What is your background?
I graduated as an accountant from QUT in the mid-1990’s and joined a boutique Brisbane insolvency firm.
In the early 2000’s, the boutique accounting firm became a national firm. Ten years later, we joined global practice FTI Consulting.
My career, and confidence in my abilities progressed over the years, knowing I had to work hard regardless of the assignment or challenges faced. Of course, having a couple of kids did make things more complicated with managing my work-life balance. However, with the support of my colleagues, as well as working hard, efficiently and being able to multi-task I was able to achieve my goals and became a partner by my mid-30’s.
What is your role about?
As a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, part of my role is to coach and mentor numerous employees in the Brisbane office, a role I find very rewarding. I make sure I have an open-door policy, so staff know they can see me at any time.
I am also an external administrator, which means I act in the role of either an administrator, liquidator, or sometimes a bankruptcy trustee. My main focus is working on medium to large complex matters.
Can you give an example of a type of engagement you were recently working on?
Most recently, I was appointed administrator to an apprenticeship business, which employed around 450 staff. Working with my talented and diverse team, we traded the business for over four months with the aim of maximising the return to all stakeholders. We were able to sell parts of the business, ensuring the majority of apprentices were able to continue their apprenticeships with as minimal disruption as possible.
Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
To be honest, no, I didn’t think when I was at university that my career path would be in the insolvency and restructuring industry. When I was at university, insolvency wasn’t a subject nor was it widely taught.
What made you decide to work in this field?
From my first day of work, I realised insolvency and restructuring was for me. Each matter is different, exciting and challenging. For example, on one matter we had to find strategies on how to best realise a tourist development site with environmental implications. Then on another we were appointed as administrators to trade on a not-for-profit charity which employed 800 staff and serviced 2,500 clients with special needs, all while coming up with a plan to transition the staff (so they could keep their jobs) and ensure clients continued to receive their much needed care before the charity was shut-down.
What is most rewarding about your job?
I get to work with and alongside an amazing group of people. On challenging matters and assignments we all come together to produce the best outcome for all stakeholders.
What was a challenge?
Being a full-time working parent is a daily juggling act. However, working in a firm that promotes flexibility and work-life balance has greatly helped me with not only the advancement in my career but to also raise two children.
One piece of advice that you would give women/female students who want to work in professional services?
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and put your hand up for challenging tasks. It is really important to not become too relaxed in your chosen field but always push yourself. When I was a senior manager, an opportunity arose to join a government panel to assist with new legislation being introduced to assist employees who lose their jobs due to liquidation. Whilst I felt intimidated by joining the group (all men and more senior than me) I decided to give it a go and have my say. After the first panel discussion, I realised not only was this a great confidence building exercise, but it also built on my personal brand, not only internally in the office but externally as well.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals. FTI Consulting, Inc., including its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a consulting firm and is not a certified public accounting firm or a law firm. FTI Consulting is an independent global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes: financial, legal, operational, political & regulatory, reputational and transactional. FTI Consulting professionals, located in all major business centers throughout the world, work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges and opportunities. Some services may be provided through FTI Capital Advisors (Australia) Pty Ltd AFSL # 504204. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
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