The Australian Constructors Association (ACA) has appointed Annabel Crookes as President, the first woman to hold the position in the association's 28-year history.
A highly respected construction lawyer, Ms Crookes has more than 20 years' industry experience and is currently Laing O’Rourke's Director – Legal, and Executive Director, Company Secretary.
ACA Chief Executive Officer Jon Davies said Ms Crookes' appointment is an historic moment for Australia's construction sector and is representative of the cultural change the ACA is driving across the industry.
"Annabel was one of the original members of the Construction Industry Leadership Forum in 2018 and has been instrumental in shaping and driving our agenda on procurement reform like collaborative contracting and more appropriate risk allocation.
"A key challenge with the lack of representation in our industry is that you can't be what you can't see. Just 12 per cent of the construction workforce are women. Today's election builds on the decision taken three years ago to increase female membership on the ACA Board. Annabel's election comes at an exciting time in the industry and I'm looking forward to working with her," said Mr Davies.
In assuming the role, Ms Crookes said, "It is a real honour to be appointed President of the ACA. I am looking forward to working with the members of the Board to continue the path of reform required to achieve a resilient and sustainable industry – especially in the areas of procurement and improving the culture, health and wellbeing of our workforces.
"Three years ago, the ACA Board was made up of 20 male chief executives from similar backgrounds. In April 2019, the Board took a bold and courageous step to introduce co-directors, with each company having a male and female representative to change the dynamic of the Board. Fast forward to my first Board meeting as President and we have a truly diverse representation, with strategists, financial, people and legal experts – generating better thinking and ideas.
"There is so much opportunity for improvement within our sector – with unprecedented alignment on the need for change, a transformed industry is within our reach," said Ms Crookes.
Ms Crookes replaces Duncan Gibb who has now retired following a remarkable career, most recently as CEO Construction Australia – Fulton Hogan.
"I would like to thank my predecessor, Duncan Gibb, who has made an enormous contribution to the ACA and the industry. Duncan has continuously collaborated in service of a common goal, and he leaves the association united and stronger than ever," Ms Crookes said.
Ms Crookes has served as a Director on the ACA Board since 2019 when she was Vice President and Company Secretary since 2020. She will be supported by a refreshed Board Executive comprising:
Joe Barr, Chief Executive Officer, John Holland – ACA Vice President
Meg Redwin, Executive Director – General Counsel, Australia & India, Multiplex – ACA Vice President
Scott Cummins, Chief Executive Officer, McConnell Dowell Corporation Limited – ACA Treasurer
Michael Degotardi, Chief Operating Officer, UGL Limited – ACA Company Secretary
Taken from ACA 23 November 2022 Media Release.