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Sydney Water

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Najifa Rahman

5.00 AM

I get up quite early and freshen up. I do my early morning prayers. Depending on how I’m feeling that day, I either take a quick nap or go outside for a quick walk before work.

6.15 AM

Time to settle in! I start early given that I don’t have a commute at the moment due to working-from-home arrangements over the COVID lockdown period.

The first thing I always begin with is to check my emails and calendar. Usually, I spend a bit of time replying to a series of emails. Looking at my calendar, I know it’s going to be a packed day.

I have a look at my task tracker and update the progression on the workstreams I have open. Often, I have things I plan to do for the day, but as the day progresses, newer, exciting things pop up along the way. Usually, the day never goes as you expect or plan – which is a good thing!

7.30 AM

Given that I wake up quite early, I take a 15-minute break for breakfast after doing the first round of work.

7.45 AM

Today I have a contingency plan that needs updating. In the field, Sydney Water has sewer pumping stations. These come with schematics and information in the event of an emergency. Over time, these stations morph and improve, requiring updates to the schematic drawings, so I work through the AutoCAD drawings and upload the updated schematics into our SAP system.

9.30 AM

First meeting of the day – a COVID check-up with a few team members. One of the most important things I’ve learnt at Sydney Water is the need to slow down to speed up. It’s important to check up on each other and have a few laughs. It’s always great to see the team face to face but for now, we make do with Microsoft Teams.

10.00 AM

Now for something exciting – an ECC training session. The ECC (Emergency Control Centre) is an incident management operation. Sydney Water must be ready and prepared in the event of emergencies like floods, bushfires and even earthquakes.

The great thing about the ECC is that although there’s a high level of responsibility, our team never hesitates to have an undergrad on board during real emergencies. It might be stressful, but the work is highly valuable and has a real impact on the business and our customers.

Najifa 1

12.00 PM

I have lunch with my family. Before the lockdown, the grads and interns would often sit together for lunch. In some cases, we’d go down to Sydney Water’s vegetable garden and provide a few extra hands.

Najifa 2

Beyond the office space, the Potts Hill grounds are quite large, with an on-site reservoir. Next to the veggie patch, there’s a small shelter for our work dogs. My team works on detecting leakages in the network using dogs, so it’s always great to see the handlers training them or go out on the field with them to see it all in action.


1.00 PM

Sitting at home takes a toll. I often take my work outside for fresh air and to stay focused.

One of the programs my team develops annually is the bushfire response plan. Sydney Water works closely with the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to ensure our hydrants and assets are ready during a bushfire. Working with my team, we have developed an app that presents a map of Sydney Water’s hydrants in the network.

3.00 PM

At the end of each day, I document what I have accomplished or learnt in journal entries and our contribution development plans. This ensures I’m always growing in my role and meeting expectations.

3.30 PM

I clock off work (which at the moment just means turning off my laptop). I head to the garden and begin planting some natives to unwind after a long day.