The Territory is part of its heritage as an Australian oil and gas producer and it has a duty to support young Territorians and Australians into well-paying, secure, skilled jobs.
Since the construction of Darwin LNG (DLNG) began in 2003, and operations commenced in 2006, employment and training of NT locals has underpinned the success of this project.
Jaylie Maddaford is an example of a Territory local, who has benefitted from training and work experiences at Darwin LNG. She recently won the NT Trainee of the Year – the second time in three years a Darwin LNG team member has taken out the prestigious award. Reflecting on the award, Jaylie says it is recognition of a couple of years of hard work.
“It is such an honour to be recognised by my peers and I am really excited for the future and what this award will mean for DLNG and my career,” she says.
Jaylie was employed as a Process Operator at DLNG after completing her traineeship as part of the Darwin Operations Centre Training Academy (DOCTA) in December 2019.
“LNG operations is something I have wanted to get into for around 10 years. I did my Business Traineeship at Woodside in 2009 and it was my first exposure to the oil and gas industry. “I knew then I wanted to be an operator, but didn’t have the experience or trade required. I set out working in construction and mining to gain some relevant experience before applying and being successful for the Operator Traineeship Program at DLNG in 2018.”
The operator training program has resulted in over 40 Territorians successfully completing an Operator Traineeship at DLNG and obtaining their Certificate III in Process Plant Operations since the program was first introduced in 2010.
Providing jobs and training locally means keeping more people in the Territory. Jaylie said she was glad the operator training program had given her a chance in the oil and gas industry.
“The program gave me the chance to prove I could do it and the rest is now history,” she says. “The program has been amazing for me personally. It has allowed me and my partner to buy our first home in Darwin. Professionally it has been the highlight of my career and led me to be working in my dream job – an operator in an LNG facility. “I am literally living the dream.”
Trainees have been instrumental in the success of DLNG, now representing the majority of Santos’ Process Operator workforce. The entry pathways and career development opportunities at DLNG for Territorians has led to great outcomes for local people.
“I am now employed by Santos, an Australian company with a Northern Territory heritage, which is now the operator at DLNG. I have gained competency in three of the five field areas and I feel like my future at DLNG is really bright.
“Working at DLNG is like working as part of a family. It is a large workplace, but you feel like everyone is there to support you. It has a great culture. There is never any shame in asking questions. It is an awesome place with an awesome crew.”
Joining Jaylie were Sandra Curley, fellow DLNG Process Operator, who was runner up NT Trainee of the Year, and Jessica Wattam, DLNG Admin Trainee, who was recognised as a finalist in the NT ATSI Student of the Year awards.
And for anyone thinking of applying for an operatorship in the future, Jaylie has this advice. “One hundred percent give it a go. You have nothing to lose. The support you receive, and the quality of the training is incredible. It is second to none. It has changed my life and can do the same for you as well.”
Santos training programs create skills development and career pathways, well-paying and secure jobs, and help build a better future for passionate and skilled Territorians.
Following the Northern Territory election, Santos is keen to get on with training Territorians for the jobs of the future, driving investment and supporting regional development right across the NT.