Sally Ockenden

Sally Ockenden
Senior Development Manager

Industry Background

I had a mixed background, studying architecture and interior design and then working in corporate investment banking. To combine I completed a Master's in property in London before commencing with Multiplex in Sydney. I worked at Multiplex for 13 years in both Sydney and Perth before coming to Vicinity three years ago.  Most of my working experience has been in property development. 

Role at Vicinity

My title at Vicinity is Senior Development Manager. Vicinity has a retail shopping centres portfolio. My job is to identify opportunity within that portfolio and realise that opportunity. 

Claremont Quarter

Having moved to Perth in 2006 I began working on Claremont Quarter which was a relatively complex $350 million complex, mixed-use project, the likes of which hadn't really been done in Perth. Geoff was engaged as the mechanical consultant on the team. He was recommended to me by the construction team as someone who was very experienced and good to deal with. It was the first project we worked together on.

From Multiplex To Vicinity

Multiplex’s development business shifted to Brookfield Properties for a period. I remained in Multiplex’s construction business. During the time when I had young children and I worked in a strategy focused role for three years, working closely with the Group’s executive. Vicinity approached me with the opportunity to move back into the development sector. 


Working with Geoff and his team on a day to day basis is really easy. He or his team turn up armed with solutions for any problem. 


DFO Perth 

When I began working on the DFO Perth opportunity we needed to engage a consultant team. Geoff was one of the first people to come to mind.  Not just because he was someone who I’d worked with before and had great experience of working with. His company's building industry experience, especially when it comes to complex projects, is unsurpassed in WA.

Geoff Hesford Tender Document

Vicinity like any large business has processes to adhere to and there was a requirement to go to at least three consultants for any major project. I undertook a complete review and provided a recommendation in respect of all the consultant proposals.

I paid particular attention to exclusions. I remember very clearly that in Geoff's proposal, it pretty confirmed that there were no exclusions and that the scope would be fully inclusive of all project requirements. I hadn't seen that in any of the consultant proposals for the project. I understood that GHE would honour their fee and do whatever it took to ensure the successful delivery of the project. I think he would’ve been appointed anyway, but the promise pushed it over the edge for me.

Easy Working Process

Working with Geoff and his team on a day to day basis is really easy. He or his team turn up armed with solutions for any problem. Vicinity has quite a lot of processes and requirements around systems and in particular, - BMS. Geoff's familiarity with them and the ability to be able to provide cost-saving solutions which both address the Vicinity brief and also reduce costs for incoming tenants has been really valuable for us. Tenancy Delivery teams advised me that GHE has been able to save tenants significant costs on their mechanical systems by assisting with design up front and providing solutions, which are innovative and address issues before they happen.


Geoff's delivered when we've needed him to. When timelines have shifted forward or we’ve needed additional resources, he’s been able to deliver.

Accurate & Fit For Purpose

This is most likely measured in terms of taking an approach which doesn't over-design and hence saves money but doesn't under-design either.


Jeff has a good relationship with a lot of West Australia's leading mechanical subcontractors. As such, there's very limited gaps or misunderstandings between what he provides in his documentation and what gets delivered. 


I always know that Geoff and his team are at the end of the phone if I've got an issue. He's always contactable and he will ensure that he mobilises his team in order to meet the requirements as they arise.

Life Cycle of the Asset

Geoff designs systems to meet project specific requirements, mindful of the fact that in the world of shopping centres, development costs and lifecycle need to be equally weighed up. GHE will model different scenarios for us to ensure we can make the most informed decision.

Business Benefit

Benefits outside his ability to manage the design relate to asses lifestyle focus addressing sustainability concerns focus on our ability to be able to recoup costs and an understanding of the complexity around retail. For example, on DFO, we had 113 fit-outs that we had to deliver simultaneously accommodating services aligned base build works.

It was a massive task and it involved Category 1 works across nearly every tenancy which needed to be delivered. Geoff was able to assist us with prompt documentation reviews to ensure coordinated design staying mindful of the costs.

Point of Difference - Personable

Geoff is just a really amiable person. He's trustworthy and easy to deal with and this approach to relationships generally makes him stand out. Some bigger consultancy firms focus on the upfront contract, risk and exclusions. With GHE, there is a greater focus on working together to get the job done.

As I said earlier Geoff’s proposal was all-inclusive. He has the experience to know the risk but her’s prepared to back himself and his team to be able to resolve any issue.

Industry Reputation

He has worked on many of Perth's biggest projects in the last 20 years.  The fact that a lot of Tier 1 builders like to work with Geoff is also a good indication of his reputation and work ethic because a D&C contract often puts pressure on novated consultants to document for subcontractors.


I would certainly recommend Geoff Hesford and his team. He is personable and his reputation and level of experience in the Perth market are unsurpassed.