The state’s biggest vaccination centre is a lot like an airplane according to training and education lead Marty Dawson.
“With an aircraft we assist our customers with boarding, finding their seat and we ensure they enjoy an exceptional level of service during their flight,” Marty said.
“In this centre it is a very similar situation as we are helping people check-in, find their seat and make them feel comfortable before they receive their vaccination.”
Marty sees a lot of similarities between health and aviation, but that’s to be expected from someone who’s dedicated his career to the skies and safety.
He is among more than 200 Qantas staff working at Qudos Bank Arena Vaccination Centre, where he brings his decades of experience in customer service to oversee the Qantas instructors who provide training for thousands of staff.
Their job is to make sure every single one of the hundreds of thousands of vaccination recipients has the best experience possible from arrival to departure.
Marty’s day begins at 5.30am to get an early start on any operational issues that can be addressed from a training point of view.
Whether it’s getting new staff up to speed, addressing any issues or seeing how the training is actually working in practice, Marty covers most of the site each day.
With most planes grounded for the past 18 months, Marty said his role at Qudos Bank Arena has helped hone his skills for his eagerly-anticipated return to the industry he loves.
“I see it with the Qantas staff here. They’re incredibly thankful that health has brought them on, given them this opportunity, given them some purpose while they have been unable to fly,” Marty said.
“But we look upwards because that’s where we belong and that’s where we want to be. Flying is in our blood.
“We’re at home when we’re in the air. So, if we can work towards that here, working with health, it just serves us even better.”
While he pines to be back in the air, Marty said he will always have fond memories of his unexpected stint working with Western Sydney Local Health District.
“This is the biggest thing I’ll be involved in. I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve been able to achieve with a lot of incredibly talented people,” he said.
“We’ve brought on about 2,000 staff. And this is something unique in that we’ve built, trained, staffed and opened all in the space of a week. It’s incredible what we’ve achieved with the amazing people here.
“When the bars are open, I’d love to just sit down and have a quiet drink with the team here and say, wow. What a great effort.”