After 35 years with SA Water’s Riverland Workshop, Loxton local Neil Harvey still has a clear plan for the future - “to keep sharing my experience”.
Neil joined SA Water in 1983 and has enjoyed a varied and active career ever since, lending his hand as a Fitter and Turner, Mechanical Coordinator, Team Leader and, for the past four years, Project Coordinator.
“At SA Water I’ve been able to undertake both in-house and external post-trade training in water operations, infrastructure management and project management, which has given my career great variety,” Neil said.
As an experienced member of the Riverland Workshops team, Neil has particularly enjoyed working with apprentices, helping develop them into qualified tradespeople.
“It’s rewarding for me, the apprentice and the wider team,” he says. “There’s so much knowledge across our business and my colleagues are all so willing to help mentor people new to their role, but you still need to make the effort to learn.”
Neil’s mentoring efforts have paid off numerous times, with his Fitter and Turner Apprentices competing successfully in the State World Skills competition in Adelaide and nationally.
“This means we’re on the right track and giving our apprentices very good experiences to develop their skills,” Neil said.
Neil’s supervisor, Riverland Workshops Program Coordinator, Blake Hentschke says he is a fantastic asset to the team.
“Neil takes on any task or project and consistently delivers the goods,” Blake said.
“His willingness to share the knowledge and vast experience he has gained from working right across the state is appreciated by all of us, and shines through his apprentices.”
Neil’s career has seen him move from practical hands-on work with pumps, valves, and hydraulics to project management and team leadership throughout the Riverland.
A typical day for Neil can include liaising with internal work groups to ensure project outcomes, costing projects, conducting site visits or coordinating contractors.
“But the best part of my role is seeing jobs progress from scope to completion,” Neil said.
“It doesn’t feel like I’ve been here for 35 years, but it’s nice to be recognised for achieving this milestone.”
Neil’s hard work and loyalty will be acknowledged at special lunch in Berri on 23 May.
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