Kevin Walters, current Brisbane Broncos coach and former NRL player and Queensland Origin coach, talks about the importance of staying safe at work.
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(upbeat music) - Hello everyone and welcome. I'm Kevin Walters, thanks for having me today. I'm going to speak to you this morning a little bit about myself first up, so you can get an opportunity to get to know the actual person who I am.
And also the second part of my little chat this morning is about safety and importance of safety in the workforce. It's something that I'm really passionate about. I've got a long history in the trade industry. From a long time, my grandfather was a carpenter, my father was a carpenter, my brother's a carpenter. I'm a carpenter myself and also I've got three boys who are carpenters as well. So we've got a long history in the industry. So it's something that's very important to me. But firstly, a little bit about myself. I grew up in Ipswich from a family. I've got five brothers, mother and father, both working class people in Ipswich.
Finished school, obviously in Ipswich and then became a tradesman. I got a carpentry apprenticeship. I actually worked with my brother. He was my boss at the time. But carpentry, whilst I'm very passionate about it, my big passion was rugby league and venturing into that semi-professional world of rugby league. This is in the late 80s. I moved to Canberra, played for the Canberra Raiders for three years and finished my apprenticeship down in Canberra. I actually got it transferred down to Canberra. So I was working full-time as a carpentry apprentice through the day. And then in the afternoons and evenings, I'd go and train with the Canberra Raiders who were my football club at the time. Some very successful times in Canberra as well. We made the premiership, the grand final in 1987 and 89 when I was there. 89 was a famous grand final for extra time and Steve Jackson's try. I was very fortunate to be part of that. And my time in Canberra also brought me, I won an award, not from a football award, but actually a carpentry award as the apprentice of the year. I think that was heavily supported by a lot of the Canberra people, the Canberra Raiders supporters at the time. But I was very grateful for the opportunity to play for the Canberra Raiders. I then moved back to Brisbane when the Broncos ended into the national rugby league competition. And I signed up for the Broncos in 1990. At that stage, I was still doing carpentry work as well as being a semi-professional rugby league person. And over the next couple of years, we continued along over the Broncos. We were very successful winning premierships led by our great leader, Alan Langer and our great coach, Wayne Bennett. We were very successful period, both for me personally and also for the Broncos club. We managed to win five premierships at the Broncos through my playing career there. I had 11 years there as a player from 1990 to 2000. The last year of my playing career, we actually won the grand final against the Roosters and I was the captain of that side. So I was very privileged and very grateful for the opportunity to play at the Broncos. And then my coaching career started. I started coaching then.
The carpentry skills and the tools were left behind and I got into obviously full-time coaching firstly at lower levels. And then as an assistant with Wayne Bennett at the Broncos, that was a really steep learning curve for me certainly when it comes to learning you trade really well and being very good at your trade. Wayne was a great mentor for me for a long period of time. And then I actually, in 2005, I got demoted by the Broncos and released into the open market. So then I went back to square one and started to rebuild my coaching career with stints up at Ipswich with the Ipswich Jets and also overseas in France. That was a great experience for myself and my family. I took all of the kids over there. I've got five children myself, which is a rather large family I get. But it's been tremendous seeing my children grow up and mature now. The oldest one, Jack is 31 years of age.
Billy, who plays for the Broncos is 29. Billy's getting married shortly as well. So that's very exciting for him. And then I've got Jett, who's 27. And then Harry and Ava, Harry's 21 next year. And Ava's finishing her last year of school at All Hallows here in Brisbane.
She's just about to head into her external exams, which is very exciting for all the family, particularly for young Ava. My last child was a girl, so we're very blessed in that space. It's opened up all of our eyes and our ears and our minds as to being a strong male presence in our family, to having Ava present in our family, it's been absolutely delightful.
And one of the reasons with my sporting career is why I feel I've been so successful is my dedication to my work. I feel like I'm really committed with what I do. If I set my mind on something to do, I certainly go after it. I've got a lot of great belief in myself, not only as a person, but also as a person that can bring change and bring change to people.
Not sure if many of you, with my job at the Broncos and been coaching, it's very much critiqued.
So it's taught me a lot about myself and having a lot of belief within yourself. If you wanna get to where you wanna go and be successful in life, you've really gotta stick to your principles and knuckle down and have two or three firm ideas in your head that you really believe in and then get those people that are around you and supporting you believing in that as well. And I feel like that's been a great achievement of mine as a person. I've certainly been through a lot as a player and also then in my coaching career with coaching Queensland. I'll never forget.
One of the things when you are in a leadership position is having to make strong decisions around leadership. The 2017 State of Origin series, I was the coach for Queensland against New South Wales. In game one, we left Billy Slater, the selectors and myself included, left the great Billy Slater out of team one. Was part of my job was to ring Billy up and let him know that he wasn't in the side, which was a tough phone call to make, but I feel in that strong leadership position that when I had to make, so I rang Billy up and I informed him that he wouldn't be in the side.
He didn't agree with the decision, and obviously was quite upset by it all, but agreed just to get on with things and offered his assistance in the preparation of the team throughout the week and guaranteed me that he'd be seeing me for Origin 2, which was back in Brisbane.
So, So then I had, obviously growing up in Rugby League and I was very fortunate to be there for the first State of Origin game in Queensland at Lane Park and my dad took us down and we're obviously a Rugby League family. So we used to sit around the table on a Sunday night and pick our State of Origin teams and write them down and hand them into dad and then we'd have a family discussion around the team. It was quite surreal to, this was 20 years later or 30 years later in my life that I was actually the person in charge of picking that team and my family. We went through the same process. My two younger kids at the time, Harry and Ava. Harry was about 13 at the time and Ava was about nine.
They made up a big cardboard placard when we were sitting around having dinner with in pretty big letters, bring back Billy and underneath it in even bigger letters, you dickhead. So we managed to select Billy. That was for game two. If I hadn't selected Billy, I probably would have been divorced as well from my wife. So it was a great decision by everyone to bring Billy back into the side. Those of you that are Rugby League fanatics, you might remember that was the time Jonathan Thurston kicked the goal from the sideline to win the game for Queensland and tie the series up in Sydney and that brought us back to Queensland for game three which was a very memorable game as well. It was Cameron Smith's last game of State of Origin. We didn't know that at the time but the journalists through the week had spiked a bit of controversy into the game by saying that Cameron was probably past his best as a footballer and that was just music to my ears as the coach of the Queensland team hearing journalists speak about Cameron Smith in that way. Cameron, it was Cameron's last game, his 42nd game of State of Origin. It was his best game for Queensland. So it was a great lesson to all of us in life that your best work is still always in front of you. I feel it was a tremendous effort from Cameron at his age as well, I think it was 33 which is quite young in life but from a football perspective, it's quite mature so it was amazing to see him play and perform the way he did. As I say, it was a great lesson for all of us in life that your best work is always in front of you and I continue to take that moment with me in my career at the moment. I'm still coaching obviously the Broncos. We had a tremendous year this year at the Broncos making the grand final. Unfortunately, losing in the dying moments of the game but I feel like again that our best football at the Broncos is in front of us.
I've also faced a lot of hardship, well some hardship in my life.
When I was 27 years of age, my wife, first wife Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer which was a horrible thing. I had three children, Jack who was nine at the time, Billy was six and Jet was three. So we went through a really tough period there. I feel that steals me. There was a couple of ways I could have gone with my thought process around Kim's illness and Kim was certainly a very brave young woman but she really steeled me into the track that we fought hard on was just to get on with things especially could support Kim in every way that we could but also just try and get on and not feel sorry for ourselves or disappointed why me, why us, why our family and I believe that I instilled that through the kids as well and they've got a really good outlook on life. I mean, there's always people in life going through a lot of hardship but I feel it's best if you face that hardship front on, confront it and then just deal with it the best way that you can as an individual. I mean, there's many different ways that we handle things as people and as characters. For me, the best way forward was to face it front on and face the music, get as much love and support as we could around Kim and my family. And I was very fortunate through that period with my mum and dad and my brothers, I've got a big family and they were all very supportive of us through that period. We got through the other side and I was fortunate enough to meet another lady who was now very big part of my life, married to Norell and we have two beautiful children in Harry and Ava. So I'm very proud of how we handle that whole part of my life and certainly now where we are as a family, very tight knit group and we sort of live our lives as best we can but also very respectful of where we need to be with our lives.
So my coaching career has been full of ups and downs as well for a lot of people.
It didn't show a lot of faith in me in the early stages but certainly, as I said earlier, I have a lot of faith and a lot of belief in myself and how we can do things. I like to keep things really simple in life. I feel that's the best way forward. I was never a really bright student at school which is something that still haunts me today. I feel that I should have tried possibly a little bit harder at school academically.
My daughter Ava, as I said earlier, she's going to her year 12 exams at school at All Hallows and she's actually quite academic and very bright. So it surprises me somewhat but also my wife Norell, she's a lawyer. So maybe she gets all that academic work from her. Let's just say it's a good balance in our lives. But yeah, she's doing great at school.
Back through my school, as I say, I was very fortunate to get a good schooling at Ipswich Grammar and then I progressed into the Carpetery Apprenticeship and into Rugby League and then into coaching. So my life's been full of lots of great experiences. Certainly living overseas was a tremendous experience for all of my family. We all went over there for a couple of years, got a great experience there. And then we moved back to Melbourne, worked under Craig Bellamy and his tutelage at the Melbourne Storm for three years. And then we ended up back coaching Queensland at State of Rajan level. And just three years ago, after the Broncos received the wooden spoon, we got called in to coach there which has been a life long dream of mine. I'm very proud to be working back at the Broncos. Certainly, I don't see it as a job. I see it as my little part in the Broncos wheel of getting them back on track and playing the football. Excuse me. That I believe everyone in Queensland and in fact across Australia and across the world, my thoughts on the Broncos as a player where we love to play good football but also be good people as well and have strong characters within our group. So for me, I feel like we're on the right path at the Broncos. We're certainly doing some great things. And the grand final was a tremendous experience. I'm also a big believer in things happen for a reason. We lost that game, unfortunately, but I feel there's some really good learnings and lessons for all of us, coaching staff, players, all of our fans, all of our supporters, sponsors, everyone involved in the club. Some great lessons learned which will put us in a really strong position in the next four or five years to go after that title and win several premierships. So, you know, I feel like we're in a good position now to do that. And I guess myself as the head coach of the Broncos, a lot of that responsibility lies within me. So that's a quick summary of my life. As I said, I've got five children now. I've got two grandchildren as well. Got a two-year-old grandson, Hugo, and a six-month-old granddaughter, Halle, to my oldest two boys. And then they're both getting married. One's getting married next week, and the other one's getting married in 12 months' time. So right now, the Walters household is in a tremendous place which moves me on to, you know, health and safety in the workforce. Certainly, I've got a long history on job sites. My father was a carpenter, as I said. I remember being on job sites. You know, my dad was a builder. He used to build houses for Dixon Homes and for Jennings. Way back, some of you might remember those names of builders. But my father worked for them. And at school holidays, we'd often tag-team with Dad on a rotation basis because there was five boys. So Dad, trying to be fair about things, we'd get one day a week going to work with my father.
And I always remember safety was the foremost thing in Dad's mind when he was on the job site, particularly with young. I was only 13, so nowadays, that's probably not allowed. But back in the... This is the early 80s. That was certainly something that, you know, you went to work with your dad.
And I always remember how safe... Always remember, as I say, how we... was very cautious of the safety side of things on the job site. And I guess that was passed back to my elder brother, Brett, who's a carpenter as well.
And also myself about how important it is to be safe on the job site. We were very fortunate as a family. You know, we've got a history of carpentry and tradesmen in our family. We've been very fortunate not to have any serious injuries to anyone of us, but a lot of my friends and a lot of mates of mates have gone through some horrible situations on the job site. You know, and I'd like to think that I could make a difference in that space as an ambassador for Queensland Health and Safety,
just making sure that, you know, when you go to work... It's one of my biggest fears in life is that, you know, I've still got two sons working now in the building industry that they go to work one day and either get injured badly or worst-case scenario, don't come home. And that, to me, would be extremely...
It'd just be awful, awful, awful. And I've been through this, not, you know, on a personal situation, losing my first wife, and I know that the impacts that it has has across not only my family, but other families as well when this happens. So, for me, it's something that I would really cherish and look forward to being an ambassador, you know, for Health and Safety, as I say, really understand about it all. You know, I feel that I can make a difference, you know, in that space if we can just stop one person from getting injured and save one life, you know, on the job site. I feel that would be a marvellous situation, you know, to be in.
Some of my thoughts around safety is a bit like coaching. I mean, I go to work every day. We have 30 players in the NRL squad working each day. We go up to 20 coaches, so there'll be about 50 people on any one day, you know, working, you know, at the Broncos. And my first thought process is, is everyone safe? And Rugby League is a collision sport, obviously, and with HIA's head injury assessment in Rugby League is... I firmly believe that we're heading along the right path for the safety of players. A lot of this is taking place at training as well. Certainly, training is a much safer environment, and I feel like that is my responsibility more than anyone else's as the head coach of the Broncos to make sure that all of our staff players included feel very safe in a work environment. And I feel that, you know, you have to have a plan. This, you know, we've certainly very well planned, you know, at the Broncos without getting too distant on things. One of the things that we wanted to do this year at the Broncos was to become the best offensive team, and that was our strategy because we know that the best offensive teams are often in the grand final and often win the grand final. And for us, the plan was around getting a strategy to be the best offensive team. And I know that workplace health and safety have brilliant plans around eliminating the possibility of injury, you know, on the job site, as well as maintaining that throughout the year. And communication is a big one as well for me. I feel like in our little network at the Broncos, communication is the key to everything, and I feel this would transfer across into the workplace if everyone is aware of certain situations or aware of a dangerous situation. That can be communicated across the job site. I feel this would be, you know, something that could be certainly improved.
Communication, as I say, that's one of the most strong assets, you know, as a person, although if you talk to my wife, she probably doesn't agree with you on that thing, on that subject. But communication is everything, making sure that everyone is aware of certain situations, particularly, you know, when you're working with larger numbers, or even on smaller job sites where the numbers aren't so big, communication becomes even more important on the dangers, you know, that may be there on the job site. Certainly being aware of, you know, making sure that you're manufacturing all your tools are working properly. I feel that's a big one as well.
If you go to work one day and your tools aren't right, or the machinery you're working with, you know, is not working properly, you've got to make sure that that's fixed, because safety is foremost in everyone's mind. You want to come home from a day's work, enjoy what you're doing, but certainly come home and be with loved ones and your family, making sure that that's a priority.
And for me, as I say, at the Broncos, that's something that we've worked really hard on, through our communication and being safe, you know, on the job site.
As I said, my two sons are working now as carpenters. The eldest boy, Jack, is working for a small building firm. And my youngest son, Harry, is also currently working for a small building firm. And they go to work each day, and I continue to remind them. And actually talking to my eldest boy, Harry, last night about he's doing some TAFE courses and that as well. And he tells me that the courses are very good on making sure that everyone's safe and well on the job site. There's a lot of information that is taken in by Harry and also Jack making sure that they remain safe, you know, on the job site, as I say, because we want to make sure that our loved ones do come home after a hard day's work each day.
I guess another important factor in workplace health and safety is certainly identifying hazards and removing those hazards as quickly as you can. Some little things, you know, might seem not quite dangerous at the time, but if a strong thought goes into it and you remove those hazards, I think this would be a good step in the right direction. Often the smallest hazards, which would seem not to be quite dangerous, would, if you can eliminate the smaller things, which certainly would help the job site be a much safer place, removing those hazards, identifying the hazards and, you know, removing those hazards.
The other thing that strikes me is one thing that we do really well at the Broncos is our communication and our review process. As a coach, as I said earlier, I get reviewed daily through media channels and social media, weekly, monthly. I feel as a professional sportsperson working in the professional sports industry, you know, I feel I've learned a lot of lessons about reviewing players, reviewing games, previewing games, and this, I feel, would be very important. And a great strategy to have on the job site is to regular meetings on and transferring that information about how the job site's going from a safety point of view, what are some issues that may be coming up in the next couple of weeks, or the next day or the next hour across the job site. I feel that in the sporting industry, we get reviewed on this weekly and I feel it's made me a better person as a coach. And also I feel our players are learning more regularly as players with the review structure regularly, whether it be after training, after games, through the week, I feel that the more information we can give players, the better they'll be, and I feel this would transfer across into the job site where information is there regularly and feedback is there as well. And reviewing and revising plans on building sites are extremely important.
The other thing that I believe I have a strong connection with is, I'm going to call them the younger people of today, they're certainly a lot different to my era when I was a carpenter.
You know, we have... I work with a range of people ranging from 18 years of age, who'd be our younger squad member through to 33 or 34 years of age. So there's a... And some of them are married, some of them have children, some of them are single, some of them are living the life, you know. So they all come from different backgrounds and I feel like I've got a really strong perspective on the way this generation of 18 to 33s think and behave and how they learn best, because, let's face it, my job at the Broncos is coaching, but also teaching our players about our game and about... Not our game, but also about life in general. I feel like I'm a fatherly figure to a lot of these boys, even though I've got five children myself, I feel like I can be a strong influence over them when they're not sort of at training or not playing games. What are they doing when they're not at training? Is this a great environment for them to be in? And I feel this would transfer across into the ambassadorship. I feel I have that connection with everybody, given my background, growing up with my parents, their working class background. I feel this would be a good connection with the tradespeople and the building industry from young apprentices, whether they be male or female, into older people like myself. Actually, my birthday tomorrow. Happy birthday, Kev. I'll be 56 tomorrow, so looking forward to that, to spending some great time with my family. That's a bit off-target there, but, yeah, I'm just letting you know, basically, that I've got a strong affiliation with all sorts of different ages. So I feel like I can communicate in a way that...
...no matter what age you are, that I can communicate and get my thoughts across to you in a way that would make everyone much better for the long run. So, you know, I'm very excited about the next couple of years at the Broncos and also very excited with the opportunity that could present itself here with Queensland Workplace Health and Safety. I feel like I can make a difference on the job site. Certainly, with my personality, as I say,
I'd like to connect with people and making sure that they're working safely and getting home to their loved ones daily, weekly, yearly. It's a thing that I'm really passionate about to make sure that, you know, we have a safe working environment and people stop and take a second to think about what their actions could lead to and certainly making sure that they're very strong in their thoughts and thinking about what they're doing all the time. It's one thing that my father has processed back through to me is, before you do anything, think about what you're doing. Is it safe? Is it a safe work environment? Is it going to... What are the ramifications here if I don't do what I'm supposed to do? So I feel like I'm the right person to bring that forward and the connection with the Broncos, everybody... I'm not going to say everybody, but most people in Queensland are aware of the Broncos and who they are and what they stand for. And, you know, I feel like we could make a huge difference, you know, across the workforce by communicating the message of safety and how important it is every minute of every day to make sure that you get home, you know, to your families.
Rather than stand up here and sort of talk a bit more about that, I might take some questions from everybody out there that's listening. So please send your questions through. I'll be happy to answer them in any way that they'd like.
So first question is about my best advice to a young person going into the building trade to be safe mentally and physically.
Well, my best advice there is just really just to think about actually what you're doing each and every moment when you're on the job site, when you're travelling to work.
That certainly can be a dangerous position as well. So you need to be thinking about it all the time without overkill. Also, you know, the building industry is such an exciting industry to work in. So, you know, I feel like if you can start your trade and be... You know, I've always enjoyed being part of a team. It's a big... It's been a massive part of my life, always being part of a team, whether I was on the job site working with other carpenters and tradesmen or working in the team environment as a rugby league person. I feel like you can learn so much from other people. So, you know, just be safe on the... Be smart about what you're doing and always think of the dangers when you are on the job site. And certainly from a mental point of view, that's a big...
Not so much issue, but it's becoming more relevant with today's environment, making sure that you're really safe mentally as well, which I'm sure that someone else can speak to you more about that. But, you know, it's a strong position that we find ourselves in, in the trade industry. We've got to make sure that everyone, you know, is safe.
How do you manage fatigue and wellbeing for yourself under so much pressure for your workers and your team? Oh, that's an easy one.
I've got a little dog called Benji, and I walk him daily around the park. He's had a tough couple of years, poor old Benji, but this year he's actually come out of his shell a bit as a dog. And all seriously, I think it's really important to talk to people about how you're feeling.
My wife and my family have been really good in that space. I've also got, as part of our staff, we've got wellbeing officers at the Broncos who I continually speak with. We've also got a psychologist that's working at the Broncos, which I'm sure is available to a lot of people in the workforce industry to talk to people about how you're feeling, about not just your working life, but also your private life as well. That can affect, you know, how you do things on the job site. So having a really clear mind is really important, but also feeling good about yourself and where you are. And that's not just a matter of waking up every day and, you know, if you are feeling a bit down and mentally fatigued or physically fatigued, speak to someone about it. We often, you know, if I can relate my working industry at the moment at the Broncos back to certain situations, we've got lots of our players with kids and family as a priority for us. I certainly have no hesitation in players missing training for family reasons or health reasons or mental health problems. Certainly, I've got no problems in that space. So I feel it's best to get yourself physically and mentally well before you even take a step outside the house.
Another question coming through is, "What would you do if one of your players' staff were taking shortcuts in the workplace like not wearing a high-vis vest?" Well, we have certain standards at the Broncos, and I would have certain standards. So that player or person at the Broncos would certainly be dismissed back to get his vest. And if you continue not to wear his high-vis vest, there would be some sanctions around that, which the player and the management would agree on. Not difficult things, but just enough to, you know, ensure. And that person would be sat down and instructed why the importance of wearing the vest is for his or her health and safety on the job site.
And as I say, there's certain standards at the Broncos and on the job site that need to be upheld, and certainly wearing the high-vis is certainly in that space. So wear your high-vis or don't come on the job site.
Next question, "How do you deal with change, Kevy?" Well, that's been a good one for me. I've had from, again, speaking in my era as a carpenter and also as a rugby league player, and certainly the world has changed a lot. I really enjoy working at the Broncos and dealing with the change without getting too silly about things. A lot of our players, not a lot of them, some of them come in with painted nails and the like, which is certainly different to my era. The hairstyles are all different. The attitude is certainly different.
Today's player, I'm not going to say they're a bit more selfish, but they're certainly more concerned about themselves, which is fine. I have no problem with that. It's important to feel good about yourself and what you're doing.
And for that to happen, we need to support our players in every way that we can. So I really embrace change.
I think we're always evolving and changing, and I feel like if I don't move with the times, that, you know, we sort of get left behind. So embrace change. Certainly, personal development is another big one of mine, making sure that we're continually getting better as a person each and every day.
Next question is, "How important is the culture "for the direction and development of up-and-coming staff "and players or workers?" Well, it's very important. It's one of the things that we had to change at the Broncos when I first came in was the culture of the Broncos. It wasn't a very nice place to work in. I feel that there was a lot of disconnection among the players and staff, for that matter. So part of my job was to remove those distractions and the people that weren't prepared to tie into what the Broncos and what our culture was about. And simple things like, you know, being on time, wearing the right equipment, keeping the place tidy. They're not big issues, but little things that are very simple and very effective to create a good culture where people want to come and not only work, but actually excel with their work and do good things. And I feel like we're in a space now where that's happening. There are consequences for, as I said earlier, the standards that we've set. And if you don't meet those standards, and that's hurting our culture, well, then it would deal with... Not financially, I don't feel that's the way of doing things, but from a physical point of view, we like to make sure that our players are ready and ready to play.
What advice would you give to a young, green apprentice who witnesses unsafe actions as to how to best call it out without being punished for it? Very simple. That one as well is...
What you have a saying at the Broncos, if you walk past something, that means... And that's not right. That means you're condoning that message or that effort. So I'd like to think that everyone has a voice, no matter if you're a young apprentice on the job site.
I'm sure there would be avenues for you to communicate your message to those that are higher above without ramifications or sanctions or punishment. I feel that the world is moving. I've got a lot of faith and trust in our next generation of young people coming through that they do have a voice, and they can have a voice, and that voice is respected. Certainly in our work environment, that's the case, and I'd like to think that that would be the case, although sometimes I get it. It's not. But you have to find the right connection. If you are a young apprentice, find the right person who you can trust and you can believe in to deliver the message because you need to keep yourself safe and you need to keep others around you safe as well. And by walking past something that's unsafe, that's not the right thing to do.
I spoke about having to deliver information that wasn't pleasant. Do you have an example? Yes.
And where have you been proactive in addressing dangerous situations within the workplace? Certainly, delivering information, one of the worst things of my... ..or the hardest roles of my job is telling a player that he's not in the side. One of those was this year at the back end of the season was Corey Aats, very experienced player, but we made a decision to run with Jesse Arthur's on the wing. So I feel that honesty is the best policy in this process, being honest with players and delivering the message honestly. That's the best way you can deal with it. And I feel that the modern player certainly respects the honesty side of the game. And, you know, if you're telling the truth, when you're speaking to players, I feel that they handle that best that way.
So, yeah, certainly got an open...
..office, you might call it, at the Broncos, where players, if they're unhappy or dissatisfied with something, whether it's around selection or training or how they've been training, I've got an open door policy where certainly they can have a voice and an ear and then they'll explain to them, "I can either agree with them or disagree "and explain to them in a truthful way."
Certainly, the dangerous situations... I'll move on to the next one. "What traits do you feel are best leadership qualities "a manager can demonstrate or live by?"
Well, that's an easy one.
Well, for me, there's three things that I really sort of stand by. Certainly, being on time is one that I pride myself on, whether it's for a team meeting, whether it's for a game, whether it's for training, I pride myself on being on time. Second thing is respect. Respect amongst everyone. I give everyone the respect that they deserve because I like to think that they would give the respect back to me. I feel that respect is something that I feel really strongly about, no matter what background you come from, who you are, what you've done. I feel like if you can respect people, you get the best results out of them. And the third thing is... And this is a little bit left field, but the enjoyment side of working, I feel... And I'm very privileged with my job where I work, but any workforce, I feel like there's an enjoyment factor there and a real team unity on the job site. I feel that gets the best out in people and it builds a really strong culture when people are going to work. And work's not always fun. I get that. It's not always fun at the Broncos. But if there's times when you can enjoy yourself and really believe in what you're doing and enjoy what you're doing, I feel that creates a really strong and a good, happy environment as well where people feel connected with each other.
When you think about safety, what comes to mind first?
Safety is a priority for me, whether it be... And again, relating back to my time as a carpenter, I always thought about what my actions would detail if I saw some things that I feel like weren't safe. It was quite easy for me to go up to someone more senior and discuss this with them. I feel, again, communicating the safety first mindset is a priority for me. You know, the work environment at the Broncos can be quite dangerous as well in gyms and lifting weights and heavy equipment. So there's a really strong policy that we have at the Broncos of thinking about what you're doing first and action second. So, you know, I believe strongly in this field and I believe that we can... You know, if we can all have that same mentality about safety first, that's a good start, you know, and making sure that you come home to your loved ones daily, weekly, yearly.
Last question. What's been my career highlight to date? Well, there's been so many. From a personal point of view, you know, I feel the birth of my children has been something that's been delightful, but we'll talk about my career. The premierships I can't sort of split and even this year's grand final, that whole week was magnificent from a Broncos point of view.
I feel, again, that my career highlight is still in front of me and we look forward to another successful few years at the Broncos. And who knows, I might see you on a job site one day. That would be a highlight as well. So thanks, everyone, for joining me this morning. Your questions have been great online today as part of Safe Work Month for 2023. Please stay safe and remember to put safety first. Always. Always. Thank you.