From Snow to Sand

Danny Dodds is making a go of it in Australia…again. Dodds was relocated to Melbourne in 2012 to oversee PCL’s Australian operations in his role as a finance and administration manager for the region. Life, for Dodds, had come full circle. Over a decade earlier Danny spent two years in the Canberra offices of a major accounting firm. He enjoyed his time there, but never thought he would find himself working down under again.


The Dodds family relocated to Australia in 2012 as part of a PCL project team.The Dodds family relocated to Australia in 2012 as
part of a PCL project team.

The Dodds’ enjoying family time on the beach.The Dodds enjoying family time on the beach.

When PCL began chasing its first Australian contract in 2011, Dodds’s previous work experience on the island continent made him a perfect candidate to be on PCL’s project team. PCL and its joint-venture partner Grocon, the largest private builder in Australia, won the bid in December 2012 to build the $1.1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre​​ in Melbourne. Upon completion in mid-2016, the VCCC will be the largest cancer facility in the southern hemisphere. As soon as PCL and Grocon were awarded the contract, Dodds knew that he was Australia bound. For Dodds, the decision to move back to Australia did not come easily. He and his wife Nicole had made a happy life around his career at PCL’s North American corporate headquarters while raising their two young daughters.

“Moving across the world without your support network is hard, but I was able to convince Nicole that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a common family experience to grow, and to go to a country I love with the company I love,” said Dodds.
In February 2012, the Dodds family and their dog made the first of what would be many 22-hour flights between their old home and Melbourne.


Dodds acknowledges that it has been a challenge to set up a new PCL operation in a country that has a unique business culture. He cites the tremendous amount of user-group consultation in Australia as something that he and the team have adjusted to professionally. On the VCCC project, Grocon/PCL is working with one client, the State of Victoria, and three non-profit organizations—Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and The University of Melbourne—who will occupy the VCCC upon completion. PCL has met its client’s need for a robust consultation process by engaging in hundreds of meetings with project stakeholders—substantially more than would be the norm on a project in North America.
“I feel like I have grown personally and professionally since arriving,” said Dodds. “You find out what you’re made of, when you’re taken out of your comfort zone. Hats off to PCL builders and their families who do this all the time—go from project to project in new communities, with new teams, and new expectations on every job.”


In addition to the fulfillment of his own career aspirations, Dodds reflects on the advantages of moving across the globe in relation to his family.
“The kids’ relationship with each other really blossomed,” said Dodds. “They rely on each other and play together more. We are only a five-minute walk to the ocean, so during what is summer back home and winter in Australia, we put on our parkas and go to the beach to play in the sand.”

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