HSEQ Manager for Victoria. Competitive triathlete. Ex-navy and mother of 4 kids.
An impressive resume for an extremely impressive person.
Candece Frazzica Kara is the current HSE Manager across Victoria for Hutchinson Builders. She has been in the construction and safety industry for approximately 10 years, working with a range of different companies. One of her first big jobs was Melbourne Myer Emporium where she got a taste of working with a tier one company on large scaled project and a key player in the safety management of 240 shop fitter tenancies, her passion followed.
In terms of what she enjoys about construction – Candece says it’s the tangibility. It’s the ability to see all the different stages of a build from start to finish and being part of it. She’s proud to say she was there for a whole build and enjoys seeing the finished results – particularly on larger projects that are complex with a lot of moving parts. She notes that within this industry every facet is volatile and in flux, but that’s what keeps it interesting and engaging.
The construction industry is always changing and adapting, whether to new legislation or market conditions but for Candece, she would like to still see more proactivity within the space, when it comes to the safety element of the sector.
As she says, "the fact remains that sometimes the biggest changes come when incidents cause the industry to be reactive when being proactive could have avoided such an event." At one of her previous companies Candece was there for a fatality of a worker onsite which was tragic. “What they learnt out of that as a business, were the things that really helped them grow and the next level they needed to be at in terms of safety and communication, some things that are not spoken about until something goes wrong.” Construction can be reactive – but her mission is to change that to be as proactive around health and safety as possible.
As the sector changes from a process, legislation and technology point of view, positive results are start to come about. For Candece, one main goal is education, “Those who haven’t been around as long as others or those who that have been around for a really, really long time haven’t actually grasped what their responsibilities are legally and they don’t have a full understanding of it. It’s about the education and training of that, and that’s probably one of the biggest battles of everyday is trying to explain to someone why you’re asking them to do something that you’re asking them and the reason behind that. It’s story telling. You have to take people on a journey with you.”
Looking at Candece you can see and feel how palpable her determination is. But she’s modest, she understands the industry has a long way to go but she’s happy to see where it takes her and how it is developing and embracing change. Her hopes of the future is that it will be smooth sailing.
When I asked her what she liked about the industry she laughed and went on to explain that she really likes the people in construction – “what you get in this sector are people who are genuine, hard-working and good fun.” In such a people orientated role, everyday is about building connections or navigating tough conversations, “you have to battle every single emotion and frustration and strength that you have” but in her words “this is her ideal job”.