EGM David Lehmann talks about the future of Building at John Holland

We’ve created a new national building group to boost our focus and grow our portfolio. We sat down with head of John Holland Building David Lehmann to find out more... 

We hear John Holland has big plans over the next few years – can you tell us more?
We’ve set a goal to more than double by 2021, and building is a very important part of that plan. We’re already delivering the majority of major infrastructure projects across Australia, now we want to make sure we’re putting the right focus on our growing building and property development arms. Our new structure elevates the role of building, which is great news for the team, and our customers.

Hasn’t John Holland always been a builder – what’s changing?
John Holland has always been a builder. We’ve delivered too many iconic projects to name. The question isn’t can we build. You bet we can. This is about lifting our focus. As we respond to the largest infrastructure boom we’ve ever seen on the eastern seaboard, some of our building customers were asking if we were a Tier 1 builder, or a Tier 1 infrastructure player and a part-time builder? We think we can be both. The leading infrastructure player and a tier 1 builder. Our new structure makes that a reality and sends a very strong message that we’re hitting the building market in a big way.

So what type of projects are you interested in?
We’re working closely with our colleagues in our Development and Investment team on a range of commercial and property plays. Work is already underway on a few of these projects in the Sydney CBD, Parramatta and Macquarie Park. We’re also focused on sectors where our skills and experience match a depth of opportunities. This includes health, justice, airports and education.

Why did you join John Holland?
The business has fantastic foundations when it comes to experience, people and culture. I joined for a range of reasons. First and foremost, I wanted a company that aligned with my values, and I got that with John Holland. It’s a company that truly cares, is always willing to have a crack and take on the most complex jobs. People are encouraged to think outside the box. Our Chinese ownership offers a culture of long-term thinking and a lot of empowerment. We trust our people and support them to do their best work. And then there is the incredible growth story. There’s nothing better than joining a growing business and getting to be part of that growth from the ground up. We have a great leadership team at John Holland and I have to admit it helps to have a CEO with a background in building and property development.

Find out more about working with John Holland on our careers page.