Why did you volunteer for the IABC Vic Vice President position?
In 2004, I worked on the EOWA publication Australian Census of Women in Leadership that reported on women in leadership positions in the top ASX 200 companies and member organisations of the Business Council of Australia. Perhaps naively, I was quite astonished to learn how under-represented women were in senior executive positions and at Board-level. Looking back I think this is where my interest in boards started. I realised that change was necessary and that I should actively participate in that change. I'd been an active member on The Communications Council Victorian committee and championed the gender inequity issue within the industry. When I left agency land, I decided that I should be more pro-active in seeking Board level experience in non-profit organisations that I am passionate about. The IABC Victorian Chapter and Lighthouse Foundation are such organisations. In the year or so that I've been a member of the IABC Victorian Chapter I've been impressed with the level of professionalism and friendliness of the membership. The events that I attended were extremely worthwhile and the membership base was quite broad. I felt that I could add value to the Board with my broad experience, and also learn from the others on the Board and within the membership.
What do you hope to achieve over the next year in this role?
I love a challenge – life would be boring without them. The challenge here is that my knowledge of PR and corporate communications is limited compared with my expertise in brand, marketing, advertising and internal communications, so I am very keen to improve my skill set in these areas. The World PR Forum will be the beginning of my education process.
What about Opportunities?
I feel that we have many opportunities ahead that we can optimise to further professionalise our Chapter. I am keen to consider new ways to add value to our members and welcome input from our membership about how we can do this. I'd like to look at innovation and creativity within the field of communications and beyond to identify insights and learnings that we can share with our members. I'd also welcome new members from the broader field of marketing to explore the benefits of joining IABC Victoria.
I'm the Chair of fundraising event committee for an amazing charity called Lighthouse Foundation. It provides homeless young people who come from backgrounds of long term neglect and abuse with a home, a sense of family and around the clock therapeutic care. Through their Lighthouse experience, the young people heal, learn again to relate to others and rebuild their lives. In my role, I'm responsible for creating a major event from scratch that will not only raise the profile of Lighthouse Foundation but also become one of Melbourne's premier fundraising social events. The inaugural event is on Wednesday 14th November at the MARS Gallery in Port Melbourne and if you're interested then you can find out more at www.nextmelbourne.org.au.
Interesting. Either running my success business with a number of talented and respected associates or working in a senior marketing or communications role with an organisation that values creativity and innovation. Add to that one or two Board roles.
Q&A by Amanda Riley, Communications Chair IABC Victoria Board member