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40 Under 40’s Regional Award champion continues to make himself at home

Queensland has undergone rapid change in recent years – and the prosperity of its rural regions continues to play an important role in keeping the state on the front foot. InQueensland and The Weekend Edition’s 40 Under 40 Rural and Regional Award was launched to celebrate the changemakers leading the charge. Jesse Zielke picked up the inaugural award last year for his unparalleled contributions to Bundaberg’s construction industry. One year on, Jesse and his team continue to reshape the regional housing market. Keep reading to find out more …
Jul 05, 2024, updated Jul 05, 2024
40 Under 40 category winner Jesse Zielke.

40 Under 40 category winner Jesse Zielke.

Despite the volatility of the housing market, Jesse Zielke manages to stay motivated. The 37-year-old former carpenter owns and operates Bundaberg-based business JRZ Constructions, which specialises in new homes for mums and dads. “When we complete a project and the client details how good the experience was and how happy they are to be moving into a new home, it makes me incredibly happy and proud to be involved,” reflects Jesse.

Beyond JRZ Constructions, Jesse is also the director of Liveable Homes Australia – which designs, develops, builds and manages Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) across regional Queensland, partnering with Australian Unity to create more purpose-built SDA from Rockhampton to Beaudesert.

Through this work, Jesse helps to provide the most vulnerable Australians with access to suitable and safe housing solutions. “I had a family member who required an accessible home. This then made me realise that other people in Australia and particularly the regions likely required accessible homes,” shares Jesse. “That’s when I looked at the idea and eventually began the business.”

In 2023, the 40 Under 40 Awards recognised Jesse’s tireless efforts with the Rural and Regional Award. “It was a great experience,” says Jesse. “Reflecting on our achievements from over the past decade or more made me very proud.”

“You can get caught up in the day to day but stepping back and examining your achievements makes you understand that the hard work and struggles are achieving something.”

A year later, Jesse and his businesses are still feeling the effects of this win. “It’s always good to have on the CV for key clients. Many people do mention it and we continue to win large contracts since.”

Last year, JRZ Constructions secured a new five-year project with Ingenia Lifestyle for an over 50’s lifestyle resort in Bargara, which includes 320 homes. Work such as this not only provides housing for the region’s ageing population but affords hundreds of local jobs and training opportunities to enhance the area’s talent pool.

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“I am very proud of each of our team members,” adds Jesse, who recognises the importance of fostering these vibrant regional hubs. “Regional communities play a huge role in people’s lives and their overall happiness.”

Whilst cities often steal the spotlight when it comes to the state’s legacy of trailblazers, Jesse wants to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of Bundaberg and beyond.“I think those that aren’t involved would be very surprised at how many young entrepreneurs there are in regional Queensland. We have success stories going back more than 100 years including Bundaberg Sugar, Bundaberg Rum and Bundaberg Ginger Beer to name a few.”

“Celebrating those contributing to those communities may also encourage others to potentially start a business or job role and benefit their community.”

40 Under 40 Awards presented by InQueensland and The Weekend Edition will announce this year’s winners on August 21, 2024. The awards will acknowledge this year’s alumni of 40 of the state’s brightest, including the winners of the ten category awards.

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