Eye for art helps structural work

  • by: TRADING ROOM: AMOS AIKMAN
  • From: The Australian
  • November 01, 2012 12:00AM
  • pic Jake Nowakowski

 

 

Kevin Winward, at his Melbourne office, has been scouting for art in the Northern Territory as well as for engineering work for his company.

 

 

THE first thing you notice about Kevin Winward is his glasses. Smooth and black below and checkered above, they divide his face in a conspicuous portrayal of the artistic and technical sides of his personality that are also deeply ingrained in his life.

 

 

The structural engineer, who sells Aboriginal art and is a frequent traveller to the Northern Territory, is perhaps best known for his firm's role in masterminding the engineering side of Melbourne's dramatic Southern Cross Station.

 

With its wavy roof and flowing lines, the building resembles a shaken sheet, or perhaps the surface of a briefly angered pool.

 

"It was a very unique and challenging design to build, above an operating station," Winward says.  "There was a great deal of innovation in most aspects of the design, structurally and otherwise. And I guess the fact that the structure is so much a part of the architecture meant, for us, it was quite special."

 

When British firm Grimshaw Architects, which designed the station with Jackson Architecture of Melbourne, won an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects for the project, Winward was called on stage to share the glory, a moment he recalls fondly.

 

Winward, whose father was a carpenter, is executive chairman of engineering services firm Winward Structures, part of Winward Group. He began his first practice in 1981. He and a partner, Matt Bonacci, built a successful business, Bonacci Winward Group, with offices around the world.

 

He says he has always had a love of art, regarding buildings as "works of art in their own right", but gradually lost touch with that side of his life.

 

"After 20 years, I had worked myself out of the creative, design side of the business and into a more administrative role," Winward says.

 

"So, at the end of 1999, I decided to start again."

 

As the millennium ticked over, he began Melbourne-based Winward Structures, which started small but quickly began taking on significant jobs.

 

The firm has about 50 employees, offices in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, a partnership in London, and plans to expand.

 

Along with scouting for artworks in the NT, most recently in the Tiwi Islands, Winward is also sniffing out some engineering work for his company up north.

"We look for the jobs that are more difficult, more challenging," Winward says. "I've tried to make engineering a creative pursuit, rather than just calculations and science." 

 

Winward says the property industry, like many others, still suffers the after-effects of the global financial crisis.  "It's pretty tough at the moment," he says.   "Investments are limited and issues like the resources tax and the carbon tax add to the uncertainty."

 

In the past Winward Structures focused on commercial work, including high-profile projects such as ANZ's headquarters in Melbourne and Lang Walker's Collins Square, but recently it has expanded into the resources sector in an attempt to combat the downturn.

 

"In the commercial sector, everything has got to be very tight and efficient, whereas that hasn't always been the case in the resources sector," he says.  "But it's a changed world now. I think that gives us the opportunity to bring our skills and attitude from the commercial sector into the resources sector, and be very effective there."

 

Winward says one of the problems created by the downturn is cost-cutting leading to bad decisions.  "Hasty decisions at the margins of a project can actually lead to cost overruns that are enormous," he says. "I think the builders would say the same. Their margins have been driven so low that it makes for a potentially litigious building environment."

 

He predicts a slow recovery for most Australian property markets in the next couple of years.  "I think it's going to take a while to come back, but I think it's going to stabilise and rebuild."

Australian sporting legends contest Tiwi Ashes in fundraiser for local school

 Kevin Winward and THE WINWARD GROUP that he leads (comprising of Red Desert Dreamings Gallery and specialist engineering design consultancies Winward Structures and EarthScience Initiatives) has become actively involved with the Tiwi College at Pickertaramoor on Melville Island. 

Kevin’s latest trip to the Tiwi islands coincided with the 3rd Hayden Way Fishing Challenge and the Tiwi Ashes – both great experiences and effective in raising funds for the College.  Matthew Hayden and Guy Reynolds handed the College a cheque for $240,000 that was raised by their respective Foundations from a range of  activities to assist the ongoing operation and development of the College and its offerings to the Tiwi kids that it educates and cares for.

 

 Media Release

12 October 2012:

Cricketing greats Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer will go head to head on 22 October as they captain students from Tiwi College on Melville Island in a friendly cricket match to raise funds for the College.

(see Channel 9's coverage of the Tiwi Ashes)

The students will also be joined by former Australian fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz, former Wallaby Matthew Burke and former Kangaroo Wendell Sailor, as Hayden’s XI take on Langer’s XI in the ‘Tiwi Ashes’. 

The match is just one highlight of a day that includes festivities such as traditional Tiwi food, dancing, art and performances that aims to raise awareness of and funds for Tiwi College.  

Made possible by the Macquarie Group Foundation, The Hayden Way, Tiwi Islands Adventure Group and Red Dust Role Models, this is the third year that the Tiwi Ashes have been contested.  It is hoped that the match will raise in excess of $100,000 which will assist the Tiwi Education Board in further developing its agricultural education program, with an emphasis on sustainability, for students at Tiwi College.

The program will help to further broaden the opportunities available in the College community.  

Speaking ahead of the match, Matthew Hayden said: “Since the last Tiwi Ashes in 2011, the agricultural program has notched up a number of massive milestones.  The programs are fully established and embedded into the College’s curriculum. The $685,000 that has been raised to date has funded the transformation of bushland into an outdoor classroom complete with teaching facilities, a purpose built kitchen, a dam, and fertile farming land.  I couldn’t be more proud of the opportunities that the agricultural program will provide to students of the College.” 

  Tiwi College principal Ian Smith said: “Through the tremendous support of The Hayden Way and the Macquarie Group Foundation, we are committed to enriching the students’ learning experience by developing sought-after skills that will broaden the career paths available to them.  In addition, we are excited by the longer-term benefits that the agricultural program will bring to the broader Tiwi community.”       

  

ABOUT TIWI COLLEGE


Located at Pickertaramoor on Melville Island, the Tiwi College provides quality secondary education for all Tiwi young people.

The college is owned and operated by the Tiwi people through the Tiwi Education Board representing all Tiwi families and communities.  

With a philosophy of ’24-hour education’ , students are accommodated in family group homes and the curriculum combines classroom learning with sport, life skills, outdoor education and contributions to the life of the College.

  The agricultural program, which was established with the support of The Hayden Way and the Macquarie Group Foundation, is a part of the College’s aim to prepare young people with the skills and knowledge they need to participate fully in the future of the Tiwi people.  

In the past year, the College has more than doubled student numbers from 35 to 81 full-time students.  The College sustains attendance rates of more than 80 per cent and has achieved more than 90 per cent during the current year.  The College estimates that this is the highest attendance rate for an indigenous school in Australia.     

Tiwi Ashes, Melville Island

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czkNLqWrDPA&feature=youtu.be

Media Release

Australian sporting legends contest Tiwi Ashes in fundraiser for local school

12 October 2012: Cricketing greats Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer will go head to head on 22 October as they captain students from Tiwi College on Melville Island in a friendly cricket match to raise funds for the College

The students will also be joined by former Australian fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz, former Wallaby Matthew Burke and former Kangaroo Wendell Sailor, as Hayden’s XI take on Langer’s XI in the ‘Tiwi Ashes’. 

The match is just one highlight of a day that includes festivities such as traditional Tiwi food, dancing, art and performances that aims to raise awareness of and funds for Tiwi College.

Made possible by the Macquarie Group Foundation, The Hayden Way, Tiwi Islands Adventure Group and Red Dust Role Models, this is the third year that the Tiwi Ashes have been contested. It is hoped that the match will raise in excess of $100,000 which will assist the Tiwi Education Board in further developing its agricultural education program, with an emphasis on sustainability, for students at Tiwi College. The program will help to further broaden the opportunities available in the College community.

Speaking ahead of the match, Matthew Hayden said: “Since the last Tiwi Ashes in 2011, the agricultural program has notched up a number of massive milestones. The programs are fully established and embedded into the College’s curriculum. The $685,000 that has been raised to date has funded the transformation of bushland into an outdoor classroom complete with teaching facilities, a purpose built kitchen, a dam, and fertile farming land.   I couldn’t be more proud of the opportunities that the agricultural program will provide to students of the College.” 

 Tiwi College principal Ian Smith said: “Through the tremendous support of The Hayden Way and the Macquarie Group Foundation, we are committed to enriching the students’ learning experience by developing sought-after skills that will broaden the career paths available to them. In addition, we are excited by the longer-term benefits that the agricultural program will bring to the broader Tiwi community.”

 

About Tiwi College

Located at Pickertaramoor on Melville Island, the Tiwi College provides quality secondary education for all Tiwi young people. The college is owned and operated by the Tiwi people through the Tiwi Education Board representing all Tiwi families and communities.

With a philosophy of ’24-hour education’ , students are accommodated in family group homes and the curriculum combines classroom learning with sport, life skills, outdoor education and contributions to the life of the College.

The agricultural program, which was established with the support of The Hayden Way and the Macquarie Group Foundation, is a part of the College’s aim to prepare young people with the skills and knowledge they need to participate fully in the future of the Tiwi people.

In the past year, the College has more than doubled student numbers from 35 to 81 full-time students.   The College sustains attendance rates of more than 80 per cent and has achieved more than 90 per cent during the current year.  The College estimates that this is the highest attendance rate for an indigenous school in Australia.


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