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Pictured: a snapshot of what a day looks like working on the State Netball and Hockey Centre Redevelopment.

The State Netball and Hockey Centre Redevelopment is a game changer for the 6,000 people who will use it every week– 80 per cent of whom are girls and women.

The facility will see six new indoor netball courts, a purpose-built indoor hockey facility, a high-performance training centre, administration and amenity upgrades, and the Women in Sport Leadership Centre.

During construction, a focus of the project is to encourage women into a wide range of construction roles and to contribute to Victoria’s infrastructure build.

In September this year, we spoke to three of the women working on the redevelopment about a typical day in the life on the project.

Ainsley Middleton
Ainsley is Kane Construction’s Contract Manager for the redevelopment.

“Currently my day starts around seven am. After this long in the job, it’s a hard habit to break. Morning coffee helps set me up in my home office. Emails and responses go out and the day’s to-do list takes shape.”

On site, the structure on the new indoor hockey building and western entry is largely complete. The next focus is the commencement of rough-in and fit-out in these spaces.

“This is particularly important right now as we are undertaking some redesign works in the Level 1 and 2 areas at the request of our client. I have to finalise the design details with the team, as well as the costs coming from the subcontractors for these variations, to ensure we stay ahead of the works on site and avoid delays.

“I am part of the team that undertakes on-site safety inspections called Schedule K/3 compliances. These are to ensure all our workers on the project are using the best safe work practices for their task on this job. We also regularly undertake quality assurance inspections to complete our Inspection and Test records.”

Much of the work managed in Ainsley’s role is cyclical. Each month has a similar format for submitting progress claims to the client and assessing and processing subcontractor progress claims to track the costs to the project and to make sure subcontractors are paid.

While there is habit and planning in this role, I also have to be extremely agile and action items swiftly to avoid there being any delay impact on the project.

“This means the phone is rarely quiet and the emails don’t stop.”

The late afternoon sees Ainsley’s furry co-worker tire of supervising, so she takes her two-year old Scottish Terrier, Ian, for exercise time. “We go for a walk before dark which is great for the both of us to leave the house and stretch our legs. I usually return to final emails and a few notes for the following day.”

Helen Fearn-Wannan

Helen is an Accredited Access Consultant with Architecture and Access. She works with architects, construction companies, engineers and landscape designers to ensure that access for people with disabilities is included in the design of any new building, existing buildings undergoing works, carparks and external areas.

“The projects I work on each day can be very varied. I might start the day working on how a prison setting will allow safe and clearly defined movement and then finish the day designing disability access for a playground.

“I rarely get through a day without ending up in an accessible toilet somewhere and today it is at the State Netball and Hockey Centre. The planning stage ensures the room is large enough to meet the requirements of the Australian Standards. Detailed elevations are then reviewed – checking grabrails, basins, toilet paper holders are all installed at the right height. Such little details that can make a big difference to how easily a person with a disability can live their life.”  

Helen ends her workday with dinner with her family. Among other things, dinner conversation with Helen’s daughter includes kerb ramps, tactile indicators and drains. Her daughter will finish her Engineering/Commerce degree this year and has already begun her career in civil engineering. “Women in construction are awash in our house.”

Spencer Murdoch
Spencer is an Architectural Assistant with architecture and design company, dwp, working on the redevelopment.

“My typical working day starts with a coffee and jumping into a team meeting for a brief on what tasks I will be undertaking for the day. We also have a morning catch up with dwp Australia wide, which has been a great way to connect and hear about the different projects within our other offices.

“Following my morning meetings, I will jump into my tasks. I set up drawings, help to update design documentation based on mark ups, or I contact suppliers. One of the main programs that we use for documentation is Revit, which is a great program for creating 3D models.”

Like everyone else, Spencer has been working from home and takes lunch breaks to be outside when she can.

“After my break I will either finish any outstanding tasks or get in contact with my project leader to see if there are any tasks I can move onto. When I can, I sit in on design reviews, which has been a great way to learn from my colleagues.

“At the end of the day the Melbourne office will get to together for a quick catch up. To wrap up the week, on Fridays we sometimes have guest architects come and talk about their practice and passions. It is great to hear about other people’s experiences in the industry.”

To hear more from a plumbing apprentice, project manager and design manager, view the Women in Construction seminar from the State Netball and Hockey Centre Redevelopment below. 

Online Information Session: Building Opportunities for Women in Construction

Updated on 26 May 2023