Council’s construction workers build community connections in Golden Beach
  • Tuesday 26 June 2018
Raf and Doug

Construction worker Doug Savins is one of around 1800 council staff delivering outcomes for the Sunshine Coast community.

For the past 12 years, he has worked within council’s Civil Asset Management branch and takes pride in his role as a council representative.

Doug has been working in a crew of 11 workers to construct new roundabouts, drainage crossings, road embankments and street frontage in Golden Beach.

The crew have struck up a rapport with the clients at Centacare’s ‘Iluka’ disability respite and activity centre in Blaxland Street. Each day, the construction crew have received friendly greetings from the Centacare clients, who enjoy seeing the progress of the construction activities.

Doug struck up a particular rapport with Raff, one of Iluka’s regular clients.

Doug has encouraged Raff’s interest in construction, including showing him what’s involved in communicating with trucks and traffic controllers on site.

As a thank-you, Raff created hand-drawn pictures and greeting cards for the crew, which are proudly displayed in their site office and lunch room.

The woodworking program at Centacare is Raff’s favourite activity and he made a point of showing off his own woodworking creations to Doug and the council crews.

After learning about Raff’s love of woodworking, Doug took it upon himself to create a handmade wooden truck for Raff at home on the weekend.

“When I presented Raff with the truck, he had the biggest smile on his face. He was really happy and gave me a friendly hug to show his appreciation,” Doug said.

Raff has since made modifications to his hand-made rig, painting it black and white.

Jordan Wilson, service delivery manager for Centacare Sunshine Coast, said clients and staff at Iluka enjoyed developing a camaraderie with Doug and other construction workers while watching the roadworks.

“Raff was overjoyed when Doug presented him with the home-made truck and it is one of his prized possessions,” Jordan said.

“It has been pleasing to see Doug and his fellow council workers show respect, understanding and patience in their dealings with clients, staff and visitors at the Centacare centre.”

Jordan said the council crew members were certainly accommodating and cooperated with the centre to ensure work was undertaken with as little impact as possible.

“The site supervisor scheduled the concrete driveway construction works over the weekend when the centre was closed,” she said.

“The crew also organised traffic controllers to be present at busy periods including drop-off and pick-up times, which was very helpful for safe management of traffic and pedestrians.

“There was absolutely no interruption to the services at the centre throughout the entire construction of the road embankment and street frontage. We were delighted that our delivery vehicles, clients and visitors were able to continue with business as usual.”

Doug said council’s construction workers do their best to minimise impacts to the community but inevitably they receive occasional negative comments about the effects of their work.

He said it has been heartening to develop positive relationships with Raff and the clients and staff at Iluka.

“Some construction workers would see themselves simply as the ‘do-ers’ – the people out there in the field building roads and improving infrastructure, yet in reality we are so much more than that,” he said.

“We know that council workers serve an important function and we go to work each day to deliver high quality work for the community.

“Through the creation of one hand-made wooden truck, I was able to create a positive connection with Raff and others at Centacare.

“Getting to know the clients and staff at the Centacare’s Golden Beach centre has certainly been a highlight of working on this site.”