Move paid dividends
NOT all engineering career stories are about young graduates waltzing into high profile jobs paying over $ 100K.
A case in point is Sunil Bhalla and his family, who immigrated to Australia from North Punjab in India in 1990, under the skilled migrant visa.
When Mr Bhalla arrived, the Australian High Commission had said that there was a shortage of engineers and there were many career opportunities. Sadly, when we arrived, Australia was in the middle of what then Federal Treasurer Paul Keating said was the recession we had to have,’’ says Mr Bhalla.
But having made the move, Mr Bhalla, who had graduated in 1984 with a civil engineering degree from Punjab’s Thapar University of Technology, decided that he would enroll in a part- time masters of construction management at Swinburne University.
Obviously, I was looking for work while studying and the course offered work placement and through a Commonwealth Government training program found a job at the shire of Bulla,’’ he says.
After a few months, a permanent vacancy occurred and he successfully applied and stayed there in various roles until 2001.
Six years ago, Mr Bhalla took on the role at the Surf Coast Shire and now he’s the Director of Infrastructure for the state’s fastest growing region with a budget of $ 25 million and 60 staff.
We are the fastest growing non- urban Victorian municipality and this brings lots of challenges for the provision of infrastructure such as roads, buildings and waste management,’’ he explains.