GRANNY FLATS A WINNER: Sonia Woolley and Cath Hannard outside her newly built backgarden home.
GRANNY FLATS A WINNER: Sonia Woolley and Cath Hannard outside her newly built backgarden home. David Nielsen

Ipswich Granny Flats sparks investment in own backyard

IPSWICH business owner Sonia Woolley is a woman who is building success in one of the most male-dominated industries in Australia.

Ms Woolley is the co-director of Ipswich Granny Flats, an enterprise which gives home owners the opportunity to turn their backyards into goldmines.

She - and her business partner Julie Adams - develop a householder's empty lawn space with granny flats so that the owners can rent them out and pocket the cash.

Their business was created after a reform by the Ipswich City Council suddenly allowed home owners to use a granny flat as a rental for an unrelated party.

Prior to the reform, legislation required that only a dependant relative could live in a granny flat.

The business recently expanded to Logan, after the city's council also adopted similar changes to their planning scheme this year.

Ms Woolley, who is the principal and director of Vision Property Group, said granny flats had become an increasingly popular option for investors.

As a testament to her success, Ms Woolley has been recognised as one of the top women in Queensland's building industry.

She was recently named a state finalist in The Housing Industry Association's Recognition of Women in the Industry awards.

The awards were created to showcase women who inspire, motivate, achieve results and lead by example in the building industry.

"More and more women are playing a bigger and crucial role within the building industry these days," Ms Woolley said.

"Women are very driven by whatever careers they are passionate about.

"I have a lot of passion for the work I do and although I didn't win, I was honoured to be a finalist for this award".

HIA executive director Warwick Temby said HIA was keen to demonstrate how women were operating in leadership roles in what was still a very male dominated industry.

"The industry must do everything it can to encourage women into the industry at all levels to ensure that there is an adequate supply of skills to meet the future demand for housing in the state," he said.



Backpacks bring smiles to children entering foster care

premium_icon Backpacks bring smiles to children entering foster care

Ipswich mum's mission to give something special to kids

Small home blocks for Deebing Heights site

premium_icon Small home blocks for Deebing Heights site

Local developers are investigating the 2.71ha site.

Students hone green thumbs in school gardening

premium_icon Students hone green thumbs in school gardening

'It's a great program. It just works really well for the kids'