Len Tumai

Len Tumai
June 2, 2020 Active

TEAM MEMBER STORIES – LEN TUMAI

After eight years with Active Tree Services, Goulburn-based supervisor Len Tumai says it’s the thrill of the challenge that still sees him relishing his job each day.

The former New Zealander has spent 20 years in the industry, working on everything from council contracts to power lines. In between he’s been a chipper, a climber, a bucket operator, and even an operations supervisor at his previous company in New Zealand.

“I love the outdoors and the constant challenge of the work we do,” he reflects. He also explains arboriculture is a career that found him by “pure chance” after he took a chainsaw course two decades ago.

“There was a big tree company looking for people with chainsaw experience and it just went from there,” he says.

Len got his tickets, trained on the job, undertook a TAFE course and earned his qualifications as an arborist and horticulturist. After 10 years working in New Zealand pure chance also brought Len to Australia.

“My wife had always wanted to move to Australia and without me knowing she posted my resume online.

“One day this long number appeared on my phone and it was Active asking if I’d like to work in Australia.”

Len started out in the Young and Cowra area of New South Wales before moving to the Wollongong contract.

More recently he’s been based in Goulburn on an Essential Energy contract that encompasses Yass, Wombeyan Caves, and Tarago.

It’s a stunning landscape of large mature trees which Len notes offers consistent variety.

“That’s the best part of this job,” he says. “When you’re dealing with big bush areas, the bigger trees provide a real challenge, and I’m lucky enough to still get out in the field on the tools to put some of my experience to good use.”

“I’d like to stay at Active doing what I’m doing. Being back in the field has suited me just fine. I’m stimulated, I’m challenged, I work with my hands in the great outdoors and no day is ever the same.”

Just recently that love of a challenge saw Len and his team removing a large gum tree in the Goulburn area rail corridor.

“It had the potential to damage trees and the potential to damage the power lines over the tracks,” Len explains.

With trains stopped and the team up against a tight deadline, the job was completed successfully and on schedule.

“Jobs like that take a bit of planning and preparation while there are additional rules to adhere to, so that felt like a bit of a win,” Len says.

“That’s just one of a multitude of challenging jobs that keep me coming back.”

Meanwhile, Len notes the people and the company culture have also been a consistent highlight of his time with Active.

“Active’s treated me well,” he reflects. “They’ve looked after me, they really have. Over the eight years I’ve worked here under different bosses, Active as a company has been awesome, and the places I’ve worked in amazing.”

As for the opportunities ahead, Len says he’s in no hurry to give up the great outdoors.

“I’d like to stay at Active doing what I’m doing. Being back in the field has suited me just fine. I’m stimulated, I’m challenged, I work with my hands in the great outdoors and no day is ever the same.”