High Achievers – Ross Graham Group Manager Engineering Services, Clarence City Council
Ross Graham believes Clarence City Council has a great team of staff who work together to deliver the best outcomes achievable for their community.
He places some emphasis on the word ‘achievable’ adding it is not always possible for councils to meet all expectations.
“We necessarily delve through a maze of policies, regulations, standards, community engagement, approvals to ensure consistency for all.”
“What impresses me most during this process is that staff are genuine in their approach to work through these issues and deliver the best possible result for the community.”
Nominated as an LG Focus High Achiever by Mayor of Clarence City, Doug Chipman, Mr Graham is admired for delivering record projects under very tough market conditions.
He has worked at Council for 11 years after more than 20 years’ experience as a consulting engineer.
“My first two decades in engineering extended my interest in maths and then I followed a career in design.
“I started in geotechnical engineering, progressed through civil engineering and then structural engineering, focusing more on commercial developments.
“One of the highlights of my career so far was being the structural designer (alongside my mentor) for the Federation Concert Hall in Hobart.”
Working in these above roles, Graham found that he missed the personal connection.
“I was grateful when Clarence City Council provided me with an opportunity to work in local government as a principal engineer on major projects.
“This provided me with an opportunity to work directly with the community.” One of Graham’s first projects was the delivery of the Cambridge Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“This was a challenging project where the contractor went into liquidation just when the plant was operational.
“Last year I was successful in obtaining the position of Council’s Group Manager Engineering Services, following retirement of the previous group manager.
“The challenge for me now is dealing with day-to-day issues but also finding time to consider our strategic delivery, working with human resources to ensure my team (including our outside workforce) are working in a safe environment and that they have opportunities for personal development.”
Graham is proud of what has been achieved in recent years in Clarence.
“For example, the quality of our sportsground ovals, our regional parks (Simmons, Kangaroo Bay and Bellerive Beach Park), the foreshore pathway, the mountain bike park, continued development of our trail network and work on our roads/stormwater network.
“We recognise that there are always opportunities for improvement and that is part of any job or organisation.
“However we are genuine and respectful in our dealings.
“The future is partnering with others, continuing to value the work of staff and using technology to progress this work further.”