From driving cabin crew to delivering COVID-19 swabs for Sydney Local Health District
Qantas bus driver Senad Hatic wasn't planning on switching jobs in 2020, but the economic impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry changed all that.
Senad is one of dozens of Qantas employees who have moved in to new work at Sydney Local Health District after being temporarily stood down by the airline, to preserve jobs in the longer term.
The 54 year old worked for Qantas for almost seven years, driving cabin crew around Sydney Airport's Domestic and International Terminals.
In his new role, he transports COVID-19 swabs from the District's drive-through testing clinics to be analysed at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital's Microbiology laboratory.
"It's a huge responsibility," Senad said. "People come in to be tested and are nervously waiting for their results. I want to help them get their results as soon as possible.
On a typical day, he makes three journeys to the lab, delivering hundreds of swabs for testing. On one particularly busy day in June he transported 466 swabs.
Senad has also started transporting patients, including newborns, between the District's facilities.
"Driving patients is such a delicate job, especially with babies." he said. "The parents are putting their trust in me to drive their child safely."
Jason Larkin, the District's Fleet Transport Services Manager, said Senad has adapted quickly to his new role and is a valuable and popular member of the team.
"It's great having Senad here at Transport. He learns quickly and just knows what needs to happen before anyone tells him," Jason said.
"He is assisting us with our extra workload due to COVID-19, but the work he is doing is also helping the community right across Sydney Local Health District."
Senad, who won an eXcel award in 2016 as part of Qantas's employee recognition program, said he feels immensely proud to be working for the District and to be playing a role in the pandemic response.
"I'm amazed on a daily basis how staff work so hard for all of the community. They don't go home at the end of the day until their work is done," he said.
"I'm just happy and grateful to Sydney Local Health District for giving me the opportunity to be part of this big family."