Overseas…..with Amey: Andrew McArthur on Australia

Andrew McArthur, 44, has moved from Scotland to Sydney as asset stewardship manager for Amey in the city.

Andy McArthur - working for Amey in Sydney, Australia

How did you get there?

I arrived at Amey in 2001 as a TUPE transfer from local government and trunk roads in the west of Scotland. Now I am managing the Asset Team in the Sydney South Zone Stewardship Maintenance Contract (SMC) for our client, Roads and Maritime Services. This is being delivered via joint venture between Amey and two Australian companies, Leighton Services and Boral Asphalt.


Why did you decide to go for a post abroad?

I had initially agreed to help out with Amey’s bid for the SMC contract and had committed to a 10 week secondment. Up to the end of the bid I hadn’t considered making it a long term move. The post abroad interested me as I had travelled a lot for holidays but had never had the opportunity to live and work in a different country and experience a different culture.


How long are you there? 

Up to 7 years.


What was attractive about the job?

 It provided the opportunity for promotion and the challenge of helping to start a new business in a new country from the ground up.  


Read here: Gareth Jefferies on working in Qatar with Amey  

And here: HannahTully on overseas bidding

Find out more about Amey's consulting business and its international work at

Any concerns?

On a personal level I was worried that I’d miss family and friends. In term of work, I was nervous about having to deal with unfamiliar work practices as well as having to integrate with three other corporate cultures.

In actual fact, new technologies such as Skype and FaceTime meant that you can easily contact people on a personal and professional level. In addition, although there were only six Amey staff in Australia at that time, the support available from up to 23,000 staff in the UK along with the corporate support structure really helped the transition.

How has it worked out?

It’s going well. We are now almost six months into service delivery on our contract and have already delivered a wide range of maintenance and improvement works that are making a difference to the road network. We have also had great support from our Australian colleagues.


How is it helping your career?

Having less of a support network has meant that you have to take on more responsibility than you might have to in a UK contract. This introduces you to other areas of service delivery and broadens your experience. Being part of a small team abroad also provides you with more exposure to senior management, providing you with an insight into a more strategic level of business management.


Are you doing anything abroad that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to do in the UK?

I’ve started to learn how to sea kayak which is far more accessible in Sydney than where I lived in the UK. The combination of easy access to extensive waterways and national parks within the city as well as the better weather makes it a great way to see nature and relax at the same time.


Tell us about your typical day?

I will get to the office around 7:30 am and catch up with my team who are out and about most of the day dealing with network issues and inspections fellow members of the Senior Management Team as well as our client representative who is based in our office.

Issues throughout the day can range from calling a member of the public to discuss an issue they have about the road network to working with the client and colleagues to develop forward programmes of work for consideration and approval.

I will generally get home around 7 pm and make the most of what is left of the day outdoors if the weather is good.   


What has been the highlight of your time so far? 

Professionally it was the first day of our contract when we all got together for the first time and had a photo taken in the depot yard. It was the culmination of 10 months of very hard work from tender through to the completion of mobilization.

On a personal note, it has probably been the ability to live close to the beach and being able to enjoy the ocean after work or at weekends throughout the whole year; something that would not have been possible when I was in the UK.


Describe the lifestyle locally?

There is definitely an outdoors culture in Sydney with people either exercising throughout the day or taking advantage of any spell of good weather to get out and about. There are a multitude of cafes, restaurants and bars throughout the city and you can enjoy cuisine from any part of the world you wish.

Beaches are spread along the city’s seaboard and you have ready access to the water either via the Pacific ocean, or via the harbours and rivers that split the city into a multitude of different communities.


Would you recommend others to work abroad and why?

I’d recommend it if you get the opportunity. You will learn new things about yourself and have the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. If it doesn’t suit you or work out you will always have gained something that will help you later in life. 


Read here: Gareth Jefferies on working in Qatar with Amey  

And here: HannahTully on overseas bidding

Find out more about Amey's consulting business and its international work at


If you would like to contact Jackie Whitelaw about this, or any other story, please email