Team Member Stories

Nathon Burton

Team Member Stories //

Nathon Burton

For NSW Powerlines Manager Nathon Burton, making critical decisions under pressure comes naturally.

It’s a skill he perfected during a 15-year career in the military and one he’s utilised in management positions at an array of national and multinational corporations. 

So, when the opportunity arose to head up one of Active Tree Service’s most significant business areas, he knew it was something he wanted to pursue, but it was also a role he did not rush into lightly.

Over the course of several months, Nathon met with Active team members including Chief Executive Officer Richard Nedov and Chief Operating Officer Jim Roberts.

He found the culture and ethos of the company resonated, and its vision for the future was one he was keen to be part of.

“Something inside said this was something I needed to pursue. I knew it was a great role, but neither Active nor I were in a rush,” Nathon says.

“We took our time, catching up and building a relationship and it just clicked, I knew I had to be part of that team.”

With multiple contracts across the state, Active’s New South Wales division is one of the largest in the company.

It’s also primed for significant growth in the coming years.

Nathon’s role involves overseeing that expansion. In the four months since he’s joined Active, he has been focussed on aligning the current contracts and building the team, while also liaising with current and potential clients. 

“We have multiple contracts coming onboard in the coming months and in the next few years we’re looking at increasing that further,” Nathon says.

“So, there’s a great opportunity here to build the team and its culture and create a strategy that allows us to get bigger and better.”

It’s a role that part is proactive, part reactive, and not without its challenges. But Nathon is no stranger to problem solving under pressure.

In his lengthy military career, he specialised as a mechanical, weapons and marine engineer, including five years attached to counter terrorism as a member of the 2nd commando unit, Australian Special Forces along with two tours of Afghanistan and one of Iraq. 

During each of those tours, he was the weapons subject matter expert, training members of foreign military organisations and the Australian Special Forces.

“In some of these environments your life is at risk and problem solving is key,” Nathon reflects.

“You have to be able to work through the fight or flight response, remain calm and instantly come up with a plan in a highly stressful environment.”

That discipline, planning and the ability to remain calm under pressure are all skills Nathon has tapped into since leaving the military.

In recent years he has held positions as the National Head of Fleet and Standards at Boral, and also worked as the Asia Pacific Head of Services for a US power, oil and gas company.

Now based out of Waterloo and Penrith, Nathon’s role with Active will allow him to spend more time with his young family, which is something he relishes after travelling extensively during his military career.

“What I really like about Active is it’s a large business that’s growing rapidly, but it still has a family feel,” Nathon says.

“It remains nimble and has the ability to react quickly, in both the services it provides and how it looks after its customers.

“I like the culture, I can see where the company is going, and I’m excited to be part of its future.”