Lilian Sokolski has seized an opportunity as an indigenous trainee on the Metro Tunnel Project with both hands.
Lilian, whose family hails from the Trawlwoolway Plangermaireener tribe of Flinders Island, has joined the bustling social inclusion and procurement team on the Rail Systems Alliance (RSA), ensuring the project links with local Aboriginal and social enterprise suppliers.
RSA will deliver train and power control systems plus signalling on the project.
Lilian said her first foray into major transport infrastructure was made slightly more difficult by COVID-19 enforcing remote working.
“I found I was able to overcome my challenges starting my new role working from home by being determined and not giving up,” she said.
“I asked a million questions if I didn’t understand something, rather than sitting back and expecting the answer to come to me, and I’ve got a will to learn new things and apply them to my everyday work.”
“What motivates me when it come to my work challenges is probably myself, having a will to never give up is sometimes hard but knowing the outcome of my work and the importance of it is all worthwhile in the end.”
Raised by her grandmother Jennifer, Lilian said her family was instrumental in her seeking out a new career path.
“Everything I know about my heritage today is because of her [my grandmother], she taught me how to cook, clean and take care of myself,” she said.
“She pushed me to be a better version of myself, she pushed me to complete high school and she even pushed me to go through with the interview for this job.”
“She’s always told me I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it and she has proven that right many times. Without her I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”
Therefore, Lilian feels working with and assisting indigenous businesses is a perfect match.
“The most fulfilling part of my role is to be able to make a difference and change in people’s lives,” she said.
“To be able to work in the indigenous space is something I have always wanted to do, because of my background, and finally being able to do so warms my heart completely.”
“I love seeing all the indigenous companies we have on board succeed on the project and all the inclusive events we celebrate.”
“It’s just simply amazing.” •