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From the ground up: How Christine Tran is achieving for her career, our communities, and Mainbrace’s future

As an Estimator, Christine Tran provides a critical foundation for many of the incredible projects Mainbrace delivers. By securing tenders for retail builds, she makes a real, meaningful difference in the lifestyles and futures of communities. In turn, Christine has built a solid foundation for her career at Mainbrace, seizing the tools, growth and opportunities to achieve her goals.


Real ownership from start to finish

Christine Tran felt a little apprehensive on her first day as a cadet at Mainbrace – and understandably so. It was her first full-time job in a male-dominated industry, but her nerves were quickly put at ease, and she soon felt right at home.

“The team made me comfortable; everyone was really friendly and approachable,” Christine reflects. “The support I was offered throughout my cadetship and in my role now has been invaluable.”

After completing a Bachelor of Construction Project Management in 2019, Christine joined Mainbrace in our graduate program. She was assigned a mentor and gained a breadth of practical experience with rotations in Contract Administration, Site Administration and Estimating. Her first project was the Caddens Corner Retail Precinct, a sustainable build that achieved a five-star Green Star rating in the newly developed suburb of Caddens, west of Sydney.

“I worked on that project as a Contract Administrator. At uni, it’s all theoretical, then you go on-site and get stuck into a job, and you get to apply all your theoretical knowledge practically. Caddens was a massive learning curve for me.”

Christine then moved on to Site Administrator for Schofields Village Shopping Centre before cutting her teeth as an Estimator on a tender for Ingleburn Warehouse.

“That was quite a large tender, but our Estimating Manager supported me every step of the way. It was something I’d never done before, but people believed I could do it, so that gave me a lot more confidence. And it was a project we were successful in picking up, which was amazing.”

Christine enjoyed the experience so much that once she completed her cadetship in 2021, she decided to pursue a career as an Estimator.

“The great thing about Estimating is you get to work on a project from the very start, the pre-construction phase. And if you do win that project, you work with the project team to deliver the build, and you see the end result. When you go out with your friends or parents and can point to a build and say, ‘I worked on that project!’ – there’s a lot of pride in that.”


Real people and a culture that counts

As an Estimator, Christine manages the entire tender submission for a project. She calculates the required time and labour, provides accurate cost projections, and obtains quotes from subcontractors and vendors. Once a tender is successful, Christine assists the Project Manager to ensure the build starts smoothly and to budget.

“At Mainbrace, you’re in charge of your own tender, which may differ from other construction companies where you might only be responsible for one aspect of the tender. I like having that autonomy while also working with a team. I also enjoy going on-site for projects we’ve won, especially if something significant is happening, like the pouring of the slab.”

One of the biggest challenges in Christine’s role is time management. Submitting tenders on time and to a high standard is vital to ensuring Mainbrace can continue to secure and deliver significant retail builds enjoyed by entire communities. That’s why Christine values being part of a supportive, collaborative team that backs her through thick and thin.

“You can ask anyone a question, and they’ll drop what they’re doing to help you. Our Senior Estimators and Estimating Manager are always there, and even outside my team, everyone at Mainbrace is super helpful. We also try to keep things as light as possible. We put our heads down when there’s work to be done, but it’s never too serious. Everyone’s down for a bit of fun.”

As an active member of our social committee, Christine helps to spread this sense of fun, enriching the Mainbrace culture with a range of social events throughout the year.

“Our social events are a great way to get people together and boost morale. Recently, we had a trivia and wine-tasting night, which was a lot of fun. Mainbrace also does a family Christmas picnic each year, and we have Heritage Recognition lunches, where everyone is invited to talk about their heritage and share a cultural dish. Mainbrace puts a lot of effort into maintaining a great work culture; I think it really sets us apart.”


Real growth with an inclusive team

Christine works diligently to pave the way for Mainbrace’s retail builds, but it’s certainly not all work, no play. A self-described foodie, Christine balances her culinary adventures with indoor bouldering – a heart-pumping activity that’s as much about socialising as it is about exercising!

As for the future, Christine says she plans to continue to hone her skills as an Estimator and hopefully welcome more females who want to build a successful, sustainable career in construction.

“Mainbrace has so much to offer. No one’s treated differently. We don’t look at gender; it’s more about skills and ability and how well you work with others. We have a great cohort of women working here, and we all get on well. I’ve always felt welcomed at Mainbrace.”


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