Brian and Terri Boulus are the proprietors of Boulus Constructions Pty Ltd . They have been in the building industry for 20 years now and have recently taken on huge building contracts in Armidale , which has led them to opening an office in Rusden Street.
How long have you lived in the New England area?
Forever, but never in the same place twice … we have been living here in Armidale for close to 18 months, but we’re all originally from Inverell and have been working continually across all corners of New England for over 5 years.
At the end of 2008 (Christmas week, I think it was, which is always such a nice stress-free time … ) our eldest son Nicholas came to me and said, ”I have decided to finish my high school years at TAS and go into boarding”. This was a massive blow to our family, as we are a very close knit unit; however, the consolation prize was that we would get to spend more time with family friends who live in Armidale and I knew that if the chips were down, they could be there for Nicholas in a flash.
This plan worked famously, until our second son, Joshua, decided he was missing out on the myriad of experiences and adventures that TAS has to offer. Slowly, the idea of having our children around us was dwindling. Josh boarded for 2 terms and we had all had enough; we were desperate for Josh to come home, but to no avail.
So we made a family decision that impacted all of us. If we couldn’t move Mohammed to the mountain then of course, the mountain was going to Mohammed. So we packed our suitcase and handbag, rented a house, and here we are in a community that has been, without a doubt, extraordinary. The support that we have been given has been unbelievable.
To be together again was our main focus, but with that there were sacrifices to be made. Firstly, we had to leave our support network, Mama and Fardy, my sister Poss and friends. Brian had to travel back to our office that was located in Inverell; I had to travel back to Inverell to maintain a business that I started 10 years ago, Furniture and Homewares Options.
Nicholas had to move home after settling into boarding, Joshua was ecstatic, as he had us all back together and of course, Alexander had to give up Vice Captain of Ross Hill Public School and all his beautiful friends. In saying all of that, the decision we made to uproot and relocate has been the best decision we have ever made.
Tell us about your family?
Brian and I have three sons, Nick, Josh and Alex; we are passionate about family, friends and football (soccer). The three boys attend The Armidale School, which we cannot praise enough. It has the diversification to suit all types of boys and our three are all so different, that it has been the perfect place to suit their needs. If you want an education that turns boys into men, then TAS is the place to go.
Nick is in Year 12; he is the 1st football Captain and athletics Vice Captain. He’s very proactive in the TAS community and, against all odds strives, for a great ATAR.
Josh is in Year 10 – the larrikin of the family and the reason we are here in this gorgeous community. Josh plays for the 1st football team at TAS.
Alex is in Year 7. He is committed to family and friends and loved by all. He swears he will be a better footballer than his two brothers and won’t quit until he is.
We all miss the space and peacefulness of our home in Inverell. It has taken us a while to decide to put it on the market but the decision has been made, and it is FOR SALE.
What other reasons brought you here to Armidale, and how have you settled in?
There were a lot of reasons behind us relocating – the main ones being work and family. With the launch of the stimulus package, most of Boulus Constructions work was in the New England district – geographically it was a central point, and our boys were going to TAS. Really a no brainer, as Brian would say. Josh just had to give us a little push. As for settling in, how could we not (BIG thanks and hugs goes to the most incredible person, T.J.!). We have made and reacquainted with the most amazing family and friends – “thank you” just don’t seem like strong enough words. Home is where the heart is, and our heart is here.
Describe your company’s services?
Boulus Constructions had a humble beginning in the late ‘80s within the northern NSW region. Since inception, the company has demonstrated commitment and philosophy to quality workmanship within commercial, residential and government building contracts. Historically, the company established a quality reputation for the construction of new buildings and ancillaries such as power stations and utilities, heritage property, residential and semi commercial dwellings, while increasing its competitive presence, trade networks and success in delivering specialised building services for State and Federal Government departments such as Department of Housing, Education, Teacher Housing and Resitech.
The company has acquired extensive experience within the construction industry and has further diversified its services to provide comprehensive and user choice packages for every customer. Construction design, commercial premises, parks and roads development, landscaping and interior design are just some examples of the level of choice and areas of excellence available.
The company has demonstrated and proven its success and commitment to providing innovative and cost effective services that have been delivered on time and on budget within commercial contracts.
In recent years, Boulus Constructions has received national recognition for its services, including multiple Housing Industry awards Australia, as well as several testimonials of exclusivity, specialisation and building excellence – which further demonstrate the ability and scope of the company.
Tell us about your team …
We have a highly qualified and motivated team to meet the highest demands of our clients. Our Project Manager, Joel Hewitson from Pottsville, is experienced in construction management and was involved in many projects, including housing, schools and shopping complexes covering northern New South Wales and Queensland. Hannu Matikainen, our Contracts Administrator, made a ‘city-change’ to Armidale 5 years ago and is deeply involved in our contracts and projects administration to provide quality output for our clients.
Yasser Maklad, an experienced Project Manager who moved last year from Egypt to Armidale, is our Tendering Officer and handles all our estimates, tenders and helps in project management where needed. Heath Meizer, from Gunnedah, is our Procurement Officer and an experienced purchaser. He is our endlessly equipped negotiator who saves costs and gets the right prices to benefit our clients. Sai Giridhar Abbaraju, a member of CPA Australia, made a city change from Sydney and is our Finance Administrator and Office Manager, looking after our accounting and human resources. Simmone Bull from Guyra, our receptionist, maintains the front office and ensures the office flow is smooth. We have a committed team in place to take up bigger challenges in serving the clients and community.
Do you employ locals?
Yes, we do. Apart from the above team, we have engaged a lot of locals in our projects in this region. We have a long list of local sub-contractors, who are well qualified and licensed to meet our clients’ requirements and deadlines. We currently have 4 trainees in our employ: Simon, Jess, Nick, and Josh; they all study in one form or another. Simon is currently at uni in Lismore and works in his spare time and holidays. Jess is currently going to UNE and also works around her busy schedule. Nick and Josh work on Saturday mornings and school holidays. They also happen to be our niece, nephew and sons; they are eager for experience and are instrumental in the functions of Boulus Constructions.
You have built a lot of government community housing in the area. Who benefits from this type of housing?
Government Community Housing delivers housing for a diverse workforce, providing local employment and demand for local goods and resources and, last but not least, it makes housing affordable. The affordability enables residents to spare their income for essential expenses such as food, health, clothing and education. We are proud of ourselves for being a part of this government initiative.
What can clients expect from the team at Boulus Constructions?
90% of our projects are won through tenders, and our motive is to provide quality to our clients at affordable prices. Our team is passionate about achieving our objectives and does whatever is needed to go the extra mile to keep up our commitments.
Plans for the future?
We still have a few things to tidy up in Inverell. We were heavily committed to the Inverell area and after living in the Inverell community all our lives, it has taken time to tie up almost 43 years of loose ends. We have purchased the ugly duckling of sheds in Armidale, 5 Drew St, and plans to transform it into the swan are under way … sticking on all those white feathers will be time consuming. Fingers crossed and luck permitting, our relocation should be in the not-too-distant future.
After exhausting many patient realtors in Armidale in search for a new place to lay our heads, it looks like we have finally found a block of land close to TAS with the same space and potential that we are accustomed to. I hope we will start building very soon.
Big plans; big potential; big life! We don’t look back, and we don’t sit still. There is only one way for Boulus Constructions, and that is moving forward towards the future and the opportunities it may bring.
Thanks Brian and Terri.