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On the Move: new leads for Buchan, PDT Architects and Pembroke

There’s a new principal about town for Buchan, Adelaide. Meanwhile in Brisbane, PDT Architects has a change of head. And across APAC, the who’s who of Pembroke real estate has changed, following a restructure.

On the Move: new leads for Buchan, PDT Architects and Pembroke

Left to right: Paul Harrison | Jo-Ann Hawkings | Oliver Thessman

Where exactly this month of September has come from or how it got here so suddenly is a mystery to me, but one thing is clear: along with it comes a change in the air. More than just a seasonal in nature, architecture practices Buchan and PDT Architects, along with real estate mogul Pembroke, have reported recent shifts amongst the members of their seniority.



Buchan’s big news comes in the form of a promotion to principal for Paul Harrison, a linchpin member of the practice’s Adelaide studio. The appointment comes as deserved recognition for Harrison’s fifteen-year tenure (and counting) with Buchan and his exemplary demonstration of design pedigree, leadership and commitment to the success of the company and its clients alike. 

“Paul has built a resume that encompasses more than 15 years of solid experience in retail, hotel, hospitality and mixed-use architecture,” says Bruce Shaw, group managing principal for Buchan. “We look forward to the continued success of Buchan’s Adelaide team with Paul’s strategic ambition, creative vision and breadth of skills and knowledge.” 

As Principal, Harrison will lead the Adelaide team in delivering Buchan’s exceptional standards of client care, and continuing its commitment to be a globally recognised leader in design. “Communication is the key to producing successful projects and it comes down to my openness and ability to connect with people,” says Harrison.


PDT Architects

In Brisbane, another coming-on-fifteen-year tenure has been rewarded accordingly, this time amongst the team of PDT Architects, with the promotion of Oliver Thessman to head of architecture.

Thessman joined the multidisciplinary practice PDT Architects as a student in 2006 before completing a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Queensland and gaining his Board of Architects Registration. He has worked in Dubai and Australia and has experience on projects in the transport, retail, healthcare, education, commercial and residential sectors.

PDT said in a statement that Thessman has a passion for design and a strong ability to problem solve through communication and “outside the box thinking”.

“Ollie’s fun nature and brilliant communication skills make him a natural to mentor our next generation of architects,” says the firm.



In keeping with the tone of Buchan’s announcement, Pembroke is pleased to publicise the appointment of Jo-Ann Hawkings as the real estate company’s new regional director. As the Australian regional director, Hawkings will be responsible for Pembroke’s asset management and development activities in Australia, identifying growth opportunities for the business and leading Pembroke’s local team. She joins the business from Dexus where she spent the past six years working across transactions, asset and funds management, with experience spanning strategic financial analysis, asset and portfolio management, leasing and capital markets.

Hawkings’ appointment is part of Pembroke’s new regional leadership model, designed to further leverage global best practices, and meet the unique and diverse needs of its local markets, assets and tenants. The global restructure sees Matthew Knight, who previously led the Australian team, relocating to London and taking on the newly created role of Vice President, European Development.

“Australia is leading the way in creating workplaces of the future, and I’m looking forward to sharing our insights and knowledge with the European market. I’m very pleased to welcome Jo-Ann to Pembroke and I know the Australian business will continue to grow in her capable hands,” says Knight.

A number of other notable leadership appointments have been made throughout Pembroke’s Asia Pacific presence. 

Akira Shimizu has been appointed Head of Asia Pacific. After relocating to the Pembroke Stockholm office in 2016, where he became the Head of the Nordics, Akira has returned to Tokyo and will oversee Pembroke’s Japan and Australian portfolio and business operations.

Gordon Hatton, who was part of the team delivering Pembroke’s redevelopment of the iconic T&G Building in Melbourne, has been appointed Vice President of Asia Pacific Development and will work closely with Hawkings on future Australian developments.

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