I was delighted to have joined the Board of Bank First early in 2020.
I want to thank the Board and Executive Management team for making me feel so welcome and have been impressed with responsiveness and quality of banking services I have experienced.
Being the sole Sydney based director, I had been looking forward to regular trips to Melbourne and to spend more time getting to know the Board and staff and see more of Victoria but COVID-19 has put that experience on hold. However the Board and Executive Management have embraced digital technology and we are communicating well using Zoom and other similar services. I have been very impressed with the response of the leadership to operate the business in a rapidly adapted environment that keeps staff and Members feeling safe.
My past career, which started in the UK, has been as an international banker working throughout the Asia Pacific region with various leadership roles in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Japan. My last global role was as Head of Sustainability. In that role we supported a number of important health issues from preventable blindness to HIV education and supported a number of powerful education initiatives across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. I became increasingly fascinated by the importance of companies finding a purpose beyond simply delivering dividends to shareholders. It is fast becoming the case that staff and customers of companies are increasingly looking to work for or buy from companies that play a responsible role in society and operate with balance.
Since leaving my last full time banking role in Hong Kong I have focused my work on roles that link to the idea of purpose. I have returned to my home in Sydney where I can see more of my now grown children. I am Chair of a global children’s charity, serve on the board of an anti-slavery not-for-profit organisation and work as an executive mentor to future leaders. My board role at Bank First sits very comfortably with my commitment to work with companies with purpose. It’s a bank that serves people that serve the community and invests its profits in providing better services at a fair price.
Again it’s a pleasure to be part of this wonderful organisation and during these complex and challenging times I wish you all good health and a rapid return to some form of normality. And in case you are wondering as someone from the UK I don’t follow the AFL but was delighted that the team sponsored by the bank I worked for for 30 years won the Premier League. Go the reds!