ATC Williams Melbourne office – Life in Lockdown

Our Melbourne office has embraced working life in Stage 4 lockdown restrictions since 2nd August with resilience and ingenuity. Coordinating 48 people working fulltime from their homes across admin, accounts, and engineering has had unique challenges to solve, but what project doesn’t!

Under Stage 4 lockdown, residents in Melbourne need to work from home unless they qualify for an exemption. Travel is restricted to 5km radius from home, and no visitors are permitted unless they are providing care. Many of our staff began working from home in March with a skeleton staff rotating in the office.

Now, with all staff working at home until at least the 13th September, all other project work is proceeding to schedule, albeit with many creative workarounds, as you’ll see below!


Virtual Trivia Night is a Winner!

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Since March, most of the Melbourne staff have been working from home and missing their monthly social catch-ups such as an afternoon of lawn bowls or a beer tasting night. To remedy this, over 40 staff members met on Microsoft Teams for a fiercely competitive Virtual Drinks and Trivia Night. Highlights included a tech learning curve which had one player forget that everyone could hear them when they said their answer out loud, and another sent their answer sheet to the whole office rather than the host only!

Thanks to Holly, our Admin and Teams expert for hosting a very successful and fun first session. The plan is for the winning team to host ongoing sessions each fortnight.


How do engineers keep fit when they can’t go to the gym?

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Dale (left) used PVC pipe from Bunnings to build outdoor gym bars. Although he didn’t do loading calculations, they are holding strong! Thomas (middle) makes sure he gets in the precious 1-hour exercise allowance with a few fading light hoops.


Lockdown Life Moments

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The Admin and Accounts crew have it organised! Elaine, our Admin Manager, has the face masks lined up with car keys for the daily essentials shopping trip (top left), while Jessica has a tidy garden view but misses the ease of office heating (top middle). Carmen has created a special nook for her growing collection of COVID files (top right), Dylan, Senior Engineer, and wife Asha welcomed their first baby Margot Claire in April (bottom left). As you can see by the photos, she goes to work with her dad most days and is officially our youngest intern ever. We’ll be watching her career with interest…

Nicola only joined us in April, but as our Hydrologist, she knows how to get into the flow of it all with the help of her cats (bottom middle). Peter says he is finding work-life balance beeing in the garden where he notices that some workers never rest (bottom right)!


Lockdown Life with Kids!

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Genevieve, a Senior Associate Engineer, finds comfort from the Melbourne winter in her moccis (left), while hubby Robert tries to wrangle the kids to do home school and teach their dog to stop barking at the online shopping delivery guy (middle).

Says Genevieve – “While getting work done, sometimes wonderful things happen, and kids make lunch!” (right). Also not pictured – shaving foam splattered over the floor (don’t ask), lollies hidden throughout the house, and the ‘play’ shop where you have to pay real money to buy all of your own food back!


Home office setups – or why use one screen when you can use two!

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Bhagaban – Senior Engineer (left), Meri – Senior Engineer (centre top), Chin – Senior Engineer (centre bottom), Genevieve – Senior Associate Engineer (right)


Meanwhile…over in Peru

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The Peru staff are making changes too, doing COVIDsafe Training for the ATC William’s Las Bambas site work and explaining the site surveillance plan in place to mitigate the virus. Each staff member also presented an ‘Awareness Talk’ to family members to discuss Coronavirus symptoms and how to carefully stay safe.

We thank the Melbourne and Peru team for sharing these true-life moments with us. Our respect goes to everyone there for doing what is required to reduce the spread of the virus, while staying safe and well at this time.