30 January 2024

Inspire Better Living: A Spotlight on Millar Merrigan’s Culture

We’ve always known that our employees are the lifeblood of our company – after all, we couldn’t provide clients with our services without a dedicated and hardworking team. A healthy work-life balance and loving what you do has always been a core component of our culture.  

Peter Merrigan, who helped found Millar Merrigan over 55 years ago, lives in legacy through our culture. He always held the view that you should enjoy your work life – as it’s a big part of your life after all! – and so we continue to ensure our team can connect and enjoy each other’s company.  

The legacy Peter left still affects the way Millar Merrigan runs – and how this creates a positive impact on all lives we touch, whether they’re employees, clients, or communities.  

Working to Inspire Better Living 

Our core purpose – to Inspire Better Living – drives everything we do at Millar Merrigan. They aren’t just words, they really mean something, and ensure we are working towards something.  

Inspire Through Excellence: Inspire internally through encouraging upskilling and facilitating a supportive, collaborative environment. 

Build integrated communities through meaningful relationships: Ensure nothing and no one is left behind as an afterthought, holistically considering all projects and departments in the company.  

Working together to encourage innovation: In using innovative practices and applications, our team can work collaboratively with greater ease and efficiency. 

Encourage, engage & empower each other: Working to support team members without prompting, and sharing knowledge and experience to help others. It’s key that everyone feels included and valued in our team; we believe that work is a large part of life, so you should enjoy your work.  

A team with integrity creates loyalty: When aspects of integrity are noticed, trust is generated within Millar Merrigan, and with our clients.  

Our purpose to Inspire Better Living is why we do what we do – we endeavour to improve the lives of our employees, clients, and communities where we work. We strive for our work to have long-lasting effects on the quality of people’s lives for many years.  

Each year, our team votes for who they believe most embodies these values. With a wide range of winners over the years, it’s clear that these awards mean something to our teams.  

With our team voting their colleagues, we work to build our team up, and ensure that everyone understands what we’re striving towards.  

And, with our award winners actively embodying our values, we can rest assured that our clients always have a positive experience with our team and work at Millar Merrigan.  

Opportunities for growth 

We value growth within the company, so providing our team members with a chance to grow at the company is integral. Two members, Mick Hales and Brooke Bruns, have shared their experiences to showcase where your drive and passion can take you.  

Mick, a Director at Millar Merrigan, finds that after 44 years of working here, he still loves coming in each day. Starting as an in-field survey team member, he moved through different departments before landing in Project Delivery where he now advises clients on the potential of their land for development.  

He attributes his attitude to his career progression. “I wanted to show I’m keen and serious about being here – I’m a positive person, and this definitely helped my progression. People could see that I didn’t want to stay in one box, that I liked doing different things and liked to be challenged.” 

In the leadership position Mick now holds, he stresses the importance of providing these growth opportunities to the team. “It’s absolutely imperative that we give these opportunities to people with potential. If Peter hadn’t seen something in me 30-odd years ago, my life wouldn’t have been turned around in the best way possible.”  


We never hold anyone back, and it’s important we give people an opportunity to progress. It’s especially important to me that we do this – since that’s what got me where I am.  


Brooke’s career progression has looked quite different to Mick’s, starting in reception by answering phones and making Peter’s cup of tea. Now, she holds the position of Manager | Planning, looking after a team.  

Brooke started working as she wasn’t enjoying her university studies, and got a job while she figured out what to do. She continued to study while working full-time, and found that it wasn’t for her – so she continued at Millar Merrigan. 

Brooke previously acted as business support to surveying and engineering departments, but her exposure to planning came from typing up planning-based letters for Peter. This experience was enough to lead her to where she is now!  


If you pay attention to what you’re doing, there’s learning opportunities in the most basic tasks.


When asked how she values providing similar opportunities to others through her current position, she said she knows “that I got where I am simply by experience and the opportunities that were provided to me. I think we get good people out of following that process, and it’s important to give people a chance”.  

With both Mick and Brooke having been at the company for considerable lengths of time, their career path isn’t just impressive, but their tenure, too. When asked about what’s made them stay, they both said the people – with Mick saying that “the people I’ve worked with have become my best mates. I remember some people who now work here being born, getting to watch them grow through life!” 

Brooke adds that she appreciates the available opportunities, and the diversity of work – “there’s a wide variety, and always something different to be working on. If you’re seeking something different, there’s always an opportunity to move within the business, too”.  

Training 

Not just focusing on progressing careers, we also work hard to ensure our employees feel supported in their training and understanding of land development as a holistic process. We’ve previously covered our MM Engineering Design Professional Training Program, but that’s not the only training we provide. 

Training and professional development are embedded into our processes, with team members’ individual development reviewed multiple times through the year within the performance review process. Employees are provided with a formal opportunity to request training – if they haven’t already requested it at other points through the year!  

We know that some people know they want to work in land development – but aren’t exactly sure which spot intrigues and inspires them the most.  

This makes it great that we offer a traineeship experience – this allows cadets to experience and learn from each department for 2-3 months. At the end of the year, employees can be placed in a position that is beneficial to both the employee and the company.  

Matthew Wilson and Nathan McDonald have been through our traineeship program, finding their places in Engineering and Project Delivery respectively. Matthew Wilson has even dedicated to getting his university degree, and continues to work at Millar Merrigan part-time while he studies!  

Further, our Land Development Exploration Program, previously called the Mentor Program, takes participants through a year of practical exercises and workshops to gain in-depth insights into our company disciplines, and foster a deep understanding of our inner workings. This program empowers our team members to become well-rounded contributors, enriching both individual growth and the company’s collective expertise. We’re looking forward to running a refreshed version of the program this year!  

Through providing employees and new hires with these experiences, we provide people with a chance to find their passion, and increase their knowledge base – with practical experience and theoretical learning coming together to help build up our team.  

A team that comes together 

We put effort in to regularly get out into a relaxed environment, to foster a positive and supportive workplace environment, a fundamental element to our Millar Merrigan culture.  

Events like our end-of-financial-year and end-of-year functions give us the perfect opportunity to all get together, and celebrate our achievements and work.  

Our team at the most recent endoffinancialyear lunch 

While these big functions are a great chance to relax and connect, we know the importance of having activities spread regularly throughout the year. As such, as have an active social calendar, which our teams help to lead and take part in.  

With our team regularly engaging with each other and connecting, we’re ensuring that people enjoy the work they’re doing, and are properly refreshed when they come back to work – increasing work satisfaction and productivity!  

Benefits and resources for all  

Knowing our success depends on our employees, we’re committed to developing a diverse and creative workforce to provide individuals with the opportunity to contribute to business success.  

With our in-house training programs and professional development, we always encourage employees to develop their career paths and realise their full potential. 

We also offer a flexible working arrangement, coupled with a hybrid working model. These benefits provide our employees with a sense of work-life balance, centring life as a core aspect of their week – not work.  

With an active social and engagement calendar and recognition awards, we pride ourselves on our supportive and friendly culture. With our employee assistance program available to our employees and families, paired with our team of wellness officers, we actively work to support our team members.  

And, with a pet-friendly work environment, there’s never a day you’re without a friend in the office!  

Looking to the future 

A snapshot from our 2018 Planning Day 

Millar Merrigan’s five-year strategy plan (2023-2028) looks to the future of the company, considering our purpose, vision, values, and brand promise.  

As a company, by 2028 we want to achieve our MM Strategic Statement vision; “Our experienced and committed team deliver high value land development projects with a positive impact for us, our clients, and the community”.  

This is in line to have at least 90% of all projects rated as ‘ideal’, as determined by their positive impact on the community, client happiness, positive staff involvement and sentiment toward the project, and that the project meets profitability benchmarks.   

Taking these aspects into account ensures a wholistically positive and viable project – and ensures the sustainability of our business, with clients, employees, and the community being positively impacted by the work we do.  

Our employees are our lifeblood – so it’s important to take them into account with this strategy. That’s why it takes their satisfaction with projects into account when calculating the ‘ideal’ level of a project.  

Interested in working for Millar Merrigan, and building the future of your career in land development? Discover our current job openings on our career page, or get in touch with our team through careers@millarmerrigan.com.au  

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