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Interest in water leads to Council traineeship

Water Treatment trainee
Council’s first female water treatment trainee Tia Golding receives valuable mentoring from Senior Treatment Operator Kerry Engstrom at the Branyan Water Treatment Plant.

A family connection with the water industry is what influenced Water Treatment trainee Tia Golding to take up her new career path.

Appointed to the role in October, Tia said time spent with her grandfather sailing around Magnetic Island was the defining moment that led to her becoming Council’s first female water treatment trainee.

“Grandad is the Queensland Manager for Water Treatment Australia and on that trip, he was talking to me about his work,” she said.

“I remember thinking at the time I’d like to do that type of work and when this traineeship came up, I applied for it.

“The work is a bit of science in practice and when I was at school, I was interested in the water aspects of science.

“I am interested in the whole treatment process of water and sewage and what I’m learning is what I expected and a whole lot more.

“I didn’t know so much goes into our water to make it drinkable.

“Also, I thought I’d be situated only at one location, but I’ve been working at various Council water treatment plants and am gaining lots of experience.”

Working in an all-male environment doesn’t faze Tia who said it’s not too different to what she’s used to.

“I hung out with the boys at school, my friends are boys and also I have three brothers,” she said.

Passing on their valuable knowledge are the senior treatment operators who, in total, are offering Tia more than 70 years of experience.

Senior Treatment Operator Kerry Engstrom is one of Tia’s mentors and is pleased to share his skills and experience

“It makes me feel good helping younger people because I am not getting any younger and it’s good to pass on my knowledge,” Kerry said.

“Tia is doing very well and the best advice I can give her is to stick at it.

“A water treatment qualification can take you places, not just at Council but elsewhere.

“Cruise ships have their own water treatment plants and there are excellent opportunities overseas such as in Abu Dhabi and in Egypt where they have the biggest wastewater treatment facility in the world.

“The opportunities are endless.”

Tia’s career goals are to qualify as a water treatment operator and then see what her future brings.

“It would be really cool to work with Grandad before he retires,” she said.

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