David: Operations Manager

David pursed his passion for caring about people and our communities

From living on Thursday Island where he ran several businesses including a signwriting company and printing the local weekly newspaper to spending a decade in mining development and exploration…David has achieved a lot in his career.

Now as Pacific National’s Bowen operations manager he is leading a team of 80, keeping the team safe and ensuring they always have the information and resources they need to do their job.

The team in Bowen operates trains 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the Queensland rail network, interfacing with teams from Gracemere, Coppabella and Sarina. The team operates the vital link in the nation’s coal supply chain, facilitates the delivery of export coking coal for steel making, as well as thermal coal for the seaborne export market and domestic market for power generation.

Photo of David

In his early days, with no rail experience David wasn’t sure he had made the right decision. He needed to quickly learn on his feet and appreciated how learning and being resilient has helped him throughout his career. “I started wondering what the inside of a locomotive looked like and logistics as a whole. The people and the opportunity is what keeps me here and the diversity is what keeps it interesting.”

It’s really important to understand our customers and know what is happening on the network. When we are informed and aware, we can plan better and importantly prioritise safety.” He loves the variety of his work; no two days are ever the same. “Customers are an important part of the whole package of what we do at Pacific National and given my previous exposure to mining and seeing some of the issues associated with the supply chain not moving as planned, it reinforces the importance of good communication with our customers. Effective early communication makes things work a lot easier even during those adverse events.”

Customers are an important part of the whole package of what we do at Pacific National and given my previous exposure to mining and seeing some of the issues associated with the supply chain not moving as planned, it reinforces the importance of good communication with our customers. Effective early communication makes things work a lot easier even during those adverse events.

David gains great satisfaction from seeing people progress in their careers and grow as people. “One thing I am really passionate about is supporting our people and helping them flourish. It is incredibly rewarding to see someone you recruit early in their career, taking on additional responsibilities and advance in their role.” David’s passion for assisting others to achieve their goals developed early in his life through involvement in community organisations such as the SES and Surf Life Saving. “The importance of effective leadership is vital, and I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by strong leaders who gave me the opportunity to progress and develop into leadership roles.”

When David reflects on what he can do to embrace Pacific National’s values, he is determined to make things simple. He knows from his seven years in rail and the knowledge he’s gained through the relationships he has developed with people, that this is an aspect to working life where he can make an impact.