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HAVING A REAL-WORLD ENGINEERING EXPERIENCE

GBA Consulting Engineers is committed to professional development. For years, GBA has been a place of countless opportunities that offers a variety of career opportunities and work placements where students can be trained by experienced staff. We have worked with undergraduates and graduates who are constantly trained to gain powerful skill sets they can use in their future professional career. Our Senior staff also attend training courses and regularly improve their area of expertise. What is necessary for our employees will not only be found in the support from their colleagues, but also the option of training. We support, we care, and we motivate on skills gaining.


During January and February 2023, we welcomed Alec Bodimeade, Jack Moeser and Kayla Mansfield, three Queensland University of Technology (QUT) students currently studying Civil Engineering who joined us in our Barcaldine office for work placement for six weeks.



We offered them the opportunity to work in our Barcaldine office to work closely with our Engineers, undergraduate engineers, and Cultural Heritage and Environmental team. We encouraged them to develop multiple skills, learn from our experienced team and have an extraordinary experience in the outback of Central Queensland.


During their placement, they had the opportunity to learn from our exceptional and experienced staff. They were exposed to a great variety of projects where they applied their technical and practical skills. They integrated as part of the team in daily activities, engineering projects, and company processes.


Numerous engineering scenarios and learnings were experienced, and they have shared some of the best things about their time with GBA Consulting Engineers.


It is too hard to narrow it down to 1 thing! First, the people; the team has been incredibly welcoming and friendly, inviting us along to community events and giving us their recommendations on places to visit in the area. Everyone has been super patient with all my questions at work and they are happy to share their wealth of experience and knowledge. Secondly, exploring the outback! It’s an entirely different world out here compared to the city, and there are few places where you can drive past emus, kangaroos, echidnas, sand goannas, and camels on a work trip. The landscape is ever-changing as you continue to explore further west, and the sunrises/sunsets have been incredible each day. Last, but definitely not least, is the lifestyle. Nothing in town is less than a short walk away, and jumping over the back fence to get to work beats busses and trains any day. Time saved from commuting has allowed me to enjoy morning runs or join in with community events in the afternoon. When out and about, the community is so friendly that you’re guaranteed a wave or a G’day from cars and people passing by – Jack.

Also learning all about the jobs of consulting engineer’s outback was eye-opening. Tender analysis, road assessment, building rapport and communication was all required within the job and takes a wide skillset. Getting involved within the community from sports to the rec park to nights at the pub. There were plenty of interesting and genuine people who love a yarn – Alec.





The best thing about my time with GBA would have to be, being able to explore Queensland’s central west. It was really fun being able to explore the different towns and learning about the different histories. Another thing I enjoyed about my time here was being challenged and being put out of my comfort zone- Kayla.



As engineers, our team is attuned to being flexible, open minded, creative to overcome challenges and resourceful to ensure projects planning and execution is achieved and Jack, Alec, Kayla did so. From their experience at GBA they also had things that surprised them the most.


What surprised me the most was just how long flood damage repairs take to complete- Alec.


What surprised me the most about working with GBA is how personable it was. It was quite daunting the idea of travelling to central QLD for placement given the fact that I’ve lived in Brissie nearly all of my life and have never really explored the outback. However, everyone has been extremely nice and accommodating so it made adjusting to rural life easier. Another thing that surprised me is all the social activities GBA organises for the staff. I haven’t really ever worked for a company that strived to make their employees happy. Another thing that surprised me is how much I’ll miss working and living here (especially the sunsets!)- Kayla.


The community feel at work – many workplaces like to include on their adverts that they are people orientated, but GBA is next level. Morning meets at the start of the day gives everyone a chance to get their co-workers insights on any “stucks” and celebrate their “wins”. From discussions with other staff, it’s great to see how accommodating the Partners are with allowing team members flexible leave to visit family overseas or pursue professional development opportunities to Antarctica! - Jack.


This experience has provided them with real world experience and an insight into the engineering field. Jack highlighted how was the placement with GBA compared to other placements.


Having previously worked with a consultancy firm as an undergraduate in the city, I was amazed to find how different it was to work out here. Since it is such a different environment, the types of projects to work on are very different to what I saw in the city. GBA is also very flexible in supporting the needs of the communities out here, so they contribute to a broad variety of projects. It was also different to see how closely council’s, TMR, and local contractors work with GBA in working on projects – everyone is very familiar with each other and work well together. I found a much better community feel out here and of course jumping over the fence to get to work beats 40 minutes on a crowded bus anyday!- Jack.


Our staff at GBA had the pleasure of working with them and contributing to obtaining real world experience and this was likewise a great experience for our team in Barcaldine, who were filled by Alec, Kayla and Jack’s proactivity and determination.


As an Engineering Consultancy we are grateful to have such an experience that allows us to build memorable experiences and grow as a diverse, respectful, and trustful company. We take pride in offering work placement and diverse alternatives to improve students’ skills. We understand the importance of offering this opportunity to young students whose interest aligns with our core values and vision of contributing to our community.


Special thanks to Jack, Kayla and Alec for choosing GBA for their work placement and allowing us to motivate you and getting involved in this amazing arena of engineering. They had an amazing time at GBA, and we would like to wish them the best in their future Engineering career.




What advice would you give to students considering a placement with GBA Consulting Engineers?

Get involved with the community through sports, recreational activities and get out there.


And when driving, don’t forget to wave to drivers going the other way. No matter what- Alec.

​I think every student should do this type of rural placement as it’s super unique. You wouldn’t get this kind of experience of engineering, as well as a rural lifestyle, in Brisbane. In Brisbane I feel like the work style is very fast paced but here it’s a bit more laidback. I feel like you have a bit more time to really wrap your head around what you’re learning and ask questions. Working here I’ve had experience in multiple areas of work, not just for civil. I have an interest in both civil and environmental engineering and GBA accommodated to that and made sure I had experience in both areas.

I think that it’s extremely beneficial for future careers to have a better understanding of how consulting engineering companies function- Kayla.

​I would highly recommend GBA Consulting Engineers to all students. Many companies can offer engineering experience, but GBA offers a wonderful life experience, to learn about life in rural communities and explore the amazing landscape that Australia has to offer. I’d strongly encourage you to dive headlong into the experience – you’ll find the more willing you are to be actively involved and engage in the community, the richer the reward will be. I think you might just be surprised at how little you miss city comforts like Macca’s and Uber Eats! - Jack


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