After graduating from a Bachelor of Business Systems, I kickstarted my career as a Technology Consultant with Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons, one of Australia’s Big Six law firms). As a side hustle, I also got a taste of start-up life as a Brand Evangelist at Gogofrog, a revolutionary 3D content-managed digital experience. I also founded my own little creative agency called Guava Art where I produced an array of digital, print and brand assets for clients across the retail, food and healthcare sectors.
Still hungry and pushing my workaholism into overdrive, I began my fourth parallel job as a Web Designer and Developer with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. At around the same time, I also began my fifth job with Instrat Insurance Brokers (recently acquired by Arthur J. Gallagher, the world’s third largest insurance brokerage firm) where I created their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and budgeting systems.
Having gained a reputation within IBM, I became one of the youngest Project Managers in the company and was given a team of 40 talented people, distributed across Melbourne and Bangalore, to manage Telstra’s IT infrastructure as part of one of their key transformational programs.
I managed a project that delivered Telstra’s enterprise-wide archiving application solution that worked across their array of different architectures.
I travelled to Macau where I provided project implementation governance for the launch of one of Asia’s largest hotels and casinos – Galaxy Macau. I then returned to Melbourne to join AXA (you know, that French-based financial services firm with that campaign “What’s an AXA?” from ages ago) as an IT Enterprise Release Manager, managing the implementation of dozens of AXA’s interconnected systems.
I also rebranded Guava Art to Black Ink Design, and repositioned my service to take advantage of the evolving template website products out there (like Squarespace).
During the dynamic period of AMP’s acquisition of AXA’s Australian arm, I managed multiple projects at AMP across Melbourne, Sydney and Wellington. The projects ranged in size and complexity, and stretched across infrastructure, application and digital projects, including managing the rebranding of digital assets, and consulting within the digital space in Australia’s largest financial services platform migration ($12B FUM). I also obtained PRINCE2 certification during that time.
And on the side, I founded a start-up, The Plant Atrium, focused on Melbourne’s growing terrarium market (and conversely shrinking household garden space). It failed miserably. But I learned something about the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) concept the hard way.
I evolved into AMP’s Digital Solutions Consultant where I was part of a multi-disciplined team that designed and launched Australia’s first iOS / Android app consolidating customers’ superannuation, investments, banking and insurance products into the one digital experience. I also obtained ScrumMaster certification during that time.
I decided to switch from big corporate to the small agency. I headed up delivery as Digital Project Manager and General Manager of Creative Factory, an innovative and fast-paced digital agency based in eclectic North Melbourne. And being small, I took the opportunity to fill in several roles beyond project management. I worked with clients including nlc, Cracka Wines, Iririki Island Resort, MIA Radiology, Victoria House Medical Imaging, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
I co-founded a start-up, HostKeep Property Management, with the brilliant Stephen Colman. We identified the growing popularity of Airbnb early on, and wanted to tap into a niche of property investors who wanted an elevated cashflow but didn’t mind the added volatility of this emerging trend. Research and modelling coupled with the success of an initial MVP gave us a high degree of certainty in the service we were pushing out. And all that early work paid off. I was the Director of Technology and Operations for this venture.
I became an insider to the world’s most liveable city, joining the City of Melbourne as a Digital Project Manager to manage two of their award-winning digital assets – the corporate website and digital services customer interface. (The latter’s just a fancy name for providing effortless digital experiences to customers using the council’s services, like reporting graffiti, applying for permits or objecting to parking fines). I managed these projects using a scrum-based methodology that balanced agile delivery within a governmental environment.
My beautiful partner Theresa and I became proud parents of our wonderful son, Leon. Whilst having a newborn has turned our lives upside down like never before, he truly is our special bundle of joy and heaps of fun (most of the time)!