Name: Jennifer Macquarie
Company: Fountaindale Group
Who inspired you to get where you are today
I have been inspired throughout my career by the many people I have worked who have great integrity and generosity of spirit. These are the qualities that are needed in the development industry to create great communities that are inclusive, vibrant and a joy to live and work in.
Right now, my inspiration comes from the women I regularly come across who are struggling to find a home within their financial reach. Through divorce, health issues or other life circumstance women who have worked hard all their lives and never drawn on welfare suddenly find themselves in a vulnerable financial position. Their resilience inspires me to keep pushing for change in our industry and the planning system that we work within to facilitate the delivery of more well designed, affordable housing options in greenfield development areas where 3 and 4 bedroom homes dominate the market, and in regional areas where I work there is often community resistance to increased densities and smaller dwellings.
What’s your greatest accomplishment & why?
I have two degrees, am CEO of my own development company and have Chaired industry bodies but these conventional accomplishments are not what I consider great. A project recently finished where I worked with a builder to develop 1 bedroom apartments above garages in a laneway in a new subdivision was deeply satisfying as they have been purchased mainly by single older women. One cried on my shoulder in relief that we had something new and nice that she could afford. I was also excited to see some younger single women buying these properties on their own. Go girls! It takes a while for planning controls to catch up with demographic shifts and Its disappointing that most Council DCPs don’t permit this kind of product in our most affordable greenfield development areas, but I’m working to change that!