Earlier this year QCOSS employed a new Senior Manager, Organisational Services, Annette Schoone. This week we interviewed Annette as a way of introducing her to our members.
Tell us what your role is here at QCOSS and what it means for you to work at QCOSS.
My role is the Senior Manager of Organisational Services which includes people and culture (HR), ICT, Risk, Governance, Administration and Finance.
I am also the Company Secretary, so I wear two hats, one focused on good practice governance and processes operationally and organisationally and the other applying good practice governance to support the board. The Company Secretary role also provides an opportunity to be a conduit between the board and the organisation.
I was really excited to get the opportunity to work with QCOSS after primarily working in local government for over 20 years. My most recent local government role was as a department head looking after Community and Cultural Services, which included performing arts, art gallery, marketing, media, events, community development, community services, tourism, and social/community planning and research.
As much as I welcome the opportunity to participate in setting and developing good policy and strategy, I enjoyed that connection that I had with the community. I liked being able to go out and work at various events and participate in community engagement initiatives, or work to deliver social infrastructure into community.
In such a large organisation you have teams that support you to deliver a range of back of house functions. You end up with a good understanding of a range of practice, however not often a real depth of expertise. In my new role, I wanted to maintain that community connectedness and continue to be involved in development of setting strategy, but primarily the opportunity to really develop expert skills across a range of back-of-house functions.
How do you see what you do fitting in to the organisation’s vision and values?
Alignment with the values about being courageous, innovative, inclusive, fair and equitable.
I wanted to work in an organisation that not just wrote those values on a piece of paper, but actively demonstrated these values on a day to day basis – I feel very strongly that QCOSS does do this.
What drives you to do the work you do?
I love it when people ask me what drives me. It’s a really interesting question to be asked. I am very driven, very focused, and I think what drives me is doing the best that I can do and being the best I can be.
I do set quite high standards and I am a bit of a stickler for good process and achieving great outcomes, so I’ll drive myself very hard. I think the thing that innately drives me is that fear of not doing the best that I can do and failure.
I often would ask team members who approached me if they were concerned that things were going the way they wanted, or scared to try “if you thought you couldn’t fail, what would you do?” They would say that they would like to do this and that or do something differently. I would say, well go and do that. What’s the worst that can happen?
So yes, it’s always doing the best that you can do that drives me.
If you could change one thing to make the lives of your clients better, what would it be?
I currently see my clients as the staff and the board and external stakeholders that I work with.
- I want to ensure that the staff are empowered and have the resources and the tools to do what they do in the best way possible.
- That we acknowledge that things don’t always go perfectly for everyone and as long as we support people through that – that for me is paramount.
- To ensure that the board continues to be successful as that success then supports the whole of organisation.
I apply these principles to any stakeholder that I engage with. Because we forget sometimes that every one of the team members and board members are a stakeholder of ours and we shouldn’t treat them any differently than anyone who walked in off the street.
What is your vision for Queensland’s future and particularly for vulnerable people?
There are a number of inequalities across the community. My vision is for everyone to have equal access to opportunities, services and supports.
What is the best part of your job?
There are so many – I think my team are amazing, they have done everything to make me feel welcome in the organisation and support me in my role. I think the management team are good, and I think Mark is a great CEO, and there’s just a huge amount of support in the team.