Flexible Work

Llewella Jago

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Llewella has had an extensive career in marketing, communications and media for private enterprise and government. Llewella returned to Australia nine years ago from senior marketing positions with the Guardian Media Group in the UK and Southern Cross Austereo in Asia to work in federal government in Canberra.

During Llewella’s time in federal government she was a senior communications adviser for a Coordinator General, Chief of Staff for the Hon Alan Tudge MP, led a $200 million program to partner with the largest companies in Australia, led communications for the Referendum Council and refocused stakeholder engagement for the Office for Women.

Dr Marcus Chacos

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I love my team. A herd of inspired UNICORNS. To achieve powerful results in the workplace and experience an amazing culture that makes going to work a time of joy filled with wonder and theater we need to be willing to do things differently. As the director of Provolution Health, a vitalistic chiropractic practice, we embrace flexible working.

Linda Lee

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I am passionate about flexible working because it enables greater participation in the workplace for those who may need the work life balance, for whatever reason they need it. In 2018 I moved to the Dandenong Ranges, about an hour’s drive outside of Melbourne in Australia. It was a significant move to make after living in the inner city for 15 years and the main reason we were able to seriously contemplate this move was because of my ability to work flexibly.  I couldn't have imagined being able to do this 10 years ago, to retain my corporate role but live the country lifestyle we desired.

Flexible working opens up the opportunity to attract people from different backgrounds, genders, locations and with other interests in life. This in turn creates a more inclusive and diverse workforce - this clearly has benefits for the business but it's also a much more inspiring and enriched workplace for individuals.

Alex Avery


As the co-founder of a data analytics firm, Notitia, and having had a background in Australian and International startups, Big 4 and Academia, I've lived different forms of working arrangements. Modern technology enable all of us to strike our balance, and work flexibly. With a baby on the way, I want to be an attentive and available father - and flexible working means I can spend quality time with my family, and balance work commitments and growing a business outside of traditional business hours.

Helena Kuo

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I've had over 25 years experience in Human Resources, working in global professional services firms.

Balancing life's commitments, family, children, work, ageing parents, can be challenging at times and we can feel that it's all too much. Being able to dial-up and dial-down work commitments should be the norm for all of us, to enjoy our families and spend important time with loved ones. It makes us feel better about work and I think be better at work when we have that flexibility. It also doesn't mean that we are any less committed to our career, and for employers to acknowledge that is really important. That's why I'm proud to be an Ambassador for Flexible Working Day.

Peter Kennedy

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I’m extremely grateful to be a Senior Manager of a Big 4 firm (EY) who leads the market in diversity and inclusion strategies and practices. But to help champion change and challenge societal expectations, it’s up to me to role model and lead by example – it has to go beyond words on a policy document. In that regard, I’m very cognisant of how we talk about flexibility, as small changes in our language can have a significant impact on how we behave.

I’m not an advocate of the term “work-life balance”, as I think there is an implicit bias here – as soon as there is a conflict between work and personal life, balance must be lacking, right? Therefore, I do my best to orientate my priorities and commitments that help achieve integration. This means making decisions that are closely aligned with my values and sense of purpose, as well as seeking experiences and opportunities in one role that may improve the quality of life in another role. This might look like the following (which is now a reality!) – taking three months off work in 2019 to spend more time with my three daughters (dad role), supporting my wife in her transition back into work (husband role), and returning fresh and energised to work to begin the new financial year (career role).

Whatever your approach, I encourage you to always reflect on and adapt your flexibility expectations and preferences accordingly. Finding a ‘perfect’ solution for flexibility may be unrealistic, but being kind to yourself is always within your sphere of control. Realise that you have more to offer than just always being available, and instead focus on creating value. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Jill Skromanis

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I work 90% full time equivalent and have the benefit of picking my children up from school twice a week and spending time during these afternoons to be there for homework, activities and catching up about the day.

I also have flexibility to work from home; I do this every Friday, and can do on other days when suitable for the work activity that I am doing. My work requires some quiet time for thinking and planning, and I find the quiet and peace of home with some beautiful music in the background and my pup by my side to be a great space for this. My team is based in Melbourne and Sydney and our work crosses Australia, NZ and part of Asia - so our work practices already involve video conferencing; our laptops are setup for this. We can therefore be mobile and work from anywhere provided we have secure internet connection.

It's great to be able to mix in some personal appointments with work activity - with focus on deliverables and outcomes. Some of my best thinking time happens when I am hanging washing up outside in the sunshine during a 10 min break from the laptop!

I am truly appreciative of the opportunity to be able to work flexibly.

Martin Brooker

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Martin Brooker is a veteran of 37 years service in the Royal Australian Navy. His extensive career included command at sea and operational service in the Middle East, Afghanistan and the Pacific. He retired from full - time service in March 2015 with the rank of Commodore.

Now a keynote speaker and leadership coach, Martin now specialises in working with professionals to help them move from being the accidental leader to someone who is intentional. His expertise includes executive coaching, corporate culture, facilitation of complex issues, leadership development, strategic leadership, diversity and inclusion. Organisational transformation projects include strategic planning, enhancing internal governance, addressing shortfalls in strategy execution, HR systems cultural change projects and the application of new leadership models. He is happiest finding the balance between work and play where his mantra is that the ‘art of living is when you don’t know whether I am working or playing.

Martin has always been passionate about people leading people by leveraging ethical people strategies, and flexible work has been a critical part of those programs. For him the lived experience of implementing flexible work both personally and as a manager just made sense. Today most organisations understand the benefits and will even have the policy in place but are struggling with implementation. Ultimately, they are potentially missing out on attracting and retaining talented employees and productivity benefits. He believes that success comes when flexible work is adopted because it is well led from the top down and is a win-win for the organisation and the individuals.

Charlotte Blair

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Life should be lived. You need to do what you love and love what you do and I don't believe you can do this without some flexibility. I have flexed in my role in the last 20+ years, either due to where I live as I am such a country girl, meaning I normally live miles away from any 'business hub' or due to family needs and the distance impacting that too. I have been fortunate (or rather its been very much by design) to have worked for organisations that can see the value of flexing. I once resigned on the spot from an organisation who 'told me off' one day for working from home the day after winning a large deal.

I also have an amazing husband who 'flexed' after the birth of our first son (who is now a strapping 16 year old) at the time I was working for a large Global IT communications company and was the first female sales person to secure a pat time role and I am proud to say that I paved the way for other women that you can work part time and be successful in your role.

I am also proud to have been a founding member of the Mercer 'All roles can flex' employee resource group whilst working there.

Jason Whitty

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With a career spanning over 14 years with CommBank, Jason is now the Diversity & Inclusion lead for the Finance, Risk, Corporate Affairs and Human Resources team. A passionate advocate for Inclusion, Jason works closely with leaders within these areas to create environments that are psychologically safe, and where people can bring their whole self to work.

A key element of this is Flexibility and providing the opportunity for people to work toward a work/home/life harmony - critical in our increasingly busy lives. A key area of focus for Jason is working to de-gender flexibility, removing the stereotype that flex is only for mum's or those with children - flex is for everyone!

Justine Whitaker

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The future of work, will demand an ability to connect, collaborate and then to deliver by working along side others that we may not see in person day to day. Returning to Christchurch, from Sydney, I continue to deliver on my global portfolio but from my home office in Scarborough. Working flexibly has allowed me to be more creative, more productive and to better integrate priorities in both my professional and personal lives. My thanks go to Gillian Folkes for her willingness to experiment and to Jacki Johnson for her support. I would encourage everyone to commence their own experiment with working flexibly - it can and does benefit everyone !

Berin Lautenbach

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I've been in Cyber Security for almost 30 years now, and I truly believe that a successful team is made up of a diverse group of people who think differently but can drive towards a shared goal.

Flexible working is one way I can help build diversity and enable my people bring their best selves to work, working the hours, in the location and in the mode of working that best suits their lifestyle and role in the team.

I'd like to think I lead by example at Telstra, and enable my team to work flexibly too. Flexibility is an essential ingredient in cyber for a diverse and high performing team. We all benefit when we create flexible working conditions!

Heather Denman

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Flexible working is about giving the best working options to people so they can be their best at work. As Customer Inclusion Manager at IAG, and as someone who lives in the Southern Highlands south of Sydney (I'm writing this from my home office), flexible working allows me to be committed to a role I love while looking after my own wellbeing and my family. But flexible working also gives our team a way to think differently about how we do things, where and when we work best. Not to sugar coat it - flexible working can have some challenges - but it also has great rewards. In a world that is changing and constantly requires us to have new and different skills, flexible working is now a standard way of working.

Ross Wetherbee

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Ross Wetherbee is Talent & Inclusion Leader at TAL Australia. TAL is a leading Life Insurer that protects almost 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. Ross' role sees him drive the Inclusion and Talent strategies across the organisation, in addition to overseeing TAL's Graduate Program.

Ross is passionate about LGBTI+ inclusion, both in and out of the workplace. In 2017 he joined the Board of Wear It Purple, an LGBTI+ youth non-profit dedicated to the inclusion of rainbow young people in schools, universities and the workplace.

Ross has over 15 years experience in HR, Organisational Development, L&D and Diversity & Inclusion across all industries and sectors. Ross is a staunch supporter of flexible work because he knows that it is a key enabler of engagement, talent attraction and diversity in the workplace.

Mary Karolyi

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I am an experienced CFO in all traditional aspects, but more than this, in the transformation and evolution of start-ups, scale-ups and disrupted organisations. My capabilities include human resources oversight, financial oversight and management of international operations including the USA, New Zealand, Asia, UAE.

Working with many organisations in various stages of growth each one of them has a desire and a need to recruit and retain the very best talent. This challenge is common to all.

So, ensuring that in this increasingly demanding world we cater for and care for our people becomes paramount to the success of every organisation. This care extends to offering flexibility to our people and understanding that an environment which suits and supports the personal circumstances of each individual delivers the best outcome for the business.

I look forward to working in a world where flexibility is no longer a topic of conversation but inherent in our businesses so instead of our people needing to demand this change, it is already offered.

Flexibility is at the heart and core of everything I embody. I am very privileged to work with organisations such as Mitchellake in which flexibility is offered to every individual and is woven into the very fabric of the culture and day-to-day operations.

Nick Jaszczyk

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Nick is a consultant with 460degrees, providing practical guidance, expertise and direction with clients as they embark and execute IT enabled transformation over the past 12 years. I have a deep passion and focus for projects and delivery in the education sector.

As a consultant and when I deliver projects, I regularly need to travel to clients at the same time as staying in touch with other experts at 460degrees across Australia. I also have two small children and a wife who works part time.

Finding the time to travel, attend to home life and stay connected means my day is never 9-5 and I always appreciate the flexibility that both 460degrees and my clients offer. Changing working hours, using a compressed week, working from home or even for being a stay at home dad for a period have all seen positive outcomes for myself and the clients I work with.

I strongly support the use of flexible working arrangements. It helps us all continue to find balance, and I am excited to see it becoming woven into organisations I work with.

Stephanie Vanin

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 As the Flexibility EAG lead for Stockland, I am incredibly passionate about enabling people to thrive and reach their full potential. This means influencing , leading and creating a modern workplace culture that recognises our people work best when their work and non-work lives are working well together. At Stockland, We also understand that no two lives are the same. Work-life balance commitments continue to be important to employee wellbeing and workplace flexibility and a key reason why our people choose to stay working with us.

Martin Cowie

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As People & Development Director for OMD Australia, Martin drives the positive employer brand that distinguishes OMD from its competition and has contributed to OMD being the biggest media agency in Australia.

With 460 employees OMD are 6th in the Great Places to Work rankings and have been in the top 50 for 10 successive years.

Martin is in his second spell at OMD having previously spent 5 years as Commercial Director.

Martin brings 30 years of experience in media sales, media planning + buying and HR.

Arriving in Australia 15 years ago, Martin previously ran his own executive recruitment and training consultancy and was Managing Director of Carat’s Sydney office, leading a team of 75.

Martin is passionate about employee experience and building an inclusive culture. He is a committed advocate of flexible working and is a regular speaker at HR conferences on the subject.

Priya Chattier

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Since joining Rapid Context, it didn’t take me long to realise what meaningful work looks like and how it transcends one’s purpose in life. Few weeks into the job, I not only felt the connectedness between doing meaningful work in relation to my children and my significant others but also a huge sense of empowerment working with brilliantly talented unapologetic feminists doing such impactful research.

Meaningfulness for me is also associated with a deep sense of accomplishment and pride – having fulfilled my potential as a Sociologist beyond academia! As an Applied Sociologist, I have now picked up skill sets in organisational culture and climate assessments of complex organisations, not to mention the A-B-C of Office 365, Workflow max, smartsheet, project planner, zooming in from work for team and staff meetings and the rest that goes with flexible work :) Personally, for me, working flexibly has not only improved my coping mechanisms, but I now have a better work/life balance with time carved in for self-care as well.

Life now makes sense! I am now more cognisant of what it means to have a balance in my life, that is, doing meaningful work, connecting with people, carving time for yogalosophy, exploring nature, and most importantly, enjoying little things in life that really matter!

John Preece

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John is a passionate advocate for the coworking industry and joined Hub Australia as Chief Property Officer in 2018. In this role, John leads a team responsible for sourcing and securing new sites for Hub clubhouses, overseeing refurbishment and fitout projects to create amazing flexible workplaces for Hub members, managing the technology infrastructure, ongoing portfolio management, and working closely with Hub’s Bespoke clients to create unique workspaces for larger corporates.

John has over 20 years of experience in commercial property. He has held a range of senior positions in global property agencies including Knight Frank and DTZ in Australia, and CBRE in Europe. He also has a multi-disciplinary skill set, having worked across project management, occupier solutions and office leasing, as well as running Knight Frank’s full-service North Shore agency business in Sydney. He is a Fellow of the RICS, and a licensed real estate agent.