Building communities that thrive: Lendlease puts social impact first

Building communities that thrive: Lendlease puts social impact first
Brendan Rees

Development giant Lendlease has carved a niche for itself in Docklands after delivering some large-scale projects over the past 20 years.     

But what may not be commonly known is the firm’s dedication to going beyond its construction process to ensure positive social impact on communities is achieved.

Lendlease’s regional social impact manager Jacquelin Saultry said she was committed to creating positive social outcomes and so brought her passion of making an impact on people’s lives to the large-scale mixed-use projects she worked across.

“Social Impact creates an opportunity to enrich the project, foster ongoing relationships, create positive social outcomes and cultivate a vibrant and resilient community,” she told Docklands News.


By having a role that allows the community to participate in and benefit from the investment being made allows me to bring purpose to what I do.


Successful projects in Docklands include the Exchange at Knowledge Market at Victoria Harbour, a creative hub for sharing ideas created by the community for the community.

A collaboration between Lendlease and RMIT University in 2016, the Exchange explores the concept of community through a curated series of public workshops, exhibitions, forums, and community events.    

Another success included Lendlease partnering with First Nations fashion brand Ngali to open its fashion studio within the Melbourne Quarter precinct in 2022.

The studio founded by Wiradjuri designer, Denni Francisco, is the brand’s first-ever exclusive retail experience that celebrates First Nations culture and creativity. 

Lendlease said its collaboration with Ngali would continue to bring about a greater awareness and understanding of its vision for reconciliation and enhance the public’s knowledge of Indigenous culture and history. 

Ms Saultry, who has 20 years’ experience in the property and construction industry in Australia and the UK, said Lendlease was always learning, noting the sector was “evolving but it is important that we focus our efforts”.

“At Lendlease we focus on three key social impact areas: economic prosperity, community inclusion and wellbeing.”

Asked what challenges she had found in trying to make a social impact through its projects in Docklands, Ms Saultry said it was aligning project timings with community expectation, which “often isn’t at day one”.

“We look at ‘what, where and how’ to deliver impactful outcomes and align with project delivery timelines to ensure we get the greatest outcomes throughout the project lifecycle and beyond.”

Looking ahead to Lendlease’s Collins Wharf project, a residential tower at 907-913 Collins St and future development at Victoria Harbour, she said building strong communities that thrived would continue to be at the heart of the firm’s purpose.

“In creating meaningful social impact projects, it’s not always about creating something new but rather leveraging and building on existing partnerships, programs and assets – this is something I look forward to continuing in 2024.” •


Photography: Hanna Komissarova.

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