Marcus’ interest lies in examining and calibrating electrical instrumentation, a specialty he hopes will launch a sustained career in industrial-scale electrical maintenance.
“The instruments will measure flow and temperature as the product going through the pipework - how fast it’s going through, the pressure it’s going through at …to make sure things are in good working order.”
Marcus’ interest in all things electrical started with an inherent fascination to understand the way things work. And why sometimes they don’t.
“From when I was young, l always wanted to know how things worked,” he said. Video game controllers that conked out were just asking to be pulled apart to figure out what was broken. From there it was onto remote control cars and planes. “If it wasn’t working I’d pull them apart. With remote control cars, I’d rewire them.”
Even the poles and wires that carry electricity to people’s homes was a source of curiosity. “I’d look at the big power lines and be amazed at how electricity gets from one spot to another, how it really works. Not everyone knows how it works.”
Marcus was in Darwin to born to a a family whose ancestry is Nyikina, an Indigenous language from the Kimberley region, and Arrente, an Indigenous language group from the Alice springs region.
He moved with his family 4000 kilometres south to Busselton for primary school, and back 4000 kilometres to Darwin to finish secondary school.
Marcus then commenced a bridging course at Murdoch University in Perth. Starting off in an accounting course, he soon discovered that it was not as exciting as he’d hoped. Switching over for a semester to a different discipline, electrical power engineering, was a light-bulb moment.
“I loved it,” he said. “I wanted to stick with the electrical side of things and started applying for apprenticeships, and got one.” He’s now an apprentice with Shell contractor, Programmed.
Marcus’ journey to become an electrical apprentice and to work on Prelude has been helped by the support Marcus has received from the Wirrpanda Foundation, a leading Indigenous community organisation that Shell sponsors under its social investment programme in Western Australia. The foundation helps equip young indigenous people with the skills and confidence to enter the workforce.
Marcus also credits the positive influence his uncle had on him as he was growing up.