Image of Stuart Penklis

Stuart Penklis

Head of Residential

Stuart Penklis was appointed Head of Residential in April 2017.

"This is life-changing"​

25th October 2018

The ability to tap into our design and construction capability to make modifications to the design of our properties has been described as "life-changing" by Tim Ferguson, one of our Harold Park purchasers who lives with multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair.

This statement from our customer Tim Ferguson describing the modifications made to his Harold Park home is why I am so proud to do what we do.

There are many occasions when I reflect on Mirvac’s legacy – the creation of new communities, homes, parks and places to shop and work. But our most powerful legacy of all is the impact we can have on people’s lives.

The ability to tap into our design and construction capability to make real change was brought home in a Domain article on the weekend in which Tim described the “life-changing” modifications to his Harold Park home.

“The time saved can be as much as two hours a day,” he said. “Just getting around the apartment is a breeze.

“It is comforting to feel secure getting around the kitchen, the bathrooms, in and out of the bedrooms. Safe and easy access to the balcony has been a life-changer. Most importantly, I can now enter and exit the building independently, no problem. “This is life-changing.” Tim, a member of the Doug Anthony All Stars and one of Australia’s most celebrated comedians, lives with multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair.

For him, and anybody with reduced mobility, the home can be the most difficult place of all to negotiate, stripping away independence and making life harder for themselves and their carers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Our design and development teams worked with Tim to modify his home in such a way that he can do a 360 degree turn in the hallway, safely take a bath, use his balcony and be in charge of cooking the snags on the barbecue, and come and go from his home without assistance.

These are pleasures that most people take for granted. They should be pleasures that every person is able to take for granted regardless of their physical ability.

Our Mirvac Design team approached the modifications with two aims – to make Tim’s life easier and to retain the aesthetic nature of the home. Neither they nor Tim wanted to create an environment that looked like a disabled care facility.

For many years councils have legislated to ensure new developments include a minimum number of adaptable homes that can be easily changed to post-adaptable mode. The emphasis here is on the word easily.

Development approval also requires that common areas are accessible to all people, with the result that apartment living has the potential to be a liberating experience for those in a wheelchair.

The statistics speak loud and clear of the need to do everything in our power to ensure people with a disability are able to lead a full, satisfying and independent life. More than four million people in Australia have some form of disability, with around 15 per cent of them requiring the use of mobility aids.

It’s with a great sense of achievement and consideration that Mirvac can safely say we can cater to the needs of all homeowners.