Following his appointment as General Manager of DLG SHAPE, we caught up with Michael Manikas to discuss life, his career and goals for DLG SHAPE.
Tell me a little bit about yourself?
My dad was an immigrant from Greece who came to Australia when he was 15; my mum is from the mid-north coast and is of Aboriginal and Irish descent. I have one sister, in comparison to my dad, who is one of 6 and mum, who is one of 16.
I have three daughters and love getting involved with their sports and musical interests. I coached my eldest daughter’s football team until she made it into a representative side, and now I cheer on from the sideline. I love team sports and have been playing five a side soccer over the last four years. I also enjoy fishing and learning to play new musical instruments.
How did you begin your career?
My family was in the hotel and bottle shop business, so I grew up involved with the hospitality industry. While working in the hotel, I was also a licensee of one of our bottle shops when I finished school. I then went to university to study Construction Economics and started a cadetship with WT Partnership. I have worked as a consultant with a builder, developer and in the not-for-profit space over the past 25 years.
What made you choose to pursue a career in the construction industry?
My initial plan was to become an Aeronautical Engineer, as I had a passion for planes and flying. But due to limited career prospects in Australia, I decided to pursue a career in the construction industry.
What has been your career highlight so far?
There have been many amazing iconic projects and people I have worked with. One highlight was working on the Horizon Apartments with one of Australia’s most famous architects, the late Harry Seidler. Another highlight was being appointed as the CEO of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors after serving as both State and National President.
What attracted you to the role of General Manager for DLG SHAPE?
The biggest drawcard to this role was the ability to make a serious impact on reconciliation by growing an Indigenous-owned business and having the opportunity to improve the lives of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by bringing them on board as suppliers and subcontractors to both DLG SHAPE and SHAPE.
What are your key goals as the GM for DLG SHAPE?
To both grow the DLG SHAPE business and find new Indigenous suppliers and subcontractors to bring on the journey.
What are you passionate about?
Raising Indigenous engagement (especially in the built environment), social impact issues, sustainability and family.