The Fortis story began in 2016. Inspired by a shared passion for excellence, it was built through the intersection of three like-minded professionals—Patrick Keenan, Dan Gallen and Charles Mellick—and their collective expertise in law, finance, development and construction.
Today our ambition continues to grow, as we partner exclusively with Australia’s best architects, designers, project managers and builders. The results speak for themselves. The Fortis portfolio already includes more than $120 million in successfully completed projects. Our future is just as bright, with new developments valued at over $1.9 billion due for completion in the coming years.
Patrick Keenan Chairman
“Looking around the boardroom full of our people, I realise there hasn’t been a problem that’s come in through these doors that our team hasn’t been able to solve.”
As Fortis Chairman, Patrick sets the overall direction of the business. With a career spanning more than 32 years, he also brings formidable structuring and deal-making experience as a lawyer, investment banker, owner, investor and manager. Prior to co-founding Fortis in 2016, he served as a Director of Australian investment bank Dominguez Barry Samuel Montagu and Owner/Manager of the Prebon Yamane Group with 1,650 staff in 24 cities around the world. Patrick has invested in many property projects, supporting successful developments across Australia.
Charles Mellick Director
“I’ve always loved negotiating acquisitions, especially that moment when you just know the deal is done.”
Charles brings an in-depth knowledge of the Australian property industry gained over 28 years. During his career, he has funded and directed more than 80 residential and commercial projects with a particular focus on the inner-city suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne. As our Director of Acquisitions, Charles is responsible for all Fortis negotiations and acquisitions including master-planned communities, residential apartment developments and commercial assets.
Dan Gallen Director
“Settling the actual development site is always a big moment, that’s when you know the project is real.”
With a breadth of property and financial expertise spanning more than 17 years, Dan brings a well-rounded, practical and highly effective approach to managing Fortis’s development funding requirements. During his career, he has personally completed over $2 billion in structured real estate transactions in the varied capacities of Lender, Developer, Investor and Debt Advisor. Dan is RG146 compliant and the Responsible Manager on the Pallas Funds AFSL.
Patrick Baldock Associate Director
“The first visit to any new site is a pivotal moment. Recognising the potential, visualising the process, and starting the journey with future residents in mind.”
One of our founding members, Patrick has personally overseen the delivery of every Fortis project to date. A qualified engineer with honours and postgraduate credentials in property development and planning, he applies his in-depth knowledge to ensure every development carrying the Fortis name is executed successfully and to the exceptionally high standards we expect. Relationship-driven with an obsession for detail, Patrick takes great satisfaction in being heavily involved in every aspect of the development lifecycle.
Ed Eve Associate Director
“Reaching our project approvals after months of finessing a design and feasibility is a special milestone. It’s the moment before we create an amazing place for the community.”
An experienced Development & Investment Manager, Ed has managed major retail and mixed use projects in Sydney, Victoria and Western Australia working for and on behalf of Australia’s largest REIT’s. With qualifications in Architecture and Property Development, Ed brings an ability to maximise returns for owners and investors whilst balancing an exceptional outcome for the customer and community. At Fortis, Ed’s focus is to secure new and exciting sites and work with the team to continue delivering the highest quality projects.
Nick Van Leeuwen Associate Director
“After all the hard work, being invited into a newly completed home and seeing the owner’s excitement and joy is pretty special.”
Nick brings almost a decade of property and construction experience to Fortis, with expertise spanning apartments, commercial office, retail and master-planned developments. He holds a degree in Construction Management and has also held previous roles as Project Manager and, most recently, as Development Manager for a national ASX-listed developer. At Fortis, Nick’s focus is to foster strong relationships with all project stakeholders – something that helps him ensure high-quality developments and positive purchaser experiences, every time.
Jarrod Brooks General Counsel
“Exchanging contracts is always immensely satisfying. This moment calls for reflection of the passion, dedication and inspiration that our team brings to every project.”
With a career spanning over 20 years, Jarrod brings a breadth of experience across regional real estate capital markets. As General Counsel, Jarrod oversees all legal aspects of the Fortis business, spanning real estate transactions, corporate investment initiatives and governance, partnering activities, complex development projects, financing and leasing. His expertise is consolidated by previous roles with leading ASX-listed investment management firms and top tier law firms in Sydney, New York and London. Jarrod has been recognised in Doyle’s Guide as one of the leading in-house real estate lawyers in Australia since 2015.
Sharon Woodley Head of Human Resources
“Witnessing our people collaborate on a project, it’s evident they are not only passionate and talented individuals, but importantly they are a team.”
Sharon has over 20 years HR experience gained across a range of sectors including property and financial services, previously holding leadership roles with 151 Property and Knight Frank Australia. Her experience also spans a broad range of businesses from 100 to 3,000 employees, both private and listed companies, and responsibilities from local to regional or global remits. As Head of Human Resources, Sharon implements core company policies and procedures and provides integral support and resources to all Fortis team members, to drive individual performance and business outcomes.
Avalon Nethery Head of Design & Operations
“Standing on a freshly acquired site. It’s like a blank canvas. This is the moment when the genesis of a projects’ vision is born.”
Having studied commercial interior design, Avalon comes with a background in design, construction and property development. Her creative background injects a unique and valuable skillset to the Fortis development team. Avalon can always be counted on to bring fresh ideas to her projects, or fine-tune existing ones, whilst working diligently behind the scenes. From assessing and acquiring new sites, to managing teams, designs, budgets, settlements and purchaser relationships, she ensures every detail of every project is considered carefully, and delivered brilliantly.
Daniel Gonzalez Senior Development Manager
“Just before handover, that sense of immense pride and exhilaration. What was once just a sketch on a page is now complete—a tangible result from years of hard work.”
Daniel is a qualified Civil Engineer with over 12 years of property and construction experience. His expertise spans major residential, mixed-use and hotel developments, through to multi-billion-dollar urban regeneration projects for ASX-listed multinational and private Australian developers. Daniel brings an analytical and methodical approach to development, mixed with a passion for how every project will be experienced by people, down to the smallest crucial details. At Fortis, Daniel’s day-to-day focus is maintaining strong and collaborative relationships with all stakeholders to ensure the successful delivery of every development.
Mark Hosking Senior Development Manager
“There’s a unique moment, right at the beginning of a project, when you find that ‘magic’ element in a new site that starts the vision for a development.”
Mark began his career as a private practice town planner, before transitioning into development management. Over the past nine years he’s helped to deliver an impressive portfolio of properties throughout Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. With extensive experience in the residential, retirement living and hotel asset classes, Mark oversees the delivery of our Victorian projects and is also heavily involved with new site acquisitions across Melbourne.
Jess Borella Development Manager
“It’s a special moment seeing how proud occupants are about a space you have created.”
For as long as she can remember, Jess has held a passion for design and the creation of places. This led her to complete a Bachelor of Interior Architecture and Masters in Property & Development. Before joining Fortis, Jess spent six years with ASX-listed REITs overseeing major developments across Australia; experience that sees her highly versed in the importance of communication and teamwork. Jess prides herself in facilitating collaboration to ensure her projects are delivered on time, to budget and always in keeping with customer expectations.
John Yacoub Development Manager
“There’s so much energy around the office whenever we acquire a new site, ideas flow and everyone is eager to get started.”
John began his career completing a Bachelor in City Planning (Hons) and, today, is an integral member of the Fortis Projects team. With a finely-tuned knowledge of planning, project management and development, he has delivered more than $660 million in high-profile retail, commercial and residential projects in the past 6 years, with the promise of considerably more to come. At Fortis, John utilises his broad expertise to take a hands-on approach to his projects, from acquisition to handover, working closely with all project partners to achieve the best possible design and quality outcomes for every development.
Jeremy Madden Development Manager
“I always enjoy the creative process of collaborating with the team on early design concepts to set the vision for the future of a site.”
With a Bachelor’s degree in Property Economics and Finance, Jeremy brings an outstanding track record working on high-end residential, retail and mixed-use projects. During his career he has held development positions at national ASX-listed REIT’s with a strong focus on acquisitions, planning and design. Jeremy has a passion for creating high quality spaces for people to live and work, while generating value for our customers, communities and investors. Jeremy’s hands-on role at Fortis sees him manage developments from acquisition through to handover.
Sophie Hulse Development Manager
“It’s a proud moment seeing the numbers in the feasibility align, realising that now the entire development process can really begin.”
Sophie holds a Bachelor of Property Economics, and Certificate of Construction Management. Her background is in property management, commercial sales and real estate advisory. As a member of the Fortis project delivery team, she works closely with our development managers from site acquisition right through to completion, with a focus on our Sydney-based residential and commercial properties. On any given day you might find her liaising with council, submitting development applications, briefing consultants, implementing marketing strategies, conducting feasibility studies, or hosting meetings and site visits.
Jessica Wong Development Manager
“It’s always a special moment meeting an owner on-site and seeing their excitement as the building starts to take shape.”
A qualified Architect, Jess understands the importance of good design in crafting transformative environments. Prior to joining the Fortis team, she worked at an award-winning architecture studio focused on unique luxury living. As an Assistant Development Manager, Jess works closely with our Senior Development team throughout each stage of a project. On any given day she will be assessing new sites, organising team meetings, responding to purchaser’s questions or reviewing consultant documentation.
Jordan Winada Development Manager
“Nothing is more satisfying than finishing a project, and seeing its new owner or tenants thrilled with the end product. It’s a little moment you can share together and take pride in.”
A rising industry star with a Double Bachelor degree in Property and Commerce, Jordan’s career continues to be shaped by his passion for creating liveable spaces of the highest quality. Prior to joining the Fortis team, he worked with a National ASX-listed Developer where he helped to deliver over $100 million of Residential, Commercial and Retail property. As a key member of the Melbourne team, Jordan’s day to day focus is guiding the quality of every Fortis project, ensuring a seamless process from the acquisition of a site through to final delivery.
Lorna Stewart-Thornton Development Manager
“When purchasers meet their neighbours for the first time, and seeing the start of their community come to life.”
Lorna is passionate about shaping the built environment. With an academic background in urban design and planning, she’s focused on making spaces that feel authentic. Lorna cut her teeth working for a multinational developer across a range of asset classes Australia-wide. She brings multi-scale experience from previous roles in infrastructure policy and urban renewal. At Fortis, Lorna supports the successful execution of projects as they progress through the development cycle.
Gabriel Banasiak Assistant Development Manager
“As great as project documentation is, nothing is as exciting as being on site. That’s where the real magic happens.”
Gabriel holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is currently studying a Masters of Property Investment and Development. He boasts an impressive background in construction services with experience spanning the Residential, Commercial, Heritage and Industrial sectors. As an Assistant Development Manager at Fortis, Gabriel works closely with the Senior Development team to keep projects progressing efficiently. His many responsibilities include liaising with council, submitting development applications, co-ordinating project financing, preparing project briefs and feasibility studies, monitoring budgets and conducting site visits.
Claudia Ruffin Assistant Development Manager
“When a feasibility stacks up and negotiations commence, it’s an exciting moment in the development cycle.”
With an academic background in Property Economics and Town Planning, Claudia is a busy member of our Melbourne development team. Prior to joining Fortis, she worked with an ASX-listed REIT where she helped to deliver $80+ million of commercial property nationwide. Her skillset also includes hands-on experience in the design and development of mobile applications. At Fortis, Claudia supports the delivery and execution of our Victorian projects and assists with acquisitions, focussing on feasibility analysis, funding strategies and contract negotiation.
Matthew Barakat Commercial Leasing & Acquisitions
“There’s no better feeling than when a deal begins to gain momentum and you can see the potential of the project becoming a reality.”
Matthew brings a strong commercial background to Fortis, having previously worked with CBRE in Brisbane where he focussed on the near-city sector. With a Bachelor of Property Economics majoring in Finance, he boasts a deep understanding of the fundamentals that drive property trends. Together with an enviable network of domestic contacts, this gives Matthew a keen eye for value-add opportunities – something that allows him to position each Fortis development ideally for current market conditions.
David Mellick Asset Manager
“The moment our tenants move into their new commercial spaces and become part of the Fortis family, nothing can beat that winning feeling.”
With an extensive background in business and stakeholder management, David is responsible for overseeing the smooth operation of our Sydney commercial assets, including Pallas House Sydney. Prior to joining Fortis, he was Managing Director for 15 years with a successful retail clothing business with 150+ stores and three E-commerce sites where his responsibilities included HR, property acquisitions, leasing, store design and construct, international product development and marketing. David holds a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing & Finance and continues to be struck by Fortis’ infectious visionary culture of hard work, respect and fun.
Kristina Granberg Head of Marketing
“You can’t beat that lightbulb moment when the team finds a way to articulate all of the ambitions of a project through a singular idea.”
With over 15 years of brand agency experience, Kristina is a communication specialist, with a proven record of achieving strategic and commercial objectives through differentiated brands and marketing campaigns. Leading the Fortis marketing team, her focus is on identifying customer insights that help to drive effective decision making. Kristina holds a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in Marketing and Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Emily Matthews Design Director, Marketing
“I love the moment when I’m briefed in on a new project, the sparks start flying, and no idea is too big or small to be put on the table.”
With a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication with First Class Honours, Emily has worked with some of Sydney’s leading strategic design agencies. Now, with over 14 years of experience behind her, Emily’s passion is human-centred design principles. By diving deep to explore the nuances of human behaviour and uncover key insights, she’s able to create purposeful design solutions that are always simple, effective and beautifully crafted.
Giulia Baldini Senior Designer
“Being in the room when the team comes together to bounce around ideas, you can feel the energy filling up the room!”
Sydney-based Giulia is a senior graphic designer with a solid foundation in branding and art direction. With a background in product design, her passion is bringing brands to life through simple, well-crafted creative solutions that revolve around the customer experience. With over nine years of design experience in the property, arts and luxury retail sectors, Giulia’s portfolio spans everything from large-scale multichannel campaigns to one-off boutique projects. Giulia is a key member of our in-house marketing team at Fortis and assists in branding our future projects.
Liz Keene Senior Content Marketing Manager
“I love meeting with buyers, seeing how thrilled they are, and capturing that moment with a photo.”
A skilled communicator with a passion for photography. Liz has worked as a project manager in creative, marketing and content agencies for over 12 years. Liz manages Fortis’ content planning and creation. She’s highly organised, and her role perfectly balances her project management skills with her creative skills. She completed a Diploma of Photo Imaging in 2012 and has been shooting ever since. When not in the Fortis office, you’re most likely to find her on Instagram, petting a pooch or with her camera on-site.
Emma Eggleston Senior Marketing Manager
“The moment right before a project launches, it is a distinct buzz you get being all hands on deck, aligned to deliver to a fast approaching deadline!”
Emma is a creative marketer with a diverse background in delivering successful brand campaigns across luxury property and lifestyle brands. At Fortis, Emma is responsible for brand guardianship and leading the successful project marketing outcomes for our Victorian developments. Results driven with a passion for architecture and design, Emma enjoys a collaborative approach, working closely with the team in order to obtain the best possible outcomes that are not only memorable but best in class.
Jessica Garcia Marketing & Relationship Manager
“It’s a wonderful feeling seeing months of hard work come together for a community event, and watching people enjoy the experience.”
Jessica is a passionate communicator with a background spanning construction, architecture and public relations. She brings a unique blend of skills to the Fortis team, which she uses to provide best-practice marketing initiatives that inform and engage our past, present and future customers. As Marketing & Relationship Manager, Jess builds personal connections with our customers to both assist them in their off-the-plan journey, and continually grow our internal understanding of market needs. Jess also manages our PR and media relationships and implements communication strategies – including the very rewarding community events.
Rommy Pettersen Marketing Manager
“The kick-off meeting for a new project is always exciting, when the team starts to envision all the great places it can go!”
In a Property Sales and Project Marketing career spanning more than 10 years, Rommy has worked alongside some of the industry’s leading agents and developers. With a proven record of delivering tailored strategic marketing campaigns for some of Sydney’s most high-profile and landmark developments, she is passionate about unlocking every project’s unique ‘DNA’ – and then exploring the most effective ways to express it. At Fortis, Rommy is responsible for the full communications lifecycle for our Sydney projects, guiding campaigns from end-to-end to help drive successful outcomes.
Will Mulhearn Marketing Coordinator
“Witnessing the positive feedback from our purchasers come in from our monthly communications is always a rewarding feeling.”
William is a driven and highly organised Marketing Coordinator with a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and Finance. Will’s role at Fortis is to support the internal marketing team, ensuring that our messaging is always delivered with consistency and authenticity to our customers. Full of new ideas, Will prides himself on being able to turn a simple thought into value-add solutions for our team and customers.
Justine Wallace Sales Manager
“The buzz of a sale. When I receive a phone call to advise contracts are exchanged; the sale is unconditional, and the buyer is delighted.”
Justine is a senior member of the Fortis sales team, overseeing Sydney developments. A lifetime Eastern Suburbs local, she has spent more than a decade working in Sydney’s luxury property market including off-the-plan sales positions with CBRE and McGrath. With a personal love of design and architecture, Justine has a deep appreciation of property styling and the tremendous value it can bring to a development, be it residential, commercial or retail. Day-to-day, Justine is responsible for market analysis and reporting, purchaser relationships, co-ordinating sales initiatives, and collaborating with the Fortis acquisition and development teams to bring new projects to market.
Mabel Zhou Financial Controller
“My favourite moment? Easy. The minute financial reports are signed off!”
Mabel’s finance career began as an accountant with Ernst & Young in Shanghai. She then moved to Australia and completed her Masters in Accounting from the University of Sydney in 2005. Shortly after graduating, she took a demanding role with a major national retail chain including wide-ranging financial responsibilities. As Financial Controller at Fortis, Mabel oversees all financial operations for the business, including group cashflow forecasting, company tax and statutory statements and the preparation of timely and accurate reporting.
Marianna Varalta Accountant
“Getting the invitation for a new staff folder is always exciting. I just love watching how much Fortis has grown.”
Marianna holds a Bachelor of Economics Degree and has recently completed her Masters in Accounting. Prior to joining Fortis, she worked for a Brazilian Private Bank as a Business Analyst and has also spent time in the construction industry. As our in-house accountant, Marianna deals with all accounting functions, including the analysis of our property portfolios. Her wealth of experience, from private banking to construction and now property development, cements her place as a valuable member of our operations team.
Mariel Macapagal Accountant
“Numbers excite me! Closing out the accounts every month-end unveils a story behind the numbers, it’s like magic.”
Mariel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, with a second Degree in Business Accounting from Kent Institute. Mariel worked as a Financial Analyst for a Filipino owned pharmaceutical company, United Laboratories Inc., before moving to Sydney in 2014. She then went on to work as an Accountant for Herkes Electrical. Mariel’s role at Fortis is to ensure that expenditures are properly accounted for, which is a challenging but very fulfilling one.
Norah Ho Accountant
“It’s very satisfying to see the progress of our developments over time, knowing we’ve all played a role in helping to make it happen.”
Majoring in Professional Accounting, Norah graduated from Macquarie University on the 2o19 Merit List. She began her career as a graduate accountant with one of Sydney’s highest-profile public accounting firms, before joining Fortis in early 2021. Day to day, Norah accounts for revenue and obligations across the Fortis project portfolio, while also assisting the wider finance team with cash flow management. Norah is a member of CPA Australia.
Amalia Pepino Accountant
“Solving queries by effectively translating recorded transactions is always very rewarding. I get to learn new things every day—beyond mere dollars and cents!”
Amalia worked as an Accounts Receivable Analyst for Spruson and Ferguson (Asia) in Singapore, before moving to Australia in 2018. She completed her Masters in Professional Accounting from Central Queensland University while working as an Accounts Payable Officer for Chrysiliou IP on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Today, Amalia is an Associate Member of CPA Australia and is currently undertaking the CPA Program. As an accountant at Fortis, she deals with revenue and expenditures including the lodgement of tax reports for our property portfolios.
Belinda Keller Human Resource Manager & Executive Assistant
“Hosting our quarterly MVP awards and hearing the special anecdotes that the team have shared about one another, leaves me with a sense of pride.”
Having worked in the Finance and Property industries as an Executive Assistant for many years, Belinda possesses a high level of client communication and organisational skills. More recently she has developed her role as Human Resource Manager, harnessing her proven abilities in fostering positive relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Belinda’s professional philosophy is guided by a passion for creating dynamic working environments and amazing team culture, whilst providing exceptional support to the wider Fortis team every day.
Madeleine Knight Receptionist
“It’s a wonderful feeling knowing you’ve left a memorable impression on the people you meet throughout the day.”
A natural communicator with strong people skills, Maddy joined Fortis having spent five and a half years travelling the world as a Business and First-Class Flight Attendant based out of London. Attending to VIPs and clients from a diverse range of backgrounds on a daily, and often hourly, basis, she found her passion for working in customer and client relations, which she now continues at Fortis. Maddy aims to deliver exceptional customer service every day, and leave a lasting positive impression on everyone who walks through the Fortis doors.
Bernadette Mizusawa Building Manager
“I love the ‘meet and greet’ moments; managing the expectations of clients and colleagues is always exciting and leaving a good impression is a wonderful feeling.”
Bernadette is a hands-on building management professional, with extensive experience gained in both Australia and abroad. Prior to joining Fortis, she held a series of positions with high-profile clients including Tokyo Disneyland, Hilton Tokyo, Hilton Sydney and the Four Seasons Sydney. She also ran her own restaurant for over seven years. While you’ll regularly find her helping out right across the business, Bernadette’s main focus is ensuring everything runs smoothly at Pallas House Sydney from arrival to departure, making everyone’s lives easier.
Jinky Garcia-Kerr Project Manager
“I love the lightbulb moment when you identify the perfect solution to a problem at hand, and see it through with the project team.”
Jinky is a multi-talented and much-loved member of the Fortis Projects team, responsible for our Sydney commercial developments. With a vast and diverse experience base, drawn from nearly 30 years in the construction industry, her first task with Fortis was overseeing Lords Group as they delivered our beloved new HQ, Pallas House Sydney. Armed with relentless attention to detail, Jinky liaises seamlessly with trades during the completion of our developments to ensure everything is perfect. When time permits, you’ll also find her spotlighting as the Fortis in-house chef, cooking up something delicious for the whole team to enjoy.