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Behind the build with Brad Azzopardi


From a fly-in fly-out tradie to Project Manager, Brad Azzopardi is overseeing the new mental health infrastructure build for the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service (GCHHS).

A dynamic team player with an eye for detail, Brad started his career as an electrician before making the leap into project management. As Project Manager of the Secure Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit (SMHRU) at the Gold Coast University (GCUH) campus, Brad feels he’s able to draw on his background and his broader team expertise to make a profound and meaningful impact on the community.

To kick things off, tell us about your career journey…

Starting out as an electrician, I've dedicated myself to mastering the craft. Through hard work and determination, I gradually climbed the ladder, assuming leadership and supervisory roles on significant infrastructure projects such as the Gold Coast Desalination Plant, Airport Link, Legacy Way, Byron Bay Bypass Tunnel and coal seam gas projects. It was amidst these endeavours that my curiosity for project management ignited, propelling me towards a new professional path.

I also attribute much of my career journey to the invaluable guidance of my mentors, whose influence have helped my career.

What does your role entail?

As the Project Manager for the SMHRU project, I oversee a diverse team under the guidance of Project Director Cyriac Mukkada and the Project Steering Committee (PSC). Together, we're dedicated to delivering this vital project for GCHHS.

My role includes managing stakeholder expectations and feedback, overseeing the building design team and building contractor, handling project finances, approving variations, reviewing value management proposals, providing regular reports to the PSC and stakeholders and resolving daily issues. It's a busy but fulfilling responsibility.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

My work is demanding and sometimes stressful, but witnessing projects progress and meeting the needs of the project sponsor and stakeholders is incredibly rewarding. Over the years, I've successfully delivered numerous projects across the GCHHS and seeing them seamlessly integrate into daily operations brings great satisfaction.

Working with an exceptionally productive team to deliver projects and witnessing their growth and excellence is great to see. We learn from each other every day and our project delivery team has received fantastic feedback from stakeholders regarding our approach to this project.

How do you stay detail orientated, prioritise tasks and manage timelines in a dynamic project environment?

Attention to detail is integral to being a project manager. If you can't focus on details, project management might not be your calling; it should come naturally.

Task prioritisation is challenging in such a busy project. I must consistently evaluate and address critical tasks promptly. Having a skilled, high-performing team allows me to delegate tasks with confidence, knowing they'll be done as well, if not better, than if I did them myself. A collaborative, empowering team environment is crucial for successful project delivery.

When it’s complete, what will the new SMHRU mean for the community?   

The SMHRU will offer essential care for Gold Coasters currently receiving treatment outside the city, making it easier for their loved ones to visit them. Regular visits from loved ones plays a vital role in the rehabilitation of consumers in this mental health service. This expansion is a major addition to the GCUH facility, planned since its inception.

What do you do to look after your mental health?

My entire family is on the Gold Coast, providing a strong support network. Living near Miami beach, we enjoy outdoor activities like soccer, cricket and fishing. I manage my son's soccer and futsal teams. I also love watching rugby league and cricket when I do get time to relax.

Managing my home's regular maintenance occupies my time and occasionally shifts my focus from work and project pressures. Working from home aids me in balancing workloads and family needs. Our flexible arrangements significantly reduce stress when juggling various life demands.

I also maintain my health by making regular walks a priority and as I age, I focus on managing my diet.

Last updated 05 Jun 2024