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A Day in the Life of a Surveyor at Barker Ryan Stewart: Ben Tart

At Barker Ryan Stewart, we’re proud to have a highly motivated and passionate team that works together to deliver infrastructure and create better outcomes for our communities.

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 Ben, one of our Surveyors in our Northern Rivers team, to chat a bit more about what has most surprised him about being a Surveyor, and the standout project he has been involved in so far.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a Surveyor.

I grew up in a country town with a population of 500. Whilst growing up I had a go at every sport imaginable, became an Advanced Firefighter in the RFS, and learned guitar at an early age. I have always enjoyed reading maps for as long as I can remember and so becoming a Surveyor was a natural fit for me – loving the outdoors, being raised in the country, and having an interest in cartography. 

Walk us through a typical day in your working life. How do you usually start your workday and what are the most enjoyable parts of your day?

I start my day by meditating and in prayer followed by going for a walk/run with my Black Labrador, Elsie. Once I get to work, I get involved in many aspects of the daily grind – from meeting with the other Surveyors, to liaising with the town planning section and with clients. My favourite part of the day would be anytime I get involved in researching the history of lands and re-creating the historical timeline of land ownership. Drafting a good-looking plan that will be put on public record forever is also a satisfying part of my job. 

What’s it like being part of the Barker Ryan Stewart and Northern Rivers Land Solutions surveying team? Are there any stand-out projects that you’ve enjoyed working on?

I’ve been a member of the Northern Rivers Land Solutions team for over 8 years and have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside both those who have been here the whole time and with those who have joined since then. Any of the jobs that involved complex boundary solutions have been stand-out jobs for me. The Banyan Hill Estate had differences of up to 4 metres between the original surveys and our survey, which required sound decision-making when deciding how to re-fix specific boundaries. Being comfortable and satisfied with the solutions we came up with made it a standout project for me. 

What’s been the most memorable aspect of working at Barker Ryan Stewart and Northern Rivers Land Solutions so far?

I’ve always enjoyed working on big projects, including the various jobs we were involved with on the Pacific Highway. From enjoying Rusty, Macca, and Trent’s humour to being trained to draft plans by Aaron (our master draftsman), to learning the art of unrivalled patience towards clients (from Tony) – there have been many memorable moments working at NRLS. 

Looking back at your career, is there anything that’s surprised you about being a Surveyor?

Surveying has certainly increased my interest in history. Researching land titles can reveal stories that would have otherwise remained untold. We are involved in the same field as the famous explorers of the past, who traversed the world to discover the unknowns. Many Surveyors in history have had no choice but to observe the stars to figure out how far away from home they really were.  

Finally, what advice do you have for someone looking to become a Surveyor?

Surveyors have been in high demand for as long as I’ve been part of the profession. There is a strong need for younger Surveyors to push through and get registered as many older Surveyors are reaching retirement age, which will make the Surveyor shortage even worse. It’s a big opportunity to fill the gap if you’re willing to follow through and work hard to get registered. Go for it!

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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