Inspire your work

My Experience

Defence — Royal Australian Air Force (1984–1994)

  • Assistant Radio Officer, RAAF Edinburgh, SA
  • Maintenance Officer, 3 Control and Reporting Unit, RAAF Williamtown, NSW
  • Senior Radio Officer, RAAF Richmond, NSW

My time in Defence—specifically the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)—was my first taste of a learning culture in a purposeful organisation. From the RAAF's roots—flying—came a cultural thread: ‘brief the mission, fly the mission, debrief the mission’. In practice this translated to aiming for our best and learning from what we did. RAAF's history also instilled a more team-oriented culture, recognising that a range of skills and experience were needed to complete the mission. At their best, when coupled with clarity about what we were there to do, these cultural elements boosted engagement, responsiveness, performance and client relationships. I learned the value and deep satisfaction of developing others, and had my first experiences of managing and driving change.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector

  • Macquarie University and Macquarie Research Ltd. (1994–1999)
    • PhD. Topic: Delivery of Broadband Services to the Home
    • Contract research and management.
  • Motorola Australian Research Centre (2000–2003)
    • Research Process Manager

I moved from RAAF to the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, and specifically in innovation, first completing my PhD, then working in corporate R&D. Because ICT is an integral part of business and government functions, I had many opportunities to widen my organisational, cultural and cross-disciplinary understanding as well as my change management and collaboration experience. These experiences reinforced, challenged and augmented the mental frameworks that started with my RAAF experience.

Change is an integral part of the ICT sector—both driving it and responding to it. My PhD was in a rapidly evolving field and I had ample opportunity to strengthen my adaptability. At Motorola, my work was primarily around change. I led the development and local implementation of a formal change program to address ‘teething’ issues associated with the creation of Motorola Labs, and was invited to join two CTO Office change management teams. Working in those teams was incredibly positive and memorable: we had a clear purpose and support, represented a diversity of disciplines and organisational experience, and began showing meaningful change within the first 18 months of our work.

  • National ICT Australia (NICTA) and Data61 (2004–2016)
    • Industry and Government Liaison
    • Industry Sector and Research Analysis
    • Business Development and Commercialisation
    • Business Team Director

I was attracted to National ICT Australia (NICTA) by the opportunity to improve the translation of research into application, and to work collaboratively with a range of partners in both the ICT sector and broader application areas. As a new style of organisation in Australia, we blazed many trails, learned, adapted and relearned. Some of my most enjoyable and satisfying experiences were working across disciplines—whether externally or internally—to address strategically important problems that had not been solved by single-discipline approaches. I was also proud to lead some bold and successful cultural initiatives, such as appointing a co-Director (twice!) to acknowledge and promote the highly valuable, diverse skills of talented younger individuals.

Public health — personal capacity (2002–present)

I've also worked in a volunteer capacity to improve outcomes and support in two areas of public health that have touched my family, as well as periodically mentoring others who are similarly impacted. Both of these areas have also involved working with dedicated multi-disciplinary teams.


Qualifications:

Certificate IV in Workplace and Business Coaching — Open Door Coaching Group
Diploma in Workplace and Business Coaching — Open Door Coaching Group
Foundations of Directorship — Australian Institute of Company Directors
Bachelor of Communications & Electronics Engineering (Distinction) — RMIT
PhD — Delivery of Broadband Services to the Home — Macquarie University