What's your job about?
I’m the Hunter Regional Manager, I lead a group of 20 staff who are qualified in project management, building, engineering and architecture. This mix of qualifications and backgrounds means we have a variety of skills and knowledge to assist with our projects, from conception to completion.
Our office covers the Hunter Region through to the northern tablelands and north coast region. We have an established office now in Newcastle and a presence in the New England region. This presence means we understand regional and local issues that are important to our community.
Our team is working on several projects to leave a positive legacy in the region including new hospitals, schools, universities and retirement living. Engaged from the project initiation stages we provide a full project advisory and management services through scope development, strategic business cases, planning approvals, design management, construction administration and operations.
What's your background?
My story started in the small town of Wanaaring in the outback of New South Wales. My father was the local police officer and my mother the nurse with support of the flying doctor service. This was in 1980 and there was no power, phone or link to any grid system. You could say we were off the grid and literally at the back of Bourke. I guess many would associate this with disconnection however, I believe that this time gave me a spiritual grounding and led to my creative thought process as well as an appreciation for the land and environment. I remember going down to the creek with local Aboriginal Elders where we would collect specific rocks, crush them and paint on the bark we had pulled from the trees. The smiles of those days are still with me but also a respect for the power of nature and for the awareness of the disadvantage facing the traditional residents of this land.
I had a natural ability for mathematics and that together with my passion for creative arts led me to do Architecture at the University of Newcastle. During my time at University and immediately after I went through a graduate program that gave me the grounding to understand the importance of new technology, communication and engagement with many stakeholders and provided me with an understanding of a full project life cycle. I also got to know several senior people that became my mentors that I still go to for advice today.
Because of my experience, I hold a strong belief in training and mentoring and find it rewarding to see the growth and promotion of young people that will soon become our community leaders.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, most certainly. I have a very different background and upbringing in regional Australia to many of my colleagues in this industry. I believe that diversity and a variety of experiences within a project management team can bring about great things, this is a strength my team has.
Our team is diverse and across the building, design, engineering, finance, education and medicine that all bring things to the project management table. This together with diversity in our workplace make the environment in TSA vibrant with an emphasis on continual growth.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The coolest thing about my job is the reward I get from watching our people and teams develop and achieve great things for our community. Just last March our team got together with an initiative to raise over $12,000 for the Mark Hughes Foundation and are currently looking to do something even more special in August. This spirit that drives the team is encouraging and only goes to support the works we deliver.
What are the limitations of your job?
The biggest limitation for me is the cost and financial constraints across projects and the business. However, this limitation is a requirement in any sustainable business and project. It also brings about innovation as it challenges us to think more strategically to achieve our objectives in a financially sustainable manner.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
We all learn from our mistakes and I have made many. My advice extends not just professionally but personally. In a short sharp manner, the three pieces of advice that come to me immediately are:
What makes TSA different to other companies?
TSA believes in our people by providing an opportunity as well as the support required to achieve great outcomes. We have a flat team structure and every person is a single step away from the executive team that make the business choices. This contact allows communication across all levels of the business, whilst still providing opportunities to work on the largest property and infrastructure projects across Australia and New Zealand.
Great things are never done by one person they are done by a team of diverse people. TSA believes in this and our people are empowered to achieve their potential.