Sometimes inspiration comes from the work you do, and sometimes it comes from a place much closer to home. 

For SHEQ Manager Bridie Vico, seeing the impact of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) work on her father over a 15-year period gave her a passion to develop and implement initiatives in the mental health space at work. Birdie says:

Research into the impact of work practices on mental health has progressed a long way since my dad was working on FIFO. We understand better how our employees are affected. 

"More importantly, there's an opportunity now to impact positively on someone's life - not just stop them getting hurt." 

Bridie's career journey 

Bridie started her career in administration for a mining company, after deciding that her tertiary study in fine arts probably wasn't going to lead to the career growth and development she believed she could achieve. 

Bridie's manager saw her potential and offered an opportunity for her to move into a health and safety-specific administration and reporting role. When the time came for him to move on, he chose to offer his talented mentee the opportunity to join him at one of Australia's leading mining companies. 

"It was a great environment in terms of coaching and mentoring opportunities, and I transitioned from an administrative to a more strategic SHEQ role while being supported through tertiary studies in the area," Bridie says.

Throughout her time working FIFO in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, and later in transport, water and construction contracts in Sydney, Bridie's passion for the strategic elements of SHEQ were always front of mind. 

"I enjoy working with the team to coach them through the various health and safety processes and build in them an understanding for why we have the policies and processes we have." 

"You get much better compliance when people understand the 'why'."

Leadership and delegation 

Bridie is part of the leadership team on the four Transurban transport contracts in Sydney, including Cross City Tunnel, Eastern Distributor, Lane Cove Tunnel and M2

She recently completed leadership training, offered to upcoming female leaders across the organisation.

"One of the best things I learned in the course was how to delegate," Bridie says. "I have put strategies in place now where I am able to delegate to empower my team." 

"It's not about giving them the stuff I don't want to do. What will they learn from? What will they get value out of?"

Bridie plans to continue developing and rolling out wellbeing initiatives across the contracts she is working with, as she says she wants to ensure that everyone stays safe both physically and mentally. 

What if our employees actually go home in better shape than when they came to work?" Bridie asks.

"That is what we should be aiming for when implementing wellbeing initiatives in the workplace." 

No doubt we'll be hearing more from this talented leader in the future.