Ken McAndrew has had a 50-year career with Queensland Rail.
Ken McAndrew has had a 50-year career with Queensland Rail. Contributed

Ad led to 50 year QR career

AN advertisement in The Gympie Times 50 years ago started a career for Ken McAndrew in Queensland Rail that continues today.

Mr McAndrew, a long-standing Queensland Rail employee, started in Gympie and has been honoured for his 50 years of service with the organisation which has taken him through a diverse range of roles throughout Queensland.

Queensland Rail chief human resources officer, Cathy Heffernan, said among his other roles in the company, Ken McAndrew is one of a handful of stream train drivers in the country.

“Queensland Rail encourages its employees to not only deliver quality service, but achieve their own career aspirations,” she said.

“None of what we have accomplished is possible without our people and Ken’s teamwork, dedication and diverse history with Queensland Rail is invaluable to the company.

“At Queensland Rail we are committed to recognising the achievements of teams and individuals throughout the organisation and Ken’s anniversary is certainly an achievement worth celebrating.

“Coinciding with Queensland Rail’s first birthday, Ken’s anniversary is a reminder of just how much he’s achieved and how far his career has progressed since his first role with the organisation where he started as a call boy in Gympie just after turning 15 years old.”

After applying for the role which was advertised in The Gympie Times, Ken had to pass a dictation, arithmetic and medical test before he could begin work riding between work sites on his push bike to inform site managers about human resources issues.

Following this, Mr McAndrew’s roles went from being a cleaner to a fireman, a heritage fleet driver and an inspector.

The different jobs carried him around the state to Gympie, Kilkivan, Murgon, Kingaroy, Mt Isa, Gladstone and Brisbane.

In his current role as train management improvement officer, Ken's work encompasses a number of responsibilities including training others to be firemen.

“Ken is a valuable member of our team and has continued to grow and evolve our business throughout the years,” Ms Heffernan said.

In his spare time, Ken McAndrew loves to go fishing on his boat with his son in Caboolture or spending time with his wife Beverly, daughter, two sons and three grandchildren.

Gympie Times

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