Cindy Thomas is one of life’s natural communicators, who has brought her impressive communication and stakeholder engagement skills to infrastructure projects across Australia. Cindy is currently a core part of our communications team, working on Bruce Highway Upgrade – Cooroy to Curra project Section D, Contract 1 and ensuring our project is connected with our client, partners and stakeholders in the local community.
We caught up with Cindy to find out more about overcoming her fear of public speaking and her love of working in infrastructure.
Why did you become a communications professional?
I am somewhat intrinsically a communicator, and most roles in my working life have involved an element of communications and engagement. I joined the industry with Abigroup on the Bonville Upgrade project over 14 years ago, and project life and stakeholder engagement was where I really found my niche. I became a professional because I believe stakeholder management is important, and that doing it well makes a difference.
What do you love about our industry?
It’s unpredictable, challenging, frustrating, rarely boring, and exceptionally rewarding in so many ways. I love the people, the camaraderie, and the feeling of being a part of something that changes lives.
What project are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on the Bruce Highway Upgrade – Cooroy to Curra project Section D, Contract 1.
What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?
Stand out achievement is being promoted after only two years in the industry into a manager role in recognition of my leadership skills; and being awarded the NAWIC Award in 2011 for Excellence in Marketing and Community Engagement, but by far my greatest achievement was overcoming a debilitating fear of public speaking.
What’s the best project you have worked on?
The most special would be the Bonville Upgrade near Coffs Harbour in NSW as this was my first project in 2006, with an insanely good group of people. I have worked on eight projects over the past 14 years, and they have all been the ‘best’ for different reasons. The C2CD project team make it a joy to come to work every day so it’s the best right now.
What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?
Learning to be brave and speak up – it turns out most people are thinking the same thing; believing in myself and that if I have a seat at the table, it’s for good reason; and most importantly, kindness always prevails.
What would your last meal be?
A very memorable seafood pasta I enjoyed in Monterosso Cinque Terre Italy, or a reverse seared tomahawk steak cooked by my husband.
What is the last movie you watched or series you binged?
The Tomorrow War.
What excites you about the future of infrastructure?
Sustainable social, environmental and economical innovation, greater industry support for raising awareness about mental health and well-being, diversity and inclusion on projects, and equal pay.
If you could have worked on any major project from history, what would it have been?
The Colosseum in Rome.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Entertaining friends and family on our property, music festivals, live music, travelling, reading.