I’ve enjoyed a rewarding career in banking and finance, working across the spectrum of the industry from a Big Four bank to a government-owned specialist funder to Australia’s largest credit union.
I started with ANZ as a graduate, choosing to work in a branch rather than at head office, which gave HR a pink fit. But it was a great introduction to retail banking and I learned valuable lessons about the importance of the customer. ANZ gave me the opportunity to work overseas, to open new banks, to develop products for specific markets and to advance through the ranks to the C-suite level. Most of all, I was able to build relationships that have lasted to this day.
Rural Finance Corporation was my first CEO role and it was well matched to my personal interest in farming and agribusiness in regional Victoria (read more about that under About me). As CEO, I loved being able to impact the entire organisation, which resulted in very strong growth and excellent shareholder returns from dividends and a lucrative sale.
I jumped at the CEO role for Credit Union Australia (now Great Southern Bank), a mutual (meaning member-owned) banking and health insurance business. When I arrived, the organisation had expanded rapidly through dozens of mergers and not surprisingly, it was struggling to become an integrated business. I think I’m most proud of being able to infuse a strong sense of purpose into the culture and I saw the benefits again and again, as we grew our membership and improved all of our success measures.
Alongside these CEO and executive roles, I’ve held many directorships and Board roles. It’s been interesting and educational to be both a CEO reporting to the Board and a Board member working with CEOs. You can read more about my Board roles here.