Staff Spotlight Series: Paul Batey

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Staff Spotlight Series: Paul Batey

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Paul Batey Staff Spotlight Leighton O'Brien

Continuing our Staff Spotlight Series, we shine a light on the people behind Leighton O’Brien who make the company tick. This time we’re lifting the curtain on SIRA analyst Paul Batey.  


Describe what you do and the best part about your job? 

I am a SIRA analyst, so I analyse and report on data for (mostly) Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS).

Whilst I have numerous international clients (mostly in Cambodia, Taiwan and Japan), I do a lot of work with our Australian independent customers, which can often be local family businesses.

The best thing about my job is the great variety of customers that I can find myself assisting. They can really include anyone and everyone. It’s nice to be able to say that I have helped NASA (who need fuel to rotate huge satellite “dishes”), the Australian Antarctic Division (who need to fuel ships to sail to Antarctica), paint producers (with storage tanks for kerosene and turps etc.) and even brewers (with large tanks of alcohol).


What do clients love about your work? 

SIRA can be quite complex, and I think that my clients appreciate my ablility to state things in a way that they can understand. I get compliments on how patient and kind I can be, as I am willing to take the time to help our clients, and in particular the new ones, familiarise themselves with our systems.


To what do you attribute the company’s success? 

Leighton O’Brien has managed to retain staff really well, and there are many who have worked here for a long time (especially in the wetstock operations team).

I think this can be attributed to the company allowing staff to have a good work/life balance. Due to this, we have a team of really bright people who really care about what they do. I see my colleagues doing so well that I want to do better, to not let them down.


What are 3 hidden talents you have?  

These aren’t hidden from my colleagues, but perhaps from our clients. I first started out as a professional dancer. I studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and worked as a contemporary dancer for about 5 years.

Then I started singing lessons and went on to work in musicals, and then opera. I worked as a soloist at an opera company in Germany (so I’m fluent in German). I still perform regularly in the chorus for Victorian Opera and Opera Australia.

During Covid, I took up painting, and now watercolour painting is my latest passion.


What are the last 3 streaming series or movies you’ve binged on? 

I have been pretty obsessed with watching “Portait Artist of the Year” on Binge. This is a reality TV painting competition for artists in the UK. There are about 9 seasons to get through. I recently also discovered they have “Landscape Artist of the Year” on Binge as well (about 7 seasons), so I am now spending a lot of time watching Binge.


Top 3 life experiences? 

Getting married. I’m grateful that Australia voted yes to gay marriage. We had an amazing day at the lovely Fairfield Boathouse in Feb 2022.

Buying a puppy. I was not a pet person at all before, but now I’m extremely devoted to our whippet “Monty”.

Getting into VCA dance school. I had a lot to learn when I arrived there. There were 6 guys in my first year , but the others all eventually dropped out. I kept going and had quite a successful career in contemporary dance. My first being for a year in a company in Perth.

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