Brodie is mak­ing the right con­nec­tions

Campaspe News - - NEWS -

FOR Brodie McMa­hon the Goul­burn Mur­ray Wa­ter Con­nec­tions Project is bring­ing count­less op­por­tu­ni­ties.

From con­struc­tion and earth­mov­ing tick­ets to spe­cialised poly weld­ing train­ing — Brodie says he’s learning new skills ev­ery day.

The 20-year-old grew up in an Indige­nous com­mu­nity about an hour out­side Derby, Western Aus­tralia. There he learnt and lived by tra­di­tional cul­tural cus­toms and prac­tices.

“I came down to Vic­to­ria in March last year,” Brodie said. “It was hard at the start be­cause I’m so close to my fam­ily, but now I’m lov­ing it.”

He hopes the skills he’s learning set him up for a ca­reer in con­struc­tion when he re­turns home.

Per­haps even more im­por­tant is in­spir­ing his younger sib­lings to learn new skills and grow their ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“On this project (the Swan Hill Mod­erni­sa­tion Project) I’m driv­ing ex­ca­va­tors and do­ing pipe weld­ing,” he said.

“It’s al­low­ing me to learn civil con­struc­tion skills that I can use when I get back home.”

Brodie is em­ployed by Rochester firm Ward Bros Earth­mov­ing, which is car­ry­ing out the fi­nal stages of the Swan Hill Mod­erni­sa­tion Project – as part of the $2 bil­lion Goul­burnMur­ray Wa­ter (GMW) Con­nec­tions Project.

Works in­clude de­com­mis­sion­ing 10km of the Num­ber Nine chan­nel from Wer­ril St in the south to Karinie St in the north and con­struct­ing two pump sta­tions and more than 8km of pipe­line to cre­ate what GMW said will be a more ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive de­liv­ery sys­tem for the re­gion’s ir­ri­ga­tors.

Ward Bros part­ner Peter Ward said the Con­nec­tions project had al­lowed his busi­ness to cre­ate em­ploy­ment for about 60 full-time staff.

“For us the Con­nec­tions Project means we can of­fer work op­por­tu­ni­ties to peo­ple like Brodie,” Peter said.

“Our busi­ness has been able to grow sig­nif­i­cantly be­cause of this project and we’ve loved pass­ing that op­por­tu­nity on to young peo­ple and watch­ing them grow their skills.”

Con­nec­tions project di­rec­tor Frank Fis­seler said the re­set de­liv­ery plan was de­vel­oped to use lo­cal skills and re­sources wher­ever pos­si­ble.

“It was firmly fo­cused on cre­at­ing jobs for lo­cal con­trac­tors and busi­nesses to pro­vide an eco­nomic boost to our com­mu­ni­ties,” Frank said.

“The jobs this project is cre­at­ing is some­thing we’re most proud of.”

GMW said the Con­nec­tions project is a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity for the Goul­burn-Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Dis­trict.

For in­for­ma­tion, visit con­nec­tion­spro­ject.com.au

Brodie McMa­hon grew up in an Indige­nous com­mu­nity about an hour out­side Derby, now he's work­ing on the Swan Hill Mod­erni­sa­tion Project.

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