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As we welcome new chair Elizabeth Mackison to the Future Leaders Committee (FLC) in NSW, we thank departing co-chairs Cameron Gardiner and Jess Gould for their fantastic contribution to the Foundation over the past two years. We had a quick chat to this dynamic duo about what they most valued during their time on the committee and what they’re up to next.

Cameron Gardiner, National Real Estate Strategy Manager, McDonald’s Australia

Headshot-Cameron Gardiner

Why did you join the NSW FLC?

All the passion that volunteers have for the Property Industry Foundation and the efforts they make result in real, tangible outcomes. Real housing and real opportunities for people who will experience generational change. The Foundation is actively stopping the cycle of homelessness. Now, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that story?

How has your time been as co-chairs of the FLC?

Practicing leadership in a volunteer position requires patience, persistence and compassion. It was clear to both Jess and I that our co-chair partnership was so valuable throughout our tenure. Relying on each other and understanding our work, life and volunteer commitments. Making sure neither burnt out and both were able to be present with the committee when needed.

How did the rest of your group work together?

During our term, we were fortunate to build a solid group of likeminded individuals, who became more than just a monthly item on the meeting agenda. We became huggers and storytellers. When we were stuck in our kitchens during Covid lockdown, one committee member, Greta San Miguel became a MasterChef and virtually taught us all how to cook gnocchi. It’s been a very special experience and I’m grateful to have been part of it. That friendship allowed us to all rise to another level when tasked with raising donations or driving more event attendance. We achieved fantastic results for the Foundation and will continue to all be reminded of these times.

What are your proudest achievements?

Reinventing the Sydney SleepOut. Over our term we took the SleepOut from sleeping on cardboard boxes in the front of an office lobby, to a virtual SleepOut during the pandemic and then to securing a yearly spot at Sydney’s beautiful Centennial Parklands with homelessness awareness talks, food trucks, garden games, live music, and tents as an incentive to raise more donations. I believe the event is now in a place to encourage return attendees and build into a much bigger audience.

What’s next?

I do not intend to stop advocating for this wonderful foundation. The Property Industry Foundation’s NSW Beneficial Review Committee have welcomed me to continue advocating through this committee. I’m grateful to be a part of it.

Jess Gould, Senior Project Manager, Construction Assignments

How has your time been as co-chairs of the FLC?

Looking back, it’s been a whirlwind, with rewards beyond measure. Over the past month it’s been nice to sit back and reflect, with Cam, as we slowly pass over the reins and look at what we’ve accomplished during our two-year tenure together. There is a lot to be proud of, and I couldn’t be happier that Cam was by my side.

What are your proudest achievements?

As a co-chair, my proudest achievement is simply the curation of the committee as a whole. The quality of our leaders is inspiring, each displaying deep care and passion for the organisation. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to work alongside Cam, collectively creating a supportive environment that has enabled our committee to thrive. From an event perspective, the introduction of the Future Leader’s 40 Under 40 has been a true highlight. Launching in 2022, we had the ability to create something from the ground up. I am ecstatic to report it’s been a roaring success and the Property Industry Foundation intends to continue rolling this out for years to come. Being a spearhead for this event, it is a legacy I’m proud to pass on.

What do you think Elizabeth will bring to the committee as our new chair?

Liz Mackison is a true force. We had no hesitation putting her forward for the role and I am excited to watch her success unfold as the new chair. I have no doubt she is exactly what the committee needs in this next chapter. Hands down, team Liz!

What’s next?

Although I’ve relocated to South Australia, I fully intend to continue my support of the Property Industry Foundation.