Trailblazers

BINGO Trailblazers - Anna Lewer

Written by Anna Lewer Published on 31st March 2022

Bingo Industries

Our Trailblazers series aims to highlight the shining stars at BINGO. Each person chosen in this series represents the very best that BINGO has to offer. At BINGO, we feel it’s our responsibility to give our team the best opportunities to help them achieve in their roles.

Thanks for taking the time to meet with us, we know Melbourne is a busy site. How are things going?

Good actually. The back of the house is in order and the front is not too bad either so it's all under control. We have sufficient mobile plant running, enough operators and pickers to run without stress, so a good start to the day.

What does the start of a day look like for you at West Melbourne?

I get in around 5.30am and do a walk around the front and back to inspect the site and determine if there are any issues that need immediate attention to ensure we have good run. I ascertain the status of mobile plant, operators and pickers to ensure we have a sufficient complement of team members. I conduct a Tool Box Talk with the pickers at 6am followed by a stretching warm up session to prepare them for the day. I submit a stocks report and monitor the start of the plant.

What is one thing you find rewarding about your job?

Working in an industry that is beneficial to the environment. You know you are making a difference by reducing the amount of material going to landfill. I enjoy the dynamic and fast paced environment but also the teamwork. I am surrounded by hardworking Bingo Family members that do not fail to impress with their work ethic and drive.

Bingo Industries

Can you tell us a bit about how you got to be working as a site manager in the waste industry?

I began my career working as a chemist in a Flour Manufacturing Plant following the completion of a Science Degree in Biochemistry. After a few years, I felt I had more to offer and wanted a more challenging role, so I commenced studying for an MBA (Masters of Business Administration). This took me several years to complete as I was attending evening classes after work. I secured a role as a Production Manager at a poultry processing plant for Steggles. After a couple of years I moved to a job that was closer to home and spent the next 20 years working as a Production Manager in an organic recycling plant. This entailed the processing of abattoir by-products into Meat and Bone Meal (For the stock feed and pet food industry) and tallow (oleo chemical and soap industry). After 20 years I felt it was time for a change and to learn a new industry. It seemed an appropriate fit to keep working in the recycling industry but in a different stream.

There are very few female Site Managers working in our industry, what do you think companies can do to attract more women into these types of roles?

Having policies, procedures in place and a management team that genuinely supports females and looks out for their welfare. 

Have you faced any challenges working as a female in a non-traditional role like this?

I have worked at sites where there were no female toilets or changerooms in the production areas. I have had to source my own uniforms and boots as the site did not stock PPE for females. In my role of Production Manager at the Rendering plant where I worked for 20 years, all the 40 production operators, supervisors and management team were male. Some of the employees were quite militant and at times were quite hostile. I would conduct Work Group Meetings on my own, and at times, have to deal with a room full of angry men. When I started conducting Tool Box Meetings to the all male crews, their lunchrooms were plastered with nude female pin ups.

Bingo Industries

What do you think are important qualities for a team leader?

Empathy, integrity, compassion, fairness and discipline. Spending time communicating with their employees. Employees tend to have the best solutions to problems as they are often dealing with an issue on a daily basis. Treat others as you yourself would like to get treated so that you get the best out of your people rather than have them working against you. I believe creating a team environment where everyone feels valued and sharing the journey together makes for a rewarding experience.

What are some things you do to support your team to deliver in their roles?

Be accessible for assistance and back them up when needed. Encourage creative solutions and support their ideas. Acknowledge their efforts and good performance but also give feedback on areas they can improve. Support their personal growth via internal and external training.



Thanks for your time Anna!

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