Congratulations on completing your first year with WGA! Looking back, can you tell us 3 key things that captured you most about WGA?
One is the people and culture. I'm grateful for being accepted into the team and adapting quickly the company respects my work-life balance. For example, they understood my limited travel availability from the start and accommodated it. The Joint Managing Director role also promotes a better balance. It's clear WGA values individuals’ needs and circumstances.
Another factor would be the unique business model. Cameron and I share the Regional Manager role, which was a fair risk for both of us, but it has worked extremely well. It allows us to balance out our presence and gives us the flexibility to do our job to the best of our abilities.
The third is the dynamics of past and present. Founders Geoff and Mark continue to contribute while the next generation of leaders, including Nick Lelos and Peter McBean, remain active in the business. Then you have the current Joint Managing Directors, Ben and Nathan, to ensure continuity. This unique aspect allows a lasting presence of leaders in meaningful roles beyond their tenure.
Collaboration plays a big role for successful engineering projects. Can you share how important it is to your team?
At WGA, we know our role in the consulting engineering industry. Our technical capability and disciplines are key. Doing the job to the best of our ability, is the best form of marketing for future projects. We're always cautious, open, and honest in our work. It's important to have regional support and partner organisations. We'd rather be a small part of a project than no part at all. Partnerships are key to our success, such as our recent collaboration with the Agonis Group, who co-locate in our Victoria office and complement our strengths well.
The engineering community is constantly evolving. In what way does WGA encourage innovation and creative problem-solving among its engineers?
Technical expertise is highly valued at WGA and filters throughout the organisation. For instance, Peter McBean, who leads the technical team, is also involved with Standards Australia code committees for both the Earthquake Loading Code and the Concrete Structures Code. Knowledge sharing happens almost organically, with team members volunteering to discuss topics and share ideas. We also use secondments and lunch and learn sessions to exchange views and upskill our colleagues. Our innovation lies in improving our technical knowledge to better serve our clients and projects.
As a Regional Manager, what specific challenges have you faced in the engineering industry within Australia?
Our challenge is finding the right people who fit culturally and have the necessary technical skills. It's important to us to keep and develop our team, creating a strong and integrated office culture. We strive to give our people meaning beyond just the work they do.
How does WGA ensure their graduate engineers are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to tackle emerging challenges?
I believe that graduates can bring a lot of value to the team. They come in with fresh ideas, challenge the status quo, and have a desire to grow beyond just a job. To ensure their success, it's important to provide them with opportunities, skills to adapt to uncertain futures and mentorship. We need to challenge them, but not overwhelm them. Just enough to help them grow.
When assembling our graduates and teams, we make a conscious effort to avoid looking through a mould and ensure that everyone is considered for their unique perspectives. And through that, you get diversity of thought.
With the increasing focus on renewable energy, what role does WGA play in advancing sustainable solutions within the engineering sector?
This is a question we get a lot at the graduate fairs, staff and new recruits. WGA has a strong history in designing terrestrial wind farms, with over 30 wind farms under our belt. Our technical solution is highly compelling and continuously improving, making it a valuable option for developers and contractors. We're also looking to be involved in the marine aspect of renewables and are committed to making progress in this area.
While Matt is brimming with great many ideas for the future of WGA, his sight is set on expanding WGA’s reach and developing a diverse portfolio of clients. With new areas to venture into, especially in ports and marine, renewables, temporary works, and defence, exciting times await WGA Victoria.