Where did you grow up?
I am a Melbourne girl who was born and raised in Noble Park. My memories are of a place where you could swim in the backyard and play rounds in the streets. A neighbourhood and community.
What is your job and what does it involve?
My role is chief manager of the Mission to Seafarers Victoria. No two days are the same at the mission, as we welcome seafarers from around the world to our place. We ensure we provide a warm welcome; a place for them to relax and chat with family and friends at home; currency exchange and phone cards for connectivity. My responsibilities involve: fundraising, capital raising, human resources across our staff and volunteers, business and operations management, community liaison, and being an occasional bus driver.
What makes your work satisfying and rewarding?
Chatting with seafarers who appreciate all we do for them and when we have completed our renovation, it will be the satisfaction of knowing that we have a building ready for the next 50 years.
How did you get into your current line of work?
I have an eclectic work history. I started as a chef, went into trade event management across fashion and design, then into managing major public events such as Open House Melbourne and business consulting, all the while managing my own events company with my husband.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I couldn’t decide between being a mounted police officer or an accountant [quite a contrast: Ed].
What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy hanging out with my dog, Ella Fitzgerald; going to movies and a good dinner.
Where did you last go for a holiday?
The last five holidays were to Japan. The food and people are fabulous.
Is there one Australian (past or present) you particularly admire?
Susan Alberti [business person, philanthropist and former vice-president of the Western Bulldogs AFL club]. Susan has picked herself up from such adversity to be a very vibrant and worthwhile person.
You live in Melbourne. What makes it a special place to live?
Melbourne has such a wonderful vibe when we are all in a festive mood. The design factors, the arts culture and the old and new places to discover in this continually changing place. It is a place where you can stop to ask if you are lost, and you can talk to your neighbours, and such great food (do you see the theme?). I live in Oakleigh, where there are spaces for the dogs to run, kids to play and there are more Greeks than in some cities in Greece.
To where do you plan to retire?
Retirement is quite a way off at the moment, but we are planning a year in Japan, then a nice place in the Dandenong Ranges [east of Melbourne] if we can. Plenty to look forward to.
What is your favourite television show?
My favourite television show is “Utopia”, a program on the ABC that is currently enjoying a rerun. Nation-building should be a serious business as there are many factors to consider and planning for the long term needs to be considered but the whims of the minister’s representatives become the issue of the day. It reminds me of the BBC comedy “Yes, (Prime) Minister”. The minor problems and misinterpretations by those outside of the office make the job that much harder for a team that have been given a task so hard – one that only has been dreamt up by government, that is nation building. The Working Dog crew understands irony and portray people with such skill and humour that it is very hard for anyone to get offended, even if the characters are extremely obvious.
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This article appeared in the February 2019 edition of DCN Magazine