As Victoria Daly Regional Council’s (VDRC) Work Health and Safety Manager, it’s Gillian’s job to make sure all council services and offices are operating safely and complying with the current legislation.
With six years of experience under her belt at NT WorkSafe, she spends her days delivering training, undertaking health and safety inspections and assisting staff with WHS requirements.
We sat down with Gillian to chat about how she ended up at VDRC, what she loves about her job, and how she deals with challenges that come her way.
Can you tell me a bit about what you did prior to starting at VDRC?
I was employed by NT WorkSafe for six years, based in the Katherine office. For two of those years, I ran the Katherine office. I was required to travel to and conduct investigations, give advice, and provide information to businesses across the Territory to ensure they were compliant with current legislation.
You started with VDRC in March, how come you made the move?
I really love travelling and having the opportunity to vary what I do in my role day-to-day. The Work Health and Safety Manager role at VDRC gives me the opportunity to meet all kinds of people, assisting them and getting everything up to date with the correct work health and safety protocols.
I think if I was stuck behind a desk not being so hands on as I like to be, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to help everyone in an effective and efficient way. My aim is to be accessible to everyone and to be talking face to face with staff and community members.
What are some of the biggest challenges of your job?
There are so many but ensuring that our staff have the appropriate training is extremely important. Being in remote locations, Registered Training Organisation’s aren’t always available to attend our communities to provide training as required. Although we can overcome this somewhat by being able to provide video training sessions more easily thanks to the wide use of programs like Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
If we are having difficulties with machinery, plant, and equipment, it’s a massive challenge getting the right people out to communities quickly to resolves issues due to some the remote locations and weather during the wet season.
What does an average day for you look like?
I usually think that I’ve got my day planned out and then it will completely change. Since I’ve been here, my focus has been on ensuring VDRC is compliant with the current work health and safety legislation.
I really love the challenges of my role and the people that I work with are great.
How important is it that organisations like Vic Daly are compliant?
It’s imperative. If we’re not compliant, and there’s an incident that occurs and the regulator see that we’re lacking in areas or are not compliant in certain areas, we can be subjected to hefty fines or notices that impact staff and service delivery. When we’ve got communities the rely on us as a business, it’s just so important that we are running as we should be.