Inspire : Public Works Mar Apr 2013
19 For Anthony McMahon, the most rewarding aspect of his work as an engineer is being part of projects -- from conception and design to creation – that beneﬁt the local community. The 28-year-old is the Assistant General Manager at Boorowa Council on the southwest slopes of New South Wales. In this role, he is responsible for all the infrastructure that his community relies on, from water and sewerage treatment and reticulation systems to roads, bridges, buildings and recreation facilities. McMahon also helped coordinate repairs to vital infrastructure across the council area after it received $10 million worth of ﬂood damage in 2010 and 2012. "Providing infrastructure and services that the community depends on is very rewarding work," says McMahon, who completed his engineering degree and masters of management by the age of 27. “I ﬁnd working in a small country town very satisfying, so, in the medium term, I will continue to pursue a career in local government. I hope to continue in a career that keeps me challenged while offering me the opportunity to see the beneﬁts of my work.” McMahon says he took the job in Boorowa, an hour's drive north of Canberra, to provide a stable life for his wife and three young children and to broaden his experience within the local gover nment sector. "The role provides me with the responsibility of looking after all ﬁnance and strategic planning functions, in addition to the more traditional engineering functions of asset management, such as maintenance and capital works," he adds. He names the redevelopment of the foreshore of his hometown Bateman's Bay, while working for Eurobodalla Shire Council, as his proudest achievement. He says the beautiﬁcation project had to accommodate a range of commercial, tourism and recreational uses for the beneﬁt of the NSW South Coast seaside community. "I have made a lasting positive change to the town I grew up in," McMahon adds. "Prior to working at Eurobodalla Shire Council, I worked for a local private ﬁrm. I made the shift across to Council because I wanted to see projects through from start to ﬁnish and make a difference to the community I lived in." As a passionate public works professional and member of the Young IPWEA network, McMahon believes more must be done to address the sector's skills shortage and inspire young people to want to get involved in a constr uctive manner in how their community functions. "There are two split issues surrounding the skills shortage. The ﬁrst is there needs to be curriculum changes to promote higher levels of maths and science in primary schools and high school," he says. "The second issue is that the sector must get better at marketing the fact that a career in public works is very rewarding in order to compete for the small pool of new engineers being wooed into the private sector." When McMahon is away from work, he is busy playing cricket, AFL and rugby union. “My sport has deﬁnitely allowed me to develop my leadership skills and conﬁdence,” he says. “I’m also a keen ﬁshermen and diver, which is the time I use to clear my mind." I nd working in a small country town very satisfying, so, in the medium term, I will continue to pursue a career in local government. Anthony McMahon: Making a di erence to the community.
Public Works Jan Feb 2013
Public Works May Jun 2013