Teaming up with graduates
Published at: 13 Dec 2018
Lendlease runs a two-year graduate program giving applicants the opportunity to develop and grow in diverse, team-based environments like the GV Health redevelopment. The program offers graduates the opportunity to work onsite on a building project, helping to develop their professional skills and giving them the option to explore future roles with the company.
Graduates become members of the wider construction team, and are responsible for a specific trade package. This means that they coordinate and manage contractors and suppliers to ensure timely completion of their construction project.
This includes supporting the project across quality, safety and management of documentation.
We spoke to two members of the program currently working on the GV Health redevelopment at Graham Street.
Site engineer Mya Panagiotidis
Born in Greece, Ms Panagiotidis has been living in Melbourne since she was six, when her family moved to Australia.
She said her parents told her she’d been to Shepparton as a child.
But she does not remember that visit at all.
Ms Panagiotidis now calls Shepparton home, having moved here to work as part of Lendlease’s graduate program in March.
“Lendlease asked if I was happy to go to Shepparton to work on the redevelopment, and I said yes.”
Community interaction is a big part of the appeal of the job, which for Ms Panagiotidis is focused on the construction of the new Dialysis Unit.
“People see you in your vest and stop you for a chat whenever you head over to the Glasshouse for a coffee,” she said.
“They’re interested in the project and asking how it’s going.”
GV Health’s new Dialysis Unit will be a state of the art facility capable of treating 96 patients, doubling the present unit’s capacity.
The new unit’s location near the Glasshouse also gives patients better access to disabled parking, and will incorporate an open plan design with views of a private garden.
“The ground slab is down and scaffolding for the level one slab is going up," Ms Panagiotidis said.
“Columns were completed this week too. It’s a great that this new unit will be so accessible for the public, and we’ll have it all finished by the end of 2019. We’re all hands on deck to get it done.”
Ms Panagiotidis compared the Lendlease team to a family, noting many have moved from interstate to work on the hospital redevelopment.
“We were quite a small unit when we all came on board,” she said.
“We’ve gotten really close and get along really well, it’s fantastic. We enjoy getting out and about and finding things to do together.”
The Goulburn Valley region offers a diverse array of opportunities to explore and experience new things.
Ms Panagiotidis said she was particularly enthusiastic about the huge variety of restaurants she has the chance to investigate.
“It’s great here, I’m enjoying hanging out here on the weekends,” she said.
“The range of great cuisines in the area is a definite highlight for me.”
Ms Panagiotidis said she looked forward to a future in Shepparton given the opportunity to work on this large-scale, challenging project.
“I’ll be here for the long haul,” she said.
“I will definitely put my hand up to stay - I really enjoy the lifestyle and the community here.”
Civil engineer Justin Sciacca
Born and bred in Shepparton, Mr Sciacca moved to Melbourne to study at the end of Year 12.
“I didn’t take a gap year,” he said.
“I was itching to get into it and keep on studying."
Mr Sciacca, said he would usually come back for summers to see his family and is now back in town on a more permanent basis, working as a Civil Engineer on the GV Health's redevelopment.
“I was looking for work as a labourer last summer, to earn a bit and get more experience in my field,” he said.
“I had a few contacts with people here at Lendlease and it just took off.”
While many people on site commute from Melbourne and Bendigo, Mr Sciacca was amused by his 500 metre walk to work every morning.
“I’m a bit lucky in that regard,” he laughed.
Mr Sciacca also admitted being in an air-conditioned office could not be beaten as summer started to heat up.
Teamwork is a focus for the graduate engineer.
“I had no idea what my first experience working as an engineer would be like,” he said.
“It’s exciting, spontaneous work, and the team have all taken me under their wing.”
Mr Sciacca, who has been on site for a fortnight, said his current duties included working on scaffolding placement for the new Dialysis Unit, Emergency Department upgrade and Inpatient Unit.
“I’ve mainly been getting my head around what’s going on here,” he said.
“I’ve been touring the site and also getting into the AutoCAD design work.”
The civil engineer hoped he would be able to pursue future opportunities within Lendlease.
“I’d love it if I could pursue something in the company, whether that’s here, in Melbourne or overseas,” he said.
“I landed this job and grabbed it – it was an obvious choice, and it’s such a great opportunity to do something like this in your home town,” he said.
“It’s great to be back in the community, where everyone and everything is so familiar.”
Mr Sciacca said he was grateful to be working on the GV Health project and was excited by the possibilities it offered.
“It’s a great opportunity to see what working on a site like this involves,” he said.
“The hospital redevelopment is such a major project for the region.”