Anthony Ogle was awarded his life memberships by the LGEA Committee of Management at a function held earlier this year. Anthony is one of only two living life members of the Association, so this award is an incredible achievement.
Anthony is pictured (R) being presented his award by Charlie Mahfoud, who replaced him as Manger of Civil Infrastructure & Integration.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your career in engineering
A: After 38 years in the work force, a lot has changed – not just the industry but life in general. I started as a trainee engineer in 1980 at Windsor Council, I think it was a lucky break to get it, and I have no regrets over a career in local government – in fact, I consider it to have been a great career, and it has helped me evolve to be a better person.
I have worked in 10 Councils, from small to large – many things are different, but much is common. The smaller ones give great opportunities to learn things as everybody must be across many things – too small for “silos” and specialisation. Specialisation I believe is in local government overall, anything less reduces the opportunities for both career and to provide integrated, intelligent and effective solutions. The last port of call at Ryde has been my longest at 8 years, and the best, as I applied all my skills knowledge and experience, at a time when changes could be made.
I also consider an important part of my career to have been outside each Council involved with the LGEA and IPWEA, from the networking through to mentoring. The number of conference papers I have presented has been so many I have lost count, but it is important that we share our ideas and successes, rather than each re-inventing. As engineers, we shouldn’t under estimate the value of “selling” ourselves to enhance the reputation of local government engineering.
Q: How did you come to be involved with the LGEA?
A: I was working at Wollongong Council in 1988. I got onto the consultative committee (Wollongong had its own award) and became exposed to the importance of members being active dealing with their employer.
When I moved to Bankstown Council, I was the alternative delegate on the JCC in the process of Council implementing the salary system that went with the major change to the award that introduced the Bands & Levels + Wyatt. This is where I got to know the industrial officers of the LGEA at the time.
About the time I moved to Strathfield, Martin O’Connell approached me to suggest I consider standing for the Committee of Management (COM) as there we few metropolitan members and he saw value in having some. I did and I was elected for 2 terms 94-98.
In the various councils I worked, I was often the LGEA delegate and/or the JCC rep. In 2006 I was re-elected to COM – a position I stayed in until retirement.
Q: What has been the highlight of your career?
A: Engineers would say a successful Special Rates Variation specifically for civil infrastructure worth 18% based on the Asset Management systems, or the bus shelter renewal contract (replacing 200 shelters) we are just finalising, worth over $50M.
Personally, bringing the idea of art and decoration onto the bus shelters to fruition, such that it is now the standard for all the new non-advertising shelters. The two with stained-glass panels are the most pleasing.
Also, the help I have given to engineers and others for their careers, as well as personal lives.
Q: How did you feel being awarded life membership by your peers?
A: It’s easy to lose sight of what we have achieved when caught up in the present. It was a good reminder to step back and look at things from other peoples’ perspectives. It also reminds me that I’m getting old! Time to move on and do things apart from local government and engineering.