EMPLOYEE STORIES – MARK SPITERI
For Sydneysider Mark Spiteri, his 11-year career with Active Tree Services has taken him to heights and sights he never dreamed of. Each day brings something new, whether it’s helping out in fire-ravaged regions, aerial tree work, or trekking into remote locations alongside goannas and kangaroos.
It was more than he hoped for when he got out from under the bonnet as a motor mechanic in 2005 and followed a friend into a career with Active in the great outdoors.
Mark started out as a ground worker in the Penrith region, trimming undergrowth from beneath power lines. He then moved onto the cherry picker, doing aerial work. He soon became a leading hand, and six years ago progressed to supervisor of the Endeavour Energy contract at Windsor, where he managed a crew of 12 employees and eight sub-contractors.
These days you’ll find him at Bowenfels where he supervises crews, deals with clients, and audits work. He’s also spent time in the Hills District and Narellan along the way.
“I really enjoy the places it takes you; the scenery, the environment and working with different people,” he says.
Those places have included a memorable stint at Yellow Rock near Springwood following the bushfires of 2013. The fire had spread over 3500 acres, destroyed 193 houses and damaged 200 more.
“We were working in scenery with so much devastation,” he notes, “and dealing with people who’d just lost their houses”.
Like most Active workers, he’s seen trees take down power lines, trees through houses, and trees on cars as well. He reflects that being able to assist in an emergency is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.
“There are plenty of residents who praise and thank you,” he says. However, occasionally he has to deliver news that people don’t want to hear.
“There are times when someone’s grandfather planted a tree 80 years ago and you have to inform them you need to cut it in half.”