Max began in the industry as a commercial builder working on large infrastructure projects.
The announcement of INPEX’s Ichthys LNG Project in 2012 inspired him to join Winnellie Hydraulics; the business his father had created almost 30 years before.
“The opportunity to support a construction project of this size and complexity appealed to me,” he said.
“Under my management, Winnellie successfully supported tier one contractors throughout construction which provided a strong foundation to continue diversifying our business across maintenance, operations, campaign shutdowns and procurement.
“Like most family businesses, my dad worked in the workshop doing repairs and my mum looked after the accounts.
“Fast forward to 2022 and we now have a group of companies that fall under Winnellie Group.”
Winnellie Hydraulics, Winnellie Valve & Process, and Waltan Tools & Equipment form the Winnellie Group of companies which provide expertise to the Australian resource industry in hydraulics, process valves, and specialty tools and equipment.
Max said that the diversity in the landscape, people and culture were his favourite parts of his job.
“We have long-standing relationships with a number of operators across the Asia-Pacific which have seen us travel to some amazing places throughout Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria and Papua New Guinea,” he said.
“However, if I could only choose one favourite place, it would (biasedly) be a dry season sunset at the Darwin Ski Club overlooking the harbour.
Recently, Winnellie Valve & Process was awarded the contract for the East Rockingham Waste to Energy plant to initially supply 885 valves, eventually increasing to more than 1,000, for a range of applications.
The Group will be celebrating its forty-year anniversary in 2023. “Being a family business, upholding our values and reputation means everything to us,” Max said.
“With the company turning 40 next year, we see this milestone as a testament to my parents’ and our teams’ passion to deliver excellence for our customers, with all levels of our staff sharing this commitment.
“We will always go above and beyond (even #turntheboataround) to ensure we’re delivering in line with our commitment.”
While most of his time over the past decade was spent managing the business, Max said it was his family achievements that were his proudest. “I welcomed my first child, Harry, to the world nearly one year ago and married my fiancé, Loren, in May,” he said.
“Outside of work and family, I ran a marathon in Hawaii in 2014 which I intend to do again soon.”
Max also aspires to get his private helicopter pilot license in 2023.
In his spare time, Max enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, camping, swimming, and ATVs.
Max joined Energy Club WA earlier this year. “As a business that’s founded in the Northern Territory, we were really happy to feel so welcomed by Energy Club WA,” he said. “We’ve since met a lot of friendly people and look forward to being part of the industry for many years to come.”