Employee Stories

Employee Stories – Dillon Ehlert


Northern Territory supervisor Dillon Ehlert is one of Active Tree Services’ rising talents. In five years with the company he’s gone from safety observer in South Australia to managing the NT’s power line contracts in a role that extends from Darwin to Katherine, Ti Tree, and Alice Springs.

It’s a far cry from a working life that started as an apprentice sheet metal fabricator and then wool presser in the South Australian shearing industry. But Dillon notes with Active he’s found a job he loves, worked hard and “stuck at it”.

Dillon first joined Active in Mt Gambier at 19, after being inspired by a friend.

“My mate started working for Active when they took over the South Australia contract. So I grabbed the boss’ number and rang until he hired me.”

That persistence paid off. Dillon progressed to chipper and EWP operator, exploring locations like Kangaroo Island, the South Australian countryside, and a stint in Sydney along the way.

Two years later the lure and adventure of Australia’s north proved too great.

“I was having a beer with my mate, and said do you want to go to Darwin?”

The pair made a pact they would at the soonest available chance.

Dillon quickly secured a transfer to Active NT, threw a swag and deckchair in the back of his ute and headed north to work as an EWP operator. And he hasn’t looked back. He was soon promoted to Urban Supervisor before a recent shift to the position of Northern Territory Power lines supervisor.

With its extreme humidity, high rainfall, annual cyclone season and remote terrain, the territory presents unique challenges unlike anywhere else.

Northern Territory supervisor Dillon Ehlert

“The fellas I work with are great…every single person. And the places you get to go are incredible in areas that no-one else sees.”

Dillon’s role can involve travelling up to a 1000km a day as he oversees crews, meets with clients and negotiates access to the required power lines. It’s a position that demands an innate ability to communicate and liaise with people across a variety of areas.

“The hardest thing I’ve had to do is learn to manage people, and I learn more and more each day,” he reflects.

But it’s a challenge he clearly enjoys in a team he genuinely respects.

“The fellas I work with are great…every single person. And the places you get to go are incredible in areas that no-one else sees.”

The Northern Territory experience has also been personally rewarding. Dillon explains he met his partner there and their first baby arrived in November.

“It was a move that definitely paid off,” he says. It also affords him the occasional opportunity to indulge in his passion of fishing, but never quite as often as the self-confessed “fishing addict” would like.

As for the future, Dillon puts it simply; he’ll take on whatever new opportunities with Active that may arise.

“Active’s just a good company to work for and if you’re willing to work hard and be a good employee, they look after you.”