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We are thrilled to announce that Manteena, in collaboration with Architects Ring & Associates and Archertec Interiors, has been awarded the MBA ACT ‘House of the Year’ for our Deakin project at the 2023 Master Builders ACT and Asset Construction Hire Building Excellence Awards.

This accolade speaks to the devotion, craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail our residential team and building partners poured into this ambitious project.

Unmatched Craftsmanship in Every Corner

A home’s soul lies in its details. Every room, corner and element in the Deakin project whispers a story of unparalleled craftsmanship. The show-stealer was undeniably the handcrafted staircase, which stands as a testament to precision, having been delivered to the millimetre. The process of creating each timber stair tread required on-site templating followed by off-site manufacturing. It is this precision that can be observed throughout every nook and cranny of the house.

From brick corbelling, intricate parapets, elegant wainscoting and detailed cornices & skirting boards; the dedication to preserving master craftsmanship is evidently felt.

Innovation and Global Inspiration

This home wasn’t just built; it was curated. The wrought-iron balustrades, painted to mirror the finish of the aluminium window frames, bring a touch of vintage elegance. In a harmonious blend of local craftsmanship and global aesthetics; chandeliers, pendants and wall lights were handpicked and sourced through the homeowner’s European connections.

Our approach to design was both aesthetic and functional. Flooring direction was meticulously planned to softly separate the rooms, allowing them to seamlessly connect. The consistent high-quality visible throughout the house was achieved through weekly team meetings, specialised workshops and creating prototypes to finalise key details.

Beyond Design: Adaptability in Focus

One of the standout features of this project was the team’s adaptability. The team capitalised on voids identified during the modelling phase. Our innovative team then transformed these spaces into practical storage drawers and introduced a laundry chute to the floor below, optimising every inch of the residence.

A Symphony of Collaboration

This project stands as a symphony of collaboration between Manteena, Architects Ring & Associates, and Archertec Interiors. The outcome? An architectural marvel of finely detailed architecture and bespoke modelling, rendering a house that’s not just a dwelling but a work of art.

We’re incredibly proud to showcase our award-winning custom-built home, valued at over $4m. Nestled in the heart of the historic Red Hill precinct, this architectural marvel stands as a testament to our commitment to design, precision and client vision.

Masterfully designed by Adam Hobill of Adam Hobill Design, the journey began in late 2018 with a humble butter paper sketch. The design brief was clear: to craft a home that exudes traditional elegance while championing connectivity to outdoor spaces, natural light, and ventilation. The site’s generous width paved the way for a symmetrical footprint, with rooms radiating off a central spine to harness natural ventilation and light.

One of the client’s core visions was an outdoor entertainment expanse that flawlessly wove the pool into the entertainment hub. This vision was brought to life impeccably, as the backyard now serves as a sanctuary for sun-soaked summer days and offers a cozy sunken fire pit retreat for winter evenings.

The team’s collaboration with the client began in early 2019. After diligently refining the design and coordination for over 12 months, the groundbreaking moment arrived in June 2020 (just before COVID shutdowns). Fast forward 21 months to May 2022, and the dream was realised—a splendid three-story residence that harmoniously complements its surroundings. As time progresses, the landscaping will further accentuate the home’s beauty, while its bitumen driveways, front fencing, hedges and piers will continue to echo the heritage of the streetscape.

A project of this magnitude owes its success to the dedication and hard work of our exceptional team. A heartfelt acknowledgment to Lewis H, Kaspar C, Anthony A, Scott P, Mitch G, Emma T, Adam P, Nick P, Barrie D, Liam K, Chris P, Jack G, Beth C, Danny A, Angus M, and Frazer B.

Project Details

There is no denying that the core of Australia’s history can be found in Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle and surrounds. From the Australian Parliament House, to the National Gallery, Royal Australian Mint, War Memorial, Portrait Gallery, National Library and Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, these cultural institutions tell the story of Australia.

Manteena has had the privilege of working within all of these institutions across a number of years to continue to preserve and restore the history these buildings hold, and we are immensely proud of our role in helping to develop the “heart” of Australia.

At present, Manteena Commercial are working in the National Library to replace the copper roof and upgrade the HVAC systems. Manteena Security are working across Australian Parliament House (where we have had a near continuous presence since the building opened in 1988), the Royal Australian Mint and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House to continue to upgrade and repair the buildings.  Prior to that, Manteena completed major projects within the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Australian War Memorial.

The historical significance of these locations is the key source of awe, pride and intrigue among the Manteena team.

Dylan Paraga (Project Manager) has been working from Old Parliament House since the beginning of 2022 and highlights the vast number of events that have taken place in the building over Australia’s modern history. “There are few facades that are more iconic than the Old Parliament House main entrance. It’s a unique experience to be involved in the repair of the building that has been the stage for such memorable moments in our national history, such as Gough Whitlam’s “God Save the Queen” speech following his dismissal in 1975, delivered atop the Old Parliament House front stairs.”

“For me, it is an absolute source of pride to work at OPH, especially being a part of projects which help to teach or exhibit the importance of the Parliament in Australia’s History. Working with the other teams (MoAD, AEC and the conservators) who are so devoted to this building has been an awe-inspiring experience,” says Sophia Sako (Project Administrator).

While the Manteena team are no strangers to complex engineering and construction, the added tier of heritage conservation across these sites has challenged our teams in new ways. Careful consideration has had to go into the planning and execution of projects, with added requirements for protection when scaffolding, ladders and other equipment is required.

The Fire Remediation and Senate Roof Replacement projects at Old Parliament House have had our team working with a range of conservators including; International Conservation Services, Celia Cramer Conservation and Conservation Work Pty Ltd. The focus on preservation, conservation and restoration has been at the forefront of the project plan and program, with each of these conservators holding specialist skills and experience with different elements of the building.

Similarly, Site Supervisor Sam Allen has been working at Old Parliament House on an exhibition expected to open later this year. In fitting out the space for the exhibition he says, “we worked in consultation with the client, MoAD Heritage and a heritage architect to successfully complete the fitout and protect the heritage features of the building. We needed to create a sub floor on top of the heritage floor to run cabling through, and frame the windows with a special frame with rubber feet to protect the heritage timber. Everything is done with a heritage focus to ensure the building is protected and preserved while experiences are improved for the public.”

The added intricacies of working in live museums and public thoroughfares adds an additional level of planning and consideration to the project programs that is not often experienced on other construction sites.

‘I have had the opportunity to work in several Parliamentary Triangle buildings over the last four years with Manteena. There are complexities in running these projects as they must remain active (wherever possible) to provide their primary function as a Public Building.’

Solutions also need to be found to deal with legacy issues (many of which are emergent), working within Heritage requirements, understanding Internal Stakeholder priorities and requirements, and gaining Approvals from the National Capital Authority.” says Paul Cresswell, Project Manager for the National Library Roof Replacement Project. “The NLA Reroofing Project is a once in a generation opportunity to provide quality modernisation, rectify problematic areas, and remove hazardous material from the roof system.

Whilst maintaining the integrity of the Heritage Building, the project is designed to deliver better than original performance, increase the durability and lifespan of the roof system, providing ongoing protection of the Collection, and provide better amenity for those using the building.”


As history continues to unfold within these iconic buildings, we are proud to be a part of the conservation, preservation and educational efforts which allow these institutions to continue to tell the story of Australia.

We’re delighted to announce that Manteena has recently signed a contract to construct the United Arab Emirates Embassy and associated compound in Canberra.

This significant venture falls in line with the UAE Government’s recent economic campaign, ‘United Global Emirates,’ which underscores the commitment of the UAE as a global investment hub and their focus on science and innovation.

The embassy and the associated compound will be reflective of one of the world’s most dynamic, competitive, and innovative business hubs. We’re tasked with ensuring that the new compound maintains the Emirati identity and values, key elements at the core of the country’s development and progress.

Our scope of work for this ambitious project includes the construction of multiple buildings within the compound – an embassy building, a consulate, a diplomatic building, the Ambassador’s residence, staff residences, a recreation building, a garage, and two separate guard houses. We’re thrilled to bring the vision of a new UAE hub in Canberra to life, constructed to the highest standards.

This greenfield site, located on the corner of Culgoa Circuit and Jindalee Crescent, in O’Malley, will be transformed into a symbol of international partnership and diplomacy. The total site area spans 14,015m², with a total Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 4,900m².

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting venture as we continue to shape Canberra’s diplomatic landscape.

Gareth Hunt had always known he would end up in some kind of IT role. However, a 17 year career in the Construction Industry (and at Manteena) was not exactly where he anticipated that career would take him.

How did you end up at Manteena?

I started in IT straight out of school. My first role was managing a small network and day to day IT for a company in Newcastle. Given that this was relatively small at the time, I also worked in the Sales and Dispatch areas. From here I was able to learn about other areas of the business and help to develop tools and processes to help other people in the company.

My next role was working with a time clock company, helping to build physical time clocks and help to develop the time sheet applications.

After this I worked for a large IT support company, providing support to a large Australian organisation.

In 2006 I started with Manteena, as IT Support, dealing with the day-to-day issues. As the company continued to grow, I moved into an IT Manager role and the IT Team grew to 2. In 2011, I became a member of the Australian Computer Society, where I am now recognised as a certified professional. More recently I have moved away from the day-to-day IT and more focusing on processes and improvements across all areas in the business as the Business Systems Manager.

Why IT?

I have always had an interest in technology and making things work better and more efficiently. This interest has enabled me to help the business continue to innovate and improve.

The skills I have learnt either on the job or through formal studies, have allowed me to look at problems / processes with an analytical approach to determine the best way to either improve the process or implement an effective solution.

How would you describe Manteena’s offering and approach?

The variety of projects and clients that Manteena works for presents several unique opportunities for employees. This variety makes every project different requiring the organisation to be adaptive in its systems, processes, and people.

Every day is different. There’s always plenty to do and plenty of challenges / opportunities to learn something new.

Did you always think this was an area you would end up working in?

I have always had an interest in working in the IT space, and in more recent years in the Business Analysis space, however at the time, I didn’t think it would have been in the Construction Industry.

However I have now been with Manteena for most of my working life (17 years).

What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in IT?

IT and Systems are constantly changing and evolving, so no days are the same. This provides opportunities to always be learning and improving.

From 23 – 30 July, it’s DonateLife Week.

Manteena CEO, Mark Bauer is gearing up for a charity ride dedicated to raising awareness for this crucial cause. Not only does this ride aim to increase attention around organ donation, but it also supports the creation of family rooms in the Intensive Care Unit at the Canberra Hospital’s upcoming Critical Services Building.

We encourage everyone to learn more about organ and tissue donation by visiting the DonateLife page at DonateLife and if you’re able, support Mark’s fundraising efforts: Donation Page.

#DonateLifeWeek #OrganDonation #CharityRide #ManteenaGroup

We are pleased to announce the appointment of, Mr Matthew Doogan, stepping into the role of Corporate Services Manager. A highly credentialed Certified Practicing Accountant, Matthew brings a rich tapestry of experience from his time in both the public and private sectors—for renowned entities such as Synergy Group, Navy Canteens, and The Vikings Group.

What sets Matthew apart is his dual competency in strategic and operational roles, an alignment with our Corporate Services Manager position which requires both an ‘upward and outward’ strategic focus and an ‘inward and operational’ perspective. His past roles have armed him with the ability to balance macro-level objectives while ensuring operational efficiency – a skill set that matches our ethos of “Building Excellence”.

Furthermore, Matthew’s robust background in financial management, a central element of the CSM role, allows him to assist in budget development and management, directly contributing to Manteena’s strategic objectives. We are confident that Matthew’s strong financial expertise, combined with our CFO’s ongoing efforts, will serve as a valuable asset in guiding our company on a path of sustainable profitability.

Beyond his professional credentials, Matt is an enthusiast for sports and the arts, illustrating his diverse interests outside the corporate world.

We have no doubt that with Matthew at the helm of the corporate services team, our journey towards “Building Excellence” will be invigorated. Please join us in warmly welcoming Matthew to our Manteena family.

Manteena, a leader in the construction industry, has formally launched its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) – an initiative aiming to advance reconciliation and help close the gap within the sector. Alongside this historic moment, the company is proud to unveil the ‘Building Connection‘ painting, a captivating piece by the talented Ngiyampaa artist, Sarah Richards.

A Step Forward in Reconciliation

Since endorsing its first RAP, named Reflect, Manteena has made significant strides in nurturing relationships and understanding with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The company’s commitment is apparent in its efforts to increase cultural awareness, enriching the entire Manteena community’s understanding of the unique challenges faced by these communities.

With the Innovate RAP, Manteena aims to provide an inclusive environment for education, training, and employment opportunities in the construction industry, ensuring that First Nations people not only have a presence but also thrive and feel welcomed. With the governance of the RAP Working Group and the Company Directors, the Innovate RAP is structured around four integral elements – Relationships, Respect, Opportunities, and Governance.

Manteena’s commitment to promoting mutual respect and trust is evident through their partnerships with local bodies, including the ACT Education Directorate. Our collaborative Mentoring Program offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students an immersive experience in the construction industry, introducing them to the myriad of career opportunities available.

Unveiling the Building Connection

As part of this pivotal moment in the company’s journey, Manteena unveiled Building Connection, a beautiful 40″ x 40″ painting by Sarah Richards. Richards, an award-winning Ngiyampaa woman, combines her passion for art with her commercial background to create art under her business, Marrawuy Journeys. Inspired by Manteena’s values, the painting captures the essence of Manteena’s family-based culture, client diversity, and journey towards organisational reconciliation.

The vibrant layers of the artwork represent the diverse landscapes where Manteena operates, while the smaller circles depict the extensive reach of Manteena’s clients and projects. Central to the painting are symbols representing the three essential aspects of the RAP: respect, relationships, and opportunities, extending outward to symbolise Manteena’s external influence. The surrounding figures on the edge of the artwork symbolise Manteena’s family-based culture, encompassing their own families, clients, and the wider community.

A New Chapter in Manteena’s Journey

Manteena’s Innovate RAP and the unveiling of Building Connection mark a new chapter in the company’s journey towards creating a more inclusive and respectful environment. The RAP’s success will be measured by the increased awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture amongst staff, and the establishment of mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples. As visitors and employees view the Building Connection painting in the front reception area, they will be reminded of this commitment and the progress being made every day.

Mark Bauer, Manteena CEO, shares his perspective, saying, “As we unveil our second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) – the Innovate RAP, our sense of pride and commitment is stronger than ever. Through our initial Reflect RAP, our staff had the incredible opportunity to deepen their understanding of First Nations histories. The progress of the Aboriginal Mentoring Program, involving our dedicated staff guiding high school students and providing insight into construction industry opportunities, has been particularly rewarding. As we look forward, we’re excited to further develop and strengthen our kinships and long-term connections with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Our journey of growth and learning on this beautiful land continues, and we’re deeply grateful to Reconciliation Australia for their guidance in developing our Innovate RAP. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Manteena RAP Working Group for their continuous contributions and passion for achieving the goals of Manteena’s Reconciliation Action Plan”.

By championing reconciliation and inclusivity, Manteena is leading the way in the construction industry, building a future that we can all be proud of.

A copy of the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan can be downloaded here.

Please note a 3 month extension has been granted to all workers in the construction industry to complete their mandatory training.

Training must be complete by 1 October 2023 to allow continuation of work on site.

Manteena encourages all subcontractors working in the ACT to continue to actively book Silica Awareness Training (10830NAT – Course in Crystalline Silica Exposure Prevention) through an approved training provider to ensure seamless continuation of work post 30 September 2023.

Danny Agnello has been familiar with Manteena construction sites since he was a young child in the early 90s. By the age of around 14, the up-and-coming soccer prospect was cleaning sites during school holidays and on weekends.

While it may seem a natural progression for Danny to follow in his father and brother’s footsteps, this wasn’t always the intention.

How did you initially end up at Manteena?

As a kid I had been around Manteena sites and worked on and off during school holidays and weekends but it wasn’t a specific plan for me. I had been playing soccer at a representative level from about 14 and had been scouted and taken over to trial for Leeds in 1999 and then Bayern Munich a year later. We made the decision that I would stay in Australia to finish year 11 and 12, keep training with the ACT Academy of Sport and see where it went after. Unfortunately I had a car accident that changed the course a bit, even though I made the Australian School Boys team at the age of 18 and toured with them, my body just couldn’t take it anymore.

After finishing year 12, dad (Lou Agnello) asked me what I wanted to do and offered me a labouring gig at Manteena until I figured it out. In March 2002 I started as a Cadet Project Administrator through CITEA and finished that 4 years later. From there I moved on to Project Administration for Alex Luddington and Andrew Kemp, before delivering my first project as a Project Manager in 2006 (NLA offsite storage).

In 2016 I moved over to the newly established Manteena Residential as a Project Manager, became Operations Manager shortly after and here we are.

Why Construction Management/Project Management?

I’ve been around construction all my life so it makes sense. I had considered architecture for a while but my career path changed as I got older. It just ended up that way, I was a labourer on site at UC while I worked out what I wanted to do, and I never left.  

What is it like to work at Manteena?

I would say we are honest and fair in everything we do. I’ve been here for almost 22 years and a lot has changed in that time. We’ve grown, we don’t just work in Canberra anymore and the great culture has continued to get better and better.

We were lucky to have had 30 people when I started, and it was very much a small, family-run business. Now we are 130+ and based across four different businesses.

Did you always think this was an area you would end up working in?

Who knows. My whole life would be different if I ended up going over to Europe. I wouldn’t have met my wife or had my four kids so that trajectory could have changed everything.

What would you tell anyone considering a career in Project Management/Construction space?

It’s tough but it’s rewarding. You need to be able to deal with stress and communicate with everyone if you want to do well.

It’s a very diverse industry and you are never really doing the same thing twice so if you don’t like repetitive tasks it is an industry to consider.