Congratulations to Kylee Schoonens, Director at Fratelle Group, who has been nominated in this year’s Business News 40under40 awards. These awards aim to find 40 outstanding young business men and women of WA with not only personal determination and commercial drive, but also the philanthropic pursuits that balance these young individuals’ professional achievements.
From a young age Kylee had a clear vision that she wanted to become an architect. And her dedication to her dream has never wavered. Her years of study, design skills and site experience exposed her talent, and she soon gained the attention of a tough industry and at just 24 years old was designing and overseeing key state projects though some of WA’s most prominent firms.
But as Kylee’s young career gained momentum, and as an associate directorship with a prestigious firm became a likely reality, life threw her quite a curve ball. Kylee was involved in a serious accident which would see her back severely broken. Kylee was hospitalised for many months and the physical and mental challenges of getting better were tough. But being ever determined, she didn’t let it beat her, believing that her determination to get back to designing spurred her on to a quicker recovery. ‘I had my drive to get back to my career in architecture, as well as the support of my incredible family and friends to thank for my relatively quick recovery. It’s my passion and it helped to keep me going forward.’ Says Kylee. Incredibly, Kylee looks back at the event in a somewhat positive light. ‘It allowed me to know my own strength I guess, and it was valuable lesson for me in humility’. She says.
This experience still carries with Kylee today, shaping the person and the leader she is, for the better. A few years on from this experience, Kylee has channeled her passion and determination into the development of prestigious Architectural firm Fratelle Group. Kylee’s hands on approach sees her managing an array of commercial, aged care, retail and residential projects, with Co-Director Adrian Fratelle and their growing team.
On becoming Director of Fratelle Group, Kylee also earned the enviable title of WA’s youngest female director of an architectural practice, something she is proud of. Kylee sees it as a privilege and opportunity to shift industry perception on female architects, particularly in executive roles. ‘It is still a male dominated industry, and I’d love to see more females into the industry ‘says Kylee. ‘Females bring a unique perspective to the profession. And more women in the business can only add to Perth’s diverse and sensitive architectural landscape.’ To this end, Kylee last year joined the WA Committee for National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) after being a finalist in the NAWIC Crystal Vision Award for Excellence in 2013.
Kylee also sits on the Property Council of Australia ‘s WA Commercial Committee board, an industry advocacy body which helps to guide commercial construction development in WA and throughout Australia. ‘I am honoured to be making a significant contribution to these organisations’, says Kylee, I feel privileged to be in a position where I can help to raise the profile of women in this industry and to be a part of the development of WA is an honour.
Kylee will attend the 40 under 40 event, with over one hundred other nominees at Crown Perth on the 19 March 2014.