Archives for Our People

Our awesome women in construction

Alder Constructions was excited to be a part of Awesome Women in Construction’s (AWIC) first face-to-face event held on the Gold Coast in August, since going virtual earlier this year.


Hosted by our industry colleagues at Buchan Group, our team were able to enjoy a warm atmosphere to reconnect and meet new faces across the design and construction space.  Amy Degenhart, Director and Architect at degenhartSHEDD architecture + urban design and our guest speaker for the evening, had everyone captivated as she spoke about tiny lots and an incredible project she brought to life in the heart of Southport where high rises would reign supreme.


Alder Constructions joined AWIC because as a business the network of growing members aligns with our current construction partners, with a great opportunity to expand that network on the Gold Coast.  It also provides our women at Alder opportunities for personal development, mentoring and building relationships that will benefit them throughout their careers.




Awesome Women in Construction (AWIC) are a not for profit association, providing a supportive community for women working in the construction industry.  Assisting with providing personal and professional development and confidence building opportunities, AWIC strive to build the brands of the organisations these women represent. Their members represent small independent businesses right through to multi-national corporations and state-based building companies. AWIC host networking events (physical and virtual), Lunch & Learn webinars and are actively involved with TAFE Qld to educate young girls on careers in construction.

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Connecting people through process

Meet Paul Fullwood, our HSE Manager

Paul has recently joined the Alder team and brings fresh enthusiasm and passion for safe work practices, systems and compliance.  Passion for compliance? Enthusiasm for systems? Not usually something to get really excited about, but Paul is not your usual HSE Manager.

Paul has a passion for people and bettering their workplace experience through growth, development, training, technology and learning. It just so happens that safety, systems and compliance is where his expertise lies.

Let’s learn a bit more about Paul…


How did your career in construction start?

When I was around 11 years old, my father, two brothers and I built a wooden dinghy out of Oregon pine over our school holidays… so I guess that is where my building career started.


What drew you to all things health and safety?

Being a bookworm from early childhood, I have always enjoyed acquiring knowledge, so the area of compliance ticks my left brain.  Plus I was the whimpy, uncoordinated kid in the family, so I was never going to be an athlete.  However, for me H&S is all about connecting people with processes in way that improves production, so helping to make sense of the how and why provides balance for me.


What has been one of your favourite projects and why?

Building my Taj Mahal of chicken coops… it was a thing of beauty for me and the chickens. Two-storey, double walled, fully vermin-proofed, insulated and all from 100% recycled materials. Happy to provide pics and plans for anyone remotely interested!


What do you feel is the biggest challenge in the construction industry at the moment?

There are some big challenges in our industry right now….

1) Construction has become de-skilled of craftsman and people who have knowledge, skills and passion for building.  2) There is a minefield of regulation and compliance duties to navigate.

However, I believe that if we build pride in our workforce, this creates willingness to learn new skills, enthusiasm to take on tough tasks and provides a real sense of achievement when teams make it through the project.

So I suppose I am saying keeping people invested in this industry is a big challenge.


How do you spend your time outside of work?

You wouldn’t bee-lieve it but beekeeping!


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A culture built on quality

Meet Mark Otte, our Quality Manager 

Mark is a walking building code and brings a depth of knowledge and experience to drive and manage our commitment to quality for our clients.   With a trade based background, and over 30 years working on construction sites, Mark has first hand experience in what it takes to deliver a quality product in both the residential and commercial sectors.  As our Quality Manager, Mark assists our teams with quality controls, updates in code and legislation, training and technical support.


What projects have you worked on at Alder so far?

As a civil and commercial building company, I’m required across all of our projects.  At the moment this ranges from bridge upgrades and civil early works to state-of-the-art education precincts and commercial office developments.


What personal qualities help you succeed in your job?

Being able to draw on my years of knowledge and experience in my various roles and a desire to pass on as much knowledge as I can to our site teams. The desire to be better is a big driver and education is essential.


What do you feel is the biggest challenge in the construction industry at the moment?

I feel the biggest challenge at the moment is our lack of quality tradesman on our sites.  There are not enough young apprentices coming through and all the older, experienced tradesmen are retiring.  This is leaving a huge gap on our sites when it comes to completing good quality and compliant works.


What do you enjoy most about your role as Quality Manager?

Seeing our site teams and trades learn about aspects of construction they didn’t know about before and then seeing the improvement of our company as a whole as a result of it.


How do you spend your time outside of work?

My family and watching a lot of sport (when it is being played!) keep me busy, but the biggest thing I do outside of work is help raise awareness in the community about suicide prevention in young men and return soldiers.  It is such an important subject we don’t hear about a lot, but we lose a return soldier every day to suicide.


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Playing our part in building gender equality

With the 2020 International Women’s Day theme #EachforEqual inviting us to be responsible for our own thoughts and actions and actively choosing to challenge stereotypes and bias, broaden our perceptions and celebrate women’s achievements, Alder Constructions describes how culture plays a part in building gender equality, particularly in the construction industry.

With the door open to women wanting a start in construction, an increasing number of focused industry organisations have also moved in, to celebrate, to support, and to provide guidance to the women in construction as they navigate new ground. The result is a workplace environment conducive for women to not only participate in, but to flourish, and a positive step in the right direction towards gender equality in the construction industry.

Alder is one company that has embraced women in construction. From project delivery and development to marketing, finance and human resources, we pride ourselves on offering an inclusive workplace that sees men and women working alongside each other in a diverse range of roles.

Our General Manager, Dean Cheffers says gender diversity within the construction industry begins with culture, and this is what needs to change in order for the number of women in construction to increase and equality occur.

“For more women to want to take up careers in construction gender diversity must be supported by not only men in the industry, but women as well in order to change the culture from that of a male-dominated one to a gender-neutral environment”.

Many industry organisations have great initiatives specifically for women in the industry that not only create networking opportunities and mentoring programs but they also enable women to be prepared and get ahead in their careers.  The next step is for businesses in construction to identify and celebrate good behaviours that mirror theses efforts to first increase gender diversity, and in the long run, gender equality in the construction industry.

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End of an era

Alder Constructions says farewell to Terry Smith as he retires from a long and rewarding career in the civil infrastructure industry.

Terry commenced his career working as a surveyor around the NSW Central Coast in the early 80’s. Terry gradually progressed his way through various positions within the industry, working with consultancies and construction firms, across a broad range of civil based construction before moving to QLD, working as a civil Project Manager.

After relocating to QLD, Terry originally worked at ‘Civilcon’ in the early 90’s, before becoming a Director at ‘Joblin Constructions’, which then became became ‘Joblin and Smith’. This company specialised in structural concrete work, sewer pumping stations, reservoirs, treatment plants, tunnels and concrete tilt panels. Terry left ‘Joblin and Smith’ at the start of the new millennium to join ‘Neumann Contractors’ in the role of Gold Coast region manager, working very closely with the Neumann family.

After working alongside Greg Alder of Alder Construction on a number of projects, Terry left Neumann Contractors in 2007, to become the Civil Manager at Alder Constructions, where he has remained ever since for the past 12 years.

Notable projects within QLD that Terry has been directly involved with include:

  • Brisbane International Airport Terminals
  • The Observatory Subdivision
  • Robina to Varsity Lakes Rail Extension
  • Gateway Motorway Extensions and Upgrades
  • Coomera Watersports Lake
  • Hinze Dam Upgrades
  • Robina Reservoir
  • Gold Coast Desalination Plant
  • Sextons Hill Road Upgrade at Terranora (Tweed, NSW)

Those who have worked with Terry at Alder Constructions have always had great respect for him as a leader and mentor and he will be missed. Terry has pushed our team to achieve more than they thought was capable, providing invaluable support and encouragement over the 12 years he has been with Alder. We also want to congratulate Terry on receiving the 2020 Presidents’ Award from Civil Contractors Federation Queensland Limited (CCFQLD) for his contribution to our industry.


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New appointment to boost expansion into NSW

Alder Constructions has appointed Marty Brennan as the New South Wales Regional Manager to spearhead the company’s planned growth in the New South Wales region.

The Gold Coast-based construction company will increase its focus on the New South Wales region with a satellite office located in Northern New South Wales and Mr Brennan’s leading the expansion.

Mr Brennan comes to Alder Constructions with many years of experience having guided construction and development companies such as Ballina-based Bennett Constructions and Kenlynn Properties Australia with great success.

Drawing on his extensive experience in the region, Mr Brennan will work closely with the general manager and Alder Constructions’ building team and be responsible for all NSW operations including the procurement of work, development and management of the local project team and oversee the delivery of construction projects in the region.

“Restructuring and modernising along with innovation and creativity have been the key drivers of my career to date,” said Mr Brennan. “I strive to always be on the frontline of technologies and methodologies in order to provide the best outcomes for the business and its stakeholders and I look forward to leading Alder’s growth in the Southern State.”

Alder Constructions general manager Dean Cheffers says having a dedicated and experienced resource in New South Wales will help Alder to capitalise on the opportunities in this fast growing region.

“Mr Brennan brings strong business acumen to Alder, demonstrated by his long tenure at Bennett Constructions as general manager where he grew the business from circa $25 million turnover to circa $75 million turnover,” said Mr Cheffers.

“Utilising his long-standing presence and knowledge of the Northern New South Wales region, Marty will act as our representative to develop key relationships with clients in this area of focus.”

Key projects Mr Brennan has worked on to date in northern NSW include Elements of Byron, Ballina Coast High School, Tweed District Hospital, Lennox Heads Community Centre, Lismore City Hall, Lighthouse Beach Surf Club. Other key projects include Novotel Brisbane Airport and the Boondall Entertainment Centre.

Alder Constructions boasts a strong workforce of industry professionals who can be credited for the company’s success story spanning 16-years and their ability to deliver cutting edge, revolutionary projects in a range of sectors while maintaining a family feel.  Founded in 2003, Alder Constructions, which has building and civil infrastructure capabilities, has completed a range of residential, education, commercial, industrial and key infrastructure projects between Tweed Heads and Mooloolaba and west to Toowoomba.


Published Gold Coast Bulletin 15 February 2020

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Take 5 with Alder’s Women in Construction

Jess Howell, Rachel Griffiths and Sammy Amos are part of our network of women in construction working across the diverse areas of our business and today we take 5, to learn about their roles, what it takes to succeed and their advice for young women looking to carve a career in construction.

Jess Howell  |  Bid Coordinator

What does your role entail?

My role at Alder Constructions is within the Pre-Contracts team, as Bid Coordinator/Tender Writer. As part of my role I am to establish, lead and manage the submission requirements for all incoming bid proposals. While there is a lot of behind the scene aspects to the role, like maintaining the tender database, identifying improvements for the submission processes and developing engaging material for submissions – my priority is ensuring all tender submissions are executed effectively, on time and enhance the customer journey, leading us to successfully secure works.

What personal qualities help you succeed in your job?

I believe effectively being able to communicate, motivate team members, time manage multiple deadlines and having a keen eye for detail are crucial for the succession in a role such as mine. Secondary but as important, is being proactive, always being one step ahead at all times; how do we differentiate our submissions, how do we stay ahead of our competition and how can we best serve our client.  Being confident in your ability to be a team player while simultaneously being able to work autonomously is also a key factor in being successful in this role.

What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?

Construction is perceived as a very, male rich environment. Which, as women we should be embracing. In my experience, one of the challenges in such environment is being heard. A challenge, it is like anything able to be overcome. With the right patient, persistence and confidence, the movement around women in construction should be on par with those of their male colleagues, not a differential.

What advice would you give to someone interested in working in construction?

Find your fire. If that is an aspect or every aspect of construction, then absorb it. Learn, challenge, inspire and grow from it and in it. It’s one of the most dynamic industries we are lucky to call work. Everyday, there is something new. Everyday there is something to learn.

What makes you proud of the work you do?

Being in a highly visual and content driven role, being able to push boundaries, and enhance the customer journey is what makes me proud to do my role. I love a challenge, it’s in my DNA.


Rachel Griffiths  |  Project Manager

What does your role entail?

At Alder Constructions, I’m a Project Manager within the Building Team.  My role is project delivery of commercial builds, so I spend a good portion of my time engaging with our site team, subcontractors, suppliers and working with our clients and consultants to deliver the best project outcome. I am a problem solver, working within time and budget parameters constantly, it is challenging, but rewarding when you hit that completion milestone.

What personal qualities help you succeed in your job?

Building relationships is important to me and a key to success in my role. Being accountable and reliable builds mutual trust and that is so important when you have tight time frames and need to work collaboratively with your network of trades to get a job done.  I’ve also had to become a great multi-tasker – juggling trades and projects!

What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?

Trying to stand out, be confident and be heard is a challenge in such a male dominated industry.  At Alder, it is an inclusive environment, but sometimes you still get resistance on sites.

What advice would you give to someone interested in working in construction?

Be prepared for a challenge!  For anyone looking becoming a Project Manager or Contracts Administrator, spend as much time on site as possible and ask your site team and subcontractors plenty of questions – that is key experience.  There is no such thing as a stupid question.

What makes you proud of the work you do?

It makes all the hard work worth it when you see a finished project that benefits the community, children, the disabled, the elderly and families.  That is what makes me proud of what I do.


Sammy Amos  |  Commercial Assistant

What does your role entail?

My role at Alder Constructions is Commercial Assistant and I support our Commercial Manager and building project delivery teams.  I’m a bit of a jack of all trades and provide assistance and support in multiple areas including accounts, contract administration, site mobilisation and help improve our project management systems.

What personal qualities help you succeed in your job?

Willingness to learn new things, ability to work in ‘reactive’ circumstances when new priorities arise and managing my time are key.  I can also have a laugh about it all, because it can be a challenge to have a whole team with competing priorities wanting everything done at once!

What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?

The ideology that it is predominantly a ‘mans world’ or that women don’t have as hard a shell for this particular environment; when really, males also have a tendency to show quite a bit of emotion and it really shows in this industry.

What advice would you give to someone interested in working in construction?

Go for it! Great industry, and very rewarding. Lots of opportunity to work your way up the ladder which is what I am working on myself, to hopefully step into a Contracts Administrator role in the future.

What makes you proud of the work you do?

Knowing my contribution has kept the cogs turning and my role may be more behind the scenes, but we are all a team and everyone has a part to play in the success of our projects and our business.

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New appointments propel company growth

The Alder Group of companies continues to expand its operations across south east Queensland, boosted by two key appointments in senior roles.

The Gold Coast development and construction business has appointed Tony Wallace as CFO of the Alder Group and Frank Galvin as Senior Development Manager.

Alder Constructions General Manager Dean Cheffers said the new additions bring valuable skill sets that will allow the group to explore more opportunities, solve complex problems quicker and further improve the level of customer service.

A qualified CPA, Mr Wallace has worked in senior finance roles across development, building, mining, transport and infrastructure, both in Tier 1 companies and start-ups.

“Tony brings pragmatic commercial and financial acumen across project and corporate compliance, reporting and governance,” Mr Cheffers said.

“Having worked for Lend Lease for the past five years, Tony has extensive experience working with both construction and development businesses. He possesses a very diverse and highly relevant background and this will be an excellent fit given Alder’s diverse portfolio across the construction and developments arms of the business.”

Mr Wallace will be responsible for the group’s overall buy generic valium uk financial management, overseeing the company’s systems, processes and people, while ensuring strong financial control and outcomes are achieved.

“He will provide mentoring, guidance and overall leadership to our finance and admin team and will work closely with the directors and senior management team to meet our key strategic and business goals,” Mr Cheffers said.

With over 15 years’ experience in the development industry, Mr Galvin – Immediate past President of the UDIA Ipswich Branch – has been responsible for the development management of projects from acquisition to settlements, with a key focus on providing products that meet market demand.

“Following a six year tenure at Sekisui House, Frank brings significant knowledge of master planned communities to the team,” Mr Cheffers said.

“In his role as Senior Development Manager, Frank’s key responsibilities will include acquisitions, due diligence, planning, construction management and liaising with local, state and federal government agencies and other statutory bodies.

Founded in 2003, Alder Constrictions, which has building and civil infrastructure capabilities, has a range of residential, education, commercial, industrial and key infrastructure projects between Palm Beach and Mooloolaba.

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Mo’ money for men’s health

For the month of November, Alder Constructions delivered a strong turn-out and much enthusiasm for our Movember campaign to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, mental well being and suicide prevention. Our guys and girls donned their best tashes and walking shoes to raise $2,627 and walk a massive 121.5km! We certainly enjoyed the journey and support from our friends, family, colleagues, valued clients and subcontractors so until next year!

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Celebrating 15 years!

Alder Constructions is celebrating 15 years of sustained growth as the business continues to diversify and expand its operations across South-East Queensland.

The company started from humble beginnings, based out of founder and Managing Director Greg Alder’s Gold Coast residence in 2003. Today, Alder has a workforce of over 60, and has delivered over 200 successful construction projects across the south east.

Greg prides himself on the steady and controlled growth of the company and has maintained his workforce through tough economic times. After 16 years working for a Tier 1 company prior to establishing Alder Constructions, Greg says he was driven to build a company with the horsepower and professionalism of a Tier 1 company that maintained the ‘family business feel’.

“Culture is so important, it’s the cornerstone of a successful business with longevity,” he said.

“I was determined to move away from the large corporate structure where staff are just a number. Our staff form the backbone of the company’s 15 years of success. Our ability to deliver cutting edge, revolutionary projects in a range of sectors while maintaining our family feel is a testament to having the right people.”

Current General Manager Dean Cheffers joined the team within the first six months of operation. This was a big move for Dean, who was in the early stages of building his career as an Engineer.

“It was daunting to join a start up at that stage in my career but we are now 15 years down the track, so it was a leap well worth taking,” he said.

“In the early days, the challenge was acquiring projects through tendering because the brand was unknown in the market. Greg’s strategy was to target projects in prominent locations in the Gold Coast and over time, people started recognising the brand, and associating it with high quality projects.

“We went after the logistically challenging and technical projects that many others would shy away from. We have tackled diverse projects across a range of industries from industrial land subdivision through to state of the art education precincts and waterfront apartments, which is reflected in our company values – Innovative, Diverse and Genuine.”

The team outgrew the home operation in 2006 and transitioned to an industrial unit in Biggera Waters. Eight years later, the company made a strategic move to a prominent position on Siganto buy valium now Drive at Helensvale, building a $4.5million headquarters. Alder Constructions took out a Master Builder’s regional, state and national awards in 2015 for the design and construction of ‘Alder Place’.

“From our home base on the Gold Coast we have expanded to other regions in the south-east showcasing our capabilities to new clients and local government authorities,” Greg said.

“Alder has delivered a range of residential, education, commercial, industrial and key infrastructure projects between Tweed Heads and Mooloolaba and as far west as Warwick.

“We have delivered key pieces of infrastructure on behalf of multiple Councils across South East Queensland, State and Federal Government as well as private developers and clients.”

With both building and civil infrastructure capabilities, Alder has successfully completed iconic projects including the Seaway Jetty, the Gold Coast Turf Club, the Tweed River Art Gallery, Gold Coast Hockey Centre and part of the Gold Coast Desalination Plant Project.

Alder has also established itself as a leader in the private and independent education sector.

“We have delivered multiple progressive education projects including the award winning learning centre known as ‘The Pod’ at Coomera Anglican College, The Southport School Multi-Purpose Hall, and the Emmanuel College Auditorium,” Greg said.

“We are currently constructing A.B. Paterson’s new $13 million state-of-the-art learning precinct, which set a new benchmark for educational facilities in Queensland.”

Greg’s vision for the future of the company was to generate its own work and create a self-sustainable business. As such, the organisation has evolved into an agile development and construction business which is innovative, genuine, diverse, resourceful, and collaborative.

“Alder Developments has now been operating in its own right for four years and generating a stream of work for both the civil and building arms of Alder Constructions,” Greg said.

“Aura Apartments at Varsity Lakes was Alder Developments’ flagship residential project and was a sell-out success.

“Our current portfolio includes land holdings of 65ha across the Gold Coast and Logan, with a key land holding at Pimpama on the M1.”

Alder Developments is currently delivering 11ha of High Impact zoned land at Yatala known as Aspire Industrial Park. Works are also underway on Spanns Road, a 2.36ha site zoned for mixed-use in Beenleigh.


As we celebrate 15 years, a very special mention goes out to our 10+ club – Dean Cheffers, Terry Smith, Nick Gardiner, Shane Pelczer, Rob Odgers and Gavin Consadine.

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