Meet The Team – Narelle

Working in Human Resources, Narelle Aucote, has worked across Construction, Mining and Manufacturing for over 20 years.  She has been fortunate to have worked on a variety of construction projects and mine sites, in Australia and throughout the world.  We caught up with Narelle to find out a little more about her career and projects.

Why did you become an HR Professional?
I must admit I actually “stumbled across” HR. I had quit Uni (Deg. In Science, majoring in Marine Biology), my parents were not thrilled, and so I had to find a job.  I started working in an Administration role, this involved completing payroll for the business.  I then moved into a specialist payroll role which was a part of a wider HR Team.  After a short time in that team I was provided with opportunities from there to support the HR team in learning and development and recruitment.  I had always had an interest in people and what motivates them but I did not really know about Human Resources and the role they played in companies until I joined the corporate world.  From there I worked full time and studied part time and career progressed into specialist HR roles.  Whilst not the “normal” way of progressing into a career, I have definitely found working and studying gave me a far better practical application of my learning and knowledge and this has definitely helped me in my career.

What do you love about our industry?
The diversity of projects, locations, people and learning.  Each day is different, each person is different but together we form a great team and get to be involved in some amazing projects.  Many people not involved in Civil Construction take for granted what we do and for a non-Engineer in this industry I feel really privileged to be a part of our exciting, fast-moving and ever-changing industry.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am very excitedly working on the Bielby HR Strategy.  It will cover all aspects of the HR Life cycle from Recruitment to Culture to Diversity to Learning and Development and beyond!  In my past roles, I have specialised in Learning and Development, and I am very passionate about growing and challenging all of our Bielby team members to be the best they can.  One aspect of our Learning and Development strategy is to continue to develop the Bielby Engineer Development program based on our Bielby Pillars.  I have also been very busy recruiting and ensuring we have more great team members to meet the requirements of all our projects.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?
The projects I am most proud to have been involved in, in the past are:
Leadership Development program for Site Supervisors and Superintendents to help them with the leadership skills they need to step up from being on the tools.  We demystified what leadership is, and rather than going with the “sink or swim” attitude that many companies have we provided our front line leaders with the ability to lead.
Restructure and Organisational change project for a manufacturing facility in South Africa.  Together with the leadership team, we turned a business that was losing 1.1M Rand per year into a business that was making 10M Rand per year.  Through this, I once again saw the value of great leadership in creating an amazing culture, a motivated team and dedication to a business.

What’s the best project you have worked on?
Working in a corporate support function I have been very privileged to have worked on many projects and have travelled Australia and the World doing this.  My role has not only involved working on site but also supporting projects from Australia, and this has helped to develop my skills in communication, cultural understanding, strategy, industrial relations for numerous countries, as well as how best to support our team members who are away from families in FIFO an DIDO roles.
I feel it really important to share the opportunities our industry provides not only to Engineers but also support staff who are willing to get in and have a go and I would honestly struggle to say which project has been the best.  On each project I have learned something and have got to experience something I would never have in any other industry… like getting to see a Hippopotamus on my way to work in South Africa, seeing an Oil and Gas flare light up the Jungle canopy at night in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, seeing the sea turtles playing in the waves off of Barrow Island and experiencing the beauty of so many sunrises and sunsets in some of the most remote locations of Australia, places where many people would never think to travel to.  Whilst getting to see these things I have also met some of the most diverse and wonderful people… and that is why I get out of bed and come to work each day.

What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career? 
To be adaptable, seize every opportunity that comes along and challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone daily. There are so many amazing things I would have missed out on it I had of listened to that little voice that said, “what if” and also my fears. Instead, I went with the attitude “I would rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done”.  I can honestly say I have not regretted anything I have done in my career and I am so grateful to the employers I have worked with for the opportunities they have given me.

What would your last meal be?
I love a good cheese platter, so one of those with a variety of different cheeses and a lot of wine.

What is the last movie you watched or series you binged?
Having two young kids, I tend to binge Bluey, Trolls and Paw Patrol!

Unfortunately, I do also have a terrible addiction to the reality show “Below Deck”.  I love watching it for the amazing yachts and locations they go, but also for the ridiculousness of the passengers and crew.

Who’s the greatest engineer of all time and why?
I think the Engineer that built the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao Spain must have been pretty impressive as whilst it is absolutely beautiful, but I am not really sure it was designed to be constructed easily.

What excites you about the future of infrastructure?
I think that the work that many companies are doing in regards to using recyclable materials in road surfaces is very interesting and also the balance that we are now seeing in regards to considering our environment and how we minimise the impact.  There will always need to be infrastructure construction and so I like to think that by being in the industry we can champion how we balance the environmental impact.

If you could have worked on any major project from history, what would it have been?
Notre Dame Cathedral.  I am a believer that Paris could never be considered over-rated.  It is a beautiful city and the first time I saw Notre Dame my breath was truly taken away.  Once the restoration, from the 2019 fire, is completed I hope to be able to see it once again.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
We love to travel but that has obviously been hampered a bit by Covid, and so we now tend to camp a lot with the kids, this can be fun and not fun all at once!
Much of my time is taken up in “Mum’s Taxi” duties of ferrying the kids from playdates to sports, but when I do have a bit of spare me time, I love to read and I love to walk the dog along the Manly foreshore.

Bielby To Deliver Vital Public Transport Infrastructure for the Department of Transport and Main Roads

Bielby Holdings is delighted to announce our appointment by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to construct the Northern Transitway, which will provide a high-quality public transport corridor in Brisbane’s north.

The project is part of the state’s Passenger Transport Infrastructure Investment Program (PTIIP) and will see 2.3km of dedicated in and out-bound bus lanes constructed between Kedron and Chermside along Gympie Road.

Enabling high-frequency services, the new infrastructure will save up to six minutes of travel time on some services during peak periods, improve safety and increase capacity, benefitting over 5,000 people during peak periods each weekday. The project will also improve accessibility at bus stops,  with enhancements to kerb ramps along pathways improving access and safety for pedestrians and bike riders.

Road safety will play a critical part in the project by removing unsignaled right turns along the corridor. New traffic lights will be installed at the intersection of Gympie Road and Boothby Street, including a dedicated right-turn lane and U-turn facility.

Construction commences mid-2021 and will continue for approximately two years.

Bielby Holdings’ Managing Director, Adam Edwards, welcomed the organisation’s appointment to the project.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract to deliver a vital piece of public transport infrastructure that will bring significant benefits to residents, businesses and travellers in Brisbane’s north.”

“Our team welcomes the opportunity to continue our strong working partnership with TMR. We are excited to commence the project and support the Department’s vision to create integrated transport networks that support multimodal users.”

For further information about the project please visit: https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects/Northern-Transitway

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Bielby Undergraduates Complete Constructionarium Australia Program

For the past eight days, Bielby Holdings, Elian Ware, and Jayden Smith joined 14 other undergraduate and early-stage career professionals as part of the latest Constructionarium Australia cohort undertaking an intensive theory and practical training program.

The program takes participants through a complete project build from tender to completion, as they work as a team to deliver a replica 30m long, 4-tonne Story Bridge at The Construction Training Centre in Salisbury.

We caught up with Elian and Jayden to find out more about their participation and how they enjoyed their time with Constructionarium Australia.

Elian Ware

Elian Ware is an Undergraduate Site Engineer who has spent the last eight months working on the Everton Park Link Road Project, where he is working towards project completion in the coming months.

What did you enjoy most about Constructionarium Australia?

Constructionarium really gave me a broader picture of the construction industry. Having only experienced the day to day life of a site, I wasn’t aware of the community interlinking the industry where various companies, although fighting for the same jobs and projects, have to work together to maintain sustainable businesses. Seeing and talking to all these industry professionals at the QMCA awards, at the BBQ on Wednesday, and also the panel on Friday made me feel a part of this community. It inspired me as to what I could become in the future.

What challenged you most about Constructionarium Australia?

Being pushed into the deep end and out of my comfort zone. I was appointed the project manager for the Thursday (the 3rd day of construction) and was in charge of ensuring that we had completed the job, ready for the handover on Friday. We managed to complete the job on time; however, it was a challenge. Also, being introduced to so many industry professionals and learning to network with them, I found quite a new experience and was like nothing I’d ever done before.

What help do you think Constructionarium Australia participation will be in your career/studies?

The main component I will take away from this experience is the emphasis on using soft skills in the industry and how much I developed them in those eight days. Talking to subcontractors/clients to maintain relationships is almost more important than hard skills, and I will use this knowledge in my ongoing career.

Would you recommend taking part in a build to other students/professionals?

Absolutely, meeting all these different people from different companies with all sorts of different experience gave a taste of the industry and the group I worked with got along very well. You learn a lot during the eight days of taking a project from inception through to handover.

Networking is also a huge component of this build and is very nicely integrated into the eight-day schedule; you will meet a wide range of people who are eager to talk to young professionals regardless of their high positions in the industry and busy schedules.

Harry, Jason, and Alex, and all the individuals for lunch & learns were all very inclusive and very passionate about the whole build and always ready to take questions and give advice. Harry was great at pushing us all out of our comfort zones and put us in positions where we would learn the most.

Jayden Smith

Jayden Smith has spent the last ten months with Bielby as he completes four years of Civil Engineering studies at QUT. Currently embedded at head office, he works with the precontracts team on bids for projects across Queensland.

What did you enjoy most about Constructionarium Australia?

The aspect I enjoyed the most was learning the full cycle of how a project comes to fruition. Seeing the Story Bridge build start as a bundle of drawings with a team of people who had never met, to completing the project under time and under budget was definitely a highlight to me.

What challenged you most about Constructionarium Australia?

The most challenging part of Constructionarium was being delegated the role of Project Manager on the first day of construction. At this point, the team was still unsure about each other, and from the very start, the holes in our tender began to show. Our tendered efficiencies and the use of assumptions throughout the tender caused many problems for me as the project manager. For example, due to a short two-day tendering time, our lift plan hadn’t considered in which order the prefabricated panels were placed on top of one another.

The fact that this had not been considered during the tender phase caused mass downtime for the crane crew, costing us valuable time and money whilst a new strategy was developed. However, I feel like I learnt the most through these challenges; it highlighted to me the importance of the tender phase and the level of detail that is required on-site to ensure a project runs smoothly.

What help do you think Constructionarium Australia participation will be in your career/studies?

Constructionarium has allowed me to build a variety of new skills. As part of the tendering team for Bielby, it has given me a new perspective for the level of detail required on-site from a cost and program point of view. It has also allowed me to network with peers at the same stage in our careers as well as people at the top of the industry. Being given the opportunity to attend a QMCA event was a highlight and allowed me to develop the ‘soft skills’ of networking by talking to industry professionals.

Something that I have come across through my time at Bielby is the involvement of Indigenous Companies in tenders, which was also a topic covered throughout Constructionarium. Alex Ibarra gave a presentation on Indigenous Culture and was incredibly moving for me.

Until now, I had never fully understood the importance or role it had in our society, but Alex explained it in a way that made sense, and he was also extremely open to further discussion. Having someone you could ask at any time, any question without judgement, was extremely helpful, allowing me to grasp the concepts he presented. We even had a one-on-one chat whilst I was doing Traffic Control on-site for a length of time, and I found that I learnt the most from him in that environment. The inclusion of Indigenous Culture is something that is still very new in the Construction Industry, and I believe in the next 5 years, it will become more prevalent. I am grateful that I have been exposed to it now throughout the duration of the Constructionarium course to prepare me for the future.

Lastly, the Lunch and Learns (which run at lunch all eight days by professionals) have taught me the importance of developing myself professionally as well as ensuring that I look after myself mentally and enjoy what I do as an Engineer. This is not something that I would usually consider at work, but Constructionarium has taught me that it should be at the top of my priorities.

Would you recommend taking part in a build to other students/professionals?

Definitely. No matter what stage you are at in your career, I can guarantee that Constructionarium will teach at least one aspect that will make it worthwhile.

The group of 16 that went through this course at the same time as I were not just Undergraduates.

The team ranged in experience from students to older professionals with up to 20 years of experience who were further developing their skills or taking on a new role. Every participant mentioned they had gained a plethora of new knowledge in their respective fields. This course doesn’t just cover the technical skills required by an engineer. It also teaches the ‘Soft Skills’ that are far more important when working towards a Project Management position or beyond. All in all, this course has definitely opened my eyes to what skills I need to work on to progress my career to where I want to be, and I believe it will for others too.

Pacific Motorway M1 Watland Street to Sports Drive

Bielby Secures Watland Street to Sports Drive M1 Upgrade

Bielby Holdings, in a joint venture with JF Hull Holdings, is delighted to have secured the Pacific Motorway M1 Watland Street to Sports Drive Upgrade. Already on-site delivering the Sports drive to Gateway Motorway upgrade, this is our second package of works on the Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill Upgrade Project.

The project will see significant enhancements made to the M1, designed to improve traffic flow, safety and connections for bus and cycle commuters. Work will include widening the M1 up to four northbound lanes between the Watland Street overpass and the existing Sports Drive on-ramp,  a new M1 on-ramp at Lexington Road and widening Rochedale Road to three southbound lanes from the Rochedale Road off-ramp (Exit 19) to Springwood Road.

In addition, the South-East Busway will be extended to Springwood bus station and the V1 Veloway will be extended from Sports Drive to Watland Street.

Managing Director Adam Edwards, welcomed the project win “We are delighted to have secured a second package of works on the M1 Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill upgrade. It is a part of Queensland we know well having been involved in the original M1 Springwood South to Daisy Hill construction from 2009-12 and our current involvement in the upgrade of the M1 from Sports Drive to Gateway Motorway.”

“This is an exciting project for the region that will see significant investment made in improving road, bus and cycle infrastructure and introducing new smart motorway technologies that will reduce ‘stop-start’ travel on the motorway.”

“As a Queensland business, it is fantastic to continue our relationship with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and to deliver a key upgrade to one of the state’s most important pieces of infrastructure. We are also delighted to be able to help support businesses and employ locals as we undertake the project,” said Mr Edwards.

For employment opportunities, please direct enquiries to hr@bielby.com.au.

For more information about the Pacific Motorway M1 Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill, please visit: https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects/Pacific-Motorway-M1-Eight-Mile-Plains-to-Daisy-Hill-Upgrade

Vestas' leading power curve_Body

Berrybank Stage 2 Wind Farm Project

Bielby Holdings is delighted to have secured the design and construction of the Civil Balance of Plant (CBoP) works for the Berrybank Stage 2 Wind Farm Project for Vestas – Australian Wind Technology (Vestas).

Located within the Corangamite and Golden Plains Shire Councils approximately 76km west of Geelong and 48km south of Ballarat, Victoria, the project will deliver 107 MW of power into the grid, enough to power 82 000 homes.

Managing Director, Adam Edwards, outlined Bielby’s involvement. “We are delighted to be undertaking our first project with Vestas, and are looking forward to bringing our proven design and construction capabilities to a major renewables project in Victoria.”

“Design has already commenced and as our team are deployed and commence works, we are confident that our extensive experience in the renewable energy sector will provide positive results for Vestas and significant benefits to the project.”

“Our role will be to provide the critical civil infrastructure required to enable the project’s 26 x V136 4.2MW HH112m wind turbines to be installed and for the site to be accessed via more than 20km of internal roads and improved public roads. We look forward to this exciting step in Bielby’s history and to making a positive contribution to the Corangamite and Golden Plains Shires,” said Adam.

Across the project, Bielby will be responsible for the delivery of;

  • 26 turbine foundations
  • 26 crane hardstands
  • 20km of internal access road
  • Public road upgrades, and
  • Facility provision and maintenance
Photo Credit – Vestas

Innovation In Material Use Aims to Future Proof Highway

One of the key objectives of The Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade is to improve flood immunity, which has historically seen the highway close on average every 1 to two years for approximately 70 hours at a time.

A key component to improving flood immunity is in the use of materials that can withstand extreme weather and for this project that means the use of Foam Stabilised Bitumen (FSB). FSB is created when hot bitumen is injected with cold water, causing it to bubble, and at the same time mixed with gravel and lime. The bitumen droplets attract to and coat the finer particles of gravel material, binding the mixture together.

The material is then used as a flexible base layer for two levels of asphalt, forming the road pavement on which vehicles will travel; a pavement which is more resilient to flooding.

About the Project

The $513 million project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($414.4 million) and Queensland Government ($102.9 million). The project covers essential upgrades to the Bruce Highway, designed to improve safety and efficiency for road users, as well as significantly improving flood immunity. The project is being delivered by The Infrastructure Group (TIG), a joint venture between Bielby, BMD Constructions, JF Hull Holdings and Albem Operations, on behalf of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

HRFU Project Update

It has been a busy couple of months in north Queensland as works progress on the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade.

The project covers essential upgrades to the Bruce Highway, designed to improve safety and efficiency for road users, as well as significantly improving flood immunity.

Bielby Managing Director, Adam Edwards recently visited the site, “It was great to see such impressive progress being made on the project, with significant works being undertaken in recent months. All credit must go to everyone involved in the joint venture team.”

But, as with any project, milestones achieved don’t mean resting on laurels! Throughout November, the project will continue at a rapid pace which will see the completion of key bridges, critical traffic switches and culvert installation at the project’s northern end.

As the project moves through its next phase, we look forward to bringing you updates on the following works:

  • Construction of main deck spans at the Upper Haughton/Hodal Road overpass and Pink Lily Lagoon bridge
  • installation of flood-prone culverts at the northern end of the project
  • erection of final super T girders at the Haughton River bridge and completion of bridge substructure construction
  • completion of the Horseshoe Lagoon bridge
  • switch Bruce Highway traffic onto the new, final alignment south of Trembath Road
  • complete pavement rehabilitation on overtaking lanes (between Shirbourne Road and Woodstock Giru Road).

For more information on Bielby’s involvement, please visit: https://www.bielby.com.au/haughton-river-floodplain-upgrade-project/

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About the Project

The $513 million project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($414.4 million) and Queensland Government ($102.9 million). The project covers essential upgrades to the Bruce Highway, designed to improve safety and efficiency for road users, as well as significantly improving flood immunity. The project is being delivered by The Infrastructure Group (TIG), a joint venture between Bielby, BMD Constructions, JF Hull Holdings and Albem Operations, on behalf of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Bielby LI Link (10)

Bielby Holdings Awarded Contract for Everton Park Link Road

Bielby Holdings is delighted to have been appointed to undertake construction works on the Everton Park Link Road for The Department of Transport and Main Roads.
The project will see significant investment made to ease congestion in North-West Brisbane with the new link road connecting South Pine Road, north of the Kedron Brook Creek, to Stafford Road, east of Mountridge Street.

To ease disruption, the majority of the Everton Park Link Road will be constructed away from operating roads, and traffic impacts will be minimised during construction. Upon completion the project will provide a direct route between Stafford Road and South Pine Road, reducing traffic congestion at the Stafford Road and South Pine Road intersection.

As part of the project the right turn facility from South Pine Road into Stafford Road during peak hours, providing more traffic light ‘green time,’ and improving travel time at the intersection.
Cyclists and active transport users are also catered for with increased connectivity and dedicated facilities linking into the ever-popular Kedron Brook Bikeway.

Wider footpaths and additional pedestrian crossings will provide significant benefits for local retailers, cafes and entertainment venues as pedestrians will be able to access the site quickly and safely.

Managing Director, Adam Edwards, welcomed the project win “Bielby has a successful history of delivering projects in the local area, having completed the upgrades to the Samford Road/Wardell Street Interchange in nearby Enoggera for the Department in 2013. We are delighted to be involved in the delivery of Everton Park Link Road, a project that caters for multi-modal transport and will provide improved critical infrastructure for local residents and businesses.”

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Bielby Secures Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra – Section D

Bielby Holdings, in joint venture with BMD Group is delighted to have secured the first of two major contracts (Contract 1) to deliver the fourth and final section of the Bruce Highway Upgrade – Cooroy to Curra program – Section D: Woondum to Curra (C2CD).

Contract 1 between Woondum to Sandy Creek Road involves construction of a new four lane divided highway connecting to the existing Bruce Highway south of Gympie at Woondum, and new interchanges at Penny Road, Gympie Connection Road.

Managing Director Adam Edwards, welcomed the project win “We are delighted to have secured another key road project in Queensland and to continue our relationship with the Department of Transport and Main Roads.”

“As a proudly Queensland owned business, we are excited about the opportunities to employ local people and support local businesses while delivering a key piece of infrastructure for the region.”

At Bielby Holdings, our workplaces are respectful, inclusive and value the diversity of our employees and the communities we operate within. All employment enquiries can be directed to hr@bielby.co.au. Local businesses and suppliers are encouraged to register their interest on the local Industry Register located www.tmr.qld.gov.au/cooroytocurra