Dean Gavrilovic | Open Colleges
Dean Gavrilovic

Director of Signature Project Management

Dean Gavrilovic

"I would encourage people early in their careers to work on building their experience and taking every opportunity presented to them, to grow their knowledge and help develop their problem-solving skills."

Dean Gavrilovic has more than 30 years of experience in the property, development, and construction industry delivering a wide range of specialist and critical state and national infrastructure projects. He has become a source expert for selection of procurement models, contract documentation, and delivery of project outcomes.

Dean's passion is working on unique projects such as the Sydney Wildlife World, the new Qantas line maintenance facility, or large government sponsored roll-outs such as the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan. These are typically projects that are a once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

1 In a couple of short sentences, tell us about your career path and how it has evolved over time.

My career has evolved over a 30-year period, early on working as a labourer on construction sites, then completing a cadetship with a medium-sized building company that specialised in public works projects such as schools, hospitals and universities. My early training was as an estimator and contract administrator, later being promoted to project manager and being fortunate to deliver a large variety of construction projects over many years.

As well as developing my work experience, education formed the backbone to my career by completing my Building Certificate, then Bachelor of Building, and Masters in Construction Management.

Later my career took a different path when I was asked to join a client-side project management company. This opportunity elevated my responsibility to delivering projects in their entirety (not just the construction delivery phase) but from project inception, through to design, authority approvals, and turn-key construction delivery.

2 What is the Australian project management industry like, how is it unique?

The Australian project management industry is diverse. You can specialise in many industry sectors. My industry is predominantly property development and construction. The principles of project management are the same through every industry. You need to be competent in defining project goals and managing the project team and stakeholders for a successful project.

3 What's the secret to staying relevant in the project management industry?

Education and experience are the two primary sources of staying relevant in the industry. After your formal education it's imperative to continue your education in specific areas of interest and through joining industry associations and attending seminars and conferences. The secret to staying relevant is to maintain your passion for your work and diversify your experience and knowledge when possible. Fortunately, construction is dynamic and every project is different with unique challenges.

4 What is it like running a project management business?

Running a business is always challenging no matter what type of industry. I'm fortunate that my business feeds my passion to deliver unique projects and work with diverse and interesting people.

5 What are the top three things employers are looking for in a project management professional?

Strategic thinking.
Problem solving skills.
An ability to build systems and processes to deliver goals.

6 How do you keep up to date with new technologies in your day-to-day work?

Further education, membership in industry associations, magazines, newspapers, seminars, conferences, industry events and shows, and networking with your peers.

7 Anything else you would like to add?

I would encourage people early in their careers to work on building their experience and taking every opportunity presented to them, to grow their knowledge and help develop their problem-solving skills.

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