General Manager, Novotel Northbeach
The Leadership Illawarra Program has been of true benefit to me personally, especially as the mentor/mentee relationship is more based on personal needs and driven by the mentee. The introduction training day was excellent.
Having lived and worked in the Illawarra for most of my life, I was fortunate enough to be selected in the 2015/16 cohort of the Leadership Illawarra Program.
I was nominated by IRT Group to further my personal and professional development. Through the program I was fortunate to meet so many innovative business leaders who were willing to share their insights and experience, which helped guide and influence my personal leadership journey.
My passion has always been in the areas of disability and ageing. Although I had co-authored research papers, presented our research overseas, and secured 2.9 million in funding to build an innovative accommodation model for ageing people with intellectual disability, I lacked the required business acumen needed to scale up the model.
My aim was to learn the strategies, objectives and tactics of successful leaders to see how I could apply them to drive my own passion to the next level. What I learnt through our LIP business leader visits, was that to be a successful leader and have a successful organisation takes years of dedication, innovation and hard work. It means driving yourself harder and further towards your goal. It was during my LIP journey that I realised that to achieve my dream of scaling up communities designed for people with disability, I needed to further my own development, particularly in Financial Management. It was at that time that I applied for MBA entry at UOW, and in October 2018 secured a full post graduate MBA Scholarship through the Illawarra Connection presented by Dr Grace McCarthy. I am currently in my first year of my MBA studies and am loving the experience.
I was so fortunate to meet some really incredible people on my LIP journey, including Grace McCarthy who was instrumental in my decision to attempt an MBA and apply for relevant scholarships, Karen Bain who led our LIP group and created an amazing experience for all of us, and of course my fellow LIP members, many of whom I still connect with and am so grateful to have met. I certainly feel much richer for the experience.