Leadership Team

With over 210 years’ of experience, McIlwain’s leadership team are renowned as respected leaders and innovators within the industry.


Keith McIlwain – Director / Chairman

B. Eng (Civil), MIEAust, CPEng, RPEQ

Keith has over 40 years’ experience in design, supervision and construction within the building and civil construction sectors. He has been heavily involved with numerous industry bodies including The Institution of Engineers Construction Panel, The Civil Contractors Federation, Construction Training Queensland, Construction Skills Queensland and the Resources and Infrastructure Industry Skills Council. Keith has been responsible for the delivery of numerous civil infrastructure projects over the past decades and has fulfilled roles as Project Engineer, Project Manager and Project Director. As General Manager for over 20 years Keith oversaw the growth and success of the company. In 2016 Keith was appointed Chairman of The McIlwain Group.

Neal McIlwain – Director

Certificate III Civil Construction, Certificate IV Workplace Training & Assessment

Since entering the industry in 1974, Neal has fulfilled roles as a Construction Worker, Plant Operator, Site Supervisor and Construction Manager. He believes accountability and integrity are critical in developing strong relationships across all levels to ensure the success of the McIlwain delivery model is maintained. As Operations Manager, Neal is responsible for construction resource allocation, programming, supply chain engagement and ensuring that project teams always adhere to quality, safety and environmental standards.

Tim McIlwain – Director / General Manager

B. Eng (Civil) Hons, MIEAust, CPEng, RPEQ

Tim is a chartered professional engineer with over 15 years’ experience within the construction and engineering sectors. Tim is a strong leader who drives excellence and innovation across all business activities. As General Manager, Tim oversees the delivery of all projects, leads bidding activities and manages business operations. Tim is a strong advocate for the civil construction industry in Queensland and currently serves on the board of the Queensland branch of the Civil Contractor’s Federation.

Debbie Futcher – CFO / Corporate Services Manager

MBA, B. Commerce (Accounting), B. Business (Law), CPA, ARHI

With more than 20 years ‘experience within the finance, human resource and administration fields, Debbie brings significant finance and management expertise to the management team. Since joining McIlwain in 2012, Debbie has been responsible for the operation and integration of all corporate services including financial and risk management of all financial and reporting, human resources management as well as legal compliance and corporate governance.

Nick Ukalovic – Operations Manager

B. Eng (Civil), AssocDip Civil Engineering

Nick has over 25 years’ experience in the construction industry including particular expertise in the successful delivery of projects in the transport infrastructure, resources and energy sectors.  Nick has led some of Queensland’s largest transport infrastructure projects over the past ten years including Gateway Upgrade North and M1/M3 Merge. Nick is responsible for overseeing McIlwain's project delivery and leading the business through an exciting period of growth.

Craig Southon – Construction Manager

Cert. IV (Workforce Training & Assessment), Advanced Diploma (Civil Construction), Advanced Diploma (Project Management), Cert IV (Building and Construction)

Craig has over 30 years’ of operational and supervisory experience across a range of infrastructure projects. Since joining the McIlwain team in 1991 Craig has become an exceptional leader and ensures that all project team members are focused on maintaining safety, program, budget and systems compliance at all times. Craig is also responsible for resource allocation, client liaison and provides overall stewardship of all aspects of project delivery.

Leon Krelle – Systems Manager

GradCertOHSEMgt, Diploma (WH&S), Diploma (Civil Construction Management), Diploma (Project Management), Certificate IV (Civil Construction), Certificate IV (Training & Assessment), Certificate IV (OHS), IMS Lead Auditor

Leon commenced employment with McIlwain in 2006. Leon’s ‘hands-on’ experience, practical approach and passion for Systems has lead him to become a positive influence within the organisation. As Systems Manager, Leon is responsible for implementing, monitoring and reviewing the company’s HSEQ systems, planning training programs, assisting project teams and carrying out compliance audits. Leon has been instrumental in McIlwain maintaining and enhancing its third party and Federal Safety Accreditations and achieving an outstanding enterprise safety record.

Paul Robson – Precontracts and Strategic Development Manager

Associate Degree (Civil Engineering)

Joining the team as Senior Project Engineer in 2014, Paul has continued to be a fundamental member of McIlwain progressing to the role of Project Manager in 2016. Paul’s attention to detail and respected industry relationships made him the right choice when joining the Senior Management Team as Strategic Development Manager in 2019 and furthered his portfolio as Precontracts Manager in 2020.

Our Culture

Our people, our relationships, our sustainability and our future as key enablers of our ongoing success.


Our History

As a proud family owned and operated business since 1961, we believe this is only just the beginning.


Staff Stories

Hear directly from our team members about why they feel they have found a home with McIlwain.