Working in the water industry has opened up a world of possibility for Rodger Mottram – and a career that has proven both fascinating and varied.
Whether it is Lake Eppalock, Lake Eildon, Tullaroop Reservoir, Lake Mokoan or Dartmouth Dam – he has experienced working at them all.
Rodger, a Senior Storage Officer at Lake Eppalock, marks an impressive 32 years with Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) this month as he hangs up his hat and moves on to the next chapter in life with his family.
“I’ve bought a house in Mildura so I’m going to semi-retire up there. I’ve got an opportunity to drive buses,” Rodger said.
“I might do a bit of travelling around Australia and apart from football, I hope to get back into lawn bowls,” he said.
Throughout his career, Rodger has always lived on-site at the water storages where he has worked – making the role not only a career but a lifestyle.
Rodger remembers visiting Lake Eildon several years ago with his family, while employed at a different office.
“My two boys were still young at that stage. We were at the viewing platform at Eildon and I remember looking out at the view and thinking, ‘It would be so great to work here’,” he said.
Eighteen months later a vacancy came up – and Rodger was the man for the job.
“I loved it there – both for the variety that came with the job and for my family,” he said.
During that 15-year stint, Rodger was involved with the $52 million Eildon Dam Improvement Works which saw upgrades to the main embankment between 2003 and 2005.
“My task was to take daily readings from the dam safety instruments,” he said.
“Sometimes it was ten-hour days, six days a week but it was worth it – it was a real highlight in my career. I worked with some wonderful people.”
Rodger said another memorable role was his involvement with the Lake Mokoan Restoration Project prior to its decommissioning in 2009.
“Lake Mokoan had recurring blue-green algae blooms so the project was all about looking at better ecology so the algae could be controlled.
“Some of the run-off from properties surrounding the lake was also changing the ecology of the water. We were looking at ways to lower the nutrient levels,” he said.
Most recently, Rodger has spent six years working at Lake Eppalock in a role that includes operation of the lake, maintenance, recreation, safety on the water and land management.
“The line of work that I’ve been involved in has been a real privilege. This is not something I’ve taken lightly. I’ve loved the variety of work and I’ve loved the environment in which I do it. And I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some interesting characters along the way,” he said.
Rodger will formally finish with GMW at the end of March.