THEO Souris grew up in Singleton, and still keeps a close eye on the various comings and goings in Newcastle.
But he does it from the other side of the world - from Abu Dhabi, to be precise - where he is the commercial manager on a $500 million residential and commercial tower due for completion next month.
Mr Souris, who moved with his wife Vanessa to Abu Dhabi in 2007, works for a British "built asset consultancy", E C Harris.
The 72-storey Landmark project is the second tallest tower in Abu Dhabi, boasting 140 apartments, 27 floors of office space, top-floor restaurants and a roof-top pool.
"When I arrived it was a five-storey hole in the ground and I have seen it go from there to where it is now, almost completed."
Mr Souris, a son of National Party state MP George Souris, obtained his Bachelor of Construction Management, with Honours, from the University of Newcastle in 2004.
Newcastle University has placed a lot of emphasis in recent years on lifting its place in international ranking systems but Mr Souris said the institution was already very well known and respected overseas.
"Everyone knows about Newcastle University, and the engineering and medical faculties, especially, are world renown," Mr Souris said.
Mr Souris said the Landmark was on schedule to be finished at the end of the year.
● THE University of Newcastle has more than two dozen alumni chapters - or graduates' groups - scattered around the globe, and is now going to open a local chapter.
The university has more than 35,000 graduates living and working in the region, and the Hunter Alumni Chapter launch will be held at Newcastle City Hall concert hall on Thursday, December 6.
Comedian and university alumnus Mikey Robins is the host of the evening.