Practice Lead — Infrastructure and Environmental Management
Brendan Shannon leads the infrastructure division of WolfPeak. He has developed environmental management plans for large-scale infrastructure projects, including Sydney Metro and Western Sydney Airport — Australia’s largest public transport project — and has extensive environmental management experience across a range of large transport, infrastructure and construction projects.
In addition to the Sydney Metro project, WolfPeak’s infrastructure division has an impressive track record contributing to other major projects including Westconnex, the Botany Rail Duplication and the Pacific Highway Upgrade.
Brendan has also worked across all project phases, from tender to post-approval documentation and ongoing environmental compliance consulting. He manages project resourcing, client management and business development for WolfPeak’s infrastructure division.
A graduate from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Environmental Science, he has worked as a Senior Policy Officer in the ACT Government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Community.
As part of his role at WolfPeak, Brendan recently provided environmental management support for the Sydney Metro/Western Sydney Airport project, and is investigating new opportunities in the renewables sector.
What is your role at WolfPeak?
As the practice lead for the infrastructure division of WolfPeak, I look after client management and resourcing, and provide environmental consulting support on our large construction projects. That involves building relationships with new and existing clients, and assisting our clients with environmental plans and approvals. We also support our clients with onsite management, and assist their teams with ongoing compliance and environmental management plans.
What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m providing senior environmental consulting on the Sydney Metro/Western Sydney Airport project. Sydney Metro is Australia’s largest public transport project, and includes the construction of a 23-kilometre rail link to the new Western Sydney International Airport. I’m assisting with post-approval documentation, onsite management and ensuring compliance with project approvals.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the variability of the job. As an environment consultant, I work on a lot of different projects, and there’s always quite a lot of variability within those projects. A lot of problem solving goes into the job, and I enjoy engaging with people on all levels of a project — from labourers to project directors. The job itself is also varied. I’ll work on everything from written reports to presentations, workshops and site inspections. At WolfPeak, I also get to work for private contractors and for government departments, so I get to experience how the private and public sectors work.
What do you like about working at WolfPeak?
We are given a lot of encouragement and flexibility to explore new opportunities. If I see opportunities in a new space, like in renewables for example, the management team is very supportive of me finding work in that area for different parts of the business. That means our work areas are always expanding, which is quite exciting. Working for some of the larger consultancies, you can be confined to a smaller box with boundaries you must stay within.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your current role?
Learning to anticipate client needs has been a big one for me. From a resourcing perspective, clients will tell you what they think they need, but in some cases there may be factors they are not considering. It’s my job to give them what they think they need, but also to anticipate what they might need down the track and plan for that. That means when they call me in three months and say they need more hours or more people than they expected, we’re prepared for it and can meet that need.
How would you describe the internal culture at WolfPeak?
It’s very friendly and collaborative. We all have different backgrounds and skill sets, and everyone is very quick to offer assistance and advice. The whole team is in contact frequently to seek and give advice on certain situations that any of us encounter. There’s a lot more of this style of open collaboration at WolfPeak than anywhere else I’ve worked. And if we do make a mistake, there’s no blame. It’s all about how we’re going to fix it, and how we’re going to make sure we do better next time. It’s a very supportive culture.
What are your career goals?
For me, the short-term is about cementing my knowledge base and tweaking what I’m doing to keep improving. Over the longer-term, I’d like to keep building the infrastructure side of the business, while also developing our presence in the renewables industry. I feel that there are going to be a lot of opportunities to work on excellent renewables projects in the coming years. We’re focused on WolfPeak becoming well known and a leader in that sector.