What attracted you to work at Housing Trust?
I saw it as a big opportunity to work for a well-known Wollongong based business that is values driven and makes a difference to the lives of the people that are among the most vulnerable in our society. I thought I could use my skills and experience to improve the way we do things in my area of control and help build on the success and culture that was already in place
How did you find your first day?
My first official day was work from home due to COVID restrictions, which was a very unusual way to start. I came in and picked up my laptop and intro pack etc the week before so I was all set up. In between the Zoom meetings I made some calls to the team members to introduce myself and start to get to know each other.
Have you felt supported?
Yes. The welcome pack was a great introduction, the expectations of the role were clear, and there were lots of meetings organised for me ahead of time so I could hit the ground running. The team made me feel welcome straight away
Tell us a little about your previous work experience?
I started my professional career with KPMG in Audit, where I completed by Chartered Accountants qualification – this gave me a really good understanding of business processes and controls, and ‘what good looks like’ – looking back it was a great platform to start a career from. I have also worked for an ASX listed Company and a privately owned business as CFO (both located in Sydney and the commute got the better of me both times), but the position I held for the longest prior to Housing Trust was with Peabody Energy – At a coal mine, based in Helensburgh. I was there for just over 10 years, and had a number of different roles including Logistics, Continuous Improvement and Commercial Manager. It was a much larger Company than Housing Trust (500 employees, $300m turnover) and it came with a lot of responsibility and pressure, but I really enjoyed my time there and I was part of some major improvement projects that delivered millions of dollars of benefits.
What is one of your best days?
At the Housing Trust, the opening of Correa Gardens and the Tylah West Scholarship presentation were both memorable. Prior to that, I was on the Diversity and Inclusivity Advisory Board at Peabody and I hired a Finance Manager who was 6 months pregnant (because she was the best long term candidate, not because she was a woman), and I also introduced a trainee program in the warehouse (never been done by Peabody before) – the first trainee was a young female school leaver who had no idea what she wanted to do for work, and now she is employed full time, earning really good money and has a clear career path in front of her – I’m proud of the role I played in making that possible.