The Turner & Townsend principal looks over Queensland’s Gold Coast

What can you see?

From my corner office I enjoy a 270 degree views of Queensland’s Gold Coast. To the east, over the Nerang River, are the golden beaches of Surfers Paradise, unfortunately concealed by a jagged picket fence of high rise buildings which now almost completely blocks my view of the Pacific Ocean.

To the south I can see the Gold Coast Turf Club and the recently completed Robina Stadium which is home to the newly formed Gold Coast Titans Rugby League team.

Further to the south through the heat haze in the distance I can see Mount Warning, which was named by Captain Cook to warn future mariners of the offshore reefs he encountered in 1770.

Immediately below me to the south is Centrepoint Health Club with its outdoor swimming pool. And, to the West is the hinterland including the Great Dividing Range and the world heritage listed national parks and rainforests.

How far up are you?

On the eighth foor.

What’s on your desk?

The necessary tools, my usual mess, family photos and unread magazines.

What are you working on?

Extensions to the Gold Coast Airport, a new green field campus for Southern Cross University and feasibility studies for the next “pickets”.

Have you been involved on a project with a stunning view?

We were commissioned to provide risk management services to the financiers of Q1, which at 323m is in the top 20 highest buildings in the world. This required regular visits to the top where the observation deck provides 360 degree views, including Brisbane to the north and Byron Bay to the south.

What is your all time favourite view?

The panoramic view on a clear day (and they do exist!) over Edinburgh, home for my first 25 years, from Braid Hills Golf Course which is spectacular. You can see the evolution over the centuries from the castle and the Royal Mile in the Old Town to the New Town and the more modern suburbs over the Firth of Forth in the Kingdom of Fife.

This reminds me of an incident not long after I arrived in Australia when a heritage architect dismissed me as a mere QS who couldn’t possibly have any appreciation of his precious 100 year old building. I quietly advised I was born, lived and trained in a city where we started building the New Town before Cook discovered Australia!