People, program & culture | 20 December 2023

Building Change: Navigating 2023 with Millar Merrigan

From permit to reality  

A total of 172 planning applications were lodged this year, leading to 163 permits issued. Over 150 certified plans of subdivision were received, and over 150 Statements of Compliance (SOCs) – this means, on average, just over 12 plans of subdivision and statements of compliance were completed every month!  

Through these numbers, 775 new projects were started with Millar Merrigan, and over 750 new lots were made. This helps to create new homes for many Victorians, helping to ultimately achieve our purpose to inspire better living.  

Breaking ground 

Our Millar Merrigan Structural team has been hard at work this year, helping to streamline our service offerings since their implementation into the MM team last year 

From an empty lot in March to a basement and 2 levels of concrete slabs on top in December. It’s amazing to see the designs come to life after almost a year in the designing phase. Completing the structural and civil design for this project, we’ve also provided inspections and construction consultation during the year. Now, the Structural works are largely finished, so it will be exciting to see the project come to a close in the new year.  

It’s always exciting to have a hand in iconic Melburnian buildings, like the Princess Theatre. Our Structural team designed and inspected the new stage framing. With high stage loading, the new joists will provide a nice, stiff surface for the new productions for years to come.  

Giving back and supporting communities 

We understand that it’s important to give back, not just to staff, but to our community.  

In the past year, we’ve provided donations to FightMND through our Big Freeze, Cancer Council Victoria, and Habitat for Humanity in their fundraising dinner 

Our staff also participated in Movember, where they grew moustaches or moved all month to raise funds for research in men’s health, while supporting mental health awareness. We smashed our target of $500 and managed to raise $1700 for this cause.  

We also dressed down during Jeans for Genes Day, and supported the music industry on AusMusic T-Shirt Day. The initiatives we take part in, like these, give our team a chance to rally together for something worthwhile, and feel fulfilled by more than just work.  

New faces and new stories 

We’ve continued to build up the Millar Merrigan team, welcoming 20 new people to our existing teams, expanding our capacity. Within this count, we’ve welcomed four work-experience students, and have recently welcomed six team members from our acquisition of Land Surveyor firm, AMS.  

We’re so proud of our two staff members who finished their degrees or diplomas this year! With another expected to graduate in February next year, we look forward to even more celebrations in the new year.  

Also part of the MM family, we’ve welcomed four new little additions to the world, celebrated and been in awe of the rings for three engagements, and added two marital partners to our family.  

Milestones and memories 

Throughout the year, we celebrated the many memories we’ve gained through some milestone services.  

We honoured 11 5-year milestones, five 10-year milestones, one 15-year milestone and two 20-year milestones!  

A special mention to our 15-year milestone, Christopher Constantine, who took part in our fifteen for fifteen so we could all find out a bit more about his journey from Undergraduate Engineer to Director.  

As our success at Millar Merrigan is a result of the hard work our team members put in, it’s great to be able to reflect on what they’ve been able to achieve. 

Leaving Legacy 

In April this year, we bid a heartfelt farewell to Peter Merrigan. As the co-founder and director of Millar Merrigan from 1966, the impact he’s had on the company is greater than we could measure.  

His enduring vision, unwavering leadership, and relentless determination played a pivotal role in shaping our company into the thriving land development consultancy it is today. We wouldn’t be able to have this end-of-year reflection without all the hours he dedicated to the business.  

Peter continues to hold a lasting impact on Millar Merrigan, with his legacy marked by honesty, fairness, and loyalty. A tireless advocate for what he believed in, he fought passionately for his principles. His influence is woven into the fabric of our company, touching the lives of clients and staff, both past and present.  

Rooted in his formative years, Peter’s commitment to helping others achieve homeownership echoes in his family’s journey. From shared rental accommodations, he witnesses the transformative power of having a place to call home. This desire to make homeownership accessible to all remains a guiding force.  

As we move forward, we are dedicated to upholding Peter’s legacy, ensuring that every connection with Millar Merrigan brings about positive change. Our commitment is simple: to improve lives – of our employees, our clients and the broader community. That’s what our purpose, to Inspire Better Living, comes down to. 

Navigating change in the industry 

This year, we’ve once again been at the forefront of the industry, helping to ensure that industry updates are well-covered and accessible to all.  

We’ve looked at the National Construction Code, which was meant to come into effect from October 2023 but was pushed back further to May 2024. Regardless, it’s important to be prepared – and we recognised that importance by writing about two major changes, those regarding energy efficiency and those regarding livability standards 

We covered the Windfall Gains Tax introduction, a follow-up from our previous outlining of the initiative, to cover what it means for our clients, and any landowners and businesses.  

We celebrated Christopher Constantine’s 15 years, and explored the journey of Kerollos Rofael’s career at Millar Merrigan. It’s good to reflect on the impact we create for the people around us, employees and clients alike, through celebrating our staff in these ways.  

When Victoria’s Housing Statement was released, we covered the 44-page document in a brief but comprehensive overview, splitting it into two streams to make it easily digestible for anyone who may want to know more, but can’t find the time to read the full document.  

Finally, we celebrated our latest acquisition of AMS Land Surveyors, taking the time to reflect on how this came about, and the positive change we’re sure it will bring for everyone involved.  

We’ve also continued to succeed at VCAT, helping clients to see their development dreams come to fruition. With a multi-disciplinary approach to land development, we can provide bushfire planning and management, landscape consideration, planning and civil engineering advice – among many other disciplines – under one roof. This allows us to streamline processes, and ultimately succeed in advocating for our clients.  

Sharpening skills and achieving registration 

We had a further three engineers become registered under The Professional Registration of Engineers Act, which is a great achievement and one to be celebrated!!  

We’ve also had the launch of the MM Engineering Design Professional Training Program, launched and run by Kerollos Rofael, Manager | Engineering Design. This program helps to build the skills of all of our Engineering Design team members, using knowledge-sharing principles to ensure everyone is up to date with the latest industry updates and practices. With external experts also providing insight into current technical industry updates, the program holistically develops the skills of our team!  

With the program also taking our multi-disciplinary functions into account, the benefits are far-reaching beyond the engineering team. Other departments have the chance to be involved, as the topics are shared with managers so their team can attend if they see fit.  

We also ran our Leadership Program for a second year, which helped to solidify the company structure with the implementation of Sector Managers and Team Leaders, in addition to Department Managers. The team had an informative year with a major session alongside Pete Jensen where our team looked at skills relating to ‘Leveraging resilient wellbeing for performance and mental health’.  

We’re also excited to re-launch our mentor program under a new vision next year as the ‘Land Development Exploration Program!’. This venture provides selected employees with in-depth insights into our company disciplines, fostering a deep understanding of MM’s inner workings. From hands-on experiences to interactive workshops, this program will empower our team members to become well-rounded contributors, enriching both individual growth and the company’s collective expertise.  

Thank you  

As we come to a close on this year, we want to thank everyone who has been a part in making this year a success – whether you’re an employee, a client, or an industry connection.  

We are delighted to be able to take this time to reflect on our achievements, the communities we’ve created and the changes we’ve been able to create to improve lives.  

We wish everyone a very happy holiday period, and we look forward to starting the new year off with a bang with you by our side!  

Would you like to work for Millar Merrigan or undertake a new project in the coming New Year? Get in touch! 

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