The ability to think on her feet and respond appropriately is a skill Ventia's Saorla Finucane developed earlier in her career and has brought to her role as Environment Manager on our Transport Stewardship Maintenance Contract (SMC) in Sydney's south. 

Ventia, in a joint venture with Boral Construction Materials and Amey, provides a range of services under the SMC to the NSW Government. 

Saorla and her team work alongside project engineers and maintenance teams to assess sites from an environmental perspective, looking out for potential issues that might arise. 

Saorla says the two things she enjoys most about her role are being able to work across a variety of environments and the opportunity to explore and implement improved sustainability practices on the contract. 

"For me, sustainability goes beyond compliance and into innovation and best practice," she says.

We can make a big difference from simple improvements like changing lighting to LED, making fleet improvements through the use of hybrids and more efficient routes for fuel savings, as well as through bigger impact initiatives like increasing use of recycled materials in civil works.

Saorla's innovative approach led to her nomination for Ventia's Essential Leadership Program, where she has the opportunity to share her experiences with peers. 

"So far, I've really enjoyed hearing about what other leaders across Ventia do, and about some of the interesting contracts we have with clients from around Australia and New Zealand," she says. "It's given me a broader perspective of the work Ventia does, which I don't get to see in my day-to- day role."

Saorla says one of the key learnings she's taken away is the difference between managing a team and leading it, and how to develop the right leadership skills to get the best out of her team. 

Saorla has the support of her manager Scott Hocking as well as VBA program director, James Bennett, who believe her participation in this leadership development program is one of many factors that will see her go far at Ventia.

James says:

Leaders like Saorla don't come along every day, and when they do, it's important they have access to the right development opportunities to help them grow into the senior leaders they can be.

Read more about the SMC contract here.