Staff Profile: Nicole Gallagher
Meet Nicole Gallagher – National Safety Advisor
Workplace health and safety (WHS) in any industry is important. In the building industry, it can mean the difference between life and death.
Nicole Gallagher has worked in WHS roles for five years – two of those at Advanced Buildings. This year, she assumed national responsibility for WHS.
Based in Sydney, Nicole works closely with safety advisors in the company’s other locations in Victoria and Queensland. As well as offering them her support, she guides the company’s overall safety system.
Nicole is frequently onsite, checking and advising on safety procedures.
As well as the experience she’s received in the field, she also cites that her own experience as a mother has influenced her approach to workplace safety.
“At all times you want your children to be safe. I feel the same about my colleagues in the workplace. It’s a natural instinct to be caring of people, thinking of them, their families and the loved ones that they have at home.”
Each project requires a tailored approach
Nicole says that one of the biggest challenges in her job is the diversity of the company’s projects.
“No two jobs are exactly the same, so I have to be on top of all facets of safety. Whether it’s a large asbestos job or a little paint job. All jobs have their challenges. But because I work with a fantastic team, I can overcome any challenge.”
Asked to describe the most interesting project she’s worked on since being part of the Advanced Buildings team, Nicole mentions a current job in Goulburn.
“The job involves replacing a church spire that was damaged in a storm in 2017. It’s taken two years to get where we are. The historic and delicate nature of the repair work meant we needed to employ and coordinate a lot of specialist skills. It’s been amazing to see the scaffolding going up to surround the church and support the team doing the sandstone corbel replacement.
“Everyone on site has been super careful to make sure they maintain the highest level of safety on this job. I’ve had a lot of involvement. But it’s been made easier by the great communication between the client and all trades onsite. It would have been a real challenge without this cooperation.”
Working together well makes the difference
Nicole mentions the work she’s done with the company’s IT department as one of her proudest achievements.
“My aim is to get everything streamlined in our computer system. This guarantees everyone involved in jobs have all the tools they need at their fingertips. It’s still early days, but I can see where it’s headed. I think it will lead to better health and safety practices for the company.”
Advanced Buildings has a client-centred approach
“Advanced Buildings does quite a few things differently from other companies. But I think what sets them apart from the rest is that they’re very family-oriented. The directors have a hands-on approach. They’re involved in each project.
“I’m also comfortable with the company’s open communication with all stakeholders. The senior managers treat everyone equally, no matter what position they hold in the company.
“The main thing Advanced Buildings does is they show the client empathy. They understand what the client is going through.”
Giving encouragement, supporting others
When asked how people describe her, Nicole replied:
“At work people would describe me as the one who brightens their day and is always full of laughter.
“Although my job is very serious, I try not to be the one who dampens the spirits of others. I try to lift the mood and give others encouragement.
“I would like to think that people see me not just as a leader but also a colleague.”
What’s on Nicole’s ‘bucket-list’?
“For ages I dreamt of going to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. I was lucky to have done this two years ago.
“After raising two daughters into young women, the next thing on my bucket list would be to see them walk down the aisle. Nothing makes me prouder than being a mum.”
When not at work, Nicole enjoys exploring the outdoors
“On Sundays, I’m usually heading out on an adventure, hiking with my partner and looking for waterfalls.
“I also love going camping on the weekend. I love just sitting around a campfire looking at the stars and relaxing with friends. I enjoy wakeboarding and boating and time out relaxing in the garden on a nice sunny day.”