Chief Executive Officer
John Flecker commenced with Multiplex Constructions as a part-time Cadet Engineer in 1987 whilst studying Civil Engineering at the University of Western Australia. John progressed to CEO of the organisation, with his entire 32-year career to date spent with Multiplex.
John is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Chartered Engineer, and Registered Builder.
John’s industry and philanthropic engagements and positions include Director of Australian Constructors Association (President 2015-16), Director of Literacy for Life Foundation (an Indigenous literacy endeavour), Director and Deputy Chair of Green Building Council of Australia, Member of Scotch College WA Council, and Chairman of Scotch College WA Foundation.
How long have you been a member of Engineers Australia?
I joined Engineers Australia as a Student Member in 1986 and have been a member ever since.
Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
I was interested in seeing things actually created and built, as well as generally solving problems. Engineering was a logical pathway.
How can Australian communities/people/society benefit from your work now and in the future?
There is a mantra in Multiplex to leave a lasting legacy behind in any community in which we deliver a project. That might range from local employment during and after construction, the amenity provided by the built form we create, specific local community projects we engage in, through to sharing construction safety innovations with industry in a non-competitive way.
What is the most challenging or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
That is like asking which is your favourite child! Every project has its own unique challenge or point of difference. That’s what keeps it interesting. Some recent projects of special note include Australia 108 in Melbourne, Wynyard Place and Quay Quarter projects in Sydney, the Jewel on the Gold Coast, and Optus Stadium in Perth, to name a few.
What do you see as one of the biggest issues facing the engineering profession?
Engineers are often fairly or unfairly characterised as poor communicators. With the ever-accelerating pace of technological advancement there is risk that time and effort becomes even more focussed on those exciting aspects of engineering to the further detriment of developing communication and people management skills. I think it is in fact more important than ever that engineers hone their ‘soft’ skills so the profession can better communicate and advocate with stakeholders.
What excites you about the future of the profession or what opportunities do you see for the future?
Opportunities are boundless in our fast-paced and ever-developing world for any engineer with the initiative to grasp them. Engineering is a ticket to pursue so many different career paths in so many different countries. The world is your oyster.
Who is your engineering hero?
C Y O’Conner. Pioneering spirit and visionary engineering.
Image: courtesy of John Flecker