Our People

We think of our teams as 'one big family'

UNIVERSAL CRANES BEGAN AS A FAMILY CRANE HIRE BUSINESS IN 1970.

While Universal Cranes has grown to become a national crane hire company, local families still own and operate our locations throughout Queensland and New South Wales. We are proud of all the unique stories that make up the history of our company. Universal Cranes is governed by the Smithbridge Group advisory board, as part of a long-term governance and succession strategy. The Group’s advisory board is Chaired by Michael Fitzpatrick, working alongside Advisory Members Greg Fokes, Ben Smith, and Dashelle Bailey.

Looking for a career where you can reach new heights? Universal Cranes is seeking skilled and capable individuals to join our dynamic team, which boasts a wide range of talent and expertise. Wear the Uni Cranes badge with pride and become part of a team that is dedicated to excellence.

ALBERT SMITH
OLIVER MARTIN
SHANE FRASER
SHANE YOUNG
KEVIN BALL
DASHELLE BAILEY
MELISSA KAVANAGH

ALBERT SMITH

GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR

Albert has over 30 years of experience in the crane and construction industry. As a passionate engineer, entrepreneur and crane enthusiast, Albert led the rapid expansion of Universal Cranes from a small pick and carry hire business to a leading national crane company. Albert’s vision has always been to combine the power of a national crane hire company with the passion and service levels of a family business. He has worked closely with the local shareholders of the Universal Cranes locations in the establishment of their businesses, and continues to provide ongoing mentoring and support. Albert is a dynamic leader and talented engineer who leads his national Universal Cranes team to provide innovative lift engineering and crane hire solutions.

OLIVER MARTIN

GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

A Chartered Accountant by trade with over 20 years’ experience, Oliver was appointed the Group Chief Executive Officer of Smithbridge Group, including Universal Cranes and sister companies Smithbridge Guam and Auckland Cranes in May 2020. Oliver has led the financial management of the Group since 2010 in the role of Chief Financial Officer and later Chief Operations Officer. As Group CEO Ollie is responsible for the financial and operational performance of the group, leading the business to achieve growth and sustainability in revenue and profit, driving operational efficiency, and role modelling the leadership behaviours to maintain a high performing, engaged culture. With over 10 years’ in the Smithbridge Group Oliver is well positioned to be a key leader to all facets of the group.

SHANE FRASER

General Manager

Shane joined the business in 2021 as General Manager, coming from three years as Auckland Branch Manager at sister company Smith Crane and Construction. With over 17 years management and supervisory experience across Oil & Gas, Power, Petrochemicals and Construction industries, Shane brings with him a strong leadership vision combined with extensive knowledge of heavy lifting, cranes, rigging and transport. Shane’s focus will be on working closely with the Auckland and Waikato Cranes team, clients and supply partners to anticipate and understand your needs for engineered lifting solutions whilst delivering high quality project outcomes safely, smoothly and efficiently.

SHANE YOUNG

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

A Certified Practising Accountant with 15 years’ experience, Shane joined Smithbridge Group in March 2018 as Group Reporting Manager and quickly progressed to Group Financial Controller. Now, in his role as CFO, Shane brings a background in the financial management of labour intensive operations with a passion for fostering successful teams. With a focus on supporting the operational business with data-driven reporting, and efficient and user friendly technology, Shane is leading the transformation of Smithbridge Group’s financial management to support the ongoing governance journey.

KEVIN BALL

GROUP MANAGER, SAFETY & SYSTEMS

With 20 years’ experience implementing operational and strategic risk management frameworks in the resources and construction sectors, Kevin brings a systematic approach to identifying and managing risk in complex businesses.  As a key member of the Leadership Group and working within diverse geographical and operational environments, Kevin’s demonstrated ability to leverage technology in the innovative design, development and integration of systems and processes, provides cohesive business solutions to balance current needs, future growth and promote a positive learning culture. Kevin has served as a Committee Member for Standards Australia for nearly 20 years, including the role of Chairman on the ME-025 Lifting Tackle Committee and Member of ME-005 Cranes Committee.

DASHELLE BAILEY

GROUP MANAGER, STRATEGY & GROWTH

Dashelle has 15 years’ experience in strategy and growth, specialising in strategic planning, corporate communications, opportunity pipeline management, and business improvement. Dashelle co-founded a business-to-business strategy and communications agency with a niche in the resources and construction sector. In 2019 Dashelle joined the Smithbridge Group full time, managing business improvement, marketing, and commercial growth strategies to contribute to achieving sustainable profitability for the Group. As part of a long-term succession strategy, Dashelle has been an Advisory Board Member since 2015 for Smithbridge Group. She was a nominated as a Non-Executive Director for Auckland Cranes in December 2017 until an ownership restructure saw this board absorbed into the Smithbridge Group Advisory Board.

MELISSA KAVANAGH

GROUP MANAGER, PEOPLE & CULTURE

Melissa Kavanagh is a highly motivated and results-driven People and Culture Manager with a strong passion for driving growth and maximising the effectiveness of an organisation’s investment in its people. Mel has a proven track record of successfully leading cross-functional teams in developing and executing integrated People and Culture strategies and communication plans. She has worked for national and international brands including Boeing, Schweppes, Crown Resort and Steel Mains. In her role as Group Manager for People and Culture she is responsible for driving the people agenda by leading cultural change initiatives, creating a high performance environment with a focus on employee well being. Mel provides strategic leadership and support to each Business Unit while implementing guidelines, policies, tools, and systems across the broader Smithbridge Group.

THE UNI CRANES FAMILY

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