"Doing our small bit"

Riverstone Custom Homes has been a major supporter of the Ethan Davies Scholarship and the Ethan Davies Fellowship since 2012. Paul Marshall is a co-founder and former director of Riverstone, and remains involved with the company in a consulting role. His son, Tim Marshall, is the company's current Operations Director, heading up its construction, estimating, scheduling, drafting and accounts teams. Recently, they were kind enough to talk with us about Riverstone and the reasons for their support, and Tim took Ethan's dad through the company's amazing West Hamptons display home in Swanbourne.

Please tell us a bit about yourselves, the history of Riverstone Custom Homes, and what the company does.

Tim: We design and build fully custom, unique and one-off residential homes.

We have been operating for over 20 years, starting out as a small, luxury home builder, using limestone as a major design element, and as our point of difference. Since then, we’ve expanded our design capabilities and our services to slowly grow the company over the years. We now build a wide variety of homes, fully customising a design to suit a client’s brief. Our designers are very talented and love transforming a client’s wish list into their dream home.

We still limit the number of homes we build per year, to make sure we maintain our build quality, processes, and high level of customer service. Our homes are unique and often complex, they require a high level of involvement from our staff with council, our trades, and most importantly our clients. We want to make sure our clients enjoy the build process, and that they love their new home when we hand over the keys.

Tim Marshall, Operations Director at Riverstone Custom Homes.

Tim Marshall, Operations Director at Riverstone Custom Homes.

What sets Riverstone apart from other builders?

Tim: We really are a fully custom home builder.

We start with a blank page for every job, and then take into account the site the home is being built on, the client’s lifestyle, needs and wants, their design influences, and of course their budget. Everything from the floorplan and external elevation, to the kitchen design and interior finishes are custom designed by us, working closely together with our clients.

No two of our homes are ever the same. We have incorporated an endless list of unique requirements into our houses over the years – from a built-in laundry dogwash, underground theatres and wine cellars, saunas, to a Moroccan-themed house!

Can you tell us about Riverstone’s current display homes?

West Hamptons style in Swanbourne.

West Hamptons style in Swanbourne.

Tim: The Skypoint in North Fremantle is a contemporary, reverse-living style home that is finished to a high spec and really shows what we can do. It has alucabond cladding externally, an open tread steel external staircase, internal European Oak timber staircase and feature wall, and a fully enclosed alfresco with views across Minim Cove. It’s a great design that links the two floors together and makes the most of the site and river views.

The West Hamptons in Swanbourne is a luxury family home, capturing the classic Hamptons look, tailored to life here in Perth. The home features weatherboard cladding, a bold archway over the kitchen, a built-in breakfast nook, and a Perspex-backed built-in bookcase to the double height void. Hamptons style is popular at the moment – it offers stylish, relaxed homes, perfect for family life in Perth.

How did you come to know Ethan and his family?

Paul: Ethan’s father Shannon is a business associate of ours. When Shannon told us about Ethan’s battle with brain cancer, and the research the then Ethan Davies Scholarship was doing, we wanted to get involved. We all have families, we have young kids and young grandchildren – the thought of one of them having brain cancer is shattering.

Riverstone has been one of Ethan’s major supporters since 2012, most recently hosting and sponsoring a fundraiser last year at its “Skypoint” display home.  What motivates you to support childhood brain cancer research, and in particular Ethan’s Fellowship?

Paul: Ethan is our motivation, and all kids suffering from brain cancer.

The 2016 fundraiser at the Skypoint.

The 2016 fundraiser at the Skypoint.

We have met the Fellowship recipients, we have visited the Telethon Kids Institute's Brain Tumour Research Laboratory, and seen the work that is being done by the Ethan's Fellowship and Telethon Kids. Knowing that our support goes directly to helping this happen is very motivating to us.

Brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease, with survival rates over the last 10-20 years having reached a plateau well below other childhood cancers, such as leukaemia.  Despite that, childhood brain cancer research receives only a very small fraction of federal government cancer research funding.  Is this something you were aware of before you met Ethan?

Paul: No, we were not aware. We are happy to contribute to the Ethan Davies Fellowship to see this important research into childhood brain cancer continue.

As supporters of Ethan’s Fellowship, you’ve had the opportunity to visit the Brain Tumour Research Laboratory at the Telethon Kids Institute, which has the largest research team in Australia primarily focused on childhood brain cancer.  What were your impressions from that experience?

Paul: It was a fascinating, and confronting experience.

To see this world-class work being done in our own neighbourhood was amazing, we had no idea of the scale and quality of the research being done by the Ethan Davies Fellowship and the Telethon Kids Institute. The doctors we met and spoke with were happy to show what they were working on, it was exciting to hear them talk about their latest findings.

It also hit home the reason why the research is being done in the first place – brain cancer kills kids. They had real studies of real kids and to think about what the child and their family is dealing with was very upsetting.

What would you say to other business owners who might be interested in supporting Ethan’s Fellowship?

Tim: It’s satisfying to see exactly where your support is going.

We have personally met and spoken with the Fellowship recipients. We have seen the work, spoken to them about the research. It is impressive and obviously a very serious issue they are trying to resolve.

We feel like we are doing our small bit to assist the fellowship in their ultimate goal of finding a cure.  Hopefully one day soon, they will.

Tim Marshall and Shannon Davies at the West Hamptons display home.

Tim Marshall and Shannon Davies at the West Hamptons display home.

Shannon Davies