clients and the broader objectives,” he said.
“This merger signals a new era for the Australian construction industry and gives larger companies a sound and reliable vehicle to meet their own reconciliation targets. It is what reconciliation really looks like and we are all very proud of the part M/Construction and M/Group have played.”
M/Construction was established in 2010 and has won numerous awards for its work across luxury homes to multi-storey commercial and residential developments.
Marawar has worked on large-scale Government and private sector projects, including Bunnings in Albany, Match apartments in Parry Street, Fremantle, Armadale Emergency Health Service, Department of Finance, Fremantle Ports and ongoing maintenance contracts.
For more information visit www.marawar.com.au/mconstruction
New Collaboration Supercharges the ‘Cheaper to Buy than Rent’ Model for FamiliesRead more
A new collaboration between family-friendly estate The Wedge in Wellard by Monument and affordable first homebuyer specialist HomeStart has put weight behind the ‘cheaper to buy’ offering by creating new 3-bedroom x 2-bathroom house and land packages priced from just $325k*.
A range of beautifully designed homes on specially sized lots within the established area of Wellard is estimated to cost owners around $263 per week, compared to Wellard’s median three-bedroom house rental average of $390 per week recorded in June 2021.
Mr John Wroth, Director of Monument parent company M/Group, believes the packages have hit a new record for affordability in Perth and will mean that homeowners do not have to compromise on quality.
“Perth’s rental vacancy rate is disturbingly low and unlikely to improve for some time, even if you do find a decent rental, you are going to be paying premium prices for it. The opportunity we are putting on the table for families and first home buyers is one that will give them the security of owning their own home as well as the benefit of living in a place that offers great amenity,” he said.
“I believe these prices are groundbreaking and will be a welcoming option to those struggling to get a foot on the property ladder before rents and house prices rise further and while interest rates remain low.”
The Wedge is a boutique estate located just 35-minutes from Perth, around the corner from shops and transport, and in between the ocean and freeway.
It is surrounded by stunning natural bushland with a new childcare centre under construction, a completed park and playground, plus a Primary and Secondary school next door. Some 50% of lots within the estate have sold out and a family community is emerging.
The homesites earmarked for the house and land packages are well-located within the estate and sized to accommodate the spacious homes with open plan family area and integrated alfresco.
“Demand has definitely increased for customised house and land packages on specialty-sized lots, and many are surprised at just how much they can actually receive thanks to our designs. Moving into a brand-new home is a fantastic way to take a first step into the property market and being so centrally located is a bonus,” HomeStart’s Brendan Fowler said.
The home designs are single story with 6-star energy rating for continued cost benefits. The homes feature open-plan living, a main bedroom with ensuite and walk-in-robe, fully enclosed double garage with rear access, paving to driveway and alfresco, and a Lifetime Structural Warranty.
“We have worked really hard to develop affordable homes in this fast-paced or inflated market and remain one of the only developers providing this level of value,” Mr Wroth continued.
“Of course, the opportunity is limited so we encourage anyone who has had their fair share of knock-backs from the rental market to take this option into consideration. It’s a wonderful way to leave the rental cycle and we would love to welcome you into our community where home is made simple.”
To find more about The Wedge at Wellard visit www.thewedgewellard.com.au or call Damyn Strang on 0434 070 654 and for more information on the HomeStart House & Land packages call 9231 4567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Adapting Our HeritageRead more
What are some of the biggest advantages for the development industry in undertaking adaptive reuse, especially when compared to demolishing and starting with a new design?
It was actually Perth’s ‘knock down and rebuild’ mentality some two decades ago that motivated my business partner and I to start our company.
At the time we witnessed the constant dilapidation of magnificent structures throughout the City to make way for bland ‘cookie-cutter’ builders, with no foresight for the visual impact or surrounding aesthetics.
We believe the development industry has a responsibility that extends far beyond built structure. It’s about maintaining the integrity of our streetscapes and understanding that the built form is something that is enduring and plays a significant role environmentally and culturally.
Adapting heritage form for modern-day use captures a story from the past and creates a unique and unreplaceable space, and this makes good sense socially and commercially.
What are some of the biggest challenges involved with the process?
Certainly, the biggest challenges when taking on an adaptive reuse project are those that can’t be immediately identified. This is largely the reason why so many developers have historically shied away from taking them on.
While X-ray technology has improved our capacity to assess a building’s structure, in most cases issues are only uncovered during the development process, which can impact significantly on the budget.
It is an incredibly rewarding challenge to explore ways of introducing modern day requirements into early design, when items such as electricals, plumbing and energy efficiencies had not been a consideration during construction historically.
We introduced a false floor methodology in our Heirloom building to accommodate services in order to maintain the ascetics of the Jarrah beams and exposed timber throughout.
Do you think the process of adaptive reuse is undertaken enough in Western Australia? If not, why not and what more can be done to encourage it?
We have come a long way from the early days when buildings were deliberately left so derelict that demolition was ultimately the only options. It is devastating to think of all the lost opportunities.
We are in different time now and I believe the industry is well across the intrinsic value heritage fabric can bring to a project and its surroundings.
That said, not every heritage property can be justified in a competitive marketplace, and returns need to be factored into each project. It is unquestionably more expensive to take on heritage work and navigate the development limitations.
Financial and process incentives would certainly compensate the developer and encourage more work in this area.
Of the projects you have worked on, from an adaptive reuse basis, which is your favourite project and why?
Without question, “Heirloom by Match” in Fremantle holds such significance as a community icon with an incredible depth of history. Being able to reactivate this site for modern-day use after so many decades of deteriorations truly an honour, and our success in retaining over 85% of the heritage fabric is an incredible achievement by my team.
However, “Home” in Perth represents a real turning point for adaptive reuse in Perth. We were more or less the only company taking on projects of this magnitude at the time and it really allowed us to demonstrate what could be achieved.
When we started this project, the building was locked up and covered in graffiti. Our work uncovered an architectural masterpiece that was nothing short of impressive. It created streetscape presence that helped to shape the west end of Perth’s CBD.
After its opening, there was a real industry shift towards our cause. I will always be very proud of our work on that property.
Aside from the heritage/historical significance of utilizing existing buildings, what other benefits to adaptive reuse are there?
While there is a a great deal of benefit affiliated with historical significance and heritage features, any project must also make financial sense.
We find that people ultimately buy into these projects for their uniqueness. There is no comparison to a modern building and these factors allow for a pricing model that can adequately cover additional development costs.
The boutique nature of these projects mean they hold a strong market value, and as consumers are are buying a piece of history, it is perceived as priceless.
Any further comments you would like to make around adaptive reuse and its benefits for the Western Australian development industry?
I truly believe Perth now fully realised the value of our heritage structures.
The City is extremely fortunate to have such a strong Heritage Council body to partner with developers and ensure each project has the best outcome, and local government stakeholders appreciate the significance of our work within their jurisdiction.
The level of collaboration required to bring these projects to fruition cannot be understated.
Comments for UDIA attributed to Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group
Read UDIA’s full article here