Cleaner to civil career: Camila cleans up
4 October, 2022 3 min read
A young Civil Engineer from Brazil has proven that personal determination, the right support, and training, can make a world of difference in unlocking a career pathway in a new country.
When Camila Fleck moved to Australia in 2017, she could not speak English. She says the language barrier was one of her biggest challenges and, with her family a 35-hour flight away, she had no immediate support when entering the Australian workforce.
After working for several years as a cleaner and hospitality worker, Camila found work with John Holland. She started work as a cleaner, but quickly moved into a receptionist role, always seeking new learning opportunities, and asking for more experience.
It was through her work with John Holland at the Greenslopes Private Hospital, with Site Manager Scott Stokes, that she was able to have her qualifications from Brazil recognised and gain further work in her field. “At the beginning, Scott and the team provided a lot of support and on the job training to ensure my qualifications could be recognised by Engineers Australia.”
Being in a supportive work environment, one which is diverse and culturally safe, has been key to Camila’s success: “The company that you work for makes the difference; John Holland supported my personal and professional growth. My story is unique, yet there are many engineers and professionals from diverse and culturally linguistic backgrounds in Queensland that can also do what I have done; they just need a company to see their skills and value like John Holland saw mine.”
Even with support, there are always challenges to completing training while on a busy project site. However, Camila is not one to back down from a challenge and is looking to undertake a Certificate 4 in Building and Construction with help from CSQ funding. “I knew as soon as CSQ came to the site and offered training, that it was very important for me to take this opportunity for my professional development, and to further help me understand Australian standards”.
Camila says, “I look back on my whole history; when I started at John Holland as a cleaner, then receptionist and where I am now – a site engineer – and I realise just how much I have achieved.” Camila loves the challenge of her new engineering role at the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct Stage 2, and says her focus is to work hard over the coming year, gaining experience across a range of construction industry areas, and continuing to grow professionally through her planned training and qualification courses.
Great work Camila, you are an inspiration!