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The QMCA Brains Trust

When times are uncertain, we all have more questions than answers, so QMCA has put together a panel of experts from our membership who can help you answer the questions you have about your business.

Introducing the QMCA Brains Trust!

How does it work?

Simple, use the form below to submit your question.

We will send questions to our panel.

We will then collate and publish the question and responses on this page to help other members in a similar situation.

If the issue is complex or requires further advice, we will connect you with the relevant experts for a more in-depth discussion.

Ask your question

Construction Brains Trust

Meet The Experts

Debra Lancelot - Struber

Associate Director - Delivery - Struber

Debra is Associate Director – Delivery for Struber

Debra has more than 15 years communications, marketing and stakeholder engagement experience in the infrastructure, resources, education, tourism and not-for-profit sectors. Her major projects involvement includes Cross River Rail, Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Tugun Bypass and Aurukun Bauxite Project and multiple local and state government projects. She’s also developed communication and engagement strategies for major bids including Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3, Brisbane Metro, Port of Brisbane Motorway and Legacy Way. While traditional engagement always has its place, Debra seeks to innovate engagement with digital solutions so the infrastructure industry can grow with stakeholders’ evolving communication needs.

Areas of Expertise

  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Stakeholder Engagement

Jane Lowney

Head of Engineering & Infrastructure - Robert Walters

Jane Lowney is the Head of Engineering & Infrastructure at Robert Walters, a global recruitment consultancy.  With a degree in Civil Engineering and ten years’ experience across 3 continents, Jane partners with a range of infrastructure clients providing recruitment services, facilitating diversity & inclusion workshops as well as consulting on workforce planning and engagement.

Jane is currently an active member of the QMCA, a board member of IAQ and regularly contributes to the infrastructure sector more broadly.  She was awarded “Australian Recruiter of the Year – 2018” by the RCSA, the peak body for the recruitment sector in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the sector more broadly.

Areas of Expertise

  • Recruitment
  • Workforce planning
  • Outplacement
  • Diversity & inclusion

Karyn Reardon

Partner - HWL Ebsworth

Karyn is a partner at HWL Ebsworth and regularly drafts and reviews documentation for major projects, representing contractors, owners, superintendents, consultants, government departments, agencies and corporations, subcontractors, suppliers, financiers and insurers. Resolution of large construction and engineering disputes is Karyn’s particular area of interest.

She has a detailed understanding of alternative dispute resolution practices, with recognised expertise in adjudication, mediation, arbitration and expert appraisal, resolving a broad range of construction and engineering disputes. Karyn co-authored The Adjudicator’s Guide and has determined adjudication applications under Building and Construction Industry Payments Act. She has acted as both an arbitrator and mediator in construction disputes.

Areas of Expertise

  • Dispute Resolution;
  • Contract Administration, including problem solving;
  • Payment Claims, Payment Schedules and Adjudication

Leann Webb

Managing Director - Aurora Marketing

Leann Webb is as a marketing and business development expert, with a fanatical drive for growing businesses and increasing revenue. She started Aurora Marketing in 2001, creating a niche in tender and submission management. Since then, she has worked with the who’s who of Australian companies on an array of tenders and proposals that have spanned every state of Australia, several other countries and virtually every industry possible. She has worked with blue chip companies including BAE Systems, Downer, John Holland, CPB, Lend Lease, Alstom and the list goes on… Her project experience covers everything from rolling stock and rail tracks, to tunnels, toll roads, roads, bridges, water, schools, hospitals, prisons, defence bases, ports, airports, and virtually every type of infrastructure you can imagine, along with a few ships, subs and helicopters thrown in for good measure.

Areas of Expertise

  • Winning competitive tenders
  • Producing corporate documentation
  • Driving sales growth
  • Providing communications support.

Ted Williams

Projects & Construction Partner – Piper Alderman

Ted is an infrastructure, construction and mining lawyer with Piper Alderman who has more than 25 years’ experience in both private practice and as general counsel.

Ted’s international experience has been gained in a range of projects, including projects in the PPP, mining, road, rail, energy, resources, waste/water, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors and on educational, commercial, retail, sporting and residential developments. His expertise includes contract preparation and negotiation, procurement, joint ventures, consortium agreements, advising on project risk, claims management, dispute resolution, environmental and safety compliance, professional and contractors’ indemnity, workplace relations, insolvency, governance and anti-corruption. His clients have included government, developers, sponsors, contractors, operators, financiers and consultants.

Ted was previously General Counsel at Thiess Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s leading construction mining, and services contractors. He led a large team in the delivery of legal services across the Asia Pacific region providing legal, strategic, commercial, governance, corporate, compliance, ethics and risk management advice all levels of the business. In addition to the his work in relation to large scale infrastructure, construction and mining projects, Ted  has also advised on a wide range of legal issues including commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, governance, dispute resolution, employment and industrial relations, environmental, health and safety and anti-corruption control.

Ted advises participants at all levels in the delivery of construction, mining and infrastructure projects and has held partnerships in law firms in Europe and Australia.

Areas of Expertise

  • Construction Litigation
  • Projects & Construction
  • Public Private Partnerships
  • Whistleblower Protections

Andrew Robertson

Dispute Resolution Partner – Piper Alderman

Andrew is Dispute Resolution Partner at Piper Alderman and has acted in a substantial number of successful complex litigious matters in various State and Federal Courts and he has acted for and advised clients across a wide range of industries and professions including building and construction, engineering, defence and professional practice. Andrew advises clients strategically about their dispute and how best to achieve the outcome they seek. He regularly appears in Court as counsel on behalf of his clients.

Andrew is skilled in achieving client outcomes through mediation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). He advises clients regarding the advantages and disadvantages on using ADR. Where ADR is used he often appears as counsel on behalf of his clients. Andrew is qualified in mediation and arbitration (domestic and international), was a National Councillor and National Treasurer of the Institute of Arbitrator and Mediators and was the Treasurer of the South Australian Chapter.

He is a founder and current National Chair of the Society of Construction Law Australia. He has advised on various aspects of construction contracts, both front end and back end, and advised on construction adjudication claims in several States.

Areas of Expertise

  • Arbitration
  • Banking & Finance Litigation
  • Commercial Contracts
  • Commercial Disputes
  • Construction Litigation
  • Dispute Resolution & Litigation
  • Foreign Investment & Trade
  • Franchising
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Projects & Construction
  • Property Development

Tim Lange

Employment & Workplace Partner – Piper Alderman

Tim is an employment relations lawyer with Piper Alderman who has over 19 years’ specialist employment relations experience at top-tier and mid-tier firms.

Tim’s work focuses on achievement of commercial results with minimum disruption to the workplace through a combination of expert knowledge and a practical approach. He provides representation and advice on contentious and non-contentious matters.

Tim’s expertise encompasses a wide range of employment and industrial relations matters including the drafting and negotiation of enterprise agreements and awards, resolving industrial disputes, terminations and unfair dismissals, employment contracts and policies, issues around employee records and privacy, anti-discrimination, management of whistleblower disclosures, and work health and safety.

His diverse client base includes commercial organisations from a range of sectors including professional services, health, transport, retail, telecommunications and construction.

Tim has particular experience dealing with highly unionised workforces, as well as sensitive and strategic executive employment issues.

He is an experienced advocate, and brings a focus to negotiations and litigation that enables quick, efficient and appropriate resolution of disputes in Courts and industrial tribunals.

Areas of Expertise

  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Commissions & Inquiries
  • Discrimination
  • Employment & Labour
  • Employment Disputes & Litigation
  • Industrial Relations
  • Privacy
  • Regulatory Compliance & Investigations
  • Whistleblower Protections
  • Work Health & Safety
  • Workplace Investigations
  • Workplace Training

Tim Capelin

Employment & Workplace Partner – Piper Alderman

Tim is recognised as one of Australia’s leading workplace lawyers. He created and led Australia’s top boutique workplace law firm for more than a decade before accepting Piper Alderman’s invitation to join our practice.  Tim has over 25 years’ experience in employment and industrial relations law.

Tim understands the commercial realities of business from the perspective of a business owner and adviser. This background enhances Tim’s provision of strategic advice to clients on employment and workforce matters. He is an experienced advocate and has represented employers in all relevant tribunals and courts.

Tim’s industry knowledge includes working with clients in publishing, agribusiness, health, hospitality, finance, retail, logistics, resources, government, professional services, transport, building & construction, social & community services and pharmaceutical industries. He frequently presents on workplace law topics, is a regular contributor to industry and legal publications and is sought by the media for comment on workplace law issues.

Areas of Expertise

  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Employment & Labour
  • Employment Disputes & Litigation
  • Franchising
  • Industrial Relations
  • Whistleblower Protections
  • Work Health & Safety
  • Workplace Investigations
  • Workplace Training

Andrew Rankin

Corporate & Commercial Partner – Piper Alderman

Andrew is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience.

He regularly works with domestic and international clients on mergers & acquisitions, capital raisings, competition law and Australian regulatory compliance matters.

Andrew advises both private companies and publicly listed companies and has particularly strong experience in acting for those in the financial services, healthcare, aged care and agribusiness sectors.

Prior to joining Piper Alderman, Andrew spent more than 10 years as a partner with an international firm in Brisbane in the corporate team.

Areas of Expertise

  • Capital Markets & Capital Raisings
  • Commercial Contracts
  • Competition & Consumer
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Corporate Governance
  • Foreign Investment & Trade
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Privacy
  • Private Equity & Venture Capital
  • Regulatory Compliance & Investigations

Tracey White

Director of Business Development & Marketing – Piper Alderman

Tracey has over 18 years’ marketing and business development experience, predominantly in professional services. In her current role at Piper Alderman, Tracey is responsible for the strategic business planning for the development, implementation and monitoring of key business development and marketing initiatives, including:

  • the firm’s overarching BDM plan
  • strategies to increase client numbers including pipeline development
  • developing and managing the BDM budget strategically
  • initiatives to provide a range of comprehensive services to existing clients
  • client/referrer care program including provision of market research and client feedback
  • ‘best practice’ management for teams involved in pitch management
  • BDM team leadership and development

In 2015, 2016 and 2018, Tracey was named as a Finalist in the Lawyers Weekly ‘Women in Law Awards’ for ‘Marketing Communications Executive of the Year’.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business development & marketing
  • Communications & branding
  • Client relationship management
  • Tender/bid management
  • Award submissions
  • Sponsorship management
  • Event management

Richard Gunningham

Principal - Batch Mewing Lawyers

Richard is a Principal at Batch Mewing Lawyers who specialises in employment, safety and industrial relations law and prides himself on his straight talking approach.

Richard’s team delivers practical solutions to employers when complex issues arise – from difficult human resource matters to collective disputes and safety issues.

Richard’s experience spans multiple industries, including building & construction, infrastructure, real estate, maritime, hospitality and transport.


  • Resolving employment disputes prior to hearing.
  • WHS incident management and investigation, including responding to and dealing with WHS regulators and prosecutions.
  • Training: including WHS compliance, managing ill and injured employees and avoiding underpayment.
  • Developing and executing long-term employment and industrial relations strategies, particularly for clients in unionised industries.
  • Resolving multi-million dollar underpayment claims prior to hearing, avoiding any penalty or adverse publicity.
  • Successfully opposing industrial action in the Fair Work Commission and State industrial relations commissions.
  • Conducting complex workplace investigations.
  • Negotiating industrial instruments directly with unions.
  • Drafting enterprise agreements, advising on the making of those agreements and advocating for their approval at the FWC.
  • Resisting workers’ compensation claims and acting for employers in workers’ compensation appeals.
  • Obtaining urgent injunctions against former employees, preventing them from breaching confidentiality and restrictive covenants.
  • Defending unlawful discrimination claims and breach of privacy complaints.
  • Assisting clients with labour hire licensing compliance.
  • Acting in lengthy Supreme Court litigation against an employer involving defamation, injurious falsehood and charges of criminal contempt.

Areas of Expertise

  • Industrial Relations
  • Human Resources
  • Workplace Health And Safety

Robert Gemmell

Director - Aston Consult

Robert is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Chartered Arbitrator and Adjudicator who also acts as Expert Determiner and Expert Witness with Aston Consult. He has over 25 years of experience in the construction and engineering industry working in both professional practice and construction contracting companies in Australia, Hong Kong,Malaysia, Singapore and the UK.

Robert is named in the Who’s Who Legal: Consulting Experts Guide, 2018 and 2019 as a leading expert in the field of Construction Quantum and Delay.Who’s Who Legal specifically says: “Robert Gemmell stands out for his deep understanding of delay and disruption costing and for his high-quality outputs” and Robert is also cited as “our expert of choice for large disputes”.

Robert has acted regularly as lead and support ExpertWitness, including giving evidence in court under oath, and has received over 100 appointments as Arbitrator, Adjudicator, Expert Determiner, in disputes ranging from several thousand to several hundredmillion Australian Dollars. Robert also regularly acts in commercial claims management roles. Robert is a visiting/guest lecturer on the Master of Construction Law programme at the University of Melbourne, an approved tutor for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Oceania, joint author with Her Honour Judge Frances Kirkham of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ books on adjudication, and a member of the Society of Construction Law Australia.

Robert is also the author of the book entitled “The Quantification of Delay and Disruption in Construction and Engineering Projects” described by His Honour Justice Vickery
in the foreword as “an Australian work of legal scholarship and authority… not only written for application in Australia, but also internationally”. The book is an authoritative and practical text with a particular emphasis on how to quantify the financial loss caused by both delay and disruption.

Areas of Expertise

  • Quantum Expert
  • Claims Management, Preparation andDefence
  • Expert Determiner
  • Adjudicator
  • Arbitrator
  • Expert Witness
  • Commercial Management
  • Expert Dispute Management

Paul Newman

General Manager - Dial Before You Dig Queensland

Paul Newman is the General Manager of Dial Before You Dig Queensland, a position he has held for the past twelve years. Paul started his career as a carpenter followed by working for Australia’s largest telecommunications carrier (Telecom/Telstra) over a 23-year period. The last 7 years in Telstra Paul’s role was investigating and reporting on all major damages in Queensland, on Telstra’s optic fibre cable network. Paul was responsible for leading a team of field specialists in damage minimisation to ensure Telstra’s network was not being put at jeopardy by civil construction activities. Paul leads a dedicated team in Queensland who are driving the safe digging message across the state. Paul has been instrumental in the development and rollout in Australia with the Locator Certification Program which commenced in July 2015 and recognised as a national certification.

Paul is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is the company secretary for DBYD Qld and DBYD Certification Ltd.

Areas of Expertise

As the Qld General Manager of Dial Before You Dig my areas of expertise are driving initiatives in the external plant/civil construction that flow on from an initial enquiry lodged with Dial Before You Dig, be it in the planning phase or prior to undertaking any ground breaking activities.

  • Damage Prevention (The 5P’s of Safe Excavation)
  • Locator Certification
  • Training & Awareness (Pre-Excavation Management Course)

Anne Kemp

Senior Employer Engagement Manager - Cbus

Anne Kemp from Cbus Super has over 20 years’ experience in superannuation and client management for the building and construction industry. Anne is Brisbane based and is dedicated to supporting Queensland and Northern Territory businesses and their employees through their superannuation journey.

Anne is passionate about delivering quality retirement outcomes for members in the construction industry. Anne works with businesses to ensure they have the resources to meet their superannuation obligations and support their employees throughout their working lives. This includes delivering employee education sessions to increase financial literacy and help employers showcase superannuation as an employee benefit.

Anne is a member of the Women in Super (WIS) Queensland committee where she is a strong advocate for women retiring with dignity. Anne sits on the National Association of Women in Construction Queensland marketing committee and awards committee. Anne is also a member of the QMCA events working group and manages various industry stakeholder relationships with Cbus’ partners in the construction sector.

Areas of expertise  

  • Superannuation legislation
  • Client relationships
  • Clearing house solutions
  • Superannuation member engagement

Darren Sharry

National Manager – DWF Risk

Darren is the National Manager of DWF Risk, who provide independent WHS and workplace relations investigation, assurance and consulting services. Darren is a qualified Work Health and Safety professional with over 20 years’ experience in a broad range of industry sectors.

Darren is a professional, practical and accountable senior level HSE professional with over 20 years of industry experience in the private and public sectors. He specialises in management systems, strategy, leadership and governance. Darren’s skills and experience equip him with the ability to engage with workers at all levels of any organisation, and to provide holistic solutions to facilitate improved safety performance.

Areas of Expertise

  • Workplace Health and Safety investigation, assurance and consulting services
  • Workplace Relations investigation, assurance and consulting services

Matthew Smith

Principal Lawyer - Head of Employment, Safety & Regulatory - DWF

Matthew is a Principal Lawyer and is the head of DWF’s national Employment, Safety and Regulatory team. He has over 20 years’ experience and works predominantly with government and major corporate entities in the construction, transport, mining and resources, manufacturing and retail industries. Matthew specialises in assisting clients to resolve highly-sensitive issues in often acrimonious litigated matters.

Matthew has extensive experience in the legal and strategic management of serious safety incidents, advising on incident management from the day of incident up to and including management of safety prosecutions and coronial inquests. He has successfully defended dozens of regulatory matters, and is skilled at resolving workplace issues and restoring relationships between unions, the workplace and regulators with minimal business disruption.

Matthew draws on his significant career experience as a highly trained industrial relations practitioner and advocate for industry and government, and as counsel in various courts and tribunals, to settle disputes in highly confrontational circumstances. He regularly appears in safety, industrial and employment matters before various state and federal courts and tribunals.

Areas of Expertise

  • Employment and IR
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Regulatory and Compliance

Damian Hegarty

Principal Lawyer - DWF

Damian is a Principal Lawyer in DWF’s national Employment, Safety and Regulatory team. He has significant experience across a number of sectors, including construction, petroleum and gas, coal mining, manufacturing, environmental, retail, transport and electrical.

Damian has a particular focus on the defence of actions brought against companies or individuals by various regulators, which is complemented by his experience in public liability and workers’ compensation litigation.

He regularly provides advice to clients as to their rights and responsibilities during investigations undertaken by various regulators while forming a strategic position to defend or mitigate prosecutions, should they be brought as well as crisis management training for companies.

Damian also provides advice and assistance to clients embarking on the Enforceable Undertaking process and is called upon to undertake independent accident investigations. With this, Damian understands the interaction of employers’ health and safety policies and their insurance risk exposure.

Areas of Expertise

  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Regulatory and Compliance

Andrew Ross

Supervising Lawyer - DWF

Andrew is a Supervising Lawyer in DWF’s national Employment, Safety and Regulatory team whose intimate knowledge of the judicial system enables him to achieve efficient outcomes for clients.

Andrew regularly advises employers in the construction, mining, manufacturing, government, transport, environment services and aged care sectors, on employment issues, work health and safety training, risk management, incident response, investigations and defending prosecutions.

His experience project-managing large-scale regulatory and enforcement litigation matters allows him to quickly identify the client’s issue, and then provide a plan of action that deals with the legal issue, and provides confidence for the client’s business.

Areas of Expertise

  • Employment and IR,
  • Workplace Health and Safety,
  • Regulatory and Compliance

Matthew Giles

Senior Associate - DWF

Matthew is a Senior Associate in DWF’s national Employment, Safety and Regulatory team, and has over seven years’ experience on all aspects of work health and safety, regulatory and employment law across a range of industry sectors, including the construction sector. Matthew’s health and safety and regulatory experience includes incident response and management, officer liability, notices to produce, coronial inquests and the defence of companies prosecuted by health and safety regulators.

Matthew also advises clients on employment issues, including unfair dismissal, general protections, discrimination, harassment, bullying, enterprise bargaining, building code compliance, underpayment of wages and employment contracts.

Areas of Expertise
  • Employment and IR,
  • Workplace Health and Safety,
  • Regulatory and Compliance

Mason Fettell

Associate - DWF

Mason is an Associate in DWF’s national Employment, Safety and Regulatory team, and has over five years of experience practicing exclusively in these areas. He provides advice to clients across a wide range of industries, including construction, mining, manufacturing and transport.

Whilst Mason has significant experience across all aspects of WHS and employment law, his areas of particular expertise include challenging notices (improvement, prohibition, infringement and similar) issued by health/safety Regulators, defending health / safety prosecutions, advising clients on union right of entry issues (specifically where the Fair Work Act and state WHS / OHS legislation interact), advising clients on lawfully terminating employees, and drafting contracts, policies and procedures.

Areas of Expertise

  • Employment and IR,
  • Workplace Health and Safety,
  • Regulatory and Compliance

Our members.

Acciona Infrastructure Australia
Bielby Holdings
BMD Constructions
Civil Mining and Construction Pty Ltd
CPB Contractors
Decmil Group Limited
Fulton Hogan
Georgiou Group
John Holland
Martinus Rail Pty Ltd
McConnell Dowell
Seymour Whyte Constructions