Member Spotlight - Neil Jones

Member: Neil Jones

Branch: Far North QLD

This week we've got our fantastic current State Secretary, Neil Jones, sharing a bit about himself!

Career Background

I always had a love for building tree houses and cubby houses in the surrounding bush land with my brothers and cousins and camping out in them. Demolishing an old weatherboard school dunny and recreating it as a tree house in our grand-parents huge mango tree was one of our master pieces, complete with rope ladder was one of our master pieces and a source of much fun. I always loved creativity and excelled in technical drawing & woodwork at school.

I began my work life as a Cadet Draftsman with Tully Co-operative Sugar Mill in 1973 followed by short stints as a draftsman at NQEA in Cairns, and at RB Mining, Mt Molloy. As my passion lay in structures and building design, I finally got the opportunity to work as Senior Structural Drafter for a local Consulting Structural & Civil Engineering firm in Cairns (Name changes included; Alan McPherson and Associates, Colfax Clayton Smith, etc.) I stayed in this position for approx. 17 years prior to commencing my own full-time design practice in approx. 2000. Overall approx. 47 years in the industry!

I was granted a licence through the ‘grandfather’ clause established when licencing for Building Designers was first introduced by the state government.

Neil networking with industry connections

BDAQ History

I first joined BDAQ in the first year or 2 of it’s beginning, however I did have a few years away and re-joined in approx. 2006

I firstly joined as support for licencing in Queensland and secondly after I started out in full time business as a way of being amongst like-minded building design people.

BDAQ is important because we're supporting and protecting our licencing of building designers. Being kept up to date with legislative and information changes. Sharing with other building designers and people associated with the industry.

Current Business

I'm a sole operator. Structural Engineering background (approx. 20 years). Building design for residential dwellings and extensions, multi units, industrial buildings. Town planning scheme ‘performance based’ outcomes etc.

Due to my structural engineering background, I complete all ‘For Construction’ structural aspects of the job including; slab & footing, wall framing & roof structure detailing.

After a due diligence process, I will identify consultants required for the project, advise the client and engage the consultant on behalf of the client.

Neil with the rest of the 2020 BDAQ State Executive

I like free flowing design that takes inside to outside from all rooms to give a sense of space, journey, and new surprises. Design that utilises natural light and breezes, connects to surrounding local geographic, is themed by natural raw materials and local artwork to create a sense of uniqueness. Residential dwellings are such very personal spaces and it is important to have them designed to be functional, to flow, be calm & unhindered by complications that could have been avoided. A good canvas on which to create and redecorate as time goes by.

Personal Life

Born in Tully in 1954 and grew up as part of a cane & banana farming family. Tully was my home until I moved to Cairns at the age of 23. My primary schooling was at a small country school. I was the last student to fully complete all grades at Riversdale State Primary School prior to its closure, a small country school of 11 students.

I am the second eldest of 5 children. (2 sisters, 2 brothers). I have a son, Hayden who works in the mining industry as a Senior Mechanical Engineer, two daughters; Peta who works as an Occupational Therapist for Education Queensland and as administration officer for her and her husband’s building company; & Amanda who also works in building design, interior design and dabbles in fashion design.

I have 9 grandchildren & with a 10th due in a few weeks, currently 1 grandson & 8 granddaughters so life is fun and I consider myself very fortunate.


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