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Michael Jullyan

Wynnum, SEQ

Michael Jullyan managed to build an award-winning architectural company, Thinktank Architects, against the advice of his school teacher, university dean and father. He never questioned his ability to succeed and now not only contributes to multi-million dollar projects, but also manages to find time to give back to his local community.

My name is Michael Jullyan, I work for Thinktank Architects and I live in Brisbane.

My business is an architectural practice, we're an award winning firm that work up and down the east coast of Australia, a fairly boutique size company.

My typical customers range from corporates to ma and pa, so because we're residential based, we do big retirement villages to some people and then we might be working on a house extension for someone else.

It's pretty fulfilling, it's a lot of pressure but it's very satisfying. You get to steer the ship so it's a pretty enjoyable place to be.

We just won the national award for the best master plan development in Australia for Sanctuary Cove and we've worked on projects like Hayman Island. The resort work's pretty good fun to do.

When you're self-employed in a small business it's more of a 12 hour day than it is an 8 hour day. Look I've never really contemplated doing anything else.

Michael Jullyan grew up in a caravan park on the Gold Coast in the 1970's watching the start of the high-rise revolution. As a 10 year-old, he decided he was going to be an architect. Other people weren't so sure and voiced their concerns. His school teacher informed Michael he wasn't smart enough to study architecture. At the end of secondary school a university dean told him there were no jobs for architects and his father was also less than impressed with his career choice. Michael chose not to take their advice and instead went about building an award-winning architectural company, Thinktank Architects. He and his team now design both residential and commercial properties, on projects valued up to $200 million. He also donates his time and skills to the Wynnum community where Thinktank is based.

After graduating from university, Michael shunned the traditional architect's career path and established a construction company. His reasoning was that he found many architects lacked the essential and fundamental knowledge of construction and this expertise would give him a competitive edge. In 1992, he started Thinktank Architects as a sole-practitioner from his Brisbane home.

Today, Thinktank works with a wide range of clients, from some of the biggest construction companies in Australia, to builders with small businesses working on house renovations. They deliver a wide range of innovative, market-leading and sophisticated building projects. Michael has a strong sense of community spirit, providing his expertise and services free of charge to organisations in his community. In stark contrast to the discouragement he received, Michael has nothing but encouragement for the high school and university students he trains and mentors.

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