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A Day in the Life of a Draftsperson at Barker Ryan Stewart: Debra Hannigan

At Barker Ryan Stewart, we are proud to have a highly motivated and passionate team that works together to create communities and deliver infrastructure.

In our ‘day in the life of’ blog series, we aim to showcase the work of our talented team and help you get to know the faces behind our projects a little bit better. This month we sat down with Debra Hannigan, one of our Draftspersons, to chat a bit more about the most enjoyable aspect of her role and the broad range of projects she works on as a Draftsperson.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what attracted you to becoming a Draftsperson?

I will have to be honest and say that I really did not know much about drafting when I first started using AutoCAD back in 1988, which was a very long time ago. My partner at the time had an Electrical Engineering Consultancy and the consultancy won a big contract at ICI (now Orica). They needed to get quite a few people on board quickly. I was between jobs at the time, and was asked if I wanted to learn on the job and become a Draftsperson. Which I said yes to as I needed an income. Computers were very basic back then, but I really enjoyed the challenge of learning about using a computer and the program AutoCAD.

What does a typical day in your working life look like?

A typical day for me is spent either in the office or at home in the study as I divide the week up by working from home two days a week. I spend the day mainly drafting on Civil Engineering plans or Survey Drafting. It really depends on deadlines, which ones have priority over the other. I also discuss the drafting with the person involved as to what is required for the drawing and how they would like the plan to look etc.

What are some of the projects you have enjoyed working on the most at Barker Ryan Stewart?

Some of the projects that I have enjoyed working on have been the Road Design/Upgrade ones. These include ones at Wingham, Taree, North Rothbury and Clarence Town. I am presently working on Railway Level Crossing which are scattered around NSW. This has been quite a challenging job in all respects.

What do you like most about your role and working at Barker Ryan Stewart?

What I like most about my role is the variety of the jobs I work on. No two jobs are ever the same. I enjoy the flexibility the company offers, for me this is the opportunity to work from home part time. I live over an hour away commute, so a break from that is just fantastic and I get to sleep in on those days, which is such a bonus for me! I also enjoy working with my fellow colleagues. Everyone has always been so friendly and helpful. I really appreciate that.

What is something that surprised you about the role of a Draftsperson?

Since I had no idea about drafting when I first started learning about it, I think the fact that I actually enjoyed it, surprised me. I enjoyed the challenge of it and still do. There is always something new to learn with it. Whether it is the drawing or the computer, there is always some puzzle/problem to solve which makes it interesting and I enjoy that about the job.

What would be your advice to anyone looking to become a Draftsperson?

My advice to someone who wants to do drafting is to perhaps do a course in learning how to use AutoCAD, which is the main tool for drafting these days. There are several fields in which drafting is required, so that the person should investigate which area they would be interested in working in such as architecture, the various fields of Engineering or the Construction Industry, plus others. There are plenty of areas to specialise in.

Want to get to know our team a bit better?

Check out our other ‘day in the life of’ blogs to learn more about our team.

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