Spotlight on Vicki Pearce

An Interview with Vicki Pearce, St Hilliers’ Environmental Management Lead:


What is your role and area of specialty?

As the Environmental Management Lead, I oversee the increased focus across the business on environmental management projects such as Sewer Treatment Plant upgrades and replacements as well as general remediation works.


How long have you been in the industry? 

My work in the environmental management field started in 2005 when I prepared surplus Defence properties for disposal and managed teams of industry specialists to conduct contamination, flora and fauna, infrastructure and heritage assessment followed by infrastructure stabilisation and contamination remediation works.


What is your background?

Following 19 years with Defence where I led the Defence contamination program for several years where projects like the Columboola Chemical Munitions project, Defence Site Maribyrnong contamination assessment and planning project, and the Point Cook Former Fire Training Area projects were conducted. I led the team at the time the PFAS contamination issue for Defence escalated and was involved in the Defence response to the issue through to late 2018 when I moved into private industry.

I spent just over 3 years working for a specialist water treatment company during its establishment in Australia. During my time with Defence, I was directly involved in the design and implementation of over 200 procurement activities and following my time with ECT2, I took a break from environmental management to work for a tender preparation company for a few months before starting with St Hilliers. My qualifications include a Masters of Business, a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management, and a Diploma of Government (Project Management).


What does a typical day look like for you? 

Like most people in the construction and environmental management industry, there are not a lot of typical days which is what makes the role interesting and keeps me engaged.

During any given day I might be preparing data and information for regulator engagement, working with a diverse team of design, water treatment, and project management specialists to solve novel issues on Australian first projects, and developing policy, plans, and guidelines for implementation across the business.


What is your career highlight? 

I have several career highlights including being involved in the Columboola Chemical Munitions, Defence Site Maribyrnong, and Point Cook remediation projects. As surprising as it seems to most people, a career highlight for me was my involvement in the Defence response to the PFAS contamination issue. I was involved in activities I never would have thought I would be such as community and stakeholder engagement, Ministerial briefings and hosting visits, and working with international government personnel and specialists to develop methodologies in a chaotic and evolving period. The greatest highlight in all was working closely with the environmental industry to change the way such investigations and assessment were typically done, and to deliver a program of works never previously seen in Australia.


What are your goals/ plans for the future?

I am looking forward to continuing to work in the environmental management and growing St Hilliers capabilities and portfolio of works in this area.

While I plan to stay in the environmental management industry, I want to combine that experience and expertise with my Masters in Business and increase my focus on the strategic development of both the industry and the business


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