rachel ezzard wins 2022 UDIA Stockland Young Development Professional Award
Rachel Ezzard receiving the 2022 UDIA Stockland Young Development Professional Award.
  • The 2022 UDIA WA & Stockland Young Development Professional Award winner is Rachel Ezzard
  • Ezzard speaks about career goals, mentors, and being part of an industry organisation
  • Significant issues impacting the property industry are also explored

It is not often you find a person that is equally passionate about the arts and economics, but the most recent winner of the UDIA WA & Stockland Young Development Professional Award, Rachel Ezzard, is just that person.

The Stockland Development Manager says those dual interests are what initially drew her to a career in property, where she can put both her commercial and creative talents to good use when working on delivering new communities.

The Awards for Excellence judging panel noted in their citation that Ms Ezzard’s willingness to push boundaries to deliver considered communities has been integral to her career acceleration over the last decade.

In speaking with Ms Ezzard, it is clear that she has been driven and focused on success right from the outset of her career journey.  Having secured an academic scholarship to study Commerce at Curtin University, Ms Ezzard went on to take up the Ervin Graf Scholarship at Stockland in 2013, where she has been building a successful career ever since.

“I love working in property because it is so tangible,” Ms Ezzard says. “You can see what you are creating come out of the ground in front of your eyes and I find that really satisfying.  It is very multifaceted, and no two days are ever the same in property.”

Ms Ezzard says that she has chosen to stay at Stockland for the last 10 years due to the level of professional development the organisation provides along with the career opportunities and great projects and challenges along the way.

Having worked on a multitude of land development projects at Stockland, Ms Ezzard says the first project she worked on remains a favourite that is close to her heart.

rcahel ezzard stockland newhaven estate piara waters
Working on the Newhaven Estate in Piara Waters was a career highlight for Rachel Ezzard.

“Newhaven Estate in Piara Waters was an amazing project to work on because it had so many different property disciplines within it,” Ms Ezzard says.

“We delivered a masterplanned community with three different villages and different product variations, some great public open spaces including the Robot Park, along with the Harrisdale Shopping Centre and great community amenities.

“It is such an integrated community and seeing that evolve from acquisition to the closeout phase was certainly a highlight for me.”

Other projects that Ms Ezzard has been part of include Whiteman Edge in Brabham including the Town Centre, Vale in Aveley and more recently the planned communities at North East Baldivis and Sinagra.

Having started her career during the peak of the market in 2013, Ms Ezzard says she has seen an evolution in the product that is being delivered to the market and an increasing focus on community infrastructure and housing diversity to meet different household needs.

“Every time we deliver something new, we learn and improve each time which is a fantastic experience,” Ms Ezzard says.

That winning feeling

Despite her many career achievements to date, Ms Ezzard remains extremely modest, saying that being in the spotlight is daunting and quite uncomfortable, however, the application process for the Award was a positive experience.

“Applying for the Young Development Professional Award was a goal to push myself outside of my comfort zone and do something that I wouldn’t normally do,” Ms Ezzard says.

“The whole process of completing the application was quite rewarding for me and really gave me time to focus on my career accomplishments to date and reflect on that.  Which is not something that you generally put a lot of time aside to think about when you are busy with the day to day.

“Winning the award was really the cherry on the top, given I was already proud that I went through the application process itself.”

Ms Ezzard says that winning the award is also a catalyst to consider where her career will take her into the future, helping to further define her career direction.

While personal career goals are important, Ms Ezzard appreciates the importance of acting as a mentor for others, having shaped her career with the help of a range of people who have offered support and guidance along the way.

“I think it’s incredibly important to have people in your career that are willing to advocate for you and support you,” Ms Ezzard says.

“There’s been a whole number of people that have done that for me, from managers and within buddy systems and of course people like Col (Dutton).

“I tend to find having a network of people is the best approach for me and taking little bits of inspiration from each of them, whether they have a great physical presence in a meeting or a technical skill, I will look out for things in people that are really inspiring and learn from that.

“I tend to gravitate towards people that are authentic, genuine, and compassionate.”

Along with individual mentors, Ms Ezzard also places significant importance on being part of an industry organisation and giving back to the industry that she is so passionate about.

urban development institute of australia western australia networking
Building a professional network is a key aspect of Ms Ezzard’s career success to date

“Joining organisations like UDIA and Property Council has helped me establish a strong network of like-minded people,” Ms Ezzard said.  “Being on committees like the UDIA WA Housing Diversity committee has also exposed me to a range of expert knowledge and insights as well as being part of influencing positive outcomes for the broader industry and hopefully improving the way we are all operating.”

As part of the Young Development Professional Award, Ms Ezzard will take up a place on the UDIA WA Outlook Committee in 2023 and she is looking forward to getting even more involved with the Institute.

“I think there are so many issues and ways that we can be doing things better as an industry, and there’s so many people with such a wealth of knowledge to contribute.” Ms Ezzard said.

“Being on a committee provides an opportunity to help and hopefully influence policy decisions.

“It is also a great thing that you can come together with your competitors in a sense and work together on these issues to help resolve them, that is quite strong and powerful.”

In considering some of the more significant issues impacting on the property industry, Ms Ezzard says housing affordability and the rising cost of living should be a primary focus for government and industry to work together on.

“From an industry perspective we need to be providing a diverse range of product offerings including build-to-rent and shared ownership schemes,” Ms Ezzard says.

“From a government perspective, unlocking future land supply is critical.

“Hopefully we will also see stamp duty reform in the future. I think that would really encourage people to transition into the right sized home for their needs.”

On the cost-of-living side, Ms Ezzard believes that land developers could do more to help ease the burden on residents by future proofing new homes effectively.

“The project I’m working on at the moment, we are certainly looking at future proofing our housing through efficient use of energy and water and ensuring homes can run on renewable energies in the future.

“Things like encouraging solar energy options, mandating electric vehicle power chargers within homes, cool roof covenants to reduce the heat impact on homes, elements like that are extremely important.

“I do think there is quite a bit we can be doing, that’s pretty easy and attainable, to help future proof our homes.”

Coming back to a more personal reflection, Ms Ezzard has a final message for any young professionals looking to progress in their career.

“My biggest tip is to just have a go and get outside of your comfort zone, because that’s the only way you are going to grow and improve in your career,” she says.

“Only doing the things that are comfortable will not stretch you and I think it is really important to stretch those limits.”

This advice seems just as pertinent to the wider industry as we continue to innovate and indeed look at ways to further future proof the communities that are being created and delivered to the market.


This story was originally published in The Urbanist magazine, an official publication of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA). It has been edited for republication by The Property Tribune. 

The Property Tribune thanks the UDIA WA for the opportunity to republish the work, and share thought leadership in relation to urban development and community creation with our readers.

Read the original copy of The Urbanist by heading to UDIA WA’s website under the News tab.

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