Tuesday 18 June 2019: A couple synonymous with Australian architecture and an astute businessman behind a string of successful property companies have been inducted into the Australian Property Hall of Fame.
Harry Seidler AC OBE, Penelope Seidler AM and Greg Paramor AO were chosen by the Property Council of Australia’s board of directors for their enduring contributions to Australia’s cities and the people who live within them.
“Property is our nation’s largest industry, and the Australian Property Hall of Fame honours the leaders who have shaped the future of our cities and helped build the communities for people to work, live and enjoy their lives,” says Property Council National President Stephen Conry.
“The Property Council is proud to honour the legacies of these property pioneers, and to showcase the property industry’s central role in nation building,” Mr Conry says.
Harry Seidler AC OBE and Penelope Seidler AM
“The Seidlers worked together for nearly six decades, designing some of Australia’s most successful residential, commercial and public buildings,” Mr Conry explained.
“They helped to transform our modern architectural identity, reinvented the centres of our cities and reimagined how Australians live and work.”
Harry Seidler moved to Australia in 1948, establishing himself as a successful architect. In 1950, Rose Seidler House in Wahroonga was the first completely modern residence to fully express the Bauhaus philosophy in Australia and won the Sulman Award of 1951.
Penelope Seidler is a trained architect who later became a chartered accountant so she could manage the finances at Seidler and Associates.
The family home designed by the pair – Harry & Penelope Seidler House in Killara – won the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Wilkinson Award in 1967.
Among the projects delivered by Seidler and Associates are Ithaca Gardens, Blues Point Tower and what was once the nation’s then tallest skyscraper – Australia Square.
At the time, Australia Square was the world’s tallest light weight concrete building and was almost twice the height of its closest rival. It was the first commercial office tower to create a popular public plaza with shopping and food areas all in one.
Harry died in March 2006. His legacy includes more than 95 buildings around the world, each recognised for its unique design and innovative engineering.
Penelope remains the director of Harry Seidler and Associates and continues to support architecture and the arts. In 2008 Penelope was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her work in the visual arts and architecture; and in 2011 was presented with the Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur – France’s highest decoration.
Greg Paramor AO
“Greg Paramor has an extraordinary track record in the property industry, and incredible talent for picking markets ahead of time. During his almost-five decades at the top of the property industry, Greg has invested in landmark projects that have shaped our city skylines,” Mr Conry says.
Paramor started his career as a real estate agent, before teaming up with colleague Dick Lester to establish Growth Equities Mutual. When he sold his stake in the fund in 1992, it had become Australia’s largest unlisted property trust.
Several other successful ventures followed. Paladin, launched in 1994, was to grow into a multibillion business before Deutsche Asset Management, which later became Dexus, snapped it up in 2000.
James Fielding Group, established in 2001, was purchased by Mirvac for $478 million in 2015. The deal allowed Paramor to apply his experience and entrepreneurial skills as managing director and CEO of Mirvac for four years.
In 2009, Paramor joined a syndicate that bought LJ Hooker. Paramor, as director and then chairman, turned the company around in just four years before the agency was sold back to Janusz Hooker in 2015.
Paramor began building developer and fund manager, Folkestone, after being appointed managing director in 2011. In August 2018, Charter Hall acquired Folkestone in a $205 million cash deal.
In January 2015, Paramor was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to the community and charity.
Paramor was the Property Council’s national president from 2000 to 2002, earning a life membership for his contribution.
“Greg’s contribution to our industry has been exceptional. He has helped write the investment playbook that has supported decades of prosperity. He’s championed sustainability before it was easy to be green. And he’s improved the lives of thousands of homeless young people through the Property Industry Foundation,” Conry adds.
The Australian Property Hall of Fame was established in 2012 by the Property Council of Australia.
Former inductees include: Dick Dusseldorp AO, Frank Lowy AC and Ray Powys AM (2012); John Gandel AO, Stan Perron AM and Sir John Pidgeon (2013); Ervin Graf OAM, Bruno Grollo AO and Rino Grollo (2014); John C Roberts AO and Harry Triguboff AO (2015); Sir Keith Campbell, Robert Hamilton and Carol Schwartz AM (2016); Stuart Hornery AO and Lang Walker AO (2017); Frank Charnock and Sir Albert Jennings (2018).
The induction ceremony was held during the Property Leaders’ Dinner on Tuesday 18 June 2019 at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.