Michael Duck drives ten minutes into work each day – the same ten minutes his dad drove.
‘Working in the thermal generation industry is definitely in my DNA,’ says the man affectionately known to colleagues and footy mates alike as Ducky.
‘I work out at AGL Bayswater power station – and so did my father.’
Michael’s dad Colin spent nearly 30 years at AGL Macquarie (which comprises the newer Bayswater and older Liddell power stations), eventually becoming General Manager Operations.
Michael worked in the power station during uni breaks from his mechanical engineering degree – and now that he’s graduated, he’s following in Colin’s footsteps full-time at AGL Macquarie as a lead project manager.
‘It’s a pretty big project,’ he says.
‘We’re upgrading all of our turbines. We’re also upgrading our control system from analogue to digital.
‘There’s nearly a thousand people working on the project.
‘It means we’ll power a lot more homes without any additional coal.’
There’s a strong connection to the local community out here. Michael was born and bred in Muswellbrook – a stone’s throw from AGL Macquarie – went to primary and high school in Muswellbrook, and now still lives in Muswellbrook.
‘A lot of my mates from my school days now work at AGL Macquarie too – either Liddell or Bayswater,’ he says.
‘It’s a very tight-knit community. We’ve got a local footy team – the Muswellbrook Cats – and about a third of the players are from AGL.’
Michael’s excited for the future, and the challenges and opportunities it will bring.
‘Ten years ago we didn’t think there’d be so much wind and solar. That’s one of the really exciting things about working for AGL.
‘It’s a really good job knowing you’re powering so much of the state – and being part of the transition from thermal generation to a lower-emission, renewable future.’