Dec 19, 2019

Christmas Q&A – Sharon Dawson

Christmas Q&A – Sharon Dawson

Sharon Dawson is a Cairns-based director with the Dawsons Group of Companies. She joined iQ for a quick Christmas Q&A….

What was the greatest achievement or advance in your industry/organisation in the past year? Dawsons operates across a variety of sectors and whilst not the biggest job we did, this year the biggest buzz in our company was definitely over the completion of The Edge viewing platform for Skyrail here in Cairns.  Similar to the glass bottom walkway over the Grand Canyon, this was a design-and-construct project for a viewing platform cantilevered into Barron Gorge, 85m above the river. 

The project presented numerous unique challenges including the execution of high risk work within a World Heritage area. Though I think the single biggest challenge was keeping the job off social media.  With insta worthy views every day and the work site at the edge of a cliff face, our workforce was itching to share. I was immensely proud of our team for meeting the challenges of this job and proud to be working for another local, family owned businesses, Skyrail and the Chapman Family.  

What was the greatest challenge or failing in your industry/organisation in the past year? The greatest challenge faced by both our organisation and industry in general is building the next generation of tradespeople.  With a lot of fabricated items being sourced overseas, the traditional baseload of work that would have sustained workshops, and therefore apprentices, is dwindling.  Small businesses have always over indexed in their trades-to-apprentice ratio and the slowdown of this workshop work will affect the number of apprenticeships being offered.

What are your goals and expectations for 2020? It is the time of year when I look back at how quickly the time has flown by and forward to what I would like to achieve in the coming year.  My primary goals remain the same each year – trying to manage a work life balance with my growing kids and looking for new opportunities for Dawsons Engineering.  I expect that 2020 will continue to be busy, particularly in the mining industry and we will face increasing challenges as a nation around skilling our future workforce.

How will you be spending the Christmas/New Year period? Waterskiing at Tinaroo – the water levels are dropping really quickly so the kids are keen to get the boat on the water while there’s still some there.

What is your best/worst Christmas cracker joke?   Cracks me up every time.  What do you call a deer with no eyes?  No idea. What do you call a deer with no eyes and no ears?  Still no idea. 

What is the worst/funniest Christmas present you have ever received (or given)? My dad bought me a UniMig welder back in 1990.  He thought he was hilarious. It was well used, but never by me.

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