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Taronga Conservation Society

Taronga Conservation Society

Phil Fozard, Plumber / Water Technician

Overview – Taronga

I work for the Taronga Conservation Society Australia in the Works and Trades Division. Our Team is responsible for ensuring the maintenance and replacement of all of the plumbing throughout the Zoo. This is everything from standard plumbing through to maintenance of the Seal Show and other animal enclosures.

Why did you join Taronga Zoo and what is your role?

It was not just a job, but an opportunity to utilise the skills I’d gained throughout my extensive plumbing career. The sense of achievement and pride gained from working for such an iconic organisation. In 12 years’ service, there’s been a great variety of work.

What is the best part of your job?

The people, the variety, the interaction with keepers and animal welfare.

Would you recommend your job to others?

Yes, as a maintenance technician you have a wide range of equipment to maintain from general plumbing fixtures to animal life support systems and all to support the Zoo’s conservation initiatives.

What makes a good Plumber?

Broad-based skills within the plumbing trade and being able to adapt those skills to areas that are unique to the zoo environment. For example, animal life support systems and a flexible approach to problem solving within a dynamic environment.

What skills do you need to do your job?

All-round plumber skills and a willingness to take on new challenges.

Describe an average day:

Check all major plant and services across the site including treatment plant, water systems and plumbing fixtures. Carry out general maintenance functions from fixing blockages and, leaks to replacing fixtures. Consult with zoo keepers, contractors and project managers to get the best possible outcomes for the animals and all concerned.

What are your goals and ambitions?

Having been in the trade for many years (43) with a vast experience base I feel an obligation to pass on my experience to the younger tradesman coming through the trade. This will ensure that unique environments like the zoo will be affectively maintained in the future.

What career path does a Plumber offer?

As a base trade you can branch out into more specialised plumbing areas such as water treatment systems and life support systems for wildlife.

Working as a Plumber is a flexible and transferable trade and it is possible to work across numerous work environments and organisations.

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