#FWDay2019

Melissa Miller

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I am the EA Team Leader at EY Canberra and my role relies heavily on flexibility - as I work 2 hours from the Canberra office. My partner and I were fortunate enough to be in a position to buy our first home and we wanted to move back home near Temora. I was able to submit a flexbile work arrangement with EY that allows me to work from home and travel to Canberra as needed. I have been working flexibly for over a year now, and am proof that flexible working actually works - that you dont need to be in the office every day to be successful and continue to provide the same standard of work. I have a team of 11 EA's and I support and encourage their flexibility whether it be working from home or different locations, leaving early for appointments, arriving late due to school committments etc.

Michael Gill

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 As the owner of startup real estate and legal businesses, I set out to create businesses in which my employees would have the freedom to work remotely and in ways that suited their family circumstances and lifestyle. I soon realised that offering our employees true flexibility was about culture, technology and the spaces they worked from. We have since started our own co-working space, Connectworks, from which we run our businesses, from which our employees can work flexibly and benefit from the community that comes from working in a flexible space.

Yvonne Bowyer

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After completing her MBA at University of Adelaide where she was awarded Top Female MBA Graduate, Yvonne based herself in Sydney for over a decade where she led the Australian & New Zealand operations for a number of multinational corporations, including Nutricia (now Danone), Wyeth and Pfizer. After decades focussing on her career, Yvonne made a very late decision to have children. The road to parenthood was a difficult and traumatic experience but resulted in two amazing children but no job to return to. Determined to forge a new beginning where work and family could be entwined, In 2018 Yvonne launched her start-up, "RemiPeople" to assist workplaces redesign the recruitment process without the harmful effects of unconscious bias. Yvonne is a passionate advocate for workplace diversity and inclusion. She regularly publishes, presents and consults to industry and business on ways to improve business effectiveness through workplace diversity and inclusion. Yvonne believes workplace flexibility is a critical enabler to attract diversity and drive inclusivity and belonging. But there's a supply and demand problem. Workers want flexibility but employers aren't delivering. It's time for a balance!

Gerard Ward

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My name is Gerard Ward, I am a father of two very cheeky monkeys and I am the Managing Director and co-owner of Testgrid. I have worked for the company for over 10 years, working as a Business Development Manager for 3 years before becoming Managing Director. My passions lie in helping organisations deliver efficient and lean recruitment processes, putting the right person in the right job. I am proud to celebrate and showcase the benefits of flexible work for both our people and organisation. With significant changes in technology, job roles, and structures, we are able to support our people working in ways that allow them to achieve their best - whether that be from home, or at different hours that better suit them. I make it my prioirity to encourage and support work flexibility as I have seen first hand the positive benefits it can have on individuals and in turn on businesses.

Penny Rush

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For me, flexible working has been essential to re-entering and remaining in the workforce since becoming a parent. It would simply not have been possible to have the career I have without it. I am therefore incredibly grateful and passionate about its transformational effect. The flexible working revolution enabled by the introduction of 'All Roles Flex' at many organisations, including Aurecon, reduces the stigma and inequality of access and it challenges the norms of who has ‘the right’ to access flexible working options. It forces structural and systemic change to accommodate different ways of working and different ways of being ‘available’ and productive.

Flexible work, the trust and empowerment it enables, to have more control over both the unpredictable and the predictable, creates benefits for all. Different people work better at different times of the day, different people work better in different environments, often depending on the type of work required that day - thinking work, collaborative work. Flexible working is also a key enabler of a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The crusade to transform the workplace (for everyone - leaders, employees, clients, stakeholders) continues!

For more: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/flexible-work-evolution-revolution-penny-rush/

Mark Morris

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When I think about the future of work, flexible working is at the core of strategies to get us there. I envisage a future in which all work is flexible such that we don’t even need to call it out because work is designed without barriers. I’m passionate about flexible working because I believe it’s the key to get the best out of people, being truly inclusive to diverse working styles and personal circumstances. Flexible working is not just for parents, but many people deliver better work and can maintain better health and balance by spending more time outside a typical office environment. People can work metres away from each other in an office and never engage in person, and yet many restrict working from home options, but why? Fear? Lack of trust? We could be anywhere. 10 metres or 10,000 miles apart it makes no difference in many roles. #workanywhere will change everything. For the relevant roles, regional residents will have access to capital city roles, and vice versa. This has the power to change the entire workforce landscape, the talent market, and people’s lives, not to mention taking cars off the roads. Of course it’s not all going to be easy or perfect, but where many see reasons not to, I see opportunities. In my experience giving trust reaps rewards in most instances, where staff working in a way that suits their individual circumstances work harder & put in more discretionary effort than those without such opportunities. Progressive thinking helps us break away from “but this is the way it’s always been” and opens up the potential of how amazing things can be, without restriction or limitation. Supported now by recent legislative changes, there’s no excuse to stop our staff & teams being their best, whatever that means. Working flexibly enables me to be my best in & out of work, which in turn helps everyone in my life.

Melissa Mathews

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Melissa Mathews is the founder and president of The Mathews Group, and a professional communicator for over 20 years. Her expertise lies in executive communications and speechwriting, and she is passionate about helping clients tell their unique story.

Before establishing The Mathews Group in 2010, Melissa earned her communications credentials as a journalist and spokesperson.

At CNN, Melissa wrote and edited scripts for news reports and produced international broadcasts with global teams. The intense newsroom pressure equipped her to work quickly and accurately on deadline, and her experience working with colleagues across time zones developed her ability to manage distributed teams.

During her career with NASA, Melissa advised senior leaders on strategy and implemented communications campaigns, specializing in media outreach to non-traditional audiences. She spent nearly three years working crisis response to the Space Shuttle Columbia accident and subsequent return to flight, and led the international partnerships communications portfolio.

Today, Melissa is proud to direct The Mathews Group, a pioneer in the virtual agency model. She guides a team of remote staff and advises Fortune 100 clients, small businesses, and non-profits on corporate communications strategy. Melissa is a passionate advocate for virtual and flexible work opportunities. She has presented at industry conferences including the PRSA Counselors Academy and been interviewed for print and podcasts.

A collaborative leader, Melissa is not afraid to make tough decisions or offer expertise to colleagues and clients. She builds strong relationships with her team and clients and often serves in a confidante role. Melissa is married to a U.S. diplomat and has three kids -- four, if you count the dog. She has lived in the U.K., Japan, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Daniel Johnson

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Daniel is a Senior Structural Engineer and is responsible for managing and delivering the design and construction of structural and civil engineering projects. As a senior engineer with pitt&sherry, he has a varied role, which also includes management of design teams and resource allocation. This engineering experience has ranged from typical technical design to contract administration duties and on-site roles during construction. Daniel’s extensive experience in the design, construction and investigation of both Structural and Civil projects often involves extensive site work and interstate travel away from his family.

Daniel has a young family with 3 children under the age of 7 and a wife that has returned to part time work. To balance this busy lifestyle, Daniel works part time with a flexible arrangement that enables him to be a stay at home Dad for one day of the week and work increased hours for the remainder of the working week.

“The ability for me to work flexibly has enables me to be more present and involved in raising my children. Whether it be the day to day family routine or the ability to attend a school assembly or excursion, this extra involvement with my family and flexible work arrangement has helped to create a good balance between work and family. I feel that this improved balance between work and family has helped to foster a healthy and happy family environment, which has in turn improved my enjoyment and morale at work.”

Jessica Bowker

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With a background in corporate affairs, Jessica Bowker has worked in Australia and Canada for large companies, international joint ventures and public relations agencies. In 2015 she founded TrueType Communications, a Perth-based consultancy which provides communications and marketing services to businesses, non-profits and social enterprises. Her areas of expertise include communications and marketing strategy, brand management, stakeholder engagement, change management and internal communications.

Jessica was diagnosed was Lupus SLE soon after starting her consultancy and understands the challenges of living with a chronic autoimmune disease while managing a small business and raising a young family. This prompted her to adopt a more collaborative consulting approach and become a more vocal advocate for flexible working, which saw her recognised as an individual champion in the 2018 Champions of Flexible Working Awards.

Jessica is passionate about giving back to the community and volunteers with causes that are close to her heart. She is a board member of Lupus WA, a voluntary not-for-profit organisation which aims to improve awareness, education and support for lupus patients, the community and health professionals, and to support lupus research activities in WA. She also mentors students in Years 10, 11 and 12 as part of the Beacon Foundation MyRoad Program which provides career guidance for young Australian women.

Dan Mottau

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A senior organisation development specialist and certified leadership coach, I enjoy examining the underlying motivations and patterns of thinking that elicit amplifying and diminishing behaviours within teams. My work is influenced by behavioural psychology and anthropology, especially as their principles may be applied to leadership development and the cultivation of productive workplace cultures.

My career is best described as a choose your own adventure. Possessing in excess of 10 years’ experience across a variety of people and culture leadership roles, I’ve switched tracks a few times, to work with children in Nepal, and for a number of years, to tread the boards in Australian professional theatre.

“Flexible working” has meant many different things to me over my career, and has taken on a new meaning with the arrival of my son, Oliver.

To work flexibly once meant “balance” - - to find time and space aside from work - - a series of judgement calls and trade-offs. Employers were not always conducive to enabling the best version of myself.

People operate and respond differently under different circumstances, and yet businesses continue to maintain production line era thinking, as it applies to the structure and manner of work. This fulfils a desire for control, but does not deliver sustained engagement and high performance.

I now find myself at home with Zendesk - - a high-growth SaaS company, incorporated in San Francisco, who build software for better customer relationships.

Zendesk affords a great deal of personal freedom and trust. It is proactive in allowing people to determine their own definition of work-life “blend”, with a firm understanding of the return on investment; including, but not limited to, positive impacts on engagement, productivity and the achievement of organisational goals.

Businesses must empower people to define their optimal blend - - in their own terms.

Stacey Price

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I was never given the opportunity in my corporate accounting career to have any flexibility in my working arrangements. Even when I had a 20cm blood clot in my leg and was 8 weeks pregnant with my first child, my boss wouldn't let me reduce my hours down to part time.

I started my financial coaching and bookkeeping business when I was made redundant whilst on maternity leave with my second child.

I wanted other start-up business owners to have someone they could turn to for financial and accounting support. Qualified help without the “corporate” mindset. I wanted to be someone that could hold their hand and guide them on ATO obligations and how on earth to deal with the constant cash flow battle of the start-up lifecycle. I just wanted to help.

I am now a boss to 3 amazing women and I offer my staff the same flexibility that I offer myself. Nobody gets special privileges, we all just get the same benefits.

I want to provide my staff with the opportunities I wish someone had given me back in my corporate days.

Flexibility around sickness, workspace, location, hours, study, family. The works. I don't think it is hard to give staff these opportunities. In fact, my staff are well and truly integral in the running of my business and yet they all work different and often odd hours, they all work remotely and one is even based overseas. Yet we are all on the same page and committed to growing our business. Flexibility means our staff are loyal, they love working for our business and they see their job as a wonderful opportunity that fits into their life. Flexibility for us is a daily part of what we do. It is just our “normal”. I want it to be everyone's "normal".

Simon Hanna

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A registered optometrist, I have 2 young energetic children. My passions are my kids and my work (in that order). I worked for 12 years as a practising optometrist before moving into a teaching role and in my current policy and professional development role. I am passionate about flexible working because I have experienced firsthand the benefits of being able to work around my kids and family life, being able to give them the time they need, affording me the chance to have a work/life balance that gives me the opportunity to put in 100% at work and at home. As a consulting practitioner, I was bound by opening hours and appointment times. Working in an office environment, I am fortunate to be supported with flexible working hours that provide me with an opportunity to reduce stress and improve output, both at home and work.

Nicky Pollington

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 Nicky is a geologist who has spent time travelling internationally working in various mines, exploration projects and civil infrastructure. When she decided to have children and return to Tasmania it was important to her to find a role which provided opportunities to maintain connection with the industry she loved but still be able to spend quality time with her children. She found this in pitt&sherry where her role as Ground Engineering Team leader has provided opportunity to build a skilled team of mining, geotechnical and geological experts who work on projects in Australia and across the globe. Nicky and hr partner work flexibly to manage school and play commitments and include travel for work as and when required including site work in Philippines, PNG and remote Australia. She also managed to take 6 months leave to spend time with her children before they embarked on high school. Nicky works 4 days a week on varied days and times, from home some days, or in one of the many p&s offices, all supported by the any place/ any time technology which all staff have access to. She also has a role as executive director on the pitt&sherry board where she works collaboratively with other board members from offices in Melbourne, Launceston and Hobart.

Dan Paull

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 I often hear the mention of work-life balance as a goal that some pursue. This notion suggests some hard distinction between the two, a separation that must be achieved. The reality is that work is a large and important part of life along with family and friends, hobbies and other interests, community engagement, personal health and wellbeing. All these things need time and balance. They require a delicate orchestration to smoothly and effectively integrate them that seldom adheres to fixed and immobile time slots. My daughter’s recent operation for instance took place in another city and in the middle of the week. Supporting her was hardly compatible with the traditional notion of the nine-to-five work week especially with some deadlines due at work. The solution is simple – flexible working. I travelled to be with her but was able to make use of the remote access arrangements of our workplace to still deliver on the deadline. And she was grateful for the support. Allowing and promoting this type of flexible working not only recognises that people have complex lives to manage and that this management task is dramatically assisted with the provision of flexibility, the flexibility offered has the invaluable benefit of boosting happiness, motivation, engagement and satisfaction – it’s actually a great result for everyone! So, I’m a strong believer that life’s tricky balance and people’s wellbeing is greatly supported by a workplace that supports flexible working. Mine does. Does yours?

Jill Baptist

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EGM, Customer Futures, Customer Labs Division of IAG. My job is all about creating beautiful customer experiences - 1st through insight as to what a beautiful experience might be, and then collaborating with others to bring that to life. The most important element of this is the doing the same for employee experiences since it is they who collaborate to create and deliver these experiences. For that to be the best it can be, we need to be flexible for the sake of having access to the widest range of people and ideas we can. Those people's wellbeing is also key to unlocking creativity - and flexibility is one way that we can work in line with people's lifestyles and other interests so they can be their best

Jack Walden

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As a passionate traveller, flexible working has become my passport to the world; giving me the freedom to collaborate with incredible organisations and individuals no matter their location. Whatever professional hat I’m wearing (be it CEO, editor, lecturer...), with the speed of technology and travel both increasing exponentially, I can connect virtually or meet up face to face with some of the world’s most creative people. 

Flexible working has also allowed me to take advantage of bleisure (business + leisure travel) on countless occasions. From a strategic planning session overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice, to a day of writing surrounded by the beauty of Sri Lanka, I’ve managed to turn major tourist destinations into my office for the day, and continue to manage colleagues working on projects around the globe. 

As well as unlocking incredible travel experiences, flexible working allows me to prioritise time with my family and friends, and support them when they most need help. As a person whose career is built on creativity, flexible working also allows me to balance the inputs and outputs; giving me the breathing room to absorb new ideas and connect with the ever-growing community. 

The only barrier to unlocking the power of flexible work is people’s imagination.

Jack is the CEO of the C-Word Communications Agency and a founding sponsor of Flexible Working Day.

Melissa Funston

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I am currently overseeing the rollout of 'work from home' across the Customer Delivery Direct team at IAG. This project is exciting due to the potential benefits for both our staff & our business. We've seen benefits in our staff already working from home such as increases in well being, better work life balance, more family time, alongside increases in productivity. Offering this, along with other flexible work arrangements such as compressed working weeks, flexible shifts & part time hours, helps empower our staff to take control of their working week, increases engagement & offers productivity benefits to our business as well - Win, Win!

Ahmad Naous

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 I am Speaker,Balanced Scorecard Consultant, Best Practices Consultant,and Management Educator,who helps managers and organizations learn from their past,understand the present and create their future. As a BSC Practitioner, I have a unique experience in the field. My first writing book "The Science of Strategy Execution" "Knowledge of Allah" is the third generation after the Balanced Scorecard"1996" and the Execution Premium"2008" (two books written by Dr. Kaplan (Harvard Business School): "The Father of the Science of Strategy Execution" and Dr.Norton). The book is a transformation from theoretical performance management to practical analysis in MENA. For 9 years I have been VP Human Resources at AUL University. I hold MA from American University of Beirut and MBA from Beirut Arab University. I am also a Contributing writer to Strategy+Business, International member in American Society for Training and Development (ATD), Professional member in KPI Institute , XPC Practitioner and Member in SMS.

Georgina Dent

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Georgina Dent is a journalist, editor, former lawyer and advocate for women’s empowerment and gender equality.  She is the contributing editor of Women's Agenda, Australia's leading publication for career-minded women and has a fortnightly column in The Sun Herald & The Age on Sunday.

Georgie has appeared on ABC’s Lateline, The Drum, ABC Weekend Breakfast, Channel 9’s Today Show and Sky News, and has more than 20,000 followers on Twitter who enjoy her commentary on women, money, politics and everything in between.   

 She was recognised for her advocacy in the inaugural Women’s Empowerment Journalism Awards in Singapore in 2014, where she was a finalist in the journalist of the year category. In 2015 she was a finalist in the inaugural Our Watch Walkley Awards to recognise excellent reporting of domestic violence.

 She lives in Sydney with her husband and their three daughters. Her first book, a memoir called Breaking Badly, will be published in May 2019 with Affirm Press

 Why does flexibility matter to me?

Without flexibility there is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have been able to build the career I have, while also raising three children and, mostly, keeping my sanity.

Flexibility means that while my days and weeks don’t always look the same my productivity remains high and I’m able to manage my personal and professional commitments in a way that works for me, my employer and my family.

Eric Troost

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 I am a passionate leader with extensive local and international experience as a People & Culture practitioner. In my career I have held responsibility for various functions within People & Culture across Australia, Asia and Europe, in areas of Business Partnering, Operations and Talent. I strive to build and grow the organisations I work with by improving how they attract, develop and retain talent and create a great culture. In my current role as the Head of Talent for TAL - I am responsible for setting the strategy and delivering on our Talent and Inclusion road-map. In this dynamic role I can fulfill my passion in working with great people, creating an engaging employer brand, identifying & developing Talent and building an ever more inclusive workplace that allows people to bring their whole self to work. Offering flexibility in the workplace is paramount to increasing diversity in the workforce and ensuring people can live life to the fullest. I believe it's a critical element to be able to attract talented people to your organisation. I'm proud to work for TAL who have recently been awarded the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality Citation for the 5th time by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency TAL is one of Australia’s leading life insurance specialists and for over 140 years, we’ve been protecting people, not things. Together with our partners we protect more than 4 million Australians and their families, helping them look after what matters most, so they have the freedom to keep living the life they planned. Our purpose is to work every day to help Australians live a life filled with choices, options and freedoms, no matter what happens.