Meet Paul Flannery

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Job: 

Australian War Memorial Foreman, but referred to these days as a Site Manager.

Job description: 

Manage the various contractors on a construction site with a strong focus on quality control and the safety of workers on the job.

Work background: 

I have come from a carpentry background.  As an apprentice I completed some volunteer placements in both Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. These placements included work on a medical facility and community building upgrades.  

In the last five years the focus has shifted to more commercial and international work. I have completed jobs in East Timor, Thailand, The Cocos Islands, Outback Australia, and nearly finished the new ANZAC Memorial here in Wellington.  

Favourite part of job: 

There are many great things about working in the construction industry:

  • The sense of accomplishment you feel on completing a big project is great.  
  • The opportunity to travel with work can make life very interesting.  
  • The building skills you learn at work can be used outside of work in other parts of life like renovating your house.  
  • However, my favorite part of the job is the opportunity to be active and use your body to help out other workers- the building industry can be great fitness!!
Least favourite part of job: 

Documentation and record keeping is a very important part of day to day life in the building industry. If days have been busy on the job it can be very difficult to switch into office mode and complete the required paperwork at the end of each day - team work is important for this reason.  

What I am working on now: 

The ANZAC Memorial. This Memorial is a very special job. There are many parts of this structure where normal building practices have been thrown out the window. Stone and other materials have been shipped from all over the world to complete the job. The Stone columns will withstand an earthquake. The intricate foundations will only be known to those who worked on the job as they are all hidden under the sandstone and basalt paving.

On the whole the ANZAC Memorial is more of an artistic installation than a normal building job. It will stand in the shadow of the Carillion for a long time to come. 

A quick story about a job well done: 

I completed upgrades on two medical facilities in the Cocos Islands. 

The Cocos Islands are a small group of coral atolls off the North East Coast of Australia. Each day I took a small boat across the lagoon to the medical facility. Each day twenty or more dolphins swam next to the boat for the fifteen minute trip across the beautiful lagoon.

A (humorous) story about a job that went badly and what you learned: 

Every day I learn something new and it's not always about building. When I was working in Thailand a friendly ghost visited our site. We were working at night in a big old building. We worked at night so we didn’t disturb the office workers during the day. About a month into the job a friendly ghost started visiting our part of the building. I took part in a traditional Thai blessing, we made food and incense offerings to the ghost. He didn’t come after the blessing. International work has taught me lots about cultures in different parts of the world. New Zealand has been no different.

Qualifications: 
  • Carpenter
  • Licensed Builder (AUST)
  • Site Manager Cert
  • Plant Operator
  • Working in Confined Spaces
  • Working at Heights
  • Asbestos Training
  • OH&S Cert
  • First Aid
  • Oxygen Resuscitation
  • Currently completing Building Diploma
Interests outside work: 

It’s important to have interests outside of work. Working in construction can be great fun but to switch the building brain off after work I do the following…Cycling, surfing, triathlon, yoga, boxing, track & field and kitchen joinery. 


Meet Paul Flannery, the Australian War Memorial Site Manager.