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SA Power Networks

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Cathryn McDonald

7.15 AM

Morning alarm.

8.00 AM

Walk to work – a 15-minute commute around the Adelaide Showgrounds to Keswick HQ.

SA Power Networks Cathryn McDonald walking to work

8.15 AM

Arrive at my desk and check the weather for the week. Seeing as it’s fire danger season, we’re mostly concerned about high fire danger conditions, but this week looks benign. We’re in for a bit of mid-to-high thirties heat this week but nothing Adelaide can’t handle.

At the moment I’m working on designing a one-stop report for weather information to be used across the business, so I follow up some feedback I’ve received in creating my report.

9.30 AM

Time for a teleconference – my boss Frank and I join with a group of people across the business to receive a weather briefing from a meteorologist. There’s a weak potential for thunderstorms in a few days so we’ll be keeping an eye on that.

10.00 AM

I head up to the top floor for a meeting with Clara, our Insurance Manager. We’re working together to compile the Liability Underwriting Submission for this year, a 200-page description of the business which is provided to insurers. Today we’re sending sections out to about fifty people all across the business to get their input. Clara’s also brought some fortune cookies – yum!

SA Power Networks Cathryn McDonald meeting with Clara

11.00 AM

Help out a new graduate who’s joined the Reliability team, which I’ve been working in for the last six months before I joined Emergency Management. We’ve just had a group of first-year graduates join two weeks ago so we’re helping them learn the ropes.

11.30 AM

I join Frank for a fortnightly catch-up with one of our Project Managers, Sarah, to discuss progress on several projects we are doing at the moment to reduce bushfire risk on our network. Sarah and I organise catchup for her to give me some tips on keeping track of project costs. We need to be on top of both the financial and engineering aspects to make sure we get the most “bang for the buck” with our projects.

12.30 PM

Lunch in the cafeteria with the Keswick grads, undergrads and former grads – the best place to catch up on all the news from around the building!

SA Power Networks Cathryn McDonald lunch with Keswick grads

2.00 PM

Frank and I meet with Howard, a business analyst from IT, to come up with requirements for a new tool we’re developing to gather information for assessing bushfire risk. We walk through the process and come up with as many ways to improve it as we can. Howard’s then going to write up a requirements document for our review.

3.00 PM

I undertake a regular test of the Emergency Control Room. This is the room where we co-ordinate the response to network emergencies such as storms, heatwaves, bushfires and widespread supply disruptions. Note the Winter Olympics on one of the screens.

SA Power Networks Cathryn McDonald regular testing of the Emergency Control room

4.45 PM

Another check of the weather before heading home, paying special attention to the fire weather forecast to see if there will be any Severe, Extreme or Catastrophic fire danger ratings tomorrow.

5.00 PM

Head to the East End of Adelaide to soak up the Fringe atmosphere!

*Career path at SA Power Networks

The SA Networks graduate development program is a three-year program, which offers full-time positions at the completion of the program. Graduates also have the option to apply for any engineering role after completing two years of the graduate development program.

After completing two years of the graduate development program, Cathryn applied for and won a role as a Network Engineer with our Future Networks Transition team.