Flexible Work Benefits for Our People

To coincide with Flexible Work Day today, Brad Bown, a Senior Civil Engineer within our Transport team in Adelaide advocates for the firm’s flexible work policy as he manages life outside of work.

Starting with the firm in 2007, Brad has worked across several major transport, civil, water and structural engineering projects. He says, “I have a passion for developing projects that are going to benefit the community. At social occasions with friends and family I get a real kick out of saying, ‘Hey I worked on that project!’”

 

 One such memorable project for Brad is the Seaford Rail Extension. He adds, “The project has added an amazing amount of value to the local community. Whilst smaller than say the Sydney or Melbourne Metro projects, for South Australia, the impact these projects have, should not be under stated.”

 

 Brad’s passion for the community has seen him develop an invested interest through the University of South Australia for identifying, profiling, and developing people’s knowledge and awareness for our Indigenous people. “I started working with the University’s Indigenous group to help change the perceptions from outside and to see appropriate funding put into the right areas so that positive changes can be made,” says Brad.

 

 “Over the course of my involvement, we have made a video series to help promote cultural awareness particularly in the STEM industry. I have also headed out into rural Indigenous communities with groups of students to help design new infrastructure to improve the quality of living and to close the gap.”

 

 Speaking of making a thorough difference, Brad believes that having role models is essential to increasing Indigenous participation in STEM. He says, “The argument here is that we need visual motivators for young people so that they know STEM is a viable option. The same can be said about increasing the balance of gender within the industry as well. If young girls have role models visible to them, then they are more likely to think about STEM as a career option moving forward.”

 

 Having developed an interest in brewing his own beer over the past 20 years, Brad utilises the firm’s flexible work arrangement to juggle his interests outside of work as well as raising his 15-month old daughter.

 

 “Do what makes you happy,” explains Brad. “What started as a hobby, turned into a part of my career. I started my own brewery some time ago and now have a small tap house in operation three days a week.”

 

 Brad admits, managing a small business, family and a career at WSP can be time consuming. He adds, “It is certainly a challenge juggling so many commitments. The business has always been super supportive of my decisions and the fact that I’m still able to work on some awesome projects means that my career in engineering has continued to develop.

 

 “There are some similarities between running a business and projects. For one, the leadership principles are much the same. Open communication is essential. And secondly, you need to leave your ego at the door to ensure deadlines are met and the job is completed.”

 

 Brad will be presenting at the World Engineers Conference, in Melbourne, in November this year on Aboriginal Education.

 

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