Why build with us?

Often the greatest success stories start from the most humble beginnings.

That’s certainly true of Far North Queensland’s Austart Homes, built on determination, hard work and a life-long passion for construction.
Phillip Matthews was just five years old and living in a commission housing area in Victoria when he fell in love with watching houses being built.
His father was a truck driver, and his mother a stay-at-home mum. Money didn’t come easy, but it motivated him to dream big.
Phillip was just 15 when he began a carpentry and joinery apprenticeship, and 18 when he began taking on contracts. Just six years later he had a team of 30 carpenters working for him, and the door had opened to a successful career in business.
“I am a man of systems and procedures,” says Phillip.
“I also believe if you think positive, and don’t allow yourself to be afraid, you can do what you set out to do!
He moved to Queensland and launched Newstart Homes, which was the fastest growing home building company in Australia in 1994.
It was during this era he met his now wife, Charmaine, who had also been dreaming up dream homes since she was 10yrs of age.

Charmaine was studying and working as a draftsperson for Phil’s company, but had been designing houses and drawing up floor plans since she was 10 and now is a qualified and Licenced Building Designer and recently obtained her Builders Licence with the QBCC and is now a Licenced Builder.

Romance blossomed, the couple wed and soon discovered another love – Tropical North Queensland.
The couple made the move to Port Douglas and launched Austart Homes (then Newstart Homes) in 1999. They now oversee Austart Homes franchises and continue to own and manage the Cairns region, stretching from Port Douglas to Innisfail.
Together they have more than 70 years combined experience in the joinery, building and architectural industries, and Philip has built more than 3200 homes across Queensland and New South Wales.

“We are a building company that’s here to stay, and we have a proven track record,” says Phillip.

Whether it’s a first home, dream home or investment property, Charmaine, Phillip and their professional team can design and build to suit any budget and lifestyle. And with over 40 designs available for clients to choose from and customise, there is a home to suit everyone.

"Our personalised, hands-on policy ensures everyone involved in your project knows just what your needs and desires are, so your expectations are met," Charmaine says.

"We can also modify our designs to truly capture the uniqueness of your visions. Maybe you already have plans of your own we can help develop into a reality for you. Anything is possible with Austart Homes and we strive to satisfy and please."

Quality workmanship, a qualified, professional team who care about our clients and deliver a quality finish, plus financial stability, all of which equates to your peace of mind when you are making your dream home come true.

Contact Us

Austart Homes Pty Ltd

Port Douglas

ABN: 35 145 670 328
LoT 2 Shop 2 Mt Milman Drive
Postal Address:
(07 ) 4038 3855
(07 ) 4038 3899
Phillip Matthews

Phillip Matthews

Co Owner/Director/Nominee Builder
Office: 07 4038 3855
Mobile: 0418 723 502
Charmaine Matthews

Charmaine Matthews

Co Owner/Director/General Manager
Office: 07 4038 3855
Mobile: 0419 778 231
Ruth Fox

Ruth Fox

Production Manager
Office: 07 4038 3855
Mobile: 0488 021 400
Peter Irvine

Peter Irvine

Office: 0740 383855
Rhonda Hose

Rhonda Hose

New Homes Sales Specialist
Office: 07 40383855
Mobile: 0457 985679
Richard Kaan

Richard Kaan

Accounts Manager
Office: 07 40383855