The UPco team is made up of all sorts of characters, and every one of them has a story. Here’s just one of them.

What’s your name, and your role at UPco?

I’m Adam Haines and I’m an Senior Associate Planner. I guess I was drawn to planning as a youngster; I’d always loved architecture and the thought of creating and building things. When I stumbled on planning, that was it.

If you weren’t a planner, what would you be?

Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved Formula One, so I’d have to say I’d be an F1 driver. Travelling the world, doing what do you love – it couldn’t get better than that.

Sounds like you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie – would that be accurate?

Yes, I think that’d be fair! It’s just something in my nature… I love to go fast and I love excitement. When I get on a plane, I actually sit there and hope for turbulence. So maybe my brain is a bit warped! That said, now I have three kids, self-preservation is a higher priority… but it’s only tempered my appetite slightly.

How do you spend your time off-duty?

Having three children keeps you very busy, and I’m also an avid cyclist. I try to ride to work most days. We live about 50km from the office, up in the Dandenongs, so the round trip is close to 100km. Needless to say, it’s quicker getting to work when I come down the mountain… going back up is more of a slog! I’m traditionally a road cyclist, but now my oldest son is getting into mountain biking so I’m also doing a lot of that with him – even though he’s only 12, and he’s already better than me!

What’s the greatest adventure you’ve ever had?

I’ve been fortunate to have some amazing travel experiences BC (before children). My most memorable trip was probably going to Vietnam around 15 years ago – my partner and I took mountain bikes over with us and rode about 1000km through rural and city areas. It was incredible seeing the country that way, with no car window or barrier between you and the world. I’d still love to do some big cycling tours through Europe – I lived in London for quite a few years and travelled around a bit, but it’d be great to do a ride that lasts a month… or six months.

What do you like most about your job?

It may sound cliché but it’s definitely the people I directly work with. Work is an important part of our lives – I mean, we spend most of our time doing it! And it’s pretty cool to work alongside people with interesting brains; people who I admire.

What’s your pet peeve?

Can I have two? The first would be drivers who are aggressive. Given how much time I spend on the road as a cyclist, I come across some not-so-nice motorists, and I really don’t like any kind of road rage. And the second has to be… influencers. The fact there even IS such a thing is totally perplexing to me. Why?

OK last question.. what’s one surprising fact about you?

Well, it’s common knowledge here at UPco – where nothing is sacred – but other people might be find it surprising that I have a fully functional miniature steam train going around my garden.

As a kid I was always a train nerd. There’s a historical steam train that runs through the Dandenong Ranges called Puffing Billy, and my grandparents used to have a farm right on its route. I used to love walking along the railway tracks with my grandfather and watching the train. As I got older, the fascination never really left me and, a few years ago, I was able to buy what’s pretty much a small Puffing Billy. The scale is 1:20, so it’s about 40 or 50cm long. During the COVID lockdowns, I would put my camera phone on top of the train and take everyone in the office for a ride from time to time, which was quite amusing! I am very comfortable with my status as the office ‘train nerd’ these days!