Bankstown students take a GIANT leap into construction

31 May 2018

As part of its community partnership with the GWS GIANTS, WestConnex has opened the construction gates to give students from Bankstown Girls High a behind the scenes site tour to meet and ask questions of experts working on Australia’s largest transport Infrastructure project.

Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) CEO Dennis Cliche said SMC, which is delivering WestConnex, saw an opportunity to work with the GIANTS and help expand its successful Stand Tall program, by hosting a series of workshops which aim to empower young high school students to become confident to engage further in education or employment.

“WestConnex is thrilled to be hosting Stand Tall workshops, as part of the GIANTS Care program, which help to encourage and engage students to build their own career aspirations and achieve success,” Mr Cliche said.

“Around 20 Grade 10 students from Bankstown Girls High School recently met with female construction workers from the New M5 project and were taken on a tour to see the work underway at the site of the St Peters Interchange.

“At WestConnex, we’re committed to driving positive community outcomes and we understand the importance of supporting the development and participation of women in non-traditional roles, as well as the benefits increased diversity in the workplace can bring.

“The workshop gave students the opportunity to learn first-hand the range of infrastructure jobs that STEM-focused education could lead to and the exciting pathways and varied opportunities available in the construction field.”

Bankstown Girls High School Science teacher Anna Edwards said, as part of the program, students also learnt about nutrition and recovery from AFL Women’s GIANTS ruckman, Erin McKinnon and how this can be applied to study and school life.

“The experience provided to our students ticked every STEM-related box – they were able to realise that the traditional male-dominated construction environment is changing, and that they are able to utilise a vast array of skills, across many disciplines, in delivering large construction projects.”

Grade 10 student Samia Hammoud said, “What I really appreciated was the opportunity to pick the brains of some of the females involved on the project, such as the engineers, lawyers and communications managers.”

GWS GIANTS CEO Dave Matthews said the GIANTS Stand Tall workshops enrich the learning of students, expand pathways of education, pave the way for positive behaviours and healthy relationships, and help to develop career aspirations in young people.

“Thanks to the support of WestConnex the Stand Tall program has been expanded, allowing more Western Sydney students the opportunity to take part in this successful initiative,” Mr Matthews said.

Mr Cliche said WestConnex was delighted to be supporting a program which is making a positive difference in the community.

“While WestConnex will help unlock Sydney’s potential with more jobs and less congestion, supporting the local community is just as important which is why we are a proud foundation partner of GIANTS Care,” Mr Cliche said.