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Compliance Industry Expert: Changing Safety Standards

posted by Lindsey Hobson 09/09/2019 0 comments

This month, glimpse behind the scenes with Compliance Industry Expert, Hazel Smirlis.

Hazel and her team work with some of the Construction and Property industries most renown companies to produce bespoke management systems within the disciplines of quality, safety, and environmental compliance.

Click to watch the video above, or click here to go to Youtube

And as an ever-evolving field of work, the team at Compliance Lab ensure they the first to know about changes to International standards that impact the way our Australian businesses work. For more information, visit

Watch the video to find out what’s replacing some of the Australian Standards for Safety, and how that may impact your business.


#PlacedByBrook: Concierge star Scott from Collins Square

posted by Lindsey Hobson 25/08/2019 0 comments

In May 2018, we featured Scott in a video as one of our Top Candidate.

We had a great response from companies wanting to meet him, and learn more about how a hard working, dedicated individual like Scott could benefit a company like theirs. In the end, Scott chose a fantastic role that aligns with his long term goals and the culture he wants to be apart of every day.

Over a year on, and Scott is kicking goals and loving life at Collins Square.

Below is Scott’s journey, straight from the man himself.

Tell me a little about your role at Collins Square?
As Concierge at Collins Square, I am the first point of contact for many of our major tenants. My role is to check-in guests to meetings, interviews and appointments. I also follow up with a variety of requests and perform reception duties including answering phone calls and making sure everyone has a great experience.

What does a typical day for you involve?
Checking in guests and making sure their experience is a good one. Answering phones and emails, dealing with inquiries. Every day is different and we are dealing with some of the major companies in Australia such as CBA and KPMG.

In your experience, what are some of the key attributes that make a successful Concierge?
You definitely need to be a people person and love talking to people (which I do)! Outstanding customer service skills and the ability to think outside the box – and someone who is always ready for any enquiry that might come their way.

If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your career?
Never underestimate your abilities and be confident. In other words back yourself!

How have you found working with Brook Recruitment?
I loved working with the team at Brook! From Lucy to Adrianna to Vanessa they stopped at nothing until I got the job I wanted. It’s been months and they’re still checking in regularly to see how I am. The team at Brook care about every person they work with and that’s what makes them different and special.

Scott’s still happily employed by Collins Square.

If you have a role coming up and you want to ensure the candidate you choose is the right fit long term to help you on your business journey, then ask us how we can help on 03 9500 2797 or



posted by Christinap 26/10/2018 0 comments

Katie was one of our first candidates to feature in our monthly candidate videos. We had a fantastic response to her video interview and she quickly obtained a great role at boutique accounting firm Daniel Allison & Associates. We sat down recently to catch up and pick her brain…

Tell me a little about your role at DAA?

My Role at DAA consists of Administration, Reception and some Project Management. I am responsible for everyone’s everyday office needs. Working closely with principals at the accounting firm is a big responsibility but a great one nonetheless.

What does a typical day for you involve?

Every day is different at DAA, I start my day off usually sorting through all the mail and then just assist the associates and principals around the office with administration work. I am also currently in charge of the refurb of the rooftop of our building, which is very exciting.

In your experience, what are some of the key attributes that make a successful Receptionist/Administrator/Office All Rounder?

Being extremely vigilant and precise. Attention to detail is everything. Also being enthusiastic and motivated makes the work place a more positive environment to be in.

If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your career?

Ask as many questions as you can. In the long run it will only benefit you.

How have you found working with Brook Recruitment?

Brook Recruitment has been extremely supportive to work with. Checking in to see how things are going. I really appreciate the effort they go to.


#PlacedByBrook: Receptionist superstar Manjula from Vaughan Construction

posted by Christinap 05/10/2018 0 comments

We placed Manjula in a fantastic job-share Receptionist position 6 months ago at construction firm Vaughan. We sat down recently to catch up and pick her brain…

Tell me a little about your role at Vaughan?

I have been employed by Vaughan for the last 6 months as a receptionist in a job share role.

What does a typical day for you involve?

A typical day at Vaughan Construction involves answering phone calls, meet and greet and sign in all visitors. Setting up meeting rooms with coffee/water. Monitoring and responding to emails including the info mail box. Maintain and order kitchen and stationery stock as well as organising couriers, catering and booking meeting rooms. Various admin tasks such as updating templates and typing construction minutes.

In your experience, what are some of the key attributes that make a successful Receptionist/Administrator??

Being friendly and professional whether it be over the phone or in person is very important as you’re the first contact for the business. Organisational skills as you are constantly multi-tasking and need to remain calm and efficient. Being in a job share role communication plays a big part so when handing over duties to Kate we ensure we have filled each other in on the day and also keep a diary to alert each other of jobs that need to be done.

If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your career?

Keep learning and growing your skills.

How have you found working with Brook Recruitment?

Lucy from Brook has been fantastic! From our first casual meeting to placing me in my role within 2 weeks she made it a smooth transition for me and has followed up numerous times to make sure I am ok and happy in my new role. Thanks for all your support Brook Recruitment.


Catch up with Eliza from Hamilton Marino Builders

posted by Christinap 02/10/2018 0 comments

This month we bring you an interview with Eliza from Hamilton Marino Builders. Learn more about this innovative commercial construction company and their secret to success with our behind the scenes FAQ below…

Tell us a bit about Hamilton Marino Builders?

Established in 1975, Hamilton Marino Builders began operating around Melbourne as a residential construction company. Today, Hamilton Marino Builders is an experienced and dynamic multi-level apartment and commercial construction company. Their ‘value-added’ operational model and reputation built on providing expertise, quality and certainty, has made them an innovative industry leader. Presently, Hamilton Marino have over 15 projects in construction ranging from multi-level apartments to hotel construction and fit out.

Can you give us an insight into your company’s approach?

We are involved in each project right through its life cycle. This approach delivers integrated design and construction solutions for our clients – on time, and on budget. We are big on teamwork – our success is built on relationships. We listen to our clients and consult in an open and friendly manner and we create a team environment for all project members and act with honesty and integrity. Our directors are involved in every project from inception to handover, ensuring our teams can solve any problems that may arise. We also prioritise design management – by being involved from the first design consultants’ meetings, finding alternative design methodologies for financially challenged projects, assessing briefs, site logistics, time frame scheduling and industry conditions, our directors can ensure the best value design decisions are made. We also have an unwavering dedication and commitment to delivery which has earned Hamilton Marino a reputation for quality construction. And lastly, we never forget we are building people’s homes, and we treat everyone as if it were our own.

How are you embracing technology?

The strength of our reputation and performance is underpinned by the commercial and administrative procedures that we follow on all projects. We apply rigour to every aspect of our business by embracing leading technology, online programs and implementing best practice systems. Examples of which are our customised Safety Management Systems, our ASNZ accreditation and our Design Management Systems. Accurate up-to-date reporting is key to cost control so our Program and Cost Control and Financial Reporting Systems (Cheops) is a critical tool. Document management and control systems via Aconex online are an important part of this process. Our stringent and effective systems have been integral to Hamilton Marino enjoying 40+ years of continuous growth, regardless of economic conditions. The confidence and respect of repeat clients, organic growth of project sizes, strategic long-term planning and prudent financial planning have played an important part in our consistently strong balance sheet. Technology continues to evolve rapidly and the construction industry has long been renowned as lagging behind other industries regarding the uptake of technology. Hamilton Marino are keeping the competitive advantage by embracing emerging technology and have recently implemented a new Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) Management System which has given management more visibility and has streamlined a number of on site processes

You have a great team, how has the business achieved this?

Our passion, culture, reputation and integrity has attracted a highly skilled, driven team of over 250 like-minded people. Among them are talented engineers, visionary designers and expert trades people. Our extended ‘family’ includes loyal subcontractors and essential suppliers, all working towards delivering projects of distinction. We are committed to an open and collaborative approach at all levels of our business. And our hands-on directors are involved in every part of the process to ensure clients’ objectives are exceeded – from design, costing, construction logistics, construction management, cost control and administration to project handover and post-handover liaison. This is what sets us apart.


Welcoming Stephanie back to the office!

posted by Christinap 07/08/2018 0 comments

This month we welcome Stephanie back to the Brook Recruitment office after having taken maternity leave. We sit down with her to find out why she’s excited about returning to work…

Firstly, welcome back! How does it feel to return to Brook?

Thank you! It feels great to be back and getting back on the grind as they say.

What have you seen change in the recruitment landscape since you’ve been gone?

So far, I can certainly see the changes that Brook Recruitment has undertaken. Our clients and candidates needs are at the forefront of everything we do here, especially when it comes to simplifying the recruitment process in an efficient and effective manner. Take our newsletters for example, Vanessa our director understands that for many of us there is never enough hours in a day, how can we make sure that our clients and candidates get the best out of our newsletters? We’ve now included videos in our newsletters and we’ve had great success in engaging client and candidates and achieving great results for our candidates.

What has been the evolution of your role since returning? What will your main specialty be?

My role has evolved to allow me to specialise in working with our clients in the financial services sector. I am excited to come back on board and focus my efforts on expanding and evolving this space.

What are you excited about now that you are returning to Brook?

I’m excited to meet up with our clients, more than anything, as I’m sure there is lots to catch up on and seeing where they are with their business.

To get in touch with with Stephanie call 9500 2797 or email


Q&A with Brook superstar consultant Adriana

posted by Christinap 22/05/2018 0 comments

This month we welcome Adriana to the Brook Recruitment team. Learn more about our newest Talent Acquisition Specialist and what makes her tick…

Tell us a little about your career background.
I started my career in Customer Service at Hisense and eventually moved onto a Data Administration role at Sonos. My role eventually evolved into an Operations role where I managed relationships with dependant partners as well as forecasting/analysis, process implementation and lots of project work.

What do you love about working at Brook Recruitment?
Definitely the variation in my day – no two days are the same. I have also loved meeting lots of people from different industry sectors and professional sectors and the learning that comes with this. Lastly, our Friday team lunches!

What are your hobbies outside of work?
I love to read – my favourites include everything from the classics like To Kill A Mockingbird, to the Harry Potter series. Beach runs (in summer) and traveling when possible (especially to Europe & Southern Italy). Oh, and eating of course!

Tell us something about yourself that’s not on your resume…
I’ve got a huge sweet tooth and given the opportunity I would have cake for dinner!

If you’re looking for a new dream career, get in touch with with Adriana today on 9500 2797 or email 


Q&A with Brook superstar consultant Lucy

posted by Christinap 20/03/2018 0 comments

Originally from New Zealand, Lucy is passionate about people, recruitment and human resources. Learn more about our newest Talent Acquisition Specialist and what makes her tick…

Tell us a little about your career background.
I started my career in Melbourne as a Retail Store Manager and within a year and a half was promoted to an Area Manager, overseeing the management of between 8-14 retail stores and 70+ employees. I was then promoted to State Training Manager in 2015, while still overseeing the management of 4 stores. I was also in charge of recruitment, training and development of staff across 22 stores in Victoria, 1 in Tasmania and 3 Area Managers. In this role I also helped to develop training and development content for all stores nationally and helped to refine and develop company policies and procedures. After 6.5 year with the same business I decided it was time for a change and time to refine my skills in the area I was most passionate about, recruitment. This is when I joined the Brook team as a Recruitment Consultant in late 2017.

What do you love about working at Brook Recruitment?
Our specialties – I have learnt so much about Property Development in the last 6 months and am now very passionate about the industry. Our team – everyone is so lovely and supportive! My role – I love working with people and assisting them in their career journey, finding the perfect fit between client and candidate is so rewarding!

What is the best piece of advice you give candidates during the job search process?
Not to rush the process and to think in depth about the type of culture they want to work in. To me, culture is very important, I believe that if you love the people and environment you work in you will generally be happier at work and more passionate about your work.

What are your hobbies outside of work?
I am a massive foodie, eating is my favourite hobby, I even have an instagram account just dedicated to food! I also love to cook and travel, whether overseas or throughout Victoria.

Tell us something about yourself that’s not on your resume…
In my prime I was a nation golden medallist in trampolining.

If you’re looking for a new dream career, get in touch with with Lucy today on 9500 2797 or email 


#PlacedByBrook: Catch-up with Receptionist rock star Chelsea from BPM

posted by Christinap 09/03/2018 0 comments

We sat down with rising star Chelsea as she reveals what a typical day as an Receptionist is like and shares her career highlights and advice.

Tell me a little about how your role at BPM

I have been employed at BPM for just over 18 months now. I was originally employed as a Receptionist but over time, my role has developed to include a whole range of office management duties, events, social media, executive duties and more.

What does a typical day for you involve?

A typical day for me involves, answering phone calls, setting up meeting rooms, making coffees, ordering stationary, helping Directors when needed, booking accommodation/ flights, event planning, assisting the PA in her duties and basically staying on top of the office so nothing falls apart!

In your experience, what are some of the key attributes that make a successful Receptionist and Office Manager?

Definitely organisational skills – if you are not organised and do not work off lists, it probably won’t work! As well as this, effective communication, multitasking and a positive attitude. You never know what tasks you will get, so you need to be open to working out any problems that get thrown your way.

If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your professional career?

To not give up and know that the first couple of weeks starting at a new job will be hard, but it takes time to get into the groove. Listen to all criticism your employees tell you and really take it on board. You’d be amazed at how much you learn each day on the job.

How have you found working with Brook Recruitment?

I found working with Brook Recruitment very easy! I met with a representative from the Recruitment agency and our meeting was very casual – she found out my strengths, weaknesses, what exactly I was looking for and let me know she had one company in mind, which would suit me. Two weeks later, I started working at BPM, which is an incredible company, and I could not be happier with my work life! The rest is history!


The rise of Gurner TM Executive Assistant – Rachel Bergstrom

posted by Suzi Sarkis 16/01/2018 0 comments

It was only eight years ago when GURNER™ first launched Oxley in Collingwood. At the time, Collingwood was perceived as a dangerous, run down location. Today, the inner suburb paints a very different picture, especially in the Foy and Gibson heritage area where we have developed eight buildings with another six in the pipeline. You see a thriving retail, arts and cultural hub, surrounded by some of Melbourne’s most popular restaurants and bars. Urban regeneration goes beyond converting former industrial zones into desirable residential precincts. It is the catalyst to cultural, environmental and community transformation, creating new opportunities, jobs and places people can enjoy. (

After completing university and then her Agent’s Representative Diploma back in 2008, Rachel Bergstrom parlayed her passion for property into a coveted role as an Executive Assistant at property development firm, Gurner TM. We interviewed her back in 2015 to see what a typical day in her life as an EA for a top property developer was like. Read more here.

Today her role has evolved and expanded across all areas within the business. We sat down with Rachel to hear what she has learnt over the years in her time as an EA in one of Melbourne biggest most highly sought after property developers.

You started with Property Development powerhouse Gurner TM in 2012. What was your first day like?

My first day was exciting and intense. I spent most of the day getting to know the team and getting a deeper understanding of the role as there was no prior EA to train me. I needed to come up to speed with the all our current projects that were in the pipeline quickly and at the same time was tasked by our Director to come up with clever out of the box way to survey Gurner TM purchaser satisfaction. Purchaser satisfaction underpins the Gurner TM difference. We collaborate only with the finest calibre of architects, designers and consultants from across the globe to set new benchmarks for luxury living in Australia and have a commitment to innovation and attention to detail across all aspects, from design to construction.

Looking back over the last 5 years in your role as Executive Assistant to Tim Gurner, what are the 3 things you would say to someone starting out in your position?

#1 Industry knowledge
Having an understanding and experience in the real estate industry was fundamental to my success at Gurner TM. Having prior knowledge allowed me to be able to learn quickly on the job, and absorb the lingo and concepts used every day in the property development sphere. The more industry-specific knowledge you have, the more valuable you become. By learning as much about the industry you work in, you become a great resource for your company and a valuable asset.

#2 Time management
You won’t survive the fast pace deluge if you can’t manage your time in an effective manner. An EA needs to not only handle their own time well but also that of the Director you work for. That means coordinating their needs and often multiple people, in order to create a workable schedule that is in a constant state of flow and as urgent matters arise and priorities shift and maximize efficiency.

#Proactivity & Reliability
Showing initiative, proactivity and reliability are all vital to remain on top of your game as an Executive Assistant. Being proactive within the business is crucial as you have the opportunity to implement ways to make processes and procedures providing administrative stability and relentless attention to detail. Also to have the confidence to make decisions and adopt new ways of working that will support your Executive and the companies’ objectives and ultimately become the minute-by-minute problem-solver for them.

How has your role evolved over the last 5 years? Have there been opportunities for you to shape your position? 

As the business has developed sound confidence in my ability to manage my priorities effectively it has meant that I can now work on different areas of the business. Some of these more varied aspects including; Interior design, display suite fit-outs, furnishing and decorating of completed apartments, marketing collateral & PR support and the running of company events, to name a few. Being able to continuously learn and grow my knowledge has kept me challenged and engaged.

I also act as a mentor to new staff – ensuring new members thoroughly understand the brand, our goals and the team dynamics.

In 2015, when we first interviewed you, you said that ‘diary management’ was one of the hardest parts of your role as EA. Has that changed?

Last year was one of our busiest years which saw lots more interstate travel and being on the go non-stop, so it hasn’t changed in that aspect. I often joke that we need to clone Tim! In saying that we have become a lot better at managing what things are absolutely crucial and have implemented procedures to allow for some work-life balance.

Lastly, how have you seen the expectations shift over the last 5 years of an Executive Assistant. What are the core skills you see as being necessary today?

Resilience is definitely something that is required in today’s ever-changing fast pace environment. As an Executive Assistant you are constantly faced with changing and at times challenging situations this can be quite overwhelming. We have to rely on our self-confidence to bounce back quickly and tackle the next challenge.

Additionally, strategic Executive Assistants pay attention to clues in the Executive’s behaviour and shifts in temperament, because timing and judgment are the foundation of a smooth working relationship. Priorities and concerns change, and we have to be on top of these shifts all the time. We have to have the emotional maturity to manage distracted behaviours, the endurance capacity to sustain ourselves in environments where we may encounter an ever-changing rapid pace; conflicting instructions; behaviour that deters productivity; and, the demand for high levels of intelligence and superb response skills.

As an Executive Assistant you will often look at packed to-do lists and the management of your Directors as well and we have to have the ability to make a decision which tasks to tackle first when all of our work may be a priority with imminent deadlines. Due to the nature of our job we have to remain adaptable whilst handling multiple priorities so flexibility & adaptability are imperative to have.

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