Australian-based multidisciplinary construction company BESIX Watpac, a subsidiary of Belgian-based BESIX Group, welcomed Her Royal Highness Princess (HRH) Astrid of Belgium on 23 October 2023 to an infrastructure project site in Barangaroo, Sydney.
HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium was in the country as part of a tour on behalf of the Belgian Economic Mission to Australia. HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium’s visit to Barangaroo was the first stop on the tour.
The Belgian Economic Mission is comprised of critical international businesses that champion economic bilateral cooperation. Participants include companies from a range of sectors that support the Belgian entrepreneurial landscape.
The project in Barangaroo was selected for the tour as it holds strong Indigenous connections and also demonstrates the complex and large-scale infrastructure capability of BESIX Watpac. The company has connections with Belgium through its Belgian-based parent company, BESIX Group.
Mark Baker, Chief Executive Officer of BESIX Watpac, highlighted the occasion's significance in uniting Australia and Belgium through a shared commitment to construction excellence.
“BESIX Watpac is deeply honoured to welcome HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium to one of our project sites and the visit underscores our connection with Belgium through our parent company BESIX Group,” Mr Baker said.
“With 40 years of local experience, BESIX Watpac has always pushed the boundaries of construction to redefine what’s possible in Australia and New Zealand. This capability has been accelerated since the company joined with Belgium-based BESIX Group in 2018.”
HRH Princess Astrid was welcomed by Mr Baker together with BESIX Group CEO, Pierre Sironval, followed by a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony by Traditional Owners.
Mr Baker said BESIX Watpac has a deep commitment in sustainability and building pathways into construction for females and First Nations people.
“We share BESIX Group’s vision for creating sustainable solutions for a better world and this encompasses both positive environmental and social outcomes,” he said.
“The Barangaroo project is a testament to our commitment to workplace diversity, with 30% female participation in the BESIX Watpac team and 3% in non-traditional female roles,” he said.
“We support female apprentices and provide opportunities for female graduates. We also actively engaged in the DIZ Footprints Aboriginal School-based trainee program, promoting diversity and inclusion.”
BESIX Watpac is delivering an underground station platforms, full fit-out and station entrance, as well as road and public domain works including footpaths, cycling facilities, tree planting, lighting and street furniture. The expertise of the project team coupled with the support of BESIX Watpac’s inhouse engineers has been crucial to delivering a project of this scale with multiple complex interfaces.
Following the site tour at the Barangaroo project, BESIX Watpac and AWEX Australasia will host a panel discussion at the Baker McKenzie offices titled ‘Navigating Emerging Trends in ESG & Sustainability’. This panel forms part of the broader program organised by AWEX Australasia and will be attended by industry leaders and delegates from the Belgium Economic Mission.
About BESIX Group
BESIX Group is a leading Belgian industrial group operating in the construction, real estate development and concessions sector. Founded in 1909, it has grown steadily over the years. A global multi-service group, BESIX is able to take on projects of all sizes and complexity and draws its strength from its entrepreneurial roots.
About BESIX Watpac
BESIX Watpac is a leading multidisciplinary construction contractor with a rich history of excellence in Australia and New Zealand. With a commitment to innovative design, sustainable practices and delivering quality at every step, BESIX Watpac delivers projects that shape the future of local communities and industries.