What is you current role?
Executive director, human resources and teaching vice principal, ELTHAM College of Education.
What qualifications do you hold?
B Sc, Dip Ed, Grad Dip Education Administration, M Education (HR and human resource management).
How did you get into HR?
By working with young people entering teaching and seeing the value of coaching and mentoring staff and watching them settle into their new careers. I could see how further training in HR was going to be of great benefit to the college.
What do you think it takes to succeed in HR?
Fantastic people skills, creative problem solving and flexibility. It’s about helping someone achieve work-life balance and being genuinely interested in their welfare.
How do you manage relationships with senior executives?
I have a very close working relationship with other executives in the senior management team, and the key is maintaining open communication channels at every opportunity. I’m in the very fortunate position of being seen as an advocate for staff, and at the same time the executive team has a level of comfort in discussing a range of staff issues with me that they know can be discussed confidentially. The principal, Dr David Warner, places high importance on HR and this is reflected in the college’s culture.
What advice would you give to graduates considering a career in HR?
I can’t push enough the importance of having a personal touch. It involves direct conversations with an individual that demonstrate a full understanding of that person’s professional situation, and providing feedback, suggestions, and ideas that reflect thoughtfulness. In terms of educational HR, my advice is to interact and maintain relationships at all levels of the school –teachers and staff, senior management, students and parents. An HR professional’s effectiveness in the role is predicated by the quality of their working relationships.