Welcome to Brisbane – Andrew Fielding on secondment with JBPacific

Environmental scientist and GIS expert Andrew Fielding recently started a 2-month secondment with JBPacific in Brisbane, Australia. For the first instalment in a series of updates about his life upside down, Andrew has been sharing some first impressions – from jet lag and exploring a new city, to beginning work at the Brisbane office on a coastal management plan and some of the wildlife he’s encountered along the way. Here’s Andrew to tell us more:

Welcome to Brisbane - Andrew Fielding on secondment with JBPacific - Brisbane Skyline

Flying to Brisbane from Manchester would never be the most pleasant of journeys, but it went far smoother than I expected. After an early Saturday morning start, the flight change in Doha, Qatar provided a much-needed stretch. Around 22 hours after leaving the UK and a +9 hour time jump we (my wife and I) arrived in Brisbane on Sunday around 16:00 just in time for sunset. Dan Rodger kindly chauffeured us from the airport to our accommodation in central Brisbane…. What a view!

Exploring Brisbane

Welcome to Brisbane - Andrew Fielding on secondment with JBPacific - Wynnum Mangroves

I’d like to say I woke up on Monday morning feeling fresh and ready to go, but the truth is that I got about 2 hours sleep. Nevertheless, the adrenaline kicked in and it was time to see more of the city. Dan took us out to his home patch, Wynnum and we had a tour of the mangrove boardwalk followed by some fish and chips in a local park. The place is certainly worth a web search as there are some great views out to sea looking towards North Stradbroke and Moreton Islands – which we’re hoping to visit in a few weeks.

Welcome to the JBPacific office

Tuesday came around pretty quickly and it was time to get stuck into office life and meet my JBP colleagues. I don’t quite know what I was expecting but everyone was super friendly and welcoming. The office itself was a little different to anywhere I’ve worked before – located in business suites just off the lobby of ‘The Johnson Hotel’ – it’s nice to be able to eat lunch by the side of the pool!

Project work

As the week went on, I got myself stuck straight into some work Dan had lined up for me in developing part of the Kempsey Shire Council Coastal Management Plan (CMP), something I’ll no doubt say more about over the coming weeks. As a bit of a side project, I’ve also been helping Sam Andrews familiarise himself with JFlow modelling which he has picked up impressively quickly! Hopefully, we can utilise these newfound skills on some project work going forward.

First impressions

Daylight: I’ve never been an “early bird” as many of my Warrington colleagues can testify, but if you’re not already awake by 7am the daylight will get you. Sunrise and sunset here are like someone switching on and off a light, blink and you’ll miss it!

Wildlife: Brisbane is impressively green and there are creatures lurking in every corner. Not in the way you might expect though. Below are some chicks I found sheltering in a drain outlet along the river’s embankment.

There are also a lot of lizards basking in the sunshine if  you look carefully enough. The one below was snapped in the park on my walk to the office from our accommodation.

One thing that I initially thought was quite cool is the number of Ibis that are wandering around the city, later referred to by Dan as “Bin Chickens”! Regardless, they’re more interesting than a pigeon and it certainly beats seeing one of Australia’s creepy crawlies.

More updates to come from me over the next few weeks!



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