In conversation with

Josh Van Der Heiden

As Executive General Manager Resources, Industrial and Environmental Services, Josh Van Der Heiden works with some of Australia’s largest businesses.

Here Josh shares some thoughts on Ventia’s service offering, the incredible talent across our business and the opportunity to support our clients through the energy transition.

You’ve been with Ventia for a long time, take us through that journey?  

I started in the Environmental Services business in 1998. My first job was on the Mortlake Gas Works project which was a remediation of the AGL gas works to make it suitable for residential development. From there I worked on a range of interesting projects including the future site for the Sydney Olympics, the Hunter River Remediation Project and the Botany Car Park Waste Encapsulation Project which were all complex and interesting jobs. 

In 2013 I had an opportunity to work as a bid lead in the lead up to the National Broadband Network (NBN) contract extension and this led to a move into the telecommunications industry which included being Ventia’s General Manager for NSW on the NBN project and then ultimately moving into the Executive General Manager role for Fixed Networks. In July 2023 I moved across to take on the EGM role in our Resources, Industrial and Environmental Services business. 

What was it that attracted you to the resources and industrial business? 

It’s an opportunity to grow and do something different, it’s important to always challenge yourself and keep moving forward. It’s also exciting to work with some really great clients, including some of Australia’s biggest businesses and I’m looking forward to building relationships with them and growing our business. 

What have you learned in your short time in the role?

We’ve got a much broader client base than the previous business I was working in, with many more contracts that are all different and geographically cover all parts of Australia. We have people working on some really significant facilities that are really impressive and amazing to see up close. 

What has most impressed you?

The capability and passion of our people. They’re incredibly skilled and knowledgeable and also passionate about what they do. I’ve been really impressed with everyone that I’ve met and how they bring that passion to their job. The can-do attitude resonates with me and it does with our clients too.

What do you think are the key challenges across Ventia’s resources and industrial business?

Safety is always something that we need to be focused on and prioritise. 

We do a lot of high-risk work so it’s important to make sure that we follow the processes Ventia has in place to manage risk and keep our people safe.

What is it that Ventia offers to clients that sets us apart?

Service excellence, which comes from our incredibly talented and skilled people. We have some amazing expertise out there, managing really complex work and doing it safely and where they are always looking for better ways of doing things to add value for our clients. We have an end-to-end offering from our Ventia Engineering Services business, our capital works and remediation expertise, and our operational and maintenance capabilities which allows us to provide a turnkey offering to our clients.

We also have the broader Ventia capabilities which are substantial, and we are demonstrating to our clients that we can leverage multiple skillsets and capabilities across the Ventia group to achieve client objectives. 

What excites you about the future for Ventia’s resources, industrial and environmental business?

The opportunity to help our clients to transition into a green energy future. This is something that we not only want to be a part of, but we have the capability to really help.  

We have deep knowledge across a wide range of assets including high voltage energy networks, transmission substations, industrial facilities, natural gas developments as well as across projects like carbon capture use and storage, mine site closures and remediation and environmental rehabilitation projects so as an organisation we really understand what is happening in the field.

The energy transition is well underway and it’s a challenge for everyone but it’s also a great opportunity so I’m excited to get to work with the team and our clients on that.