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Australian War Memorial Foreman, but referred to these days as a Site Manager.
Manage the various contractors on a construction site with a strong focus on quality control and the safety of workers on the job.
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.
There are many great things about working in the construction industry:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.