Field goals in environmental health
Published on 31 May 2022
Environmental Health Officer Brayden Stratford has been at Kiama Council for 2.5 years, with previous stints working for remote regional and larger city councils in Western Australia, and studying abroad (and skiing) in Montana, USA. We caught up with Brayden to find out more about what an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) does day-to-day.
What is Environmental Health in terms of your role?
Environmental Health is the protection and safeguard of the environment to ensure a healthy and safe community. Its function is a foundation for Local Government and core for design & planning, infrastructure development, community protection and disease prevention.
What’s a typical EHO day like?
An EHO’s day varies as issues arise. I might be out and about with our routine inspections such as food safety, ensuring standards are met in beauty salons or skin penetration businesses, or onsite effluent management; then be called to investigate a pollution incident (noise, smoke, sewerage) or a public health alert at the beach that may need water sampling for further analysis at the lab.
With a balanced workload between in field and office, I also spend plenty of time in our Admin Building analysing data and writing reports to keep our executive team and community informed.
What are the best parts of the job?
The satisfaction when you can assist the people of the community and make a difference in protecting the environment. I love to be out in field – water sampling, undertaking environmental risk assessments, educating and meeting new people every day.
Sometimes we aren’t able to meet community expectations of our role and responsibilities. Our goal is to assist everybody with their neighbourhood issues however, with a small team and large workload, there may be cases where our response takes longer than expected or the problem could be better solved through mediation or other services.
What do you love about Kiama Council?
Working in a small local government area means I am closer to residents and business owners who are very engaged and connected to the community. Although having fewer resources can be challenging, the variety of work I get to do every day is refreshing and exciting.
A small team means you also have the benefit of working closer to other departments making great connections and friends throughout.
Council is currently recruiting. Why should people apply to work here?
All the reasons mentioned above are why I would recommend working with us. Not only do you get to work closely with a great community with amazing beaches right at your feet, you will have the benefit of diversity: no day will ever be the same.