Woden Contractors is a privately owned civil construction company that was established by Ken and Hazel Fryer in 1958.
During 2019, the current managing director, Ben Helmers, and past Managing Director, Peter Middleton, purchased the company from the Fryer family using a management buy-out process.
The new owners, with the significant support of a committed and professional team, intend to build upon the foundations of Ken and Hazel’s company, and continue to offer clients within the ACT and regional NSW, a high level of construction service by fostering the cultures of quality workmanship, a safe work environment, fair business dealings and the constant training and encouragement of employees.

In November 1957, a 31 year old Ken Fryer left a secure job as an Australian Federal Police officer, purchased an International BTD6 dozer (40 hp) and commenced formal operations in 1958. Woden Contractors grew quickly while constructing general community projects such as many of Canberra’s early bowling greens, tennis courts and earthworks contracts for the newly established industrial area of Fyshwick. Ken managed all of the construction work while his wife Hazel took the responsibility of the weekly payroll and financial business side of the company.

In 1959, with a staff that had grown to 30, the company won its first government contract, being a 12 lot subdivision off Schlich Street in Yarralumla. In 1966, a 200 lot subdivision was successfully completed in Red Hill and in 1969 the company was awarded a major road project being the reconstruction of the Barton Highway between Lyneham and Ginninderra Creek. Two conditions were attached to the above new project. One was to buy some additional equipment and the other was to employee a civil engineer. Ross Barrett then joined the company as a construction engineer in early 1970, and eventually retired as managing director in 2005.

Also in 1969, Ken purchased a controlling interest in Canberra Asphalters, which became a significant player in the road surfacing industry, supplying hotmix and spray seal services to the ACT and southern NSW regions until the company was sold to Readymix in 1987.

Over 60 years of successful trading and service to the ACT and surrounding region hasn’t happened by accident. Woden Contractors’ achievements are a testament to past and present employees who have identified with a company culture of striving for excellence and sustainability in an ever changing construction environment.

Timeline

February 1958

Woden Contractors first incorporated

1966

First 200 lot subdivision completed in Red Hill

1969

First major roadworks package undertaken (on Barton Highway)

1969

Purchased Canberra Asphalters (sold to Readymix in 1987)

1970

Ross Barrett joins the company

Early 1970s

First JV with Hooker Homes to undertake land development

1975

FIRST & ONLY LONG-TERM CONTRACT LET BY THE NCDC - A SUB-DIVISION IN EVATT (TWO YEARS WORK WORTH $1.5M)

Early 1980

Was a partner in the purchase of the Canberra Rex Hotel (sold in 1985)

Early 1980s

CONSTRUCTION OF CANBERRAS FIRST HIGH PRESSURE GAS NETWORK (SIX YEAR PROJECT)

1985

Peter Middleton joins the company as Construction Manager

1986

Commencement of 3,500 lots of development in Jerrabomberra which continued through to 2006. Most of this work was with the Canberra Investment Corporation (recently sold to the Peet Group)

Early 1990s

Significant HP gas main contracts completed for AGL (Jemena)

Early 1990s

18 hole golf course and 300 block residential development at Glen Eagles Estate

1991

Gleneagles Estate and Golf Course – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards

1992

  • Lake Jerrabomberra and Associated Estate – Housing Estate of the Year, ACT Housing Awards
  • Fadden Hills – Merit Award, MBA Excellence Awards

1993

  • Homestead Rise – Housing Estate of the Year, ACT Housing Awards
  • Conder Estate – Best Environmental Practice, ACT Housing Awards
  • Dundoos Estate – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards

1994

  • Conder Sub-Division – Merit Award, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Amaroo Estate – Housing Estate of the Year, ACT Housing Awards

1995

Completed the significant Ainslie Oval Redevelopment with new surfacing featuring state of the art multi layered perched water table playing surface.

1995

  • Gordon 5 Estate – Best Environmental Practice, ACT Housing Awards

1996

  • Tharwa Rd Reconstruction – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards

1997

  • Jerrabomberra Park Garden Estate – National Finalist, Case Earth Awards
  • Jerrabomberra Park Garden Estate – First Place Category 3 State Award, Case Earth Awards
  • Jerrabomberra Park Stage 6 – Housing Estate of the Year, ACT Housing Awards
  • AGL Primary Gas Main, Watson to Fyshwick – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Woodhill Estate – Merit Award, MBA Excellence Awards

1998

  • RMC Duntroon Carpark – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards
  • RMC Duntroon Carpark – First Place Category 1, Case Earth Awards
  • RMC Duntroon Carpark – Environmental Best Practice, MBA Excellence Awards

1999

  • Phillip to Fyshwick High Pressure Gas Main – National Finalist, Case Earth Awards
  • Jerrabomberra Park Estate – First Place Category 2 State Award, Case Earth Awards
  • Phillip To Fyshwick High Pressure Gas Main – First Place Category 2 State Award, Case Earth Awards
  • Phillip to Fyshwick High Pressure Gas Main – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Southern Cross Club Pitch And Putt Golf Course – Merit Award, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Phillip to Fyshwick Gas Main and Jerrabomberra Park – Environmental Best Practice, MBA Excellence Awards

2000

  • Canberra Nara Park – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Canberra Nara Park – First Place Category 1 State Award Case Earth Awards

2001

  • Waterfall Rise Jerrabomberra – Civil Works Project of the Year, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Waterfall Rise Jerrabomberra – Environmental Best Practice, Civil Construction, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Waterfall Rise Jerrabomberra – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Waterfall Rise Jerrabomberra – Stage 9A, 9B First Place Category 2 State Award, Case Earth Awards

2002

  • Waterfall Rise Stages 9C, 9D, 9E – First Place Category 2 State Award, Case Earth Awards
  • Canberra International Airport “Rpt” Apron Project – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards

2003

Completed another residential subdivision with CIC in Conder (800 blocks)

2003

Establishment of the Federal Highway Joint Venture (FHJV) with two other local companies to tender for the duplication of the Barton Highway. This JV went on to win the $125M Gungahlin Drive Extension in 2005. Woden Contractors senior staff took direct management responsibility for the reconstruction of the Glenloch Interchange project.

2003

  • Barton Highway First Place – MBA Excellence Awards
  • Barton Highway First Place – Category 3 State Award, Case Earth Awards
  • Waterfall Rise Stage 9C – First Place, MBA Excellence Awards

2004

  • Horse Park Drive (Federal Highway to Gundaroo Dr) – First Place Category 3 State Awards, Case Earth Awards
  • ACTEWAGL Sewer Syphon Acton – Environmental Best Practice, Civil Construction, MBA Excellence Awards

2006

SIGNIFICANT JV DEVELOPMENT (600 BLOCKS) UNDERTAKEN IN DUNLOP (WITH 3 OTHER PARTNERS)

2006

  • Mugga Lane Landfill Liner & Associated Works – First Place Civil Works $1-$4M, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Mugga Lane Landfill Liner & Associated Works – Environmental Best Practice, Civil Construction, MBA Excellence Awards

2006

First commenced use of GPS equipment on the Gungahlin Drive Extension

2008

  • Gungahlin Drive Extension – First Place Civil Works $4M+, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Gungahlin Drive Extension – Overall Project of The Year, MBA Excellence Awards
  • Gungahlin Drive Extension – Overall Project of The Year, CCF Earth Awards

2010

Undertook first major bridge contract with NCA with the Kings Avenue bridge project ($25M) which won both local and national awards with both the CCF and MBA as well as numerous Engineering and Architectural awards. Since gone on to build 14 bridges in the past six years or so including cable stayed and launched bridges.

2010

  • Pialligo Avenue Upgrade at Canberra Airport – First Place in Civil Works $10M+
  • Pialligo Avenue Upgrade at Canberra Airport – Excellence in OH&S (Civil), MBA Excellence Awards

2011

  • Bridging of Kings Avenue over Parkes Way – Finalist Australian National Engineering Awards, Engineers Australia

2012

  • Bridging of Kings Avenue over Parkes Way – First Place Civil Works (> $10M), MBA National Awards
  • Bridging of Kings Avenue over Parkes Way – First Place Civil Works Category 4 (> $20M), CCF National Earth Awards
  • Bridging of Kings Avenue over Parkes Way – First Place Civil Works (Projects >$20M), CCF Earth Awards
  • Bridging of Kings Avenue over Parkes Way – First Place Civil Works (Projects >$20M), MBA Awards

2013

  • Cable Stayed Pedestrian Bridge over Drakeford Drive – First Place Bridge Works, MBA Awards

2014

Undertook significant Molonglo Link Bridge project which was the first incrementally launched bridge undertaken by the company in partnership with John Thomas and Civil Bridge & Wharf

2014

  • Parkes Way Widening Project – First Place Civil Bridgeworks, MBA Awards
  • Parkes Way Widening Project – First Place Civil Works Category 3 ($5M - $20M), CCF Earth Awards

2014

Ben Helmers joins the company as Construction Manager

2016

  • Molonglo Link Bridge – National MBA Excellence Awards - Civil Works under $25 Million
  • Molonglo Link Bridge – ACT CCF Earth Awards Project Value $10 Million to $30 Million Category
  • Molonglo Link Bridge – ACT MBA Excellence Awards - Civil Bridgeworks
  • Bowen Place Crossing – ACT CCF Earth Awards Project Value $5 Million to $10 Million Category
  • Bowen Place Crossing – ACT MBA Excellence Awards - Civil Other

2017

  • Majura Link Road – Work Health & Safety (Civil) Winner, MBA Excellence Awards

2019

  • Gundaroo Drive Stage 2 – Work Health & Safety (Civil) Winner, MBA Excellence Awards

2019

Company purchased by Ben Helmers and Peter Middleton

2020

  • Molonglo 3 Roads and Intersections – ACT CCF Earth Awards Project Value $10 Million to $30 Million category
  • Molonglo 3 Roads and Intersections – ACT MBA excellence award Civil Roadworks Category
  • Molonglo 3 DN600 Water Supply main – ACT MBA excellence award Civil Hydraulic Category

2021

  • Gundaroo Drive Duplication Stage 2 – ACT CCF Earth Awards Project Value $10 Million to $30 Million category
  • Northbourne Avenue Pavement Rehabilitation Stage 1 – ACT CCF Earth Awards WH&S Civil