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The Perpetual Hustle: Transferable skills, career themes and becoming NED young - with Andrea Staines OAM

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Release Date: 01/29/2021

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

She’s spent years working with children and animals (a combination many of us would steer clear of) and yet Gaye Hamilton says the transferable skills gained in secondary science education and zoo management paved the way for her varied and fascinating career and board journey, including over a decade with the Western Bulldogs AFL club.

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

Mary Wooldridge believes if you want change on the big social issues then you get engaged in purposeful action to get policy change and action taken. As Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the issues currently in her sights are gender inequality, including closing the 14.2% gender pay gap. In this podcast, Mary speaks to Claire about why the Liberal Party should implement quotas for women and why we need to be ever vigilant about gender equality in the workplace.

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

On the Eve of the Paralympics Claire Braund talks to President of Sport Inclusion Australia, Helen Croxford about her vision for a fully inclusive sporting club system that welcomes athletes with an intellectual impairment with open arms, and why the media training that they’re running extends to training the media how to deal with people with an intellectual disability.

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

Keeping in touch with her large network, as well as simply ‘being in the right place at the right time’, has seen experienced company director Gina secure many board roles - as well as “the job of a lifetime” as personal assistant to the Crown of Jordan in the early 90s. In this podcast, Gina talks about the importance of networking, describes what it was like going from struggling to find work during the recession to working for Jordanian royalty, and the reality of learning on the job.

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

In the podcast Michele talks about being on the board of affordable housing organisations and of the joy of giving keys to a home to someone who desperately needs it. As Chair of CHIA NSW and CEO of affordable housing provider Housing Trust Michele’s goal is to ensure all Australians have access to the basic human right to somewhere to live.

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

Dr Wendy Craik was the first female head of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the first woman to lead the National Farmers' Federation and the first woman Chief Executive of the Murray Darling Basin Commission. So how does someone who started out with a science degree and PhD in zoology wind up on the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia? Never one to turn down a challenge, Wendy admits it has been a steep learning curve but says it has been a fascinating journey along the way

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

In May, Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Nankivell made history when she was appointed Vice President of Queensland Rugby Union, becoming the first woman to hold the position in 139 years. Libby acquired her love of the game from her late father, Darling Downs broccoli farmer and respected referee Paddy O’Brien, also following him into refereeing. Here the ‘self-confessed rugby tragic’ talks to Claire Braund about her passion for the game, and how that has translated into a meaningful career on rugby boards.

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

Motivated and with clear vision, Suzie Riddell talks to Claire about why she decided not to pursue a career in accounting, despite winning the University medal, how she took a graduate role with Bain & Co and boldly deferred her start date TWICE, and how her failed volunteer experience in Guatemala shaped her approach.

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

Today Claire talks to experienced NED & Chair, Tanya Cox, who discusses the power of connection and how one board can “surprisingly” lead to another. Tanya is now a portfolio director on 6 boards, including Chair of the World Green Building Council and Non-Executive Director of Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMS), and says she has never been happier or more fulfilled. Tanya shares her journey and what she has learned along the way. Like any true success, Tanya is modest, understated and a true inspiratio

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It’s not often you get the chance to hear directly from Australia’s first female airline CEO, OAM and full-time Non-Executive Director, the admirable Andrea Staines. This week Claire Braund digs deep with Andrea on matters of living abroad, solo parenting, becoming NED at age 41 and why it’s crucial to understand your transferable skills.

Unlike many of her peers from country Queensland, Andrea, Australia’s first female airline CEO, OAM and full-time Non-Executive Director (NED), was fortunate to have the undivided support of her loving parents who encouraged her to be brave and to set her sights high. At age seven, she knew she would go to university and likely study medicine and become a GP for her local community. However, when she was awarded an all expenses paid for scholarship to complete her high school education in Singapore, her whole outlook on life changed. She took to international life like a duck out of water and has since worked and studied in the US, Asia and Australia.

She has been a Director in the listed, private, government, social enterprise and foundation spaces, and for the past decade, has been a full-time Non-Executive Director for a range of Australian and New Zealand entities in transport, infrastructure and retail service arenas.

Andrea worked in financial roles with American Airlines at their Dallas headquarters in the early 1990s before returning to Australia with her two young children to join Qantas. At age 38, Andrea became Australia's first female airline CEO for Australian Airlines (mk II), a Qantas subsidiary flying between Asia and Australia, which she co-launched.

At age 41, Andrea left her C-Suite career to establish herself as a Director; a decision she made to support her home life. But securing her first board role didn’t come without struggle and hustle, despite her impressive CV.

It was a further four years before Andrea scored an ASX listed position. It was her ability to step back and look at her career and skillset that gave her the insight she needed to propel her NED career.

Today, Andrea is highly sought after by companies planning significant transformation. She is the NED of Acumentis (ASX), SeaLink (ASX) and UnitingCare Queensland, and the Deputy Chair for Australia Post.

In 2010, Andrea was invited to join Australia's Chief Executive Women, and in 2019, she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her efforts as a role model and mentor for women. 

Hear from Andrea on why it's important to have two career themes as a NED in Australia, how to recognise your transferable skills and her reminder to be brave every step of the way.

Andrea Staines' roles at time of broadcast:

  • Deputy Chair for Australia Post
  • NED Acumentis (ASX)
  • NED SeaLink (ASX)
  • NED UnitingCare Queensland

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Andrea Staines
Claire Braund (host)

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