My alarm goes off, I already have most things laid out ready to go to make it easier to get up and get ready for the gym.
Each morning I do a gym class with my husband. It’s tough but a great way to get the blood flowing and start the day.
After freshening up I make my way to work. I start early to make the most of the day and avoid any traffic. I have a desk with glass windows from the floor to ceiling and overlooking Canberra, a great view to be inspired by.
After setting up I make sure I’ve caught up on all my emails and am ready for the day. As a Senior Project Manager at the Suburban Land Agency, I am project managing the delivery of new estates in Canberra.
It is my responsibility to ensure all aspects of estate development are running on schedule and within budget as well as providing design input. My emails are always a mixed bag, this morning I am responding to a few enquiries from the public, usually, people that have bought in Suburban Land Agency estates or potential purchasers and have technical or project-specific enquires.
My first meeting on a Monday is usually a team catch up. I am supported by the Project Director to ensure any complex issues that arise can be escalated if required. We also meet with other colleagues that provide technical input into our projects including construction, engineering, sales and marketing. Working within the Suburban Land Agency I have expanded not only my urban planning and project management skills but also skills in other related areas.
We are off on a site visit to one of our new estates that is currently under construction. I put on my steel cap boots (purple on the inside of course), hi vis vest and hard hat. I am going with the construction manager to see the current progress. After signing in at the site office, the construction contractor manager takes us around the site to see that the roads of our new estate have been laid and light poles are in.
The best part of my job is seeing the planning and design come to life. I love that I have played a key role in an estate which will become a part of the Canberra community and be people’s future homes. The construction manager manages the details of the construction process however as the overall estate project manager, I am required to ensure I have a handle on the program and ensure everything is running to schedule to meet the ACT Government Land Release Targets.
Lunchtime! We work in an area with lots of great lunch options. I always make an effort to get out of the office to get some fresh air. I also use this time to give my sister a call, even though she lives in Sydney I like to touch base once a week to catch up.
After lunch my boss and I have a quick catch up with the sales and marketing team as we have a sales event coming up, releasing our first blocks in our new estate. The sales and marketing team present their sales strategy and associated branding. I provide my thoughts on the proposed strategy and support the sales and marketing team by providing technical design inputs. It is so interesting being involved in all aspects of release of land from the early planning and design work, right up to how we market and sell the land. I have a real passion for Canberra and I try to ensure that the design principles and essence of the suburbs we create are communicated through the marketing and branding of suburbs. I love seeing what the creative teams come up with.
Next, my boss and I hop on a tram into the Canberra CBD for a meeting with our planning and engineering design consultants. We have regular fortnightly progress meetings to ensure the project is running on schedule and to resolve any issues or questions upfront and in person. In my role, I have expanded my knowledge of managing consultants and contracts to ensure I get the results required. The regular catch-ups ensure we are always in sync as we usually have tight time frames and have several items running at once. I also provide input on design and planning matters. I’m so grateful that I work in a field where I get to use the skills I acquired through my degree. After the meeting, we hop back on the tram to the office. The addition of the tram in Canberra has been great, it’s an easy way to move around to meetings.
Back in the office I get back to emails and catch up on admin including invoices that are coming in. As it’s the end of the month I make sure all invoices are paid and our consultants are sticking to the budget. I follow up on a request for input into a ministerial enquiry so I assist my boss in providing the technical input required for the ministerial response. It has been interesting to see how accessible the ACT Ministers and Government are to local Canberra residents.
I make a few phone calls to other areas of Government to coordinate a time to meet to discuss a recent design issue that has popped up. I find it easiest to discuss issues in person and the open communication between directorates of Government ensures any issues are addressed early on in the project. The hardest part is finding a time free in everyone’s diaries.
Home time! I hop into my car and make my way home. I pop in to get some groceries on the way home while I think of what to make for dinner.
I usually do a quick dinner on weeknights and always try to get those vegetables in. I eat an early dinner with my husband, catching up on the day, then prepare what I can for the next day.
Tonight I have a local resident meeting at one of our more established estates as part of our Community Development program, Mingle. I attend meetings or events regularly to provide support and technical input from the project team to the residents. I love being involved in the community building aspect of estate development. It’s great seeing all the residents who love their new estate and are building homes in the estate we have built. Through the Mingle program, we encourage the residents to get to know each other and take ownership of their new estate. Tonight is just a casual catch up, we discuss hot topics and future events that the residents can get involved in.
Back home and I’m ready for bed by this time. Being an early riser I love to get to bed early. I take half an hour to unwind, usually watch Friends and grab a cup of tea before bed.