Property industry triumphs despite challenging year

Photo Glenn Hunt
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CBRE, m3property and goFARM Australia were among the winners at the Australian Property Institute’s 2021 Excellence in Property Awards.

This year’s awards was sponsored by The University of Melbourne, and was announced virtually via LinkedIn.

Winners were announced in six categories:

  • CBRE received the Workplace Diversity and Culture Award
  • m3property’s national health, aged care and seniors living team received the Valuation Team of the Year Award
  • Will Johnson received the Young Property Professional of the Year Award
  • goFARM Australia received the Innovation in Property Award
  • Annette Smith received The Lesley Bennett Women in Property Award
  • Kym Dreyer received The Colonel Alfred Clifford Catt Award

Amelia Hodge, CEO of the Australian Property Institute, congratulated the winners on their achievements.

“This year we had wonderful and diverse submissions from this year’s finalists, resulting in a tight and difficult selection choice for our judges.”

“We congratulate the winners and thank all of our sponsors for making the Awards possible. While we unfortunately could not celebrate the winners in-person again this year, we hope the winners take the time to celebrate their success with their teams.”

“We look forward to announcing the winners of our 2022 Excellence in Property Awards in person at the National Property Conference on the Gold Coast next April.”


Workplace Diversity and Culture Award

Judges noted CBRE’s policy changes to flex-work and parental leave policies, its latest innovate reconciliation action plan being endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, including an Indigenous Centre of Excellence and a Social Development Initiative, and the introduction of gender-neutral bathrooms and pronouns in email signatures, with the company also recognised by the Australian Workplace Equality Index for the third year running.


Valuation Team of the Year Award

Led by national director, Laila Burney, m3property’s national health team expanded into the emerging specialist disability accommodation investment market.


Young Property Professional of the Year Award

Managing director of Herron Todd White, Will Johnson is the youngest member elected to the HTWA/C board in the company’s 53 year history, at 34 years of age. His key achievements include the successful ratification of the RVI’s emergency protocol, allowing the award-winning contactless inspection tool to be utilised where there is no ability to undertake a full inspection under COVID restrictions. He is also the State Chair of the API’s Northern Territory State Committee.


Innovation in Property Award

Agriculture investor and developer goFARM was recognised for its project “Akuna”. Across more than 7,000 hectares and more than 50,000ML, goFARM’s investment in land use change, farm design, soil regeneration and subsurface drip irrigation technology has delivered more than a doubling in output per unit of water applied, and they have reclaimed and recycled obsolete farm infrastructure to reduce the environmental footprint of the project, as well as creating new jobs in northern Victoria.


The Lesley Bennett Women in Property Award

Annette Smith began her career in 1995 as the first female graduate at the Lands Department undertaking rural valuation work in a regional area, and had the seed of her mission for change sewn after facing the challenge of finding accommodation for a single woman. She fosters a supportive work culture by promoting the priority of flexible work arrangements at Acumentis, offering team members the ability to have a fulfilling family life and career, and is a mentor for female valuers and continuously gives back to the Central Queensland community through roles at a range of Planning Boards and Associations.


The Colonel Alfred Clifford Catt Award

Kym Dreyer has been a property professional in South Australia for over 40 years, working as a valuer since 1980. He currently manages the residential development team as a director within m3property’s state office. Kym joined the API in 1980 and was awarded a Life Fellowship in 2011.

Kym has been an invaluable contributor to the API and the broader property industry by serving on a number of divisional and national committees and panels. He has been responsible for the execution and implementation of professional and technical policy matters on behalf of national API members, as well as helping to develop the Future Property Professionals program.

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