"It’s the process of education of everyone who’s involved in the project, who’s associated with the project and who’s trying to learn about the project. Creating that kind of unity which involves everyone and sometimes involves families, I think is a recipe for success."
Project Director at John Holland Group
Edmund Obiala is an award-winning engineer and Project Director of large-scale constructions with an impressive list of iconic international buildings, most notably the $670 million dollar Sydney Olympic Stadium.
From the humble beginning of watching his hero, javelin thrower Janusz Sidlo being defeated in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics to building his own gymnasium on his parents’ farm and dreaming of competing in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, Edmund became the Project Director of the 115,000-seat stadium for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Here, he oversaw design, construction, finance, a team of 150 staff and a labour force of 1,500 people.
During this time, he was elected by the Polish Olympic Committee to the honourable position of Olympic Attaché for the Sydney Olympic Games.
Edmund’s career has spanned many impressive projects. After arriving in Australia as a refugee in 1981 and not speaking a word of English, he moved from initial, small jobs to quickly leaping from strength to strength to work on Sydney’s National Australia Bank building, the 30,000-seat Parramatta Stadium, Melbourne’s National Tennis Centre and the 45,000-seat Sydney Football Stadium.
He later moved internationally to the United Kingdom to work on Chelsea Stadium, Everton Football Stadium in Liverpool, all venues for the 2012 London Olympic Games (except the Olympic Village); then to Germany for work on Munich Tower; the United Arab Emirates for work on New Stadium in Abu Dhabi; before returning to Australia to work on the Sydney Opera House for the major project of Vehicle Access and Pedestrian Safety (VAPS) to excavate beneath the SOH and create an underground loading dock.
Edmund became an Honorary Citizen of his home village of Zlotniki Kujawskie in 1999; and each year from 2000 to today, he sponsors three promising yet underprivileged students in this region from primary and secondary school as well as university. So far, he is honoured to have been able to help around 50 students realise their dreams.
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