Hannah George

Assistant Director- ICT & Security

 Hannah is passionate about the transformative power of well-defined and delivered technology to projects, people and how we live. She is focused on improving the project and built environment right across the lifecycle of these assets. 

Hannah has over 18 years of experience delivering technology solutions to build projects of every kind and almost 15 years of experience in professional services and consultancy. 
Hannah has worked in a variety of environments, from installations within Hospitals and Prisons to a Consulting Engineering Practice, with a variety of people and different project procurement methods. From a practical grounding in the design and installation of Integrated Security and BMS, she has expanded her technical skills into communications systems, including IT cabling, integrated networks, radio, cellular and audio-visual systems and smart building technologies. 
Hannah is passionate about inclusion and equity. She enjoys playing sports and is an active volunteer at Victoria Park Soccer Club, as well as being a founding member. 

 Contractor side experience (2002-2006) 

Auckland City Hospital (2002-2003) 

Commissioning the security systems in this new 9 story hospital complex was my initiation into construction and security systems. 20 years since, and the fundamentals of physical security remain much the same. We had multiplexors, video switchers and CRT monitors. However, unlike others still, now the campus systems were all on a common network and severe infrastructure at the insistence of an engaged client. 

As a graduate, I joined the Honeywell team, and I could not have been more supported or in awe of the great people around me. Whilst my colleague was perhaps initially hoping to get a “boy” or an apprentice to support him in the hospital commissioning, I worked hard to be knowledgeable, valuable and I earned his respect. However, a woman on site was not common. I blinded myself to this until another female grad joined a year after me and the comments we had as we walked the site were not appropriate, nor did we complain. 

It’s easy to shrug things off when they happen to you, but when they affect others, that’s when we feel a need to act. 

NZ Corrections Projects, various (2003-2006) 

The rollout of new and upgraded corrections facilities across NZ was an incredible opportunity to expand my knowledge and progress my career. Working away on-site near Kerikeri in the North of New Zealand, I was able to focus on the new build project, working and living closely with experienced security professionals. At that time, I was also balancing part-time post-grad study. The growing workload saw a relocation to Christchurch as technical lead on South Island projects. I worked on everything from major new builds to small upgrades, such as commissioning a microwave detection system for an existing low-security unit with eyes on me from all directions! 

In my early years in the industry, I thrived as I worked hard and learned from those around me. Working hard does have its downsides; burnout was inevitable but thankfully had no long term consequences, just a bruised ego or some cement footprints. As my career has progressed, I realise I now need to be more rounded and balanced as an individual to serve myself best, my colleagues, my clients, and my family. 

Consultant side experience (2006-present) 

Consulting is of course very different to working on the tools and in a contractor or integrator capacity. Having that background has been invaluable, maybe especially as a woman as it gives you a certain “street-cred” that you have been there. Working as a consultant is a juggling act, but the benefit is a great deal of variety and exposure to a lot of different projects and technologies. 

Being a woman in any male-dominated industry is a double-edged sword. I stood out in the London security crowd as really the only woman, which may have contributed to my popularity at social events! I probably spent too much energy trying to fit a male corporate mould, then being an authentic version of myself. When you are assumed to be the receptionist by persons in passing, it does make you less likely to answer the phone or stock the biscuits at the risk of reinforcing that assumption. It is useful to remember the context and office demographics were different in 2006. 

Working in consultancy you come to understand that design and decision making is not always a linear process. Projects have varied objectives that don’t always align with a great technical solution. You need to gain some savvy in navigating this, but also a strong backbone when you do need to push back. Often the consultant has no real power in a contractual sense for a project, so you need to have the trust and respect of stakeholders, which of course, is mutual. That said, the market is not silly, and few will sacrifice a single project issue for long term value or reputation. 

Wherever I have work, I always seek out people I like to work with. I try to encourage a team environment where we support one another and enjoy each other’s company. 

Some of the most memorable projects I have worked on as a consultant include: 

EDS Northern Data Centre, North East England, UK 

72,500 ft2 data centre complying with UTI Tier 3/4. Security services designed to Government standards, including perimeter detection, vehicle control measures, CCTV and biometric access control. 

Westfield Stratford City, East London, UK 

120,000m2 (retail), Mixed-use development, Technology design for Zone 1 of new town centre development, including physical and logical network design, computer room design, wireless networking, private licensed radio, in-building cellular, integrated security and CCTV, and a central site management system. 

New Children’s Hospital, Perth, WA, Australia 

ICT/security lead for the contractor design team for 851m construction value new 251-bed paediatric hospital. 

Transurban Security Management Server Upgrade, VIC, Australia 

Business case input, estate wide audit, options analysis, upgrade plan, implementation support. 

Olympic Park, London, UK 

Security systems service and maintenance for park-wide systems. 

New Perth Stadium, Perth, WA, Australia 

State Advisory Role (2013 – 2015). NDY’s project leader for later stages of that engagement, responsible for coordinating with the design and State teams, and Security, ICT and AV lead across the works 

Metronet Thornlie-Cockburn/Eglinton-Yanchep, Perth WA $3bn programme 

Design and construction support for ICT & Security services. 

Quarantine Facility, Bullsbrook, WA. Australia $500m TCC 

ICT & Security verification & construction support. 

Curtin University (multiple projects), Perth, WA, Australia 

IFC and card reader upgrade, tender and implementation. Digital Video Management System audit, user requirements, the business case for system upgrade/replace. Campus Assistance Points, audit, user requirements, the business case for system upgrade/replace 

JPMC Canary Wharf, London, UK 

Electronic security design for two (2) tower office block development for major financial organisations. 

Murdoch New Academic Building, Perth, WA, Australia 

Communications, security design and AV consultancy. 

ASIS International - Australia