Andrew McCreadie is a Plant Operator / Driver and recently celebrated a milestone 40 years with Council.
How did you get your start at Council?
I started at Willoughby City Council in 1980 and I was really lucky to get the job. I was looking for work in Sydney a few years after moving here from Tasmania, so I wrote about 400 letters to firms across NSW. Council was the only one to respond.
I went in for an interview and I was told to come back on Monday morning to speak to the Works Engineer.
When I got there on the Monday, the Works Engineer said “Oh, you’re the new bloke.” And that’s how I got the job.
What does a normal day at work look like for you?
Our work is really responsive and every day is different. We come in and look at the board and see what needs to be done. We might do stores or mail, or drive the chipper or crane, whatever is required.
I like to be busy so right now in between jobs I’m also learning how to do stock to help the storeman out. Learning is really important for me and I like to make myself useful. In my job learning is usually a mix of on-the-job and formal training for things like operating machinery and WHS.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy coming to work and I have for 40 years. People are great and I have freedom to do my work. There’s a good atmosphere and a lot of positivity. Monica Tanyous, the Works Manager, and Sunil Gamage, the Works Engineer, take the time to listen and that’s really appreciated.
I love driving trucks and cranes, it’s challenging. It’s a really specialised skill and people usually don’t realise how difficult it is – there have been a few incidents with walls during my 40 years at Council!
What’s changed in the time you’ve worked here?
The location of the Depot has changed four times – when I started it was on the site where Chatswood Chase is. Then we moved to Artarmon and then a temporary location before moving to Gibbes Street, where it is now.
There was no Work, Health & Safety when I started, no one cared about safety. It’s a big thing now and taken much more seriously.
We used to go to the Sailing Club at lunch time and have a swim on a hot day. One day, one of the crew, Barry, was swimming pretty far out and we said “Barry, just start swimming to shore as quickly as you can and don’t look back.” And he looked back and there was a fin! We never went swimming there again.
What advice would you give to someone just starting off in Council?
Be available, be useful and learn everything you can.
If you’re willing to learn and to advance your skill set, you’ll do great. And try not to knock over too many walls.