As a young, Indigenous male growing up in a small country Queensland town, university wasn’t the first thing that came to mind about what I wanted to do in the future, let alone studying electrical engineering. Although having moved to a bigger town and bigger school in my mid-teens, this soon became possible. I decided I wanted to study electrical engineering during senior high school, as I became very interested in, and performed well in, subjects such as physics, chemistry and maths. That, combined with my love for anything electronics related, meant I thought that electrical engineering would be the best fit for me. After high school, I decided to move straight to Brisbane to study electrical engineering at the Queensland University of Technology.
My role as a graduate electrical engineer generally involves assisting in the technical design phase of projects. Currently, I am working on a large copper- and gold-mining project located in South Australia, which will mine one of Australia’s largest undeveloped copper deposits. So far, I have been able to assist in the design of the power and communication networks for the mine. This work will become an integral part of what makes the mine run and this project achievable.
The task I most enjoy in my job is the design aspect. The design phase of a project is when you see an idea become a reality through the creation of drawings, lists and models. These are sent to the client to be constructed, and eventually become the finished project.
I started with AECOM through the CareerTrackers Program, which provides internship opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students. I was one of the first two CareerTrackers interns at AECOM. Over my years of interning, I watched the relationship between the program and AECOM strengthen as AECOM went from just two interns to signing a ‘10x10’ deal with the program, which means AECOM is taking on 10 Indigenous interns each year for the next 10 years. During my time with AECOM, I have been involved in all events involving AECOM and the CareerTrackers program, as well as assisting to improve the relationship and helping to advise AECOM on what it can do to improve the experience for CareerTrackers. Now that I am a full-time AECOM employee, I hope to keep assisting AECOM with the program and possibly to mentor students or be a buddy for an intern. I was also proud to have the opportunity to be involved in creating AECOM’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Outside of work, I am passionate about sport — mainly touch football, rugby league and basketball. AECOM is great in that it is very team orientated when working on large projects, so I see a definite relationship between working in a team on the sporting field and in the workplace.
One piece of advice I would give to someone interested in a career in infrastructure and engineering would be to try as many different aspects of the industry as possible, and to network with as many people as you can. Companies such as AECOM, which are global and are multi-faceted, can provide amazing opportunities to learn and advance your career!
In the next year, I just hope to learn as much as possible and meet as many people in our business as possible, so I can set a good foundation for the rest of my career.