Engineering a pathway to success through Cleanaway’s Graduate Program

Beyond collecting bins from the kerbside, delivering on our range of essential and often complex services requires diverse skillsets and experience, demonstrated by participants of the Cleanaway Graduate Program.

Our People

April 11, 2022


I want to have the authority, knowledge and skill to make active decisions with real business impact and have the conviction to follow through.


I want to have the authority, knowledge and skill to make active decisions with real business impact and have the conviction to follow through.

Lachlan Bertinshaw, Thomas Stevenson and Lorie Chong are graduates taking part in Cleanaway’s Graduate Program 2022. Following study in supply chain and logistics, Lachlan is currently working on compliance and process improvement with our Fleet team, while Thomas is using his qualifications in chemical engineering and biomedical science to pursue a passion of process engineering with Cleanaway.

We spoke with Lachlan and Thomas to find out what led them to the program, the projects they’ve been involved with so far and what they’re hoping to achieve.

Lachlan Bertinshaw
“I want to have the authority, knowledge and skill to make active decisions with real business impact and have the conviction to follow through.”

I grew up in Sydney, but I’ve lived in Melbourne since 2018. I completed a Bachelor of History and Anthropology from the University of Otago in New Zealand and have six years of experience in the market research and technology industries. In mid-2020, I decided to make a career change into industries related to sustainability and completed a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain & Logistics from RMIT in 2021.

The benefit of working with the Fleet team is that they have a high level of oversight into the all the operations nationally, which means it’s a great place to get an entry level understanding of the whole Cleanaway business. Once I complete my Fleet placement, I hope to have an idea for what my next placements could be, and how to really make an impact there.

A highlight of the program so far is how helpful and open the Cleanaway staff are. No matter which department I’ve talked to, every employee I’ve met has been very willing to help me understand their part of the business. Coming from some roles in my past where finding information could feel like running into a brick wall, it’s been so refreshing. I think it’s indicative of a very healthy work culture.

My first month has involved getting a sense of Cleanaway’s business model, as well as the Fleet department’s role. I’ve spent a lot of time learning the fleet compliance metrics (DAMS), and how we collect the data that underpins them. I’ve spent some time diving into fleet repair and maintenance transactions and the effect they have on asset profitability. I’m currently learning all the considerations that go into purchasing new fleet assets to meet customer requirements. I’m attempting to develop a tool that will make this process easier for managers to identify the best asset for their purposes.

My intention at the other end of the Graduate Program is to earn a role that has key strategic responsibilities. That could look like choosing supplier relationships as a supply chain manager, making the business case for a new technology as process improvement manager or updating key routes as a logistics officer. I hope to be put in situations where I can grow the relevant skills: stakeholder management, developing impactful reports, presenting of business cases, analysing processes, making the right decision based on available information, assertiveness and commitment. Basically, I am excited to take on some interesting challenges and grow as a result.

Outside of work, I try and spend as much time exploring Melbourne as possible. I don’t know that there’s a city in the world with a higher density of cool, weird events going on and I love exploring it all. I’ve set myself a goal this year to attend a religious service for all the major religions in Melbourne. I’ve been to Lutheran, Thai Buddhist and Pagan services so far. I also play basketball very badly and am trying to write some short stories.

Thomas Stevenson
“I am keen to see how Cleanaway will make strategic decisions to embrace the circular economy, with projects such as energy-from-waste and materials recycling.”

In 2021, I graduated from Monash University with a double degree in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Science. What drew me to become an engineer was the opportunity to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, particularly the changing climate and the sustainable usage and disposal of resources.

What attracted me to the program was the range of opportunities offered, as well as Cleanaway’s commitment to carbon neutrality and its integral role in creating a circular economy. I am eager to have both practical and technical experiences in a variety of waste streams and locations.

My first placement is with the Liquids Waste & Health Services (LHS) Engineering team. I am excited to see what engineering challenges exist in the waste sector, particularly with the increased stresses of a pandemic and looking forward to creating a sustainable waste management system. Ideally, I hope to work on projects that bring new technologies to the sector, to improve safety systems and to develop an understanding of the wide range of processing activities that occur in LHS.

Through the two-year Graduate Program, I hope to get exposure to a range of teams and to develop a better understanding of how a large industrial company operates, as well as a discovering more about myself and the facets of the business I enjoy.

From the get-go, the emphasis on safety and environment throughout the management chain at Cleanaway has been extremely encouraging. What has surprised me is the passion and enthusiasm my colleagues have for waste. However, it is easy to see why when you work for a company that is striving to have a positive impact on the environment and community.

My personal highlights to date would be meeting the Exec Team over the first week and seeing the expertise and innovation they bring to their roles, as well as visiting several sites to get an appreciation for fundamentals of the business.

Most of my free time is spent on sport or in nature – I’ll do almost anything that gives me a natural hit of endorphins. Pre-COVID, I took every opportunity I got to travel both within and outside of Australia. I even managed to get away to New Zealand for skiing and a road trip last year.

Lorie Chong
“At the end of the program, I would like to be able to build a budget with the experiences and learnings I have gained from my mentors and colleagues.”

I graduated with a Bachelor of Corporate Finance degree from the University of Adelaide. I am so glad to be part of the Solid Waste Services team in Port Adelaide as a Finance graduate. Through the Graduate Program, I would like to work on my liaising skills with internal and external stakeholders. At the end of the program, I would like to be able to build a budget with the experiences and learnings I have gained from my mentors and colleagues.

Everyone is excellent and passionate about what they do here. I’m very grateful to the Port Adelaide team for making me feel so welcomed. It truly feels like a community here rather than just a regular office, and I am excited to be on board to contribute to making a sustainable future possible together.

Currently, I am spending some of my free time in preparation for my upcoming CFA exam. In the rest of my free time, I enjoy being in nature and going camping.

Cleanaway’s Graduate Program is designed to create career pathways for recent graduates through hands-on experience and insight into Cleanaway and the waste management industry as a whole.

Contact us to learn more about how you can make a sustainable future possible together with Cleanaway.