It was a classic combination of instability, inspiration and a good old dose of the entrepreneurial spirit that saw Sarkis Nassif go from form-worker to founder of one of Australia’s largest property development groups. With the outbreak of war in his homeland of Lebanon, Sarkis left all that he knew and arrived in Australia in 1987, with ‘no money, no degree and no background in the English language’. However, what he lacked in advantage, he made up for in ambition. Working 7-day shifts as a form-worker for a meagre $60/day, Sarkis saved enough money after 7 years to purchase his first small development site which formed the foundations for Holdmark Property Group. Today, Holdmark employs thousands of people across its multiple sites and is the name behind some of NSW’s most iconic residential and commercial property precincts with projects ranging from $500 million in Majors Bay to the $2billion urban development at Shepherds Bay, Ryde.
“I want to sincerely thank the EBA’s for affording me this honour, to be in the finals is a very humbling moment. When I look back at my journey as a migrant to Australia, it had its ups and downs, but I cannot stress enough how incredibly grateful I am to call myself an Australian citizen. I imagine life wouldn’t be the same if I had chosen to work elsewhere. Australia provided me with the perfect environment of freedom and opportunity and it has been and always will be, my goal to give back to Australia and to be able to provide opportunities to other migrants and Australian citizens alike.” – Sarkis Nassif, Holdmark Property Group