Supporting the sustainable growth of our region
Patrick Maiden, GHD Pty Ltd.
Where is your place of business?
5 Church Street, Traralgon.
Tell us about your business:
GHD is a professional consultancy and advisory company providing engineering and technical services across water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation.
Why did you choose to be a part of GROW Gippsland?
GROW Gippsland aligns strongly with the purpose of GHD, to create lasting community benefit through the work we do with our clients. As a business in Gippsland we want to support the sustainable growth of our region, and find opportunities for our people. One of the best ways to do that is to participate fully in the local community, working collectively with other organisations to support initiatives that develop businesses, creates employment and provides community benefit. Becoming a Compact signatory has helped us create a new vision for our role in the region. It provides the corporate ‘permission’ to our people to support our local businesses to promote growth in our region. It has our team challenging our procurement habits and seeking ways to develop new career pathways for local people.
What are you doing to support local business?
We employ local people and purchase more than 90% of supplies locally.
Why do you think its important to employ locally?
Our people are our business, so it is fundamental to our business to attract and retain the best people. GHD is known for the specialist knowledge and capacity of our engineers, scientists and technical professionals. Although a strong focus on technical excellence is required to deliver projects well, real project success comes from delivering outcomes for the community. And the best way to achieve this success is to fully understand the needs of the community. Employing locally encourages the personal connections to the communities, industries and landscapes that Gippslanders know. Our experience is that local staff understand the local client needs. Maintaining an office and employing locally in Traralgon provides a business focus on regional priorities, and enables our people to make an impact to their own communities – from designing a new footpath at the local hospital, to designing industry changing technologies such as Hydrogen energy production. I think being able to participate in a diverse range of projects that are meaningful to your own community provides satisfaction for new university graduates, office administration staff and experienced professionals alike. And with similar opportunities being created among our GROW Gippsland colleagues, we are building sustainable employment that will help Gippsland retain and gain great people and grow new economic opportunities.
Tell us about a time that you were proud to be a part of your business/organisation:
GHD’s commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous communities is one way that our business seeks make positive change, and I am proud to be our Victorian Reconciliation Action Champion. GHD leadership encourages our staff to follow the meandering path of learning and discovery, and forming relationships with our local Aboriginal communities.
Taking on the role as Office Manager in December 2019, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to introduce some of my personal priorities with the office. And so, in January 2019, we were fortunate to have a Guniakurnai Welcome to Country ceremony. Nicky Moffat (GLaWAC Cultural Heritage Officer) shared some stories of the local Aboriginal community, and our Traralgon office staff, families and visitors heard about Gunaikurnai connections to Country.
I was especially proud that an ongoing commitment to connecting with local Aboriginal community groups and listening to Aboriginal voices about local issues has led to some great personal relationships and much deeper understanding of social needs. Sharing these with our people will influence the way GHD deliver projects.