Engineering in the Northern Territory gave Louise McCormick a unique opportunity to expand her skillset.
The Northern Territory is unlike anywhere else in Australia. Distant from the nation’s population centres, it stretches from the coastal tropics to the Red Centre and its population ranges from the urban bustle of Darwin to some of the most remote communities in the country.
It is a lot for civil engineer Louise McCormick to oversee as General Manager, Transport and Civil Services, for the Territory’s Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, but that is part of what makes the job unique.
“We do have some very unique challenges up here, particularly in the remote and regional space,” she told create.
McCormick said her department manages 22,000 km of roads, and 70 per cent of them are unsealed, which means the wet season can have a big impact on how people get around.
“A lot of our northern creeks and rivers are not bridged yet, either, so as soon as the wet season rain comes, those rivers and creeks are up and no one can get through,” she said.
“You really do see the grassroots impact that transport has on people’s lives.”
It was structural engineering that brought McCormick to the Northern Territory, but she rapidly expanded her repertoire.
“You can’t be such a specialist, because having those skills up here is fairly rare,” she said.
“You get called on for all sorts of different things with the engineering skillset that you have.”
McCormick has been President of the Young Engineers Australia Northern Division and the Northern Division of Engineers Australia, as well as a member of the Women in Engineering National Committee.
She was also one of the first people to achieve Chartered status through Engineers Australia’s recently revamped application process.
“I got Chartered through that mechanism as one of the guinea pigs for the new system,” she said.
“It was more a question about a competency and then providing the evidence of that competency, which to me is a more logical way of doing it.”
McCormick is glad to have the credential as proof of her abilities.
“I think engineers need to lead where we’re going into the future, as we are a pretty important part of the story,” she said.
“It’s good to recognise that engineers do end up in positions where they need to show leadership but they still have their core engineering skills that guide them in where they’re going.”
Interested in learning more about the Chartered credential? You may already have what it takes to become Chartered. Find out more here and start your pathway to Chartered today.