As you are likely aware, I participated in the IAES back in 2012 at the age of 16 before commencing my senior years at high school. At the time, I held strong interests in construction and building but had no idea how I could translate that into a successful career. The concept of “engineering” was foreign to me and I was more inclined to pursue a trade certificate because it was what I knew about as many of my family members had done before me.

The Engineering Aid summer school provided me with the rare opportunity to experience the many fields of engineering at a young age and gave me a great insight into the industry which motivated me to pursue a tertiary education and career in engineering.

In November 2017, I successfully graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Hons) and am the first person in my mother’s family to attend and complete university.

I have been working on the Sunshine Coast with Lendlease throughout my studies and now as a graduate site engineer on two major local projects being the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the Sunshine Plaza Redevelopment. I plan to continue developing my skills in the field taking on more responsibility while contributing to significant construction projects.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that your incredibly encouraging program gave me the confidence and motivation to become an Aboriginal professional and I thank you greatly for your assistance . I have a number of friends who also participated in the IAES that are also now Indigenous professionals in corporate Australia and there is plenty of room for more of us!

As I mentioned, I’m currently working full time on site with Lendlease but I’d be more than happy to help or contribute some of my time back to the program now that I’m free from juggling work and uni. I look forward to talking in times ahead.

Kind Regards,

Fletcher Reilly