Inspire : Public Works Professional Sept - Oct 2013
15 He graduated in 2008, when personal circumstances prevented him from taking on the regional placement required by new teachers. However, Ives says he doesn't regret the learning experience his teaching degree afforded. "When you can look after a group of 30 kids from Years Four to Seven, it certainly helps with being able to deal with people in the engineering environment," he says. That same year, eight councils in the Toowoomba region, including Crows Nest, amalgamated to form Toowoomba Regional Council. This presented the perfect opportunity for a new challenge, and the chance for “a wider area to have a bit of infuence,” Ives says. He would remain with Toowoomba Council for the next four years, including during the state's infamous 2010–11 foods. "In the space of six years, it went from extreme drought conditions to constant fooding occur ring in the same region," he says. Working through the period of devastating foods, which claimed 38 lives and caused more than a billion dollars worth of damage, Ives says his biggest realisation was "just how important local government is when these things occur". "In a lot of instances, local gover nments are the best people to provide support to the community when damage occurs, to be able to open up the roads and get everything working again," he says. In 2011, “a few people from [Toowoomba] council”, including Ives, decided they might be better placed to assist local governments from the outside, rather than from within an individual council. GenEng Solutions, an engineering ser vices provider, was formed in June that year. Ives joined the company as a director in August 2012, after completing a Master of Engineering Practice (Environmental Engineering) back at the University of Southern Queensland. Involved with IPWEA Queensland ever since Crows Next hosted a branch conference back in 2007, Ives eventually ran another branch conference in Toowoomba in 2012, and was soon after offered the position of Queensland Chair for the newly formed Young IPWEA. “[The position] has enabled me to get to know a lot more of the younger IPWEA members across Queensland," says Ives, who recently delivered a paper at another conference in Longreach, emphasising the importance of peer mentorship. Still based in Toowoomba, where he lives with his wife and fellow engineer Nadia, and their son Joshua, Ives says he looks for ward to whatever new challenges the future might bring. "I'm someone who wants to be continuously learning and challenging myself," he says. “The role I have within GenEng allows me to work on the projects where my interests lie, and also to work on the projects I think are going to be the most benefcial to the community.” ••• Cameron Ives received an Emerging Leader Award at the recent 2013 IPWEA Inter national Public Works Conference in Dar win. In the space of six years, it went from extreme drought conditions to constant ooding occurring around the region. CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION Have your say on this story. Visit http://goo.gl/5LTbah to comment on this article.
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