From apprentice to manager on the Melbourne Park Redevelopment

Published: 7 June 2022

Eight years ago, Ryan McGie jumped at an opportunity that would unknowingly change his life.

Ryan McGieHe accepted a position as an apprentice carpenter working on the Melbourne Park Redevelopment with the construction company Lendlease.

Little did he know at the time, this career decision would provide him the financial stability to marry the love of his life, have two children and purchase a house.

Ryan started work on the redevelopment as a labourer, before moving up the ranks as a lending hand, a supervisor and into his current role as an environment health and safety manager.

“It was quite the transition and an unreal experience,” he said.

“The precinct has been a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it weren’t for this project.

“I hit so many major life milestones throughout the process ̶ getting married, having kids and buying a house.”

The Victorian Government’s $972 million Melbourne Park Redevelopment is on the land of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation. It included upgrades to Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena, and construction of a new 5,000 seat show court arena and Melbourne’s newest conference and events venue, CENTREPIECE.

The vision and support for the project was provided by Development Victoria, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Tennis Australia and Melbourne & Olympic Parks.

The redevelopment was completed in August 2021 after almost a decade of construction work. During that time, it contributed significantly to the state’s economy by creating 2,300 full-time jobs. Many went to locals like Ryan under the Government’s Local Jobs First policy.

“I think it’s important projects like this employ local people because look what it’s done for me,” he said.

“It taught me a bunch of different skills and my career pathway has branched off in a number of different directions.

“There were a number of apprentices that went through that project at the time and many have gone on to do exciting things.”

Looking back, Ryan said the people he worked with contributed to his positive experience.

“Throughout the years, everybody was working together to achieve the same goal,” he said.

“It was incredible being there to see what it was to what it is now.”