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Work hard, play hard: DPG’s Grand Challenge

January 15, 2020

Every year, our developing professionals (DPs) in Australia and New Zealand have a special opportunity to network, compete, and share knowledge

The Australian and New Zealand Developing Professionals Group (DPG) chapters have a long-standing event called the Grand Challenge. It’s an epic competitive series of team-building activities over three days every November that integrates professional development with pure fun.

Beginning in 1997 in Australia as a networking weekend for the Melbourne and Sydney offices, the Grand Challenge was reborn in 2010 as a networking and team building weekend for developing professionals (DPs) for all Australian offices. In 2015 New Zealand adopted the concept.

DPG members must formally apply to attend the event and chosen participants are put into teams of four—the aim is to place people with others they haven’t had much interaction with or maybe have never met or spoken with before. The host town or city changes every year, and the regional coordinator of the host city runs the event with a committee of DPs they appoint plus the national coordinator. 

Once the antics begin, there’s a games night, a technical challenge, a communications challenge, technical tours, and an amazing race, with a panel of judges made up of the Company’s senior leaders. It’s not only heaps of fun but a great opportunity for internal networking, strengthening relationships and culture, building soft skills, and sharing knowledge. The site visits provide an opportunity for our DPs to see some of Stantec’s major projects firsthand. 

And the prize? Besides the chance to compete, the winning team takes the trophy and boasting rights for the year!

As nations, Australia and New Zealand have a long and proud history of sporting competition, so it was inevitable that the two country’s DPG chapters would join forces for the inaugural Australia New Zealand Grand Challenge, held in Sydney. After rigorous intellectual and physical competition, New Zealand came out victorious but in true trans-Tasman sporting fashion the highly competitive sides shook hands and said, “Good on ya, mate.”  

Past participants have enjoyed the variety of challenges and the chance to meet people from all over the region, face to face. And of course, exploring a new city is a real treat—Stantec pays for participants’ flights, accommodation, and meals, demonstrating how supported and important the DPG is to the Company. 

Learn more about our Developing Professionals Group (DPG) at Stantec.

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