EMPLOYEE STORIES – ALAN BRADY
With 25 years’ service under his belt, Alan Brady notes he’s been with Active slightly longer than he’s been married to his wife, and he puts his lengthy career down to the company culture.
“I enjoy the challenge Active provides and it’s been just been a great company to work for,” he says. “I’ve been with them here on the Central Coast since day dot.”
These days Alan works from home as the Commercial Operations Manager for the region, making contact with potential clients, quoting jobs, organising work and overseeing a “good crew with vast experience in the tree industry”.
But in a career that’s spanned a quarter of a century he’s served a variety of roles, starting out as a climber and “jack of all trades” before progressing to EWP operator, chipper and supervisor.
The former Queenslander, who’s keen to point out his Maroons and Bronco allegiance, first came south to assist cleaning up earthquake damage around Newcastle in the 1990s. At the time he was a boiler make by trade who had a few years tree work under his belt, clocked up in the Noosa hinterland.
“I spent a couple of years cleaning up earthquake damage then Active began to advertise for their new Central Coast contract,” he explains.
Since joining Active, natural disasters have been a regular part of the job, with the storms of 2007, 2011 and 2015 all incurring large amounts of work in the area.
“Storms can generate up to 18 months of work. It’s massive!”
While intensive, they’re not the most memorable moments of his time on the job. That mantle goes to a task conducted during his role as a supervisor on the Energy Australia contract prior to 2000.
Alan explains tree trimming took the crew onto Kerry Packer’s private estate, overlooking a stunning, invitation-only golf course.
“No chainsaws were allowed. We had to cut the entire area using handsaws and secateurs under the supervision of his people.”
For an avid golfer like Alan, it was a memorable and somewhat unusual proposition.
“It’s always pretty scenic getting out and about in the great outdoors especially the scenery around Nelson Bay and the Hunter, but that golf course was spectacular.”
Sadly, he didn’t get to play Kerry Packer’s back nine, but Alan has enjoyed a few rounds with Active founder Mark Willcocks over the years, and he’s leant a lot during his time with the company.
“Probably the greatest thing I’ve learnt is to respect and trust your guys. If you do that, set goals, and reward achievements you’ll gain mutual respect.”
As to challenges, well after 25 years in the job, Alan says he’s found his comfort zone.
“I’ve found a groove where I like it. I’ve got three full time sub-contractors and it’s all about keeping the work up to them.”
And Alan will continue to keep that work up as he aims for the 30-year mark with Active.
“I’ve set a goal for another five years and then we’ll go from there,” he says.