Real Life Stories

We conducted extensive research, spending time talking to many school leavers, who told us when deciding on a career path they were keen to hear real stories from people of their own age working in the industry. These young Australians, from various disciplines within the construction industry, share their experiences on why they chose a career in construction, what education or training they have completed, what they love about the industry and their vision for the future.

Parents have the greatest influence on their children and can help to guide them towards an appropriate career. Share these videos with your son or daughter so that they can make informed decisions about their future.


Jade Nicholson, 27, Site Engineer

I started a degree in Construction Management at the University of Technology Sydney in 2007. During this period I was employed as a cadet. I went through the cadet program where I was exposed to the following elements of the construction industry: site engineering, quality management, WHS management, design management, contracts administration. I am currently employed at Multiplex.

“I’ve always had a fascination with building and creating something tangible. I saw the degree in construction management and felt it was a perfect fit. I really enjoy seeing a project come to life; the ability to work with a tight knit team towards an end goal and witness the realisation of that goal”


Colm Kennedy, 26, Environmental Graduate

Following school, I completed a Bachelor of Science, which led to a job in ecological restoration and natural resource management.

I worked on a large CPB Contractors (formerly Leighton Contractors) project as a subcontractor, which motivated me to undertake further studies in environmental engineering and pursue a career in construction environmental management. After countless interviews, I was offered a couple of graduate positions, and decided to go with LCPL.

“I love that no two days are the same, the changes and variation in my work and how we approach the environmental challenges that come with each program is what keeps me moving forward with my career.”

(* Please note that Leighton Contractors changed its name to CPB Contractors Pty Limited, effective from 4 January 2016.)


Adam Keelan, 26, Assistant Site Supervisor

From 2005 to 2006 I studied physical education teaching at university, then worked as an apprentice carpenter from 2006 – 2011. In 2009 I went back to study a construction management course online while I was working as a carpenter. In 2011 I commenced at Multiplex as a cadet whilst still studying at university.

“It is a rewarding career and you can see your own progress and the career path ahead. I’m learning a new skill each day, and every day on the job is different.”


Tamara Rose Currey, 19, Apprentice Carpenter

I left school after year 10 and started applying for heaps of jobs. I knew that carpentry was something I wanted to get into as I’d helped my family to build our house. I found a 1 day course at my local TAFE and really enjoyed it. I was then selected for a 6 week pre-apprenticeship course and went on to be offered my current position as an Apprentice Carpenter with John Holland.

“The best part about my job is definitely the people I work with. They are my second family and it’s been really great getting to know the people around me, building relationships and learning heaps from them.”


Morris Gerges, 24, Graduate Engineer

I finished the HSC in 2007 and enrolled at university to study a double degree – Bachelor of Civil Engineering / Bachelor of Commerce. During my final year, I went to a careers fair that the university was holding and met with several construction companies who were offering graduate programs. I applied for a graduate program with Fulton Hogan and was successful.

“I love that the construction industry is always challenging and engaging, every single day is different – learning something new, solving a different problem. I also love working in a team, we are always busy on site and it’s nice to have great people around who are there to get the job done but are always willing to have a laugh.”


Toby Mead, 26, Site Foreman

I left school after year 10 and knew I wanted to get a trade behind me – it’s solid training and I knew it would help me get ahead in my career, plus with my apprenticeship I could start earning money straight away. I did a carpentry apprenticeship and the skills I learnt helped me to start building my own house when I was 19. By the end of my apprenticeship I was managing small construction sites in Tasmania and I’m now a Site Foreman for John Holland.

“I love that there’s a lot of variety in the construction industry; you can help build hospitals, houses, universities and all sorts of infrastructure. Seeing the project reach each milestone, like completing a new level of the building, is so rewarding.”