Michael talks about building relationships (1:59)

And you can’t have abuse with the students.  Relationships are everything.  It’s a network that you build but if you go out there and the boys don’t like you, no-one is going to jump next time you're out there.  So you’ve got to sort of like try and build good relationships and how you do that is how you do it. The way I do it is I go out and work with these guys. If we’ve got to go and spray weeds, alright, you know you go through your stuff and you talk about your PPE (personal protective equipment), you talk about your safety and you go through all the theoretical stuff that you need to go through, then I go out and spray weeds with them. I mean Maningrida I don’t know how much mission grass I sprayed last year, but you know the boys at Maningrida were pretty good, you know, they’ve been spraying weeds for a long time.  Some of these guys have been rangers for 10 years, so you know you don’t get out there with the attitude like these guys, like I said before, are silly.  So, look I watched them do their job and then I said, “Can I have a go?” They said, “Yeah, no worries.”  I was standing there with a pair of shorts on, no PPE, “Is it okay to go?” and they looked at me and said, “No”.  I said,  “Why not?” and they told me, “Oh you need PPE.”  “Why?”  And they told me. So then I said, “What are we spraying?” “Mission grass”, so I walked over a piece of whatever it was, so rightio. And they went, “That’s not mission grass.”  I said, “Yes, it is”, and they went, “No, it’s not.”  So they went and got their CyberTracker out and they’ve brought the mission grass up on the site, a photo of it  and they’ve showed me a photo. 

So I was basically testing these guys to see what they – and they were great.  So then for the rest of sort of like the two weeks I was out there, they knew what they were doing.  We worked together and sprayed weeds. I’d spray as many weeds as them and just worked in.  And they like – you know they like that sort of stuff.  You’re not the sort of person standing there, you actually become part of the crew and – I mean you’d probably have to spray weeds to do that but you’ve got to sort of like make yourself fit in.  You can’t sort of keep yourself on the outside, you’ve got to let it go.  And there’s going to be sometimes where you’re going to be uncomfortable and awkward and things aren’t quite right, but if you just, yeah, you’ve got to build those relationships.