How long have you been with DPS?
I’ve been with DPS for almost five years – it will be five years in November. I started with a part-time position as the Chief Financial Officer and just over a year later I took on the role of General Manager. After being with DPS for two years I was offered the role of Chief Executive Officer in April 2019. I am proud to be the first female CEO of the company and the first under 40.
What is your role?
As the Chief Executive Officer, my role focuses on the big picture thinking and strategy planning of the company to ensure we have a clear direction and meet the goals we set ourselves along the way. I'm hands-on and play an active role in the day-to-day running of the company through business development, management of key partnerships as well as looking after the financial side of the business.
What are you currently working on?
We have a lot of really exciting things going on in the company at the moment. The most exciting things are happening in our online space with continuous improvements to both Aged Care Guide and Disability Support Guide which will make both platforms even more user friendly.
We continue to evolve and improve our printed publications too. We're looking at a redesign of the Aged Care Guides, the next Disability Support Guide is about to come off the press, and after the success of the first edition of our printed Your Retirement Living incorporating Home Care Guide, we'll be producing an updated edition with all new content later in the year.
What are some of the things you’ve learnt in this role?
When I started at DPS, we were structured very differently. In the last two years we have worked hard on culture, making staff feel important and encouraging people to have their point of view. We have become a collaborative organisation, where ideas are encouraged from all staff and the management team makes decisions together to ensure cohesiveness across all units.
I’ve learnt that staff are the heart of any company. It doesn’t matter how much revenue you make, or how many clients you bring on board, if you don’t treat your employees with respect and they aren’t happy at work then your company won’t run effectively. Happiness in staff and a culture everyone wants to be a part of is what all team leaders should strive for every day.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your role?
When I took on the role of CEO, I wanted to future proof the company to make sure DPS would still be around in 10... 20... 30 years from now, and to do that we had to change our thinking about the role of print and digital products within our company.
Within the first four months of becoming CEO, I changed the company’s entire structure, helping us run more efficiently and saving us over $700,000.
What gives you the greatest satisfaction?
I’m proudest of the work we do that actually helps people by providing useful information. Whether they’re wanting to learn more about aged care, retirement, or disability support, we’re helping people understand these processes and navigate the various institutions involved in providing these support services.
People are also what make an organisation tick, and with a great team, you can accomplish anything. We have an amazing product that makes a difference in so many people's lives and an amazing team to make that success happen.
Now for some more lighthearted questions, which team member would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with and why?
Probably either Ed or Matthew. Ed is great with building things so I believe he could build a raft and get us off the island or at least be able to build us a house to live in and a fireplace to cook food, and Matthew would overpack with every essential under the sun, including 50 pairs of shoes so we’d never run out of clothes or goods needed.
What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
Women in business, how challenging it can be, and the hurdles you have to overcome. I’d also make sure to share how rewarding it is when you can stand up in your role and be accepted no matter what sex you are for the job you do and how you perform.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Reece Witherspoon – I’m a hopeless romantic, and she's always good at romantic movies.
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