Spending time with Pat Tinnelly

Spending Time With...Pat Tinnelly

Pat Tinnelly is the General Manager Industries, Western Australia, for Fulton Hogan. Pat is responsible for ensuring that Fulton Hogan consistently delivers quality products and services to their clients whilst expanding the business in Western Australia. With over 25 years’ industry experience in New Zealand, Pat brings extensive knowledge and skill set, particularly in infrastructure services, project management, and construction to the Australian sector of the business. Pat holds a Certificate in Engineering and land surveying, is a Chartered Professional Engineer and a member of the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ).

Spending time with.... Pat Tinnelly


What are the most important traits that every leader should possess?

Breathe through your nose; have compassion; don’t procrastinate; give feedback even if they might not like hearing it.

Moments in time

Antarctica training at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. I was fortunate enough to spend time working in Antarctica. This afforded me the life lesson of ‘always look for the good in other people’. Having to live in such tight quarters and tough conditions, dependent on one another to survive, taught me to appreciate the best in all people. Previously I would say that I formed my opinions of people too quickly; judging a book by its cover and not looking more deeply leads to missed opportunities and experiences.

The second pivotal moment for me was getting certified. I really wasn’t that interested in school opting to spend more time in the mountains. As my journey unfolded I learned the importance of gaining a qualification. It increased my knowledge, personal confidence and credibility. Whilst I advocate that life experience is one of the best teachers, I know my personal confidence certainly rose once I was certified.

Creativity and Motivation

How do you encourage creative thinking within your organisation?

I advocate encouraging innovation as it happens; celebrate with the individual in front of their peers. Always acknowledge great ideas and improvements; I think little of those who claim credit for the efforts of others.

How do you motivate your team?

I encourage them to adopt a positive mindset when things start to get tough. All businesses weather storms, you need to celebrate every small win and success that you have as a team. Be positive and keep looking; for the best thoughts and ideas may be found under the next rock - keep lifting!

Your advice

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

‘Sit back and smell the roses!’ Don’t change an organisation or its structure too soon; or too late. Never go in with preconceived ideas. Work alongside the people and get to know them. Don’t make change for change sake; make it from opportunistic decisions.  

Growing yourself

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

I recently completed a Diploma in Management and always keep up my Engineering professional development hours. I enjoy spending time on National Review Boards for my industry and investing time and energy into industry forums.


How do you start and end your day?

Monday to Friday I like to run or ‘wog’ as I now call it - 3 to 4 mornings a week. Saturday is for tennis and Sunday I love to escape on my motorbike (when the wife will allow).

Once in the office (between 7 and 7.30) my ritual is always the same; coffee and catch up with everyone on the team. I like to walk around their offices, collaborate in conversation, before heading to my desk. I never turn on my computer before I have done this.

The end of the day sees me deal with my emails and any outstanding phone calls. I like to finish up knowing I am planned and prepared for tomorrow and able to switch off.

What's the most exciting thing you have done over the past year?

Attend my youngest son’s graduation in Otago, New Zealand. It was incredible to celebrate this together as a family. Each of my three children have taken such individual journeys and each one has given me such moments of pride.

On the work front, Fulton Hogan’s Total Injury Frequency Rate has reached below 5. Benchmarking against an international rating and seeing each of our employees go home unharmed has been an incredible milestone.

What's left on your bucket list that you are dying to do?

A motorcycle trip to Melbourne; is absolutely on the cards and following my Father’s world war 2 battle sites through Italy is a moment of reflection I am up to explore.

We loved spending time with Pat! It's always a privilege to spend time with extra-ordinary people!

Maria-Jane Satterthwaite

After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 29, MJ knew her journey was going to be unique! 

No way was she going to waste any of her years working 9-5 under poor leadership! She seized the opportunity to become an independent worker; starting her own Registered Training Organisation, Scope Vision.

MJ’s curiosity into what drives people, and businesses, to achieve success has been the passion recognised in her award-winning business. The drive to continue to train and embrace lifelong learning has been her key to success, and she wants to see this happen for others.

20 years on, the passion and curiosity she’s used to shape the businesses she works with, and her longevity in these relationships have inspired her to think about the future of work; what this will mean for workers in general and indeed her own business. Find out more about MJ