Meet Peter Susovich, Operations Leader - Horticulture and winner of our 2020-2021 PRIDE employee awards under the category of ‘Live Will, Work Well’, a category recognising employees who actively support the safety and wellbeing of others at work.
Peter is known as an inspirational leader who takes the time to think about safety in every facet of his work. He continues to surprise us with his multi-talented skillset that covers everything from making videos to tracking tasks via location-enabled cloud-based mapping. More recently, Peter also spearheaded SMCT’s Traffic Management Project at Springvale Botanical Cemetery, a project that will keep all who travel through the SBC maintenance area safe each day.
We took a moment to check in with Peter and find out more about his role and vision for the future.
Tell us about your role at SMCT.
As Operations Leader for Horticulture, I lead my amazing team to ensure that our sites are looking their best for our community. SMCT is known for its beautifully landscaped spaces and my team play a significant part in that. I also manage safety, planning, coordination, training, industry engagement, and our fleet of specialised vehicles and equipment.
Tell us a bit about a project or initiative you’re currently working on.
I was walking through our maintenance area at Springvale Botanical Cemetery one day when I noticed how tricky it could be to safely walk from one side to the other with multiple flows of traffic, unclear signage, and trades continuously coming in and out. I created a video highlighting the safety issues I could see and shared it with our executive team. They were really enthusiastic and supportive, and the Traffic Management Project team was created as a result.
The project is a collaboration, in which we’ve all had an opportunity to identify areas of concern such as vehicle speed, two-way traffic, and pedestrians walking through drop off areas. Through some creative thinking that places safety at its core, we’re improving safety and also making it much easier for contractors and delivery drivers coming into the area. We’ve introduced more safety signs, designated parking bays and, best of all, a one-way traffic flow through the area to ease congestion.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your role here at SMCT?
Coming to work every day and seeing the safety improvements that we, as a team, have made in the Springvale maintenance area is really rewarding. It’s a daily reminder of how our teams across Operations have been instrumental in making the area safer for everyone at SMCT.
What’s your biggest source of inspiration?
Coming from a transport background, I’ve assisted in many investigations into workplace injuries and, sadly, loss of life. I get inspiration from seeing people, often with limited safety knowledge or experience, start to understand the risks and impact. It’s gratifying to put the tools into place to reduce those risks and guide us to a safe workplace. I am deeply committed to ensuring everyone goes home safe and well at the end of a working day. I want everyone to be willing to have the hard conversations and make the tough choices needed to continue transforming our safety culture into a positive and powerful business asset.
How did it feel to win the ‘Live Well, Work Well’ award at this year’s PRIDE Awards?
It was great to win the award! I felt proud of my great team and all the teams in Operations and across SMCT that have supported me. This one goes out to the whole team!