stock photo waterhole in chinchilla

From aquatics to energy: Dare Lawrence

24 May 2024
  • Employees
  • Environment
  • Community

Body image Dare Lawrence with fish


“I feel that in the position I’m in now, I can have more of an influence on the outcomes on the environment through decisions that the business makes and the effect it has on the environment,” said CS Energy’s Environmental Specialist Dare Lawrence, who studied marine biology and started his career as an aquatic ecologist.

“Being in a position to influence those decisions is what makes my work interesting; I can really see the impact that my role has on the wider business, in the long term – and that’s very exciting.”

Joining CS Energy in his current, Brisbane-based role in early 2024, Dare previously worked alongside the company as a consultant in Biloela to work with the team responding to the historical use of PFAS at Callide Power Station.

“I initially joined on secondment to help the PFAS team; once the secondment was completed, I came back as a contractor and since then have worked across the project on a variety of activities.

“This has included soil and water sampling as well as stakeholder engagement with both landholders and the environmental regulator. Other responsibilities included the drilling of additional bores in order to improve our seepage recovery.

“One of the highlights for me was being able to use my background in aquatic ecology on this project. I worked with specialist consultants to sample almost 4,000 individual fish and other organisms that live in the local catchment.

“And now, after many years of association with CS Energy, I’ve officially joined the company,” he said.

The work, and the people

Dare’s role now is a lot broader as he helps the business achieve its environmental KPIs across all its sites.

Body image Dare Lawrence with goats

“This includes auditing our environmental management system, which is fantastic; and also working on compliance work,” he said. “A lot of it is new for me, so it’s really exciting to be learning something new.

“I also get to be involved with the cultural heritage side of things, which I love. I’ve done some work in that space in the past and really enjoyed it, and it’s very rewarding.”

As well as wanting to continue supporting the PFAS work in the wider environment space, Dare said the people he had met and built relationships with while consulting and contracting with CS Energy were a big drawcard.

“One of the biggest contributors was my hiring manager; I’d had minor involvement with her previously and knew there was a lot I could learn from her; it was an easy decision to make,” he said.

“Without being cliché, the people are my favourite part of the job; with a few hundred people, the odds that you’re going to get along with most people are unlikely, but there’s a lot of really friendly, great people.

“One of the pleasures of coming to the office is that I get to talk with colleagues from various teams – I have friends in the business that might be twice my age, but we get along swimmingly.

“And being at Callide for a few years, I can say it really is like a family. Everyone looks out for each other, and I’ve made some great lifelong friends working out at Callide.”

Body image Dare Lawrence with calf

The advantage of site experience

The relationships Dare has built across the business and the knowledge and experience he gained working at Callide Power Station have been of great benefit to the team in Brisbane.

“I’m really trying to fill the gap between needing to develop policies, procedures or projects and understanding how it might actually be implemented on site,” he said.

“Having had extensive experience on site has given me the ability to share insights on how a process might work in practice, and that’s a role I relish; I like being able to use my past experience to help move us in the right direction and connect our site operations to corporate office – everyone’s working towards the same goal, and having that understanding helps bring us closer together.”