Never say no to an opportunity to grow your skills

23 May 2019

For Environmental Advisor, Shane Lubbe, taking on an acting management position was the perfect opportunity for him to get outside his comfort zone and grow his skills.

Normally based at Stanwell Power Station, 22 kilometres west of Rockhampton, he jumped on the opportunity to head to our North Queensland sites.

After a four month secondment as an Environmental Advisor at our hydro power stations, he recently had the opportunity to step-up as Acting Site Manager at Barron Gorge Hydro Power Station, located 20 kilometres north-west of Cairns.

After graduating Civil Engineering (minor in Environmental Engineering), Shane started as an Environmental Graduate at Stanwell Power Station in 2016. Since then, he has worked across a range of our sites, including Mackay Gas Turbine, Swanbank E, Tarong and Mica Creek power stations.  

“Acting in the management role at Barron Gorge was a really great development opportunity and allowed me to further build my leadership skills, technical knowledge and take on some interesting and challenging projects I normally wouldn’t be involved with,” Shane said.  

Shane said he learnt plenty from the Barron Gorge team, who were always willing to give him a hand and go through any processes or projects in detail that he had to be across.

With Barron Gorge being a smaller site, this required Shane to understand all of the financial aspects covering budgeting and reforecasting, as well as capital project endorsements.

“I quickly realised you really need to be involved and work closely with the team to properly understand how much and when money would be spent, as well as keeping a finger on the pulse to ensure the site keeps as close to the budget as possible,” he said.

Shane learnt to understand all of the site’s major capital projects, their stages and proposed completion dates and if the costs will be less, more or equal to what was budgeted so he could endorse the projects.

“Working closely with the Market and Trading team also gave me a broader insight into how different parts of our business work, and the importance of the collaboration that takes place across the teams at Stanwell,” he said.   

Shane said managing a team of 10 people was also a new experience for him.

“While it was challenging taking on more responsibility, I really enjoyed working alongside the team and helping them out where I could, through GROW conversations or more informal catch-ups. The communication and people skills I picked up are definitely skills I’ll use going forward in my current role too.” 

“It’s not too often you get to work in a National Park full of rugged rainforest-clad mountains, waterfalls and a variety of wildlife. It really is a spectacular place and only 20 minutes out of Cairns, so I still had plenty of time to head out for a run when I got home from work which was great,” he said.

View from Barron Gorge Hydro Power Station

Shane says that aside from the pretty cool location, the team at Barron Gorge were really welcoming and allowed him to get the most out of the opportunity that he could.

“To anyone thinking about taking up a secondment or acting position, say yes! Never say no to an opportunity that will help you learn and grow,” Shane said.

His top tips for someone taking on a role or responsibilities outside their norm is to be adaptable. Not everything goes to plan and that’s not always a bad thing. Also, a little bit of initiative and thinking on your feet can go a long way.

Find out more about a role with Stanwell here.