Meet the project professionals who were found by our Project Management Achievement Award’s (PMAAs) judges to have shown outstanding leadership in project and program delivery over 2020.

Each year the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) holds the PMAAs to acknowledge exceptional projects that were delivered over the year, as well as the individuals driving those projects across the line.

This year the organisation and individual winners of the PMAAs, across 13 award categories, were announced in our first fully virtual event on 25 November.

Elizabeth Foley, former CEO of AIPM said “While this year’s event was in contrast to previous years’, it was truly a night to be remembered, where project professionals across Australia connected online to recognise and honour the 2020 winners.”

With one of the highest entries to date and numerous examples of outstanding projects delivered over the year, the project professionals who took out the top national honours showcased exactly what exceptional project leadership looks like.

Here are the top project managers of 2020:

National future project leader (under 35 years)

Kelly Poniris

Kelly has nearly 20 years’ experience in construction in Darwin, and has been involved in all aspects of Defence projects over the last 11 years, from building and upgrading houses, planning and delivering new subdivisions, and the upgrade of Defence infrastructure across the Northern Territory.

The success of her projects is a testament to the time, energy and heart she devotes to the wider Defence industry. Kelly is highly motivated and makes every decision with honesty, integrity, and the best value in mind. She is a strong communicator with stakeholders including clients, consultants, regulatory authorities, local government, and the Commonwealth.

National project professional

Adam Tull

Adam is a Certified Practicing Project Manager with over fifteen years’ experience across the Defence, Aviation and Mining sectors. Adam has a strong professional interest in the application of systems thinking tools and processes to deliver complex organisational, program and project-level outcomes.

Over the 2018-2020 period Adam made an outstanding contribution to the success of Brisbane Airport Corporation’s $1.1 billion New Parallel Runway (NPR) as the Project Manager of the Existing Runway 01/19 Rename project and NPR Operational Readiness & Testing, successfully introducing a program of operational changes that culminated in the establishment of parallel runway operations on 12 July 2020.

National senior project professional

Nick de Vries

Nick de Vries is an experienced Project Director with a project management career spanning 14 years across Australia, New York, and London. With over 10 years with NS Group, he has successfully managed some of Perth’s most prominent landmark projects, including Perth City Link, Forrest Chase Redevelopment, Golden Square at 32 St Georges Terrace, and Belmont Park Redevelopment.

Complemented by a background in Civil Engineering, Nick brings high-level strategic thinking, significant technical and practical expertise, and a keen attention to detail across diverse, large-scale, and complex projects. He is also highly skilled at leading large consultant and contractor teams.

“After such a challenging year, the awards provided an opportunity to reflect on the year that was and highlight the project successes on both an individual and organisational level. As we look to the new year and economic recovery there has never been a more pertinent time to celebrate project success,” added Foley.

To see the full list of organisation and individual winners for 2020 and other years, visit the Project Management Achievement Awards page.