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Staff Interview – Sally Jones

For the fourth of a series of 3-question interviews with KPA team members, to help you get to know us all a bit better, Sheridan New (SN) interviewed Sally Jones (SJ).

For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting her, Sally is an Associate Architect and a highly valued member of the team here at KPA. Selected as a member for the Property Council of Australia’s Western Australian Retirement Living Committee for 2019-20, a juror for this year’s WA Architecture Awards and a participant in the 500 Women in Property Program, Sally is very driven to help make a positive difference in the architecture and property industries.

SN: Being an architect, you are also involved in the interior design side of the firm. How important to you is the integration of architecture and interior design, and what initially sparked your interest in design?

SJ: I’ve always had a creative mind. Maths was my least favourite subject in school, but subjects like English, music and art were my favourite. Growing up I really enjoyed art, craft and always wanted to paint my bedroom different colours (complete with gold stencil artwork) to the horror of my parents. My Dad designed our family home and I always enjoyed helping him create furniture for the house. Playing and teaching piano was also a huge part of my life growing up, so I guess the creativeness of music combined with creating things sparked my interest in design.

To me, the integration of interior design and architecture is extremely important to ensure the architectural and interior theming and concepts are cohesive to create holistic buildings and spaces. The two need to complement and speak to each other. When the architectural and interior theming work cohesively, it creates an environment that can lead to enhancing the lives and experiences of our end users.

SN: You were chosen as a participant for the 500 Women in Property Program this year. Part of the reason behind the 500 Women in Property Program is The Property Council’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive industry. Can you tell us a little about the program, your experience so far in the program, and as a woman within the architecture, construction and property industry?

SJ: Being a woman in the construction industry, I have been fortunate to have had supportive male bosses and colleagues in my career. But that doesn’t mean to say it’s been an easy ride. There are always people you will butt heads with, in and out the office, but this is something that will happen regardless of who you are and what industry you’re in. I’ve had some downs, had to fight some good fights and stand up for myself, but overall these experiences have made me stronger and make the ups feel very rewarding. 

The 500 Women in Property Program is a great initiative by the Property Council of Australia. The purpose of this program is to champion women across the property industry to become leaders by increasing their confidence and network. My sponsor is our Director Todd Paterson and so far it’s been an enriching experience learning from him. Over 1000 women applied for the program this year, which shows that women are up and coming and want to be working side by side with their male colleagues, rather than against.

SN: In addition to being part of the various programs and committees mentioned above, you also head up the work experience program within KPA. What made you put yourself forward for this position?

SJ: I think it’s important to show the future generations of our industries the initial ropes of what’s involved. These people will be the next to take control of our industries, so what better way to introduce them to it?

Someone gave me the chance and opportunity to do work experience and show me the ropes, so to me it’s important to give that opportunity to others. It’s a way to give back to the community and to the industry. The other great thing about being involved with work experience students is that you can learn from them as much as they can learn from you.