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City West Water

Staff Story: Michelle

This May marks Michelle's tenth year working for City West Water! We sat down with Michelle to learn more about her role as Operational Control Centre Team Leader.

This May marks my tenth year working for City West Water. I started off as a call taker in the 24/7 Operational Control Centre answering calls from customers and contractors. Now I manage the Operational Control Centre.


I am in the building for eight hours a day but I might be called on during the wee hours of the night or early morning.


I’m Scottish from a wee town called Irvine and I’ve been in Australia for 13 years this month. I’m married to an Aussie and together we live in Taylors Lakes with our two kids aged 11 and 8.
We own a caravan and we love to tour around this beautiful country of ours. Nelson’s Bay on the North Coast is my all-time favorite place. I want to retire there. We have been all over this country and have seen so many beautiful sites.


We recently took the kids to Scotland for the first time. My son loves all the history, especially William Wallace, and he spent the holiday shouting ‘Freedom!’.


A normal day for me starts with the school drop off, train ride and once I’m in the office I prepare myself for the day. This part always involves coffee – I can’t start my day without it. Once I’ve had my hit of caffeine I greet my team and set the scene for the day, then it’s meetings, emails and phones!
The biggest emergencies are the unknown – the large bursts that you don’t have control over. The phone lines get full and customers just want answers. It can escalate very quickly, you see the call board light up like a Christmas tree and the office becomes like a stock exchange with all the phones ringing.


A major burst is called a priority one and a contractor has within the hour to get on site. We are used to dealing with emergencies and the team is competent in their roles to never create internal alarm, we are trained to find the solution and fix the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. I am a natural hot head being Scottish but City West Water has provided me with some great training and the tools to learn how to think through a problem and process it. This has worked well for me as I also implemented this in my everyday life (my husband is very grateful).


When I’m off duty, I make hair bows and head bands. It all started because my daughter told me she didn’t like any of the ribbons or hair bows in the shops. Now all of my daughter’s friends wear them as well! It is purely a hobby – my husband says it’s become an obsession! I like all crafts and it’s nice to create something special with my daughter by my side. It’s a nice hobby to have after a full day at work.