Our Managing Director, Matt Betros, reflects on 2017 which was the foundation for growth and stability into 2020.

By the end of 2015 the oil price had plummeted globally. South Australian business was looking dire as many people lost jobs and projects were put on hold. For GBA this was a trying time as the majority of our client base was from the oil and gas industry.

Then in early 2016 Greg had received a call for some assitance in Sydney Water which, unknown to us at the time, was the starting point of an enourmous growth for the company.

April 2016 saw GBA commence work in Sydney Water whose portfolio spanned some 800 projects at the time.

During this time GBA was still actively involved in the nRAH project which had begun to increase in complexity with the planning for mobilisation and commissioning well underway. The project demands were so great that we had thought about hiring another scheduler specifically for the job. As luck, fortune and coincidence would have it, an aspiring job seeker in Laura O'Neil left a resume at the front desk. Laura is today now part of the company leadership team.

But it wasn't until June of 2016 that saw GBA's re-entry into BHP as planning for the 2017 smelter shutdown (SCM17) had commenced.

The sheer size, scale and complexity of the shutdown and associated projects meant that GBA had to bring more experience and support into the project, and that is where our Senior Scheduler and now Team Leader Bruce Oldfield became a solid part of the GBA and BHP furniture. I even had to entice Paddy McCarron to come back to GBA as a permanent senior scheduler to support the project load.

By the end of 2016 the project had identified that the sheer scale of the outage meant that additional schedulers (on rosters) would be required to ensure sufficient support was available to the project for at least 12 months. And so three large scale recruitment campaigns ensued purely for the BHP shutdown.

In parallel to this however there were new requests for support across other clients such as Santos, GLNG, BHP and above all Sydney Water. Further recruitment campaigns were established, one of which led to the appointment of senior scheduler (now Team Leader) Meissam Heidarzadeh.

By the end of 2017 GBA had 30 employees working across numerous states, sites and clients. The largest GBA has ever been in its 30 year history (at that time). Our project list at this time included:

  • SCM 17 Planning & Execution (BHP)
  • Sydney Water Portfolio
  • nRAH
  • Santos GLNG shutdown
  • Darlington Upgrade Project (DPTI)
  • Air 7000 Edinburgh Airbase Infrastructure
  • Delamere Air Weapons Accommodation
  • BHP Mods and Small Projects
  • Moranbah 2016/17 Outage
  • Northern Connector (DPTI)
  • Santos Maintenance Scheduling
  • Tindal Camp Accommodation (NT)
  • Whenan Shaft Upgrade (BHP)
  • Yorke Penninsula Road Portfolio (Downer)

Looking back on the year, our growth was a result of client demand coupled with a "getting noticed" effect. We were one of the only project management firms actively hiring and through launching numerous recruitment campaigns I feel that we were noticed by other potential clients seeking assistance on projects. 

If I reflect on 2017, whilst we had yet to finalise an organisational structure that commanded some control and guidance over an ever expanding team, it was the year that set the ground work and foundations for what was to come.

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