At Downer, we bring together teams of great people to deliver excellent work for our customers. We are committed to the safety, diversity and growth of our staff, and strive to foster an environment of collaboration and shared success.
Although our services are diverse, Downer is driven by a united Purpose and Promise. Our Purpose is to create and sustain the modern environment by building trusted relationships with our public and private sector customers. Our Promise is to work closely with our customers to help them succeed, using world leading insights and solutions.
Supporting our Purpose and Promise are four pillars –industry-leading safety, outstanding delivery, great relationships and thought leadership. These pillars empower our approach and achievements, day in and day out.
Zero Harm is embedded in Downer's culture and is fundamental to the company's future success.
We build trust by delivering on our promises withexcellence while focussing on safety, value for money and efficiency.
We collaborate to build and sustain enduring relationships based on trust and integrity.
We remain at the forefront of our industry by employing the best people and having thecourage to challenge the status quo.
Craig West, General Manager, Northern - Infrastructure Services (New Zealand), was recently honoured as 2015 Young Executive of the Year in the Deloitte Top 200.
The judges’ comments included: “We were incredibly impressed with Craig’s ‘mana’, personal ethos, integrity, drive and level of achievement…and this resulted in him being named the Young Executive of the Year.”
The judges said Craig epitomised the Downer philosophy of being “humbly smart”, preferring to compliment his team’s work over his own abilities. They were impressed with the way he worked and connected with others and his evident commitment to his people.
Growing up, Craig’s passion was in rugby, playing for the Chiefs and New Zealand Maori All Blacks rugby teams. He was 28 when he was injured and decided to have a go at business as, prior to playing rugby, he had been involved in civil engineering.
Craig got a job as a cadet at Downer and has been with the company for 15 years, moving through the ranks from Cadet to General Manager.
Leadership is about people skills, he says.
“Being able to articulate the vision and purpose and try to create and engender that passion and motivation in people and inspire people – those are a couple of the key things for me in terms of communication, but also emotional intelligence and being quite self-aware in terms of how you encourage others to succeed and take those next steps.”
Building careers at Downer
Rachel started work with Downer three years ago at Christmas Creek Mine site as an Excavator Operator. She now operates one of the biggest excavators in the world, the Liebherr R 9800.
"Downer has supported me in my career journey, even when I haven't seen the potential in myself. I have always had a great support network of people, from my fellow crewmates to management.
I think in any industry that is male dominated it will be challenging for women to keep pushing through the barriers, if not for our own personal achievement then for the women who follow us in years to come. Personally, I have used these barriers in my career to learn and grow from them. There have been times when I've wanted to fly home and get a normal 9 to 5 job, but I love a challenge and I love my job. It’s a job that changes every day. We are out in this beautiful country away from the busy cities, working with people from all walks of life. It’s hard sometimes, but the rewards are there if you are willing to work for them.
I’ve had many career highlights but it was amazing to be selected as a finalist in the Outstanding Technician/Operator/Tradeswoman category in the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia 2013 Women in Resources Awards. And more importantly, being recognised internally at the Downer Mining Annual Values and Diversity Awards, as the Female Operator/Tradesperson winner."
Our thought leaders - The future of finance in mining
Sara Prendergast, Financial Controller in our Infrastructure Services business (and formally a member of Downer’s Mining business) has written an excellent thought leadership article, which was recently published in The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (The AusIMM) Bulletin.
The economic slowdown has moved the focus of operational strategy from ‘getting tonnes out the gate’ to extracting high-margin ore.
In times of high commodity prices, a focus on production can deliver the desired fiscal results and largely did for Australian operations.
During this period, operational mining professionals have not been required to be sensitive to elements of cost versus financial return, which has created a culture of spending and a generation of mining professionals that are unfamiliar with the management of finance deliverables for which they are responsible. Basic economics teaches us that for every dollar spent in business, a return of more than one dollar must be realised to substantiate the expenditure as a rational decision. This begs the question of whether or not operational professionals have the knowledge to consider such a value proposition when approving expenditure in their area of responsibility.
In the present climate, are those tasked with realising cost savings locking in value or merely cost cutting without considering the larger value proposition?
In March 2014, Downer was the first mining company to partner with Australia's leading education-oriented charity, The Smith Family, to run a Work Inspiration program. This gave twenty high school students a taste of work in the mining industry and the opportunity to discuss career pathways.
Building on the success of the 2014 session, Downer ran a second program in 2015 (cohort pictured above). As well as providing a number of benefits to the students, the employees involved felt a real sense of community and pride in participating.
Now hiring Line Mechanics
We are looking for experienced Line Mechanics and Line Mechanic Team Leaders.
This is a great opportunity work outdoors in the rugged mountain ranges, stunning lakes and scenic forests the Lower South Island.
Long-time Downer employee honoured by local Rugby Club
Four decades since he first set foot on the pitch as a member of the Gladstone team, the local Rugby Club have shown their appreciation to one of their most dedicated members by renaming their park in his honour – The Steve Thompson Domain.
We have been lucky to have Steve as part of our team for almost the same amount of time, he first joined Downer in 1973. Evenings and weekends have always been spent helping make the Gladstone Rugby Club the vibrant community it is today.
Since first playing in the ‘70s, he has also fundraised, looked after the grounds, and coached generations through the club: "There were people in the club when I first started, who are still there - and now their sons play, and their grandsons play. I've coached friend’s sons and their grandsons.
I do what I do because of the people, and the pride I have in our grounds. I really enjoy coaching, every year is different, every year you get different players to work with - it's all about learning and growing with people. I do everything I do for the love of it.”
It was always a goal of Steve's to get lights installed so the teams could train and play matches when the days grow shorted each winter; the lights are now in place, as well as specialised irrigation to keep the pitch perfect in the summer.
Gladstone Rugby Club first put their plan into action in 2016, petitioning Carterton District Council for the name change, but keeping the plan under wraps from the man himself.
Invited to the annual Past Players day, Steve arrived at what he believed was a celebration to honour some long-time members.
"Then my Mother turned up, my brothers and sisters turned up, my grandkids turned up - and I thought, something funny is happening here!
My family didn't actually know what was going on, they had just been told to dress up and come down because it was something special. They just turned up and found out the same as I did.
I'm not really one for being in the limelight so I didn't know what to say, I was pretty taken aback and lost for words. It was a great honour – it felt like being knighted!"
Recently, at the 2017 Past Player’s day, the name change was made official.