TWO Mareeba Shire Council employees were recognised at the Mareeba Shire Council meeting last week as John Van Ryt and Daniel Hales were named 2019 Operator of the Year and Runner-up 2019 Young Operator of the Year respectively at the Queensland Water Industry Operator Association awards.
The awards are presented to operators of water or wastewater treatment facilities to recognise excellent performance, initiative and all round attention to detail. John Van Ryt said it is an
honour to have been named the Queensland Water Industry Operator Association’s 2019 Operator of the Year.
“I didn’t expect it at all – it is quite humbling to be recognised at a big awards night such as that,” he said.
“We’re a part of a great team here that is led by Glenda (Kirk) and Morris (Hamill), and I feel as a team we’re very proactive and ensure we keep on top of things.
“We’re fortunate to have people on our team with plenty of experience, some who have worked in the industry for up to 30 years, and given there are a lot of nuances in our job, that is really important.”
Mr Van Ryt noted that he would like to acknowledge Daniel Hales who was named the Runner-up 2019 Young Operator of the Year.
“Daniel has been our trainee and has been with us for the past two years,” he said. “In that time he has excelled and has shown plenty of potential and diligence which is what we need.
“We have thrown him in the deep end at times but he always comes out the other side and he is a valuable member of our team.”
Mareeba Shire Council Manager of Water and Waste Morris Hamill referred to John, Daniel and the remainder of their team as “unsung heroes” of the community’s workforce.
“This team is operating our treatment plans to make sure our water is coming through the tap in pristine condition all while ensuring our environmental conditions are met,” he said.
“Doesn’t matter if it’s the wet season, the guys never make a fuss and go about it as part of their everyday work life and they need to be commended for that.
“They do their work diligently and with a lot of passion and keen interest. “Their awards are extremely well deserved.”