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District’s partnership with Qantas files high during COVID-19

Pilot ready for take-off

December 2020

District’s partnership with Qantas files high during COVID-19

District’s partnership with Qantas files high during COVID-19

Qantas pilot James Heenan is expected to soon return to the skies.

“I was elated when I found out. Flying makes me happy,” he said.

James, 33, was the first of more than 300 Qantas staff who joined Sydney Local Health District at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He worked with RPA’s Environmental Services team – receiving and delivering vital stocks around the campus – before being appointed as the Logistics Manager for Special Health Accommodation.

“I was responsible for coordinating equipment and supplies for the District’s Special Health Accommodation. Every day was different. It was a challenging but rewarding role,” he said.

The partnership with Qantas has resulted in staff from the airline’s customer service, airport operations, flight operations, human resources and information technology teams working at the District.

They have been employed as Special Health Accommodation assistants, administration officers, COVID-19 call centre operators, health managers, and as safety, screening or supply officers.

In March, the District identified the essential positions needed in response to the pandemic and fast-tracked recruitment processes.

“We streamlined our recruitment practices. We created a skills database to match candidates to available roles and on-boarded people within days,” Helen Legakis, the District’s Workforce Operations Manager, said.

“All of the Qantas employees are exceptional people. It’s a true partnership between our organisations and is an example of two workplace cultures with similar underlying values coming together at a critical time for both of us,” she said.

The Qantas staff, like James, have been an asset to the District.

“He has a positive outlook, a can-do attitude and was always willing to help his co-workers. He had a motto, ‘one team, one dream’ which I’ve since adopted. I consider him a friend. RPA is going to miss him,” Damian Robinson, RPA’s Environmental Services Manager, said.

Now, James is focused on returning to flying Dash-8 aircraft from Sydney across regional New South Wales and interstate.

“My time at the District was great. Now I’m back at Qantas and am completing my return to work training. I’m looking forward to flying by Christmas. It’ll be a fantastic day,” he said.

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