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Women in construction not the "norm"

13 December 2016

Kim Liddell Studio 2016

Kim Liddell (above), our Mary Reibey Scholarship winner in the business category, has her own trucking company. Women in construction, she says, are not the “norm” and Mary Reibey’s unusual story struck a chord with Kim: “Here is a woman [Mary Reibey] who dresses up as a boy, borrows a horse to go for a bit of a canter and ends up being transported to the colonies for the crime.

“She then went on to develop land out in the Hawkesbury, which is where my company does much of its work - pioneering work in excavation. Mary also spent a lot of time in Hunters Hill [a waterside suburb of Sydney] where I spent a lot of time with my kids, sailing.”

Kim is the founder and Managing Director of NDEA: an excavation company specialising in subterranean safety and protecting underground infrastructure. NDEA operates in a niche market of non-destructive excavation using purpose built rigs to excavate with high pressure water, sucking out the slurry into a vacuum tank and carting it away.

“I have grown my business organically from one truck in 2005 to a fleet of rigs and a highly experienced team of 20,” says Kim.

Having not done any formal education for a very long time, Kim was hoping for a new experience; a new and improved formula around business studies, and the AGSM General Managers Program delivered on that, she says.

“It expanded my perspective, gave me new capabilities and highlighted areas for improvement. It confirmed I was on the right track and that the experience I have gained on the ground has been healthy.”

Participants began the day at 6.45 with an exercise session and finished at around 10 at night. Sessions included communication and presentation skills, team work, agile working methods, etc.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feel really grateful for the opportunity. Taking a week out of the business is not something I would ordinarily think to do. The scholarship gave me the permission to do that.

“There was an intense amount of information to take in and implementation is hard. You need to set yourself two goals and act on those. It’s important to sort out the priorities and take one step at a time. If you set yourself three to five goals – you may achieve three. Set yourself any more and you are highly likely to achieve nothing,” finishes Kim.

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