Veterans find new careers in construction

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Australian Defence Force veterans are finding new careers in construction, as part of the 12,000 jobs being created across the North East Link tunnels, Eastern Freeway Upgrades, and M80 Ring Road Completion.

The ongoing partnership with Ironside Resources is helping those who have left the Defence Force to transition into civilian life and use their skills and expertise on projects like North East Link.

Barry Lamming is a diesel clerk on the North East Link tunnels who started his career as an infantry soldier.

“I enlisted and served in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville,” said Barry.

“I deployed to East Timor twice, I was a French linguist, I was also on Operation Bushfire Assist and Operation Storm Assist.”

While Barry initially served in the Australian Regular Army, he transferred to the Army Reserve in Melbourne in 2013, including a short stint at Simpson Barracks in Watsonia, before changing careers and finding work outside the Australian Defence Force.

“I got into construction as it was readily available and there was so much work in Melbourne. I have a working-class background and it was a good fit culturally.

“With the support of Ironside and the Inclusive Jobs team at Spark who trained me up to be ‘interview ready’, I applied and interviewed for the role of diesel clerk and was successful.

“The project is really exciting. It’s always changing, there’s a lot going on and a lot of sites and a lot of people.”

Veterans are also finding work on the M80 Ring Road Completion, with the project team partnering with Solider On and Helping Heroes to employ Australian Defence Force veterans in roles ranging from vehicle compliance and logistics coordination to roles within the safety and environmental teams.

North East Link will create 12,000 jobs throughout Melbourne’s north east, with priority jobseekers including veterans to fill 1000 positions on the North East Link tunnels.

Find out more about North East Link jobs at

Learn more about the history below:

North East Link