EMPLOYEE STORIES – ALEX SEGROTT
The heady environment of a restaurant kitchen and tree trimming in the great outdoors are light years apart, but for Active Tess Services’ supervisor Alex Segrott it’s been a life change that’s rewarded him in a host of unexpected ways.
Since leaving the long hours, relentless weekends and four walls of hospitality, Alex has been steadily making his way up the Active ranks for the past seven years, and now holds the position of supervisor for the Ausgrid North contract in Cessnock and Port Stephens.
This former chef was looking for a life change, considering a career in the police force when an opportunity came up with Active.
“I saw the ad and applied,” he explains, simply. “It looked a little different to seeing the same four walls.”
And different it was. Alex started as a labourer, progressed to EWP operator, then climber, and was asked to become a supervisor over three years ago. It’s taken him to Sydney, the Upper Hunter and now Port Stephens and Cessnock where he oversees two contracts and a crew of up to 35 people in a job he describes as “very rewarding”.
“You get to go places that not many see, and the training and opportunities are a definite highlight.”
Those remote places include fond memories of the Upper Hunter where spectacular gorges, swimming holes and scenery were the backdrop for camping trips courtesy of work. He and his team would head bush for days enjoying a healthy mix of hard graft, camaraderie and a host of good fun.
But it’s just one of a number of great experiences he’s enjoyed while focused on the satisfaction of a job well done.
“On a crew you can be working on the maintenance side of things and when you start it’s pretty hairy, then by the end you could fly a plane through the site.
“Then there’s also the challenge of going into problem areas, getting the contract and turning a situation around to set a benchmark where the team exceeds expectations.”
Other challenges include tight deadlines like fire season preparation, and maintaining safety in a job renowned for its danger.
The increased commitment to safety has been a major change in his time, along with the shift from paper maps to computers and the general improvement in equipment.
“You look back now and think how did we use that?”
But it’s part of a host of lessons Alex has learned and enjoyed on the job.
“When I started I didn’t know much beside chefing. Now I’ve got things like a Diploma in Workplace Health and Safety, and a truck licence. That’s a massive change from being a chef.”
And he’ll willingly embrace more changes and skills in the future.
“I’m really happy and won’t be going anywhere. Ideally I’d love to move up in the company, enjoying whatever comes with the territory.”