Recently Kemp twins, Jackson, and Harrison, with their fellow apprentice, Shellah Lin, thought they were coming to work for another normal day, only to be greeted by a few VIPs at our Maryborough Rail Facility.
Image: Peter Tompkins, CEO, with Kemp Twins, Jackson & Harrison and Shellah Lin
On 30 June, Peter Tompkins, Downer’s Group CEO; Mark Bailey, Minister for Transport and Main Roads and Director General for the Department of Transport and Main Roads Sally Standard were onsite to award Downer the contract for the Queensland Train Manufacturing Program (downergroup.com), the largest investment in new rollingstock in Queensland’s history.
Our apprentices took the time to share with them their experienced with Downer and how they help serve the people of Queensland by ensuring safe, comfortable and reliable public transport.
“It was great chatting with the CEO and the Minister,” said Shellah. “It’s certainly a different way to spend a work day!”
Shellah began her apprenticeship as a Fitter and Turner in January 2022 and loves the hands-on nature of her role.
“I love it,” she said about her role.
“It’s an amazing environment to work in, I admire the efforts of the Downer community to make it this way,” she continued.
“There’s an abundance of things I learn every day; there’s never a dull moment!
“I wanted to go into this industry. I wanted some sort of hands on trades type role and was looking for a while before my school in Hervey Bay sent me the details for Downer.”
The Kemp Twins hail from a background as "farm boys" in Gayndah, where they began their journey with Downer four years ago during Grade 10 work experience. With great attitudes and work ethic, they quickly impressed us, as much as we impressed them, and secured positions after high school graduation as an apprentice Fitter and Turner and an apprentice Boilermaker.
Talking with our Group CEO, Harrison explained how his work experience was so much more than he expected.
“Everyone outside was saying we’d be sweeping floors [during our work experience]”, said Harrison.
“But day 1 we were put to work. We were given spanners and sockets and asked ‘Hey, can you do this?’ and so we said ‘yeah’ and so then we were told to give it a go.
“People always kept an eye on us, but if we thought we could do it, we were given an opportunity to just go and do it.”
The day was a great opportunity for some of our apprentices to share with our Group CEO and customer all that they do to help keep the Queensland train network running.