Celebrating Steps on the Career Path

Edwin Davey, General Superintendent, PW2PA Alliance, at centre with the latest group of graduates. On far right is Sharon Laughton, Leading Hand, and next to her Brandon Lamont, Superintendent, – both part of Edwin’s team who provided support and mentoring – as did Jeff Kealy, Plant and Light Vehicle Inspection.

The PW2PA Alliance Port Wakefield team has celebrated the results of another indigenous training program – initiated by Edwin Davey, General Superintendent, at the site.

Eleven trainees, which included six females, have graduated from a 5-week training program in preparation for roles as plant operators.

Edwin, a proud Larrakia man, is a more than 20-year veteran of the Civil Construction industry, having worked on key infrastructure projects all over Australia.

Having started his own career aged 18 as a leading hand and plant operator, Edwin has risen through the ranks, and has leveraged his senior positions to assist and mentor dozens of First Nations’ Australians to kick-start and develop their careers in the industry.

For the Port Wakefield program, trainees were supported by contractors working on the PW2PA construction project, with Edwin liaising with them to design and implement the ‘work ready’ program.

Participants obtained their white cards, learnt work zone traffic management, and gained tickets to operate machinery including excavator, roller, moxie (dump truck), water truck and front-end loader, in preparation for pre-arranged positions.

Edwin’s program again achieved 100% retention of the initial participants, who completed their training at the end of March.

Key to the success of this and previous training initiatives at Port Wakefield was the role of indigenous mentors who guided the participants through various components of the training, whether these be the online learning modules, or the hands-on operational skills needed to successfully operate complex machinery in a safe and productive workplace environment.

Feedback from the trainees highlighted how the course and mentors helped raise their confidence levels and vision for their future. To them, the course has really helped open new doors to opportunities and create pathways to realise their long term goals.

Edwin added: “The key driver was to provide opportunities for local Aboriginal people in the construction industry, and to leave a life-changing legacy which will create ongoing positive outcomes for them, long after the Port Wakefield Overpass and Highway Duplication project is complete.”

Edwin’s work aligns with the PW2PA Aboriginal Engagement Strategy’s four pillars of employment and training, business opportunities, artwork, and community engagement. He also plays an important role in CPB’s Reconciliation Action Plan Committee.