14/05/2008 - 22:00

Northerly still building

14/05/2008 - 22:00


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THE inspiration for Northerly Group Pty Ltd director Michael Lawson to found a company came from the vastness of outer space.

Northerly still building

THE inspiration for Northerly Group Pty Ltd director Michael Lawson to found a company came from the vastness of outer space.

It was while working on the construction of the Deep Space Ground Station for the European Space Agency in New Norcia, 140 kilometres north of Perth, that Mr Lawson had the vision to create a company that would embody not only his broad experience, but also his ideals.

It was also on the New Norcia job, back in 2002, that he met Terry Hare, who later joined Northerly and became a fellow director.

Both Mr Lawson and Mr Hare realised in the company's very early days that the intimacy of a small workforce was vital to its success, with unobstructed communication and cross-fertilisation of ideas and skill bases too valuable to be submerged in impersonality as the company expanded.

Based in Subiaco, Northerly is a project management, building and construction and fit-out company offering services to the commercial, retail, industrial and residential sectors.

"At Northerly, we see ourselves as being in positive partnership with our clients, our staff, and with our community and environment," directors Mr Hare and Mr Lawson say on the company's website.

"We accept the basic standards of conduct within these partnerships only as benchmarks to be exceeded." In the six years since the company's formation, Northerly has expanded its employee base to 30 and now generates a turnover 25 times that of the 2002-03 fiscal year.

Its first large scale project was a $1.2 million home on West Coast Drive in Trigg, which was a proving ground for the company's integrated 'concept to concrete' approach.

The project received high praise from judges at the 2006 HIA-ANZ Perth Housing Awards, where it won first prize in the Custom Built Home category.

Now, Northerly is about to begin construction of a new flagship office block at the western gateway to the Subiaco Town Centre, which will embody environmentally sustainable design principles.

Northerly has worked with a number of high-profile companies during its six-year journey to Rising Stars success.

Travelodge Perth general manager Shane Coates said, in February 2007, the refurbishment work provided by Northerly was carried out "efficiently and professionally considering the challenges experienced throughout".

Planning and development experts Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia Pty Ltd wrote to Northerly Group in November 2006, praising its office fit-out.

"It is rare in this day and age to find a contractor who takes pride in their performance and goes out of their way to ensure that the contract is carried out with minimal fuss and to the total satisfaction of all parties involved," the letter stated.

Mr Lawson and Mr Hare can attribute the company's success to defining and establishing the Northerly culture through handpicked specialists across interrelated disciplines, who have found themselves in a work environment where opinions are valued and ideas encouraged.


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