As a young entrepreneur making his mark on the business world, DNW Group CEO Dean Willemsen is the first to admit his journey has been a learn-as-you-go experience. But with his infectious personality and commitment to making a difference to the community at large, the 30-year-old is making waves in the property and care sectors.

“I am a firm believer in the need to have a healthy mind and body. It was my wife who convinced me to take up yoga, which led me to meditation. I wanted to learn more about myself and my thought processes, so recently I travelled to India. It was a profound experience that taught me to be curious and open minded. I am not always going to get it right, but I am committed to surrounding myself with exceptionally talented people to help me.”

Not only did Dean return home with a clearer understanding of what type of leader he wanted to be; he also became a qualified yoga instructor and can be occasionally found passing on his learnings to the team at Prime Build, his first company.

Dean began his career studying horticulture at university, but he quickly realised it wasn’t for him. He left and went to TAFE to complete a diploma in construction. His desire to get his hands dirty through experience led him to begin a construction apprenticeship, and upon completion he followed it up with a certificate III in carpentry. Dean worked his way from the bottom up, and this has stood him in good stead today. “That has been my approach,” he explains. “Understanding the grass roots of what we are trying to achieve, what our customers’ needs are, and then being able to be effective from there.”

The last five years have seen Dean expand his investments in both property and care companies. Clearstate, the property development company, has interests in Western Sydney and Melbourne. “We feel the Aussie dream of owning a home has become too difficult, and we are looking at innovative ways to change that,” Dean says.

Recently, the acquisition of Para Mobility has added to the care portfolio. “Acquiring Para Mobility fits nicely with our core value of improving the lives of others. We want to ensure independence is something all Australians have, and now we have the opportunity to provide mobility solutions as a custom offering or as an integrated solution as part of our development projects.”