Five-year-old Euan and dad Sam sitting in the cabin of an Onkaparinga Council waste truck.

Published on 12 September 2022

Meet council’s new honorary employee

Onkaparinga Council’s future is in safe hands, if five-year-old Seaford Rise superstar Euan has anything to do with it.

Euan came to council’s attention when his dad, Sam, appeared on Nova 919’s breakfast radio show, Ben & Liam, last month, in response to a request for listeners to describe the “oddly specific” jobs their kids want when they grow up.

“My son, Euan, he’s five—he wants to work for the City of Onkaparinga council,” Sam told Ben and Liam.

“He goes on the [council] website and talks to the chatbot about all the Onkaparinga work we’ve been doing.”

Impressed by Euan’s ambition, City of Onkaparinga invited him and his family to council’s Field Operations Centre (known by staff as ‘FOC’) in Seaford Meadows for a tour, so Euan could check out the many types of vehicles staff use in their day-to-day work.

Euan’s mum, Deb, says his interest in council began not long after they moved into the area in 2018.

“He was really into trucks at the time, but that soon became garbage trucks specifically,” she says.

“Eventually we’d go outside each Monday to watch for the trucks and I guess he noticed the logo on the trucks and the bins and around the local area.”

Soon, Euan found the City of Onkaparinga website and began writing to its chatbot.

“He’s never lost interest, and as he got older, it became part of our working-from-home routine that if a parent was working, he’d also want to get on the computer, and it was always to do council work,” Deb says.

“Usually he'll get on the computer to ‘have a meeting’ or do some sort of ‘work’ and give the bot instructions or information about what he has seen.

“Usually if we notice a car with the Onkaparinga logo or something he might tell it about that. He’s the manager, and the bot is staff I guess!

“Often, it’s a little frustrating because the bot doesn't really know how to interact with him, so it gets a bit of a telling off sometimes. But in Euan’s words, ‘It's still good’!”

Euan says his favourite part about council is the garbage trucks.

“They help the community and the beaches to be clean and keep animals safe,” he says.

“The trucks are cool because they pick up bins. I like the stickers [on the side of the truck] and the drivers. They’re cool because they give me thumbs-ups and waves!”

He says his favourite part of the FOC tour was “all the Onkaparinga stuff I saw”.

“Sitting in the garbage truck was great because I could see the back of the truck and I could see the bins [through the screen in the cabin],” he says.

“The people were great because they showed me around almost the whole centre. I was surprised about the grader truck [and how] it grades the road to make it flat.”

Deb says the FOC tour was a dream come true for Euan.

“He absolutely loved it, and he's happy to chat about it with anyone who’ll listen” she says.

“We’ve [since] had the toy trucks come back out and our lounge room is the new Field Operations Centre.

“He's been showing the videos and photos we took to family members and telling them all about it.

“Some people at school heard it mentioned on Nova, so it was something for him to tell them about. Birthdays are now the second-best day, and the first-best day is the day he went to the Field Operations Centre!”

As for Euan’s plans for council in future, he’s got some big things in the works.

“Yes, I’d like to work at council,” he says.

“I want to use the machines, especially the garbage trucks. I’d also like to be the manager of the council!”

We’re looking forward to it, Euan!

If you're looking to check out a variety of council vehicles up close - alongside some heroic emergency services vehicles - head to City of Onkaparinga's FREE Trucks on Tour family event at Morphett Vale's Wilfred Taylor Reserve on Friday 14 October.

All smiles

Pictured: Euan and dad, Sam, sit inside the cabin of a council waste truck during their tour to "FOC".