Mental Health Front & Centre @ Sunrise Dam

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On a recent visit to our Sunrise Dam Operations, the site team was extremely keen to share with us a recent mental health initiative instigated on site. The crew have created a Mental Health Garden, or as it is affectionately referred to on site, the ‘OtraCulture’ garden.

Led by the Supervisors Tim Metcalfe and Chris Slade, the garden has become a source of pride for all. They have set up watering and weeding schedules. And during down times (of which there are not many) each person uses the opportunity to reflect, rest, and reset (all elements critical to the Mental Health Third Space philosophy, the ability to find that gap between what has just happened and what you need to do next) by tending to their garden in the Goldfields.

SRD Garden 1

The garden was created using discarded crusher cones, turned upside down and filled with potting mix. Just getting these crusher cones to the tyre bay was a feat in itself. The crews have sourced seeds from the mess and made propagation pods from old water dispenser bottles and plastic storage containers. The crew even enlisted some assistance from other departments on site to run a water line to the garden area for irrigation. It has become quite the talking point across the site.

Whilst we were there, we were shown how they tend to the seedlings until they are grown enough to transfer to the garden area, there were tomato seedings sprouting, strawberries and Sunflowers (just to name a few of the plants) growing, the crews are even experimenting with different methods for propagating avocado seeds (lets face it, those are hard to grow).

When the Tyre Technicians were asked by the Operations Manager David Gunther, how the general feeling on site was, one of the Technicians responded with “Dave, I love going home but I also love coming back to work”. This is a true testament to the mutual respect and admiration that the Supervisors and crews have for each other, and the great working culture that has been nurtured onsite by Chris and Tim.

Supervisor Chris Slade stated that “he gets photos sent to him whilst on RnR from the guys providing regular updates on the plants”.

Well done to Chris, Tim and the team at Sunrise Dam, and we look forward to some updates on your garden adventures.


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91 Rudd Street
OXLEY Qld 4075

T: 1800 OTRACO (687 226)

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491 Abernethy Road


T: +61 8 6274 7200


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Wapadrand Extension 7, Pretoria
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