Amazing cross-agency teamwork

Garry Fischer

Garry Fischer is the Director, Strategic Planning and the Emergency Liaison Officer for the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics.

His role in the pandemic was to manage the engineering and transport functions for the NT Government's Territory Operations Centre (TOC) at the Peter McCauley Centre in Darwin.

The TOC was activated to oversee and coordinate the Territory's response to COVID-19 and increase the NT's readiness to stop the spread of the virus.

Its function is to help agencies collaborate to ensure intelligence, mapping, planning, logistics and public information resources are available when they're needed.

During the pandemic, Garry created transport and engineering plans related to COVID-19. Being flexible, making quick decisions and working on both strategic and operational levels were fundamental to the role.

"Work in the TOC was highly fulfilling and enjoyable, as much as it was a stressful time," Garry said.

"I worked with fantastic people in an amazing cross-agency team.

"I'm very proud of the fact that we were able to keep the Territory free of community transmissions, with no deaths, and kept the Territory functioning.

"Territorians were able to demonstrate our capacity – batting above our weight – and we were able to achieve what other countries weren't able to during the pandemic.

"Another positive from the agency perspective was our strong relationships with our stakeholders."

Garry said it's important for people to understand the work that goes on in the NTPS.

"NTPS employees are as much there for the Territory as everyone else, and they work just as hard for the Territory," he said.

"There were many hard, unpaid hours put into the COVID-19 period. The 4:21 knock-off didn't exist. It was about getting the job done."

Last updated: 23 June 2020

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