Employee Stories

Employee Stories – The Fishers


At Ringwood in Victoria, married couple Luke and Katrina Fisher share a unique perspective of tree management. Working in very different fields of Active Tree Services, they bring their own expertise to the Council contracts they oversee.
And while sharing an employer means dinner table conversation sometimes turns to work, they note it’s enabled them to learn more about each other and improve a few work processes along the way.
The Fisher’s connection with Active began in 2010 when the couple made the move from their home town in the NSW Hunter Valley. Luke joined the company first, starting out as a chipper operator. He soon became a cutter, progressed to team leader and in 2013 became a supervisor overseeing the Banyule and Manningham contracts.
When a position in administration at Ringwood became available earlier this year, he mentioned it to Katrina, and with her background in insurance and admin, she successfully applied for the role.
“A lot of people asked me if it was a good idea us working together,” Katrina laughs. “But I’m in the office 8am to 5pm while Luke only pops in a few times a week and occasionally I get to grab him for a quick lunch together.”
The couple first met during a chance encounter at a party about 14 years ago when they were in their late teens. They’d lived in towns only 15 minute’s apart, but until then hadn’t crossed paths. Four years later they married and were happily settled in the Hunter before deciding Victoria presented a good opportunity for change.
Luke’s current role varies from overseeing the pruning of street trees, to formative pruning of young trees and clearing around power lines. It also involves emergency response work and the challenge of storm events.
He came into it with a background at Telstra and the Army Reserve on the recommendation of a friend.

The Fishers

“I grew to love it quickly. There’s a great focus on teams and camaraderie. I enjoy organising the work and get to see it through from one end to the other.”

He relishes the day-to-day activity of keeping things rolling and maintaining the morale of his crew while meeting the client’s expectations.
“You also have to ensure residents understand what we’re doing and keep them as happy as possible,” he says.
In the office, Katrina is among a team of administrators taking care of the paperwork, logging information and handling reception. The end of the month finances are her busiest and most challenging times, especially in busy periods after storm events.
Both note their environments are “great places to work” and the people “great to work with”.
Working for the same company allows them to understand when each other’s job gets busy and why they might be feeling any pressure.
“That provides the advantage that we can understand each other’s role and help improve the processes,” Luke says. “But, yes, it’s hard not to discuss work while we’re having dinner.”
“In lots of ways it’s easier to work together,” Katrina adds. “We understand each other’s jobs and we understand the workload.”