The Yea Heights Estate in Victoria is a development of 25 homes which are being built for families who were affected by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.
Arup has been involved in this project from the outset, contributing to the planning permit, civil and infrastructure design. More recently however, on Friday 1st February 2013, eight engineers, eight vacation students, three admin staff, one drafter and one HR consultant from Arup volunteered to go to the Yea Township and get their hands dirty assisting in the build.
“Being able to come back and actually help build some of the homes on
the site we helped bring to life was a great opportunity to showcase
our involvement to Arup staff and to bring our involvement full circle.”
Organised by Arup’s community partnering programme and our HR department as part of the summer vacation program, the Arup staff who volunteered donated 50% of their own time to the cause and Arup sponsored the other 50%. It was great to showcase the amazing humanitarian side of Arup culture to the vacationers, who will hopefully want to come back as future graduates/employees.
“It was a great day out of the office and vacationers seemed to really enjoy the work. It would be amazing to incorporate days like this into future graduate programmes at Arup… watch this space.” Said Tom Slack from Arup’s HR department in Melbourne.
The journey begins, as told by Alex C. Chen
It was a particularly early start for some with the bus departing from the Spring St office at 7am. The sky was looking ominous just before we left but it cleared up to be a perfect day, thank goodness. It was a great effort by all to make it to the office on time. After a comfortable ride in the bus with plenty of chatter and catching up on sleep by others, we made it to Yea where we had a quick cuppa during induction before beginning work on our allotted tasks.
After being assigned to one of four teams, we used our engineering brains to figure out exactly how we were going to achieve our tasks. As usual, once we got into the swing of things, it was time for morning tea. How the time goes when you’re having fun.
We had been asked to assist with the fencing on both sides of a house, moving appliances into two of the houses, pouring the concrete base for the water tanks of two homes, and preparing the earth and retaining walls to build steps at the back of two homes. We finished the fencing for one of the homes, pouring the concrete for the water tank slabs, successfully moved appliances into the homes without damage and prepared the way for the pouring of concrete for the stairs. It was great to see some of the ladies really getting into the action with the (power) tools as can be seen in some of the photos.
It was a bit sad once it was time to leave, especially after everyone had gotten into a rhythm. All in all, it was a productive day. The number of comments of how sore people were over the weekend was a good indication of how hard everyone worked.
Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the day despite being a bit sore. Some were keen to go back for more next time. Keep your eyes out for future H4H Build days in the future. We are planning on four more days this year.