Pioneers of change

The Drain Man

The group of TDM entities are proud to be leading the way with equal opportunity employment and presenting opportunities for women to have a rewarding career within the trenchless and pipeline rehabilitation sector.

The Drain Man’s Rosie Bureta and Viktorija Rajicic are testimony to The Drain Man’s promise of providing equal opportunity within the workplace. 

Despite neither of the women having any previous experience in drain clearing and relining when they joined The Drain Man, their attitudes, work ethic and hunger to learn has lead to Bureta and Rajicic being recognised across the business as one of its strongest pull in place (PIP) relining crews.

Working as a team, the pair are extremely productive and diligent in how they go about their work – having a high level of attention to detail, focused on ensuring their work is delivered in a safe and efficient manner and pride in how they work and prepare themselves. 

Bureta and Rajicic have not only enhanced their skills and learnt a new trade but have also built a friendship which they believe is crucial to their success. 

Rosie Bureta – The Drain Main crew leader 

Bureta first started with The Drain Man in September 2018 after having a background in concreting and realising that career path was taking a toll on her body. 

After four years working with The Drain Man, Bureta is now the crew leader after making her way up through different roles. 

Admitting it was a lot to learn at first, she says the first couple of months in the job she was more reserved and needed a lot of guidance from her crew leader at the time. 

“Being in an all-male industry and being female was daunting at first. But as I found my feet, the guys were pretty awesome to learn off,” she says. 

“The chance to learn off Brad and other supervisors really helped me have the confidence every day to be able to know what I’m doing now. Today, I can do it with my eyes closed, whereas before I needed someone to hold my hand.” 

Bureta says there are so many aspect of the job that her team need to prepare and says it is important to have someone on your team who you can communicate with and a strong partnership with. 

She says by having Rajicic on her team makes everything easier. 

“I was lucky enough to work with someone like Vik who knew me when we started and that’s how I got her into the industry. She knows what I require, without me having to say, and she is always covering my back,” Bureta says. 

Despite being a male-dominated industry, Bureta says she has a lot more respect for the men she works alongside every day.  She says at first when she was working by herself, she made a few errors and expected her male co-workers to yell at her. Instead, they were patient and helped Bureta get through the job a lot easier. 

“Especially given the fact that I didn’t have much experience at first, and now knowing a lot more what I did back then, surprisingly, I haven’t made many errors in the last years. I also challenged myself as well because I was the only female, to be honest, I wanted to be the best,” she says.

Bureta encourages any females wanting to get into the industry to not be afraid and give it a go. 

“You need to trust that you will improve by being patient and just being open to new things, and willing to give anything a go.” 

Looking to the future Bureta has her sights set on becoming a supervisor and continue learning as much as she can about the industry.  

“There’s a lot that I need to improve on and learn, but I just want to down pat one thing at a time and eventually become the best at it,” Bureta says. 

Viktorija Rajici – The Drain Man relining assistant 

After her tennis career came to an end and she was at a crossroads in her life, Rajici secured an interview through Bureta for a job with The Drain Man. 

After a couple of weeks of uncertainty, Rajici stuck at it and three years later works alongside Bureta completing relining jobs. 

“If I am being honest, I had no idea what I was doing at the start, but it is something you can pick up if you are willing to learn,” she says. 

“I’m still learning. I’m not quite at Rosie’s level at the moment but she’s teaching me new things every day. There’s a lot of different things to learn from camera work to knowing how to work the jet – it has lots of different aspects.” 

Coming from a sporting background, Rajici had always imagined herself working in an outdoor environment but says it does come with its challenges.  She recalls that when arriving at some jobs and knocking on the door of the customer, they would look at her and obviously surprised to see a female. However, Rajici says once they realise, she is here for the job and it is completed they are fine.” 

“My advice to any woman looking to join the industry is to just go for it. It doesn’t matter being a female in a male dominated industry these days, so don’t be afraid or worried about anything anymore, just go for it,” she says. 

The Drain Main

The Drain Man is contracted by Yarra Valley Water to perform House Connection Branch Rehabilitation where Bureta and Rajicic have been instrumental in the successful delivery of works ensuring their work is completed to the highest standard, in a timely fashion and minimal disruption to their customers. Yarra Valley Water manager Paige Fergus says Bureta and Rajicic are one of the best crews. 

“I cannot speak more highly of the work that they do, I think the work they do is just flawless,” Fergus says.  “They have a strong focus on the customer as well, which is leaps and bounds above a lot of the other contract partners that we deal with.” 

“By having the female-led crews, you know, TDM are kind of pioneers in that space. For us, and a lot of our other contract partners, I guess, they are making a lot of moves in having diversity and representation, particularly in marginalized groups of people such as women in industry. TDM are the pioneers in that space for us making big waves, which is awesome to see.” 

The Drain Man, the founding business of the group started as a general plumbing company in Melbourne over 30 years ago and has specialised as a drain clearing, relining and network services provider for over 20 years. 

The group of companies is proudly Australian owned and operated and has expanded with operations in VIC, NSW and WA, of which has included the establishment of TDM Pipeline Solutions supporting growth across water utilities, local government and civil infrastructure, paving the way for the next generation of women in the industry. 

For more information visit The Drain Man.

This article featured in the July edition of The Australian Pipeliner

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