Talented New M5 trainee wins top honour at NSW Training awards

12 Jul 2018

Tara Proberts-Roberts, a skilled Labourer working in the New M5 joint venture as part of the Local Roads team, was recently named Trainee of the Year at this year’s NSW Training awards for south and south-western Sydney.

It’s an incredible achievement for Tara, a western Sydney local, who in the space of just 18 months has gone from playing with Tonka trucks in a sandpit with children, to driving heavy machinery for one of the nation’s largest infrastructure projects.

“I finished up six years as a child care worker and was looking for a new career and fell into civil construction,” Tara said.

“I didn’t ever think I would end up in construction and no way in the world did I think I would walk away with a big trophy.”

Tara joined the New M5 project last year via one of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Pre-Employment Programs. Initially starting as a trainee, Tara completed her Certificate II in Civil Construction and is already onto finishing her Certificate III.

A highly valued member of the Local Roads team, Tara loves working outdoors and is joined by a fantastic group of mentors and leaders, which has enabled her to advance in this new industry.

“Living in Camden, I complained for the longest time out of everyone for how Narellan Road was,” she said.

“I just thought you needed to flatten the line of the road and put down some tar.

“Now I have an appreciation for the time, effort and energy needed to produce a drivable road.”

She’s even convinced her mother and sister to join the construction industry and is passionate about the traineeship pathway.

Earlier this year the New M5 reached peak construction, where there are currently on average more than 2,000 workers per day, including almost 160 apprentices and trainees.

Tara is also one of almost 2,500 people involved in the project to date who are from western Sydney.