Challenging the Status Quo Both at Work and Home

Matt White, Senior Planning Engineer in our Water team is passionate about shaping a brighter and healthy future for his three children and our next generations – a future where all communities have access to clean water and sanitation.

Having worked in the water industry for the past 17 years across Australia and the UK, Matt believes that we are custodians of the assets that support our thriving societies and therefore have a responsibility in ensuring they are available to service communities well into the future.

 

Matt says, “This rang true for me during my decade at City West Water, whereby my team had ownership of the sewer infrastructure assets delivering essential services to Melbourne’s CBD and western suburbs. It underpins the work I do in asset planning and management in designing for the long and short term to help our cities, communities and clients get ready for the future.”

 

I tell my kids that there are no ‘boy jobs’ or ‘girl jobs’ and encourage them have a crack at everything.
Matt White Senior Planning Engineer

 

One of his career highlights was working with other industry experts in standardising the approach for hydraulic modelling in Melbourne. This standard has been rolled out across authorities in the Melbourne Metro area, whilst also being the basis of many regional authorities’ modelling practices.

 

Matt is challenging the status quo both at work and home. After a career break in which he travelled 36,500 km around Australia with his young family for nine months in a caravan, Matt emerged with a fresh perspective on life. He chose to focus on family and undertake part-time work with WSP.

 

He says, “Our trip motto was ‘You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time’. I’m grateful for the opportunity and support from my team, manager and clients that enables me to work three days a week. I really love being able to actively participate in my kids’ classrooms and sporting teams.

 

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Working flexible hours is not without its challenges relating to business continuity, client relationships and job satisfaction. Matt and his family have learnt to adjust and adapt over time. He adds, “I feel that I have to do more to keep on top of things and whilst I may not get the opportunity to manage some of the projects that come up, I can still add a great deal of value in conducting project reviews, contributing technical expertise and coaching of team members. My manager, team and clients are empathetic and understanding of my working arrangements, and in return they get loyalty, commitment and integrity from me.”

 

“I tell my kids that there are no ‘boy jobs’ or ‘girl jobs’ and encourage them have a crack at everything. Whilst it would be great to see more dads participating in the classroom or at school pick-up, my wife and I have made this conscious lifestyle choice together. I think she enjoys telling everyone she is the main breadwinner! Success is different for everyone. I’ve managed teams of people in the past and I believe that you don’t have to rise through the ranks to contribute and be important. Nor is your career a linear path. I recommend trying to find what makes you tick and happy and follow that.”

 

Having since downsized to a camper trailer, Matt continues to enjoy the thrills of their next family road trip and adventure.

 

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