As at October 2016
Name: Brett Grocock
Nickname: Big B
Family? (Marital status?)
Married to Anna with two young girls (Paige and Ellah)
Mining Services Manager for Land Surveys. I get to meet a heap of people and find solutions for my clients – best job I have had!
What’s the best advice your parents ever gave to you?
Never burn a bridge, stab someone in the back or lie. Keep a sense of humour and treat others how you would like to be treated.
What’s your personal motto?
“You make your own luck” & “Success only comes before work in the dictionary” & ”Say yes to opportunity”
What makes you happy?
Glorious spring days where the temperature is just right
What makes you angry?
Inconsiderate and bigoted people
What's the most romantic thing you've done?
Bought my girlfriend (now wife) a case of her favourite wine after she mentioned it in passing on our first date. I attached a note asking her to share it with me!
Career to date?
15 years a contract surveyor working all over Australia. Spent a heap of time doing expat work in Canada, Ghana, Tanzania, Armenia, Bulgaria, The Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan. It has been interesting!
Been a contractor my whole career, every site you visit you learn something new. It might be a new way to wash the car, or to splice stope surveys – you are always optimising how you do things based on new information.
Career highlight (biggest achievement)?
Surveying 80 square kilometres of desert in Pakistan with a GPS mounted on the roof of a vehicle. Plenty of busted tyres and vehicles bogged with self-sufficient solutions.
Mixing up northing and easting on a local 10,000N 10,000E grid for a 280m backfill hole – late afternoon, windy and raining – no check. Never made that mistake again!
More time with the wife and kids, respect of my peers, financial independence of banks and employer.
Survey Work / People
What is the best piece of survey equipment/technology/software that you have used & why?
Love working with gyroscopic theodolites and least square adjustments!
What is the oldest piece of survey equipment that you have used?
I have had a few offsiders that have needed a fair bit of lubrication to get going the night before due to seized joints!
Who's the strangest/funniest/unorthodox survey character that you've met so far (and why) ?
I worked with a guy in Canada that carried a big knife in the bush (for Bears! - I suggested he get a longer range defence strategy in place). He also wrote screen plays about cosmic transcendence and was convinced that he was going to make it big in Hollywood.
What's the most contentious survey issue in your workplace at the moment?
UAV operators doing aerial surveys for volumes – with no survey experience or understanding – Youtube university does not make you a surveyor!
If you were the boss for a day - list 3 things you would change?
Increase accountability to your team mates – fail to do something that you said you would do and you let everyone down! Upskill all of my staff with UAV tickets and qualifications leading to authorisation. Allow my staff time to chase survey related passions at work – let them get creative and interested and passionate then see what awesome stuff they produce.
APART from $$, what factor attracts you to work in the mining industry as opposed to other survey disciplines?
The travel, and the people. The night before departing for a big job a long way from everywhere, I still get “contractors excitement”. You are nervous and excited for the unexpected, but know you have the skills to deal with it!
Would you recommend a career in surveying to a grade 12 school kid? If not, what career would you recommend?
Yes, great opportunities for travel and office/outdoor mix.
How do you relax?
Riding my bike, playing with the kids on the trampoline
What sports do you play/ watch?
Snow boarding when I get the chance, bike riding, AFL
What are your other hobbies outside work?
Shed time and gadgets/technology
Where would be your ideal retirement location?
A manageable sized farm, with cows and a creek, 15 minutes from a reasonable sized town and an hour from a capital city – by the coast.
Chickens stuffed with Lemon on the spit, Coopers Pale Ale, red wine, milk.
Finally, if you were down to your last $10 what would you spend it on?
Something I could make modest improvements to quickly and easily to sell for a profit – then repeat.