Amanda: I’ve just finished my second month with Virgin Australia and I’ve absolutely loved the time here so far. The role I’ve been doing is head of business improvement and it's absolutely met my expectations and it's everything that I’d hoped for. I've had a great opportunity to meet my development objectives and focusing on the things that were in my development plan, as well as get to know a completely new business and network and develop and enhance my skills and experience.
I've joined the cargo team and working with Merren McArthur, who's been with the Virgin business for a number of years, but has had a number of roles in the time that she's been here, and I feel really lucky to have been aligned with Merren because she's such a fantastic person. She's really well respected across the business and I'm learning heaps from working with her.
Merren: Amanda is going very, very well. She’s fitted in. She has hit the ground running. She's really made a big difference—really adding value to our team. We are a start-up business and just only recently established our cargo division about eight months ago so it's all hands on deck and Amanda’s just got in and really expanded our capability enormously.
Amanda: The benefits that I’ve brought are my skills and experience and the transferable leadership sills I have around governance and program management so I've been able to work with the team and support them to meet our delivery milestones and make sure from a contract management perspective that we're delivering on the terms of our contract.
Working at Virgin Australia is very different to working in the Executive Building for Queensland Government. I've had a lot of opportunity to get across this country that we live in. I’ve spent some time in Perth and had the opportunity to get port side and meet the cargo handlers on the ground and actually see their operations up front which has been fantastic. One of my greatest learnings, I guess, in the time that I have been here in the last two months has been about the benefits of collaboration—and it's something that Virgin Australia does really. They leverage the size and scale of the business that they're in to meet the needs of the business and there is such a great opportunity for Queensland Government in that space.
Merren: So Virgin Australia is really excited to participate in Leader Connect because we see it as an opportunity to collaborate with government. We're really excited to see that the Queensland Government has actually invested in this program. It is a really wonderful way, I believe, for them to invest in the future of their senior executives and high-performing executives—and we're really happy to be able to support that. But also we're happy that we can get value out of it. We get an excellent, highly qualified, experienced resource working with us, working with our team, bringing new insights and fresh perspective on the way we do things here at Virgin Australia.
Amanda: Having had the opportunity to undertake the Leader Connect program, I'm really looking forward to being able to bring back to the sector an enhanced experience that has, I guess, freshened my commercial acumen—but also making me think in a more businesslike manner and leveraging the learnings that Virgin articulates around innovative thinking and responsive customer service.