Congress in Session

By on Oct 8, 2018 in News, People

In September, Yardi reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to Australia’s property industry by supporting—for the tenth year—the highly successful Property Congress in Darwin, Australia.

As Principal Sponsor, Yardi was proud to join the Property Council of Australia in hosting nearly 800 delegates from across the property industry. The attendees discussed the latest challenges, trends and opportunities facing the industry—and the future for Australia that the delegates are helping to build.

The event began with celebrations. On the conference’s eve, Yardi hosted a party at Darwin’s bustling Mindil Market that featured a spectacular sunset, sumptuous food, a fire dancer, a didgeridoo player (for those who might not know, that’s a wind instrument developed by indigenous Australians) and lots of good fellowship.

With the party successfully wrapped up and new connections established, it was time for the main event.

This year, The Property Congress was focused on major issues driving property development and investment in Australia and globally. With established and emerging leaders in the commercial, residential, retail, industrial, development, retirement living and investment sectors in attendance, it was a unique chance to hear from a wealth of thought leaders about the fundamental issues affecting our industry now and in the future.

While all guest speakers from the two-day lineup were remarkable in their own right, highlights included:

  • Headline keynote speaker Sir John Key, a former New Zealand prime minister, who touched on a range of current topics including leadership qualities, American tax and trade policy and housing issues. Noting the high growth rate of Australian urban developments, he urged a thoughtful planning process that integrates communities and connects them with transport. He also didn’t miss the opportunity to discuss the constantly-changing Australian political landscape, commenting that by the end of his political tenure he would ask the latest Australian PM to wear a name tag, as learning their name may not be a worthwhile exercise.
  • A description of Singapore’s dramatic rise to economic success by Nina Yang, chief executive officer of sustainable urban development for Ascendas-Singbridge Group. As well as a client of Yardi, Ascendas is Asia’s leading sustainable urban and business space solutions provider. With a high impact presentation dedicated to the need for focus, and future-planning, Yang’s presentation closed with this forceful statement: “Planning is the reason such a small, vulnerable island managed to transform completely . . . from needing support in the 1960s to becoming one of the richest nations in the world. Our long-term plan is all about looking at what we want to achieve and constantly adjusting to achieve that. With the same focus, think what you can do.”
  • Ken Morrison, chief executive of the Property Council, speaking on “Creating for Generations.” As the leading advocate for Australia’s biggest employer, Morrison gave a powerful speech that highlighted the PCA’s recognition that different cities have different needs, but for a growing nation such as Australia, every phase of growth needs to, and will be, supported. To a standing ovation, Morrison commented: “We will continue to champion a prosperous and growing Australia, and the role of our industry in creating that.”
  • A presentation by Peter Colacino, executive director, Policy and Research, at Infrastructure Australia. Like many speakers before him, he sounded a cautionary note, commenting, “As Australia’s population surpasses 25 million, we need to make sure our infrastructure plans for and responds to the needs ahead. Poor planning for growth, green space and affordable housing can erode cities. There are countless communities being delivered without infrastructure investment. That has led to an erosion of trust. We need to gain a clear understanding on the impact of population growth on the community, and we may need new models to ensure informed decision-making.”
  • Noel Pearson, founder of the Cape York Partnership, who closed the conference with a fiercely passionate discussion on Australia’s rich Indigenous history. In a session which covered leadership, history, culture and community, his “Love of Home” discussion ended with The Uluru Statement from the Heart, released in May 2017. This unprecedented piece of political writing—one of the most important national pieces of Indigenous literature produced in Australia—focused on the “First Nations Voice.” To a hushed room, Pearson asked, “This is the offer of the terms of peace from the people who occupied and owned this country for 65 millennia. Do you hear our invitation? And do you accept it?”

Yardi will be Principal Sponsor of the next Property Congress—coming up in just 11 months. Read session summaries from Property Congress 2018, or click here to watch the Yardi video, which previewed at the conference—discussing the company’s insights on the trends to watch in the year ahead.