EP 11 – Is WA Friendly for Foreign Businesses with Sally Ann McDonald

Western Australia’s Resurgence



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What does the future of business, jobs and property look like for WA? When someone manages the level of investment that today’s guest does in the business she operates you know that this episode is definitely worth a listen.

In this episode, I’m chatting to the Managing Director of the Wyllie Group Melissa Karlson. Melissa is a powerhouse of Western Australian business. The Wyllie Group is a family-run investment company with holdings in direct property such as the Perth Convention Centre, Hillarys Boat Harbour and North Kellyville Square in Sydney. They own listed and private equity both internationally and domestically, farming where they have 1200 head of black Angus cattle. Aside from her role in the Wyllie Group Melissa is also known for her work in helping raise money for the Perth Children’s Hospital. 

If you are a business owner or property owner in Western Australia, you will hear some great advice from one of Western Australia’s largest investors. 



In the ep you’ll find out about

  1. The Wyllie’s Group’s history 
  2. How Melissa worked her way up to Managing Director
  3. The Importance of the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre 
  4. Perth’s hot property market

And more… 


Discussion Points:

00:00 Introduction 

02:58 The story of Melissa’s father success in business

08:48 Melissa’s definition of a Family Office

11:07 Melissa’s journey to Managing Director

17:34 Projects that Melissa is particularly proud of 

18:50 How the Wyllie Group is dealing with Covid for the Convention Centre

21:41 Perth coming third to Hong Kong and Beijing

22:45 Changes to attract people and business to Perth

24:45 Perth City not being a walkable city

27:35 Melissa’s advice to people who are in the property market

29:16 Melissa’s passion for motorsports

30:44 What Melissa would like to see change for Perth in the future

32:00 The advice Melissa would give to small-medium sized businesses in Perth

34:42 What Melissa would do differently if she could start her career again



About The Guest

Melissa Karlson is the current Managing Director of The Wyllie Group. Melissa was appointed Managing Director of property management in 2003 and in 2005 she moved to Managing Director. Melissa’s experience extends from the property industry and financial markets through to the disposal of investment and acquisition. Melissa’s currently holds a degree in a Bachelor of Business from Edith Cowan University. 




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