This month we shine the API Member Spotlight on Dr Georgia Warren-Myers, property academic and world champion sailor.
Dr Warren-Myers is an international award-winning academic with a passion for research and a prolific career in valuation.
While she has become accustomed to success in the professional world, she recently added a major sporting win to her list of accolades, becoming the first woman on the podium at the Hobie 14 World Championships in Germany.
Despite beginning her training just five weeks before the event, Dr Warren-Myers secured a bronze medal. The impressive result meant she was also victorious over her husband, Fletcher, who finished in sixth place.
Dr Warren-Myers says she was unaware at the time that she was making history being the first woman on the podium, but added that she was “ecstatic” to be up there in third place.
So what are Hobie 14s? The Hobie 14 was the original catamaran created in 1968 by Hobart (Hobie) Alter, one of the fathers of the modern surfing and founder of the Hobie brand. The small, easy-to-identify catamaran, with its asymmetrical hulls and simple rig, was originally designed to be sailed with just a main sail, but it started somewhat of a revolution in water sports at the time.
This year, the Hobie 14 World Championships attracted entrants from France, Germany, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa and Poland.
While Dr Warren-Myers admits her training regime got off to a late start, she says her extensive international experience sailing Hobie 16s (two-person boats) for 10 years held her in good stead.
“I’ve been racing in yachting since I was eight years old, starting in monohulls until I raced a national championships on a Hobie and I’ve been hooked ever since,” she said.
“Sailing the Hobie 16 is a way of life – you can travel the world, competing in world championships, but also other country regattas where you meet great people and have some fantastic sailing and racing.”
Training for sailing events is tough, she said, and requires a lot of time on the water, gym sessions and yoga workouts, with lots of focus on strength, agility and endurance.
“Fletcher has been sailing and racing for close to 30 years and we met while racing in national championships almost 10 years ago. We’re already in training for the Hobie 16 world championships, which will be held in Jervis Bay, NSW, in February next year.”
Dr Georgia Warren-Myers Q&A
How long have you been in the property industry? How did you get your start?
I’ve been in the property industry for 12 years. I completed a University of Melbourne property and construction degree and my first job was with the Mirvac Group.
Where are you currently working?
Just started a new job as a senior valuer with Westlink.
How did you come to be in this role?
I’ve been an academic for the last few years and decided I needed a change, so here I am.
Tell us about your background and career path?
I started in development, then due to locational changes I ended up in Wellington, New Zealand where there wasn't much development happening, and took a job as research analyst/assistant valuer with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). I began a PhD investigating the value of sustainability and also took on the role as national sustainability manager for New Zealand until I had to return to Australia to finish up the PhD and continued with JLL in valuation and advisory in Melbourne.
At the completion of my PhD I had a bit of a career change and entered academia as I enjoyed the research component and wanted to continue to develop my research.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in this area?
Because I really enjoyed the research, getting into an issue or problem, unpacking it and identifying and clarifying problems/issues/solutions, then working out where to next.
Have you received any awards or other forms of professional recognition for your work?
I received two awards this year for my research. I won the European Real Estate Society RICS Sustainability award, and the Emerald Literati Award for Outstanding Paper (published research).
What do you think are among the biggest challenges facing the property industry?
Embracing sustainability beyond minimal efficiency strategies that allow adaptability and embrace change in not only the workforce and changing working environments, but also the external impacts buildings have on the environment and the impacts of a more volatile environment on buildings.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2013?
I'm looking forward to actively working as a valuer again, back in the field, while continuing and developing my research through publishing and undertaking new projects.
How is the API helping your career and why do you believe a membership organisation such as the API is important to property professionals?
I believe the API has been very influential in both my professional and academic career. As a property graduate, the YPP and API events allowed great opportunities for networking. Later, when I was undertaking my research, the API was very helpful in assisting in the distribution of my surveys, and provided opportunities to discuss, debate and present my research with the industry.
What would you say to upcoming property professionals?
Work hard, play hard and enjoy life!