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Tanya Cox: Building a portfolio career - how one board can lead to another, even when you don’t expect it.

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Release Date: 07/09/2021

Premiership Winning Material: Gaye Hamilton and her Wild Ride show art Premiership Winning Material: Gaye Hamilton and her Wild Ride

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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Treading gently: Why mining executive Bobbie Foot is firmly grounded in community show art Treading gently: Why mining executive Bobbie Foot is firmly grounded in community

Women on Boards I Making it Real

What impact can I have, and how can I make the world a better place? It’s these questions which have driven Bobbie Foot; from growing up in a large rural Queensland farming family and qualifying as an occupational therapist to becoming head of Health, Safety and Environment at BMA Coal and being named one of the 2020 Global Top 100 Most Inspirational Women in Mining. In this podcast she talks about the importance of community, collaboration and ‘putting yourself out there’.

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Mind the gap: Mary Wooldridge on why we need to be ever vigilant about gender equality in the workforce show art Mind the gap: Mary Wooldridge on why we need to be ever vigilant about gender equality in the workforce

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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Helen Croxford has a passion for inclusion and her goal is to become obsolete show art Helen Croxford has a passion for inclusion and her goal is to become obsolete

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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Switching gears: WOBSX graduate Claudia Bels on racing and risk management show art Switching gears: WOBSX graduate Claudia Bels on racing and risk management

Women on Boards I Making it Real

With a background in law, finance, risk management Claudia Bels doesn’t seem like your typical risk-taking rev head. But this rally car fan admits she loves racing around in her sports coupe as much as scrutinizing spreadsheets for her various audit committees. Here Claudia talks to Claire Braund about taking part in Women on Boards’ inaugural WOBSX program, having a ‘ready-made cheer squad’ and the turning point which led to her down an unlikely board path.

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From Rural Australia to Royalty: ASX Chair Gina Anderson on how she nailed networking show art From Rural Australia to Royalty: ASX Chair Gina Anderson on how she nailed networking

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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Michele Adair’s home truths on Australia’s affordable housing crisis, and the challenge boards face fixing the problem show art Michele Adair’s home truths on Australia’s affordable housing crisis, and the challenge boards face fixing the problem

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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Dr Wendy Craik AM – A woman of many firsts. From the Great Barrier Reef, to the Murray Darling Basin to the RBA show art Dr Wendy Craik AM – A woman of many firsts. From the Great Barrier Reef, to the Murray Darling Basin to the RBA

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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Libby Nankivell - From refereeing to tackling big decisions - on and off the rugby field show art Libby Nankivell - From refereeing to tackling big decisions - on and off the rugby field

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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Leading from the heart – how being a director at 27, a social conscience and failure shaped Suzie Riddell’s approach to making an impact show art Leading from the heart – how being a director at 27, a social conscience and failure shaped Suzie Riddell’s approach to making an impact

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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Tanya Cox has built an impressive board portfolio, which started through Women on Boards in 2001, where she says she did all of the obvious things, like looking on the Vacancy board. 

The trend of one board leading to another started with her inaugural board appointment to Disability Sport Australia, which led  to Wheelchair Sports Australia and then to joining the Australian Paralympic Committee, which she says provided great experience, friendships and connections.

Initially unsure what she could add to sporting boards, she found that her business expertise worked in unison with the sporting backgrounds most board members had, and really balanced out the skills’ matrix.  She stresses that you should never under estimate how much business experience you have and how valuable it can be to a board. 

Tanya is now a now a Non-Executive Director (NED) of the Green Building Council of Australia, which is comprised of the CEOs of leading property CEOs.  Continuing her trend, this led her to becoming Chair of the World Building Council, which comprises  14 board members and 70 countries, which has presented both great challenges and high levels of personal fulfillment.

Tanya says her career experience led her to areas that she didn’t expect, like becoming a NED for Equiem, who provides IT services to the property industry for which she served at Dexus. 

Tanya says that the most important thing is to get started…..find a Not for Profit Board and look at what you have to offer.  No two boards are the same.  It takes a lot more than one to call yourself a NED, so get experience across different boards. And remember boards provide connections. One thing can lead to another, even when you don’t expect it.

Now sitting on six boards, Tanya is at her capacity, but says she has never been happier despite the midnight Zooms.  Like any true success, Tanya is modest, understated and a true inspiration.

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Tanya CoxClaire Braund (host)

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