Matt Barke’s road to Construction Manager began, like many in the industry, through work experience as a kid on holidays to then an apprentice Carpenter. It was early 1994 and no doubt the early starts, long days and hard work put him in good stead for the leadership roles he would soon find himself in. At the time, he was just a guy with eyes on the footy, surf report and Pearl Jam on the radio. And while some things stay the same – he is still very much a trying to be a surfer, we can’t speak for the Pearl Jam – Matt now brings a wealth of experience to McCormack and our staff as Construction Manager, a position he has held since beginning with us in 2020.
In a general sense, Matt’s position is, as he says, “a way of linking all the parts of the McCormack machine to get the desired outcome.” What he really brings are strong technical construction skills and complete understanding of the project lifecycle. From apprentice to site manager, project manager to construction manager, Matt can confidently utilise his wealth of knowledge – local building codes and laws, collaborate effortlessly and without ego – to keep an extensive list of projects on track and within budget.
“It’s all about best practice through leadership and guidance,” says Matt.
“I joke about being a babysitter, but the truth is, that’s how I learnt and being a good leader is how it will be passed on.”
Creating teamwork and trust in each other to share knowledge and support creates an environment everyone wants to be involved in, both on and off site. “I learnt from good honest hard-working people that set a great example” which is what he’s practicing in the surf when he trades his hard hat for a coach’s cap for the Nippers and Starfish Nippers, and on the field for the Under 15’s Mt Martha Girls Football Club.
Matt believes connection and communication are the keys to tackling any challenge, implementing systems and processes to support each other and unify the way information is shared amongst the team. Back on the building site, this means “getting our PM’s and site managers to work together and to use a system designed to help share information makes me proud,” he says of the processes we have initiated at McCormack.
“We just want to ensure superior outcomes and experiences for our clients. I believe that I do that by working hard, being fair and balanced, reliable, and always trying to do things the right way,” he says.
For McCormack, Matt’s personality and temperament make him an excellent Construction Manager, keeping our staff engaged and our projects rolling. It’s all relatively simple for Matt.
“I love construction and I’m pretty sure it loves me back!”
As Construction Manager at McCormack, Matt is a conduit between the leadership and broader team, linking all the parts of the McCormack machine to create a best practice approach to his role. Read more about how he guides and leads the team here.