‘Rocking it’ at EnviroScience

Posted on BY wme_admin

A love of rocks and soils and a desire to work regionally have seen EnviroScience Solution’s Michael Williamson climb the ranks to head up Operations for the environmental consultancy across the Central West region.

Growing up in Warren and heading to Armidale for university, Michael says he was keen to remain local, and praises the work variety and opportunities he has been afforded at EnviroScience as superior to those of a city-based company.

“There is a lot of regional growth at the moment,” he says. “And it’s great to see the work and money generated from this regional growth remain local. It just goes to show that in regional communities there are companies highly experienced and capable of undertaking specialised work, and it isn’t necessary to bring in the big companies from the city.”

As a multi-disciplinary business, Michael says it is not only their regional footprint that sets them apart, but their ability to take on the job from start to finish.

This sees EnviroScience work across multiple fields. From project management, HAZMAT, and Occupational Hygiene to preliminary and detailed site investigations, remediation action plans, remediation supervision, and site validation.

“When you have the one consultancy, who can cover it from start to finish, they know all the aspects of the job and the potential issues you might come up against. It’s just easier if it is coming from one place.”

Not only does this approach create cost efficiencies for their clients, but it also ensures a greater job variety for the consultants with their “boots on the ground”.

“Larger departments, consultancies or organisations, they break you up into areas,” he says. “So if you are a Licenced Asbestos Assessor, you are only working in asbestos, or if you specialise in contaminated sites, you are only working in that area; the same is true if you work in Occupational Hygiene. So you don’t really branch out.

“The fact that all our consultants coming through are able to cross over into so many different fields, is definitely a strength for EnviroScience.”

Michael says this multi-faceted approach saw him start with the business “doing a few investigations on Naturally Occurring Asbestos and diving deep into the HAZMAT world”, before getting his Licenced Asbestos certification, and branching out into contaminated sites.

“Once I was set on the contaminated sites path, it allowed me to get more into soils, and opened a lot of doors I didn’t realise were a possibility. The funny thing is, until you start digging your teeth into these areas, you don’t realise how similar Occupational Hygiene, contaminated sites, and health and safety really are.”

It is this variety and flexibility, that Michael says is the “most enjoyable part of what I do.

“Every day is different. You don’t have a constant one thing you are focused on, and there is always something new to learn.”

Now heading up Operations out of head office in Dubbo, Michael says he is “juggling most of the staff around and bringing extra staff in when you need to, get jobs done”.

Over his seven years with EnviroScience, Michael says the company has “kicked up a notch, going from 25 people to 50, in the last two and a half years”.

Despite this growth, Michael says the company is still “a bit like family.

“We act like a big family and help each other out. At the end of the day, you want to see everyone around you succeed, and if someone is not doing well, there is probably a reason for it, whether they are overloaded or doing something they are not too sure of, so it is just helping out when you can, the little things.

“It is all about trying to keep that positive, happy environment at work and keep pumping things out as well as we are.”

For others keen to join the field, Michael says it is attitude that will help get them through the door.

“You just have to have a crack and be willing to put yourself out there and actually have a go. If you do that, you will go a long way in the industry.”

Emphasising the “piece of paper,” in terms of tertiary qualifications, as also important, Michael says there are multiple universities such as the University of New England, Newcastle University, and the science faculty at Charles Sturt University, offering courses that are highly sought after in the environmental sector.

Citing “anything to do with science,” such as environmental science, biology, ecology, chemistry, and geoscience, as a good basis, Michael says he completed Geoscience majoring in Mineral Deposits at the University of New England.  

Also highlighting the role of learning on the job, Michael says EnviroScience’s more experienced team members act as mentors to those starting out.

“As a graduate, I was taken under the wing by some great principal consultants,” he says.

“When I came in, I had three senior mentors and was a shadow to one of the senior guys, in particular. To this day, we still get on like best mates and can have a joke around, but when it’s time to work, we just get it done.”

The Managing Director and Founder of EnviroScience, Juliet Duffy, is also a key inspiration, he says.

“Juliet is always going to let you have a crack at something new, and is willing to throw her support behind you,” he says. “There is always a different area you can get amongst, and you are always encouraged to look for that next step if you want to have a crack. Instead of being pulled back, Juliet encourages you to go further, and I admire her for this.”

Michael says he believes “EnviroScience Solutions is well and truly on the up, so it is a great time to look at either staying or moving regionally to join the team!”.