For Liam Trieu, the decision to move to the Northern Territory was an easy one. Having graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in 2012, he was ready to leave Melbourne’s four-seasons-in-one-day lifestyle behind.
“I’d heard about the year-round sunny weather and tropical lifestyle in Darwin and thought this could be the change I was looking for,” Trieu explains.
With a job offer in hand as a graduate engineer, Trieu packed his life up and headed north.
Leaving behind Melbourne for the Northern Territory was a decision that has paid off, and, since his move, Trieu’s engineering career has taken leaps and bounds.
“Most of my university friends struggled to find permanent employment within their field of engineering after graduation,” he says.
“I’ve been exposed to a wide range of opportunities while in the Territory that rarely present themselves down south.”
And varied they are, from site engineering for the Ichthys liquefied natural gas plant in Darwin to government projects delivering essential services to remote communities across the Northern Territory.
“Working within the remote community space is unique to the Territory,” Trieu says. “Overseeing projects in remote areas teaches you to be more innovative in your thinking around engineering and social matters.”
Opportunity and expertise
Being exposed to so much early in a career could be daunting, but Trieu has had no shortage of mentors in the Territory.
“I have been lucky enough to always have a mentor in each role,” he says. “I find people are more approachable up here and are willing to take the time to provide mentorship — formally or informally.”
It’s this warm and welcoming community spirit, along with the depth of professional expertise in the Northern Territory that sees professional networks flourish.
“Being a smaller city, you get to know pretty much everyone within the industry here, which is great for professional networking and growing your career,” Trieu says, adding that, with many people coming from all over Australia and abroad, it’s also great for making friends.
“The NT is such a melting pot of people from all over, and I’ve met some great people that have become really close friends.”
A lifestyle to envy
Career opportunities aside, it’s the small, tight-knit community and outdoor lifestyle that makes the Northern Territory feel like home for Liam.
“It’s great catching up with friends on the weekend, and there’s so much to do, especially during the dry season,” he explains.
For example, enviable blue skies and warm weather see thousands flock to the Northern Territory each year for world-class events and iconic national parks.
“There’s something for everyone here, from Darwin Festival and Parrtjima in Alice Springs to beautiful swimming holes and camping on the weekend,” he says.
But, according to Trieu, one part of living in the Northern Territory stands out from the rest.
“No long commutes!,” he says. “You can get anywhere in Darwin in 20 minutes.”