Civilian engineering placement builds confidence for Army engineers

When Australian Army Engineer Captain Verity Farragher saw the chance to work with one of Australia’s top construction companies, she jumped at it.

CAPTION: Captain Verity Farragher, Warrant Officer Class Two Paul Thompson and Warrant Officer Class Two Phillip Harris conduct a site inspection during the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program in Gapuwiyak. Story by Corporal Dustin Anderson. Photo by Corporal Lucas Petersen.

Captain Farragher spent 2021 working with the John Holland Group on a project to build a new members’ fitness facility at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Her placement was part of the John Holland Military Engineering Program, a scheme designed to give Army engineers 6-12 months’ civilian work experience on significant infrastructure construction projects.

“My placement with John Holland broadened and deepened my infrastructure and construction experience,” Captain Farragher said.

   

“The program offers a fantastic opportunity to participate in projects that are much larger and more advanced, in terms of the construction process, than anything that we would do in the Army.”

It’s an experience that has yielded professional results.

Since her placement with John Holland, Captain Farragher has been posted to 19th Chief Engineer Works, which provides the Australian Defence Force with deployable design and project management capability.

In mid-June, Captain Farragher deployed to Gapuwiyak in East Arnhem Land as a project engineer for the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program (AACAP) 2022.

“On the Moore Park project I learned many commercial and technical practices used to manage large-scale projects to keep things efficient,” Captain Farragher said.

“Those skills have been useful on AACAP, particularly when managing the complex approval process for infrastructure works and agreements for use of the Aboriginal land in Gapuwiyak.

“It has been a great experience following my placement – rewarding work every day, representing Army and acting as the point of contact for lots of different agencies.

“Following my experience on these major projects, I’m now confident to take on bigger construction projects within Army.”


 
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