HR in the hot seat: Vicki Leaver of Legal Aid

The director of people & organisational development at Legal Aid talks change management, getting a seat at the table and rugby league.

HR in the hot seat: Vicki Leaver of Legal Aid

What is your current role and what brought you into it?

I am the Director of People and Organisational Development at Legal Aid NSW. Our former CEO’s Alan Kirkland and Bill Grant wanted to transform people practices and were seeking an organisational development and change practioner.

What are some of your current HR challenges?

Legal Aid NSW is undertaking significant organisational programs of change – including an overhaul of our client service model. This important project aims to improve access to justice and help us put clients at the centre of what we do, and will shape the way we support our lawyers and develop staff. My team is working closely with the key stakeholders to support delivery.

What is the favourite part of your job?

Working with the business to resolve sticky, tricky and interesting business challenges – from the people lens. I enjoy working with diverse thinkers who challenge the status quo.

What attracted you to a career in HR?

For me, it was more who attracted me to HR. I have a number of wonderful mentors (including my husband) who encouraged me, gave me the courage to step up into roles and identified HR as an area to focus my energy.

What’s one piece of HR related advice you would offer?
Get a seat at the table. That table may start small however as you continue to deliver value you will get a seat at bigger tables.
What hobbies and interests do you have outside of HR? Do you have any quirky ones?
I love all sport, but my first passion is rugby league. I am a huge Parramatta Eels supporter.
Please complete this sentence: If you weren’t working in HR, you would be…a writer for TV shows. I think my HR experiences could certainly be drawn upon when developing story lines.

Vicki Leaver will be speaking at the National HR Summit which takes place at Luna Park, Sydney, on 29-30 March.


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