Listen to my story.
So I started at Clayton Utz in 1995 as a seasonal clerk, and then got the opportunity to work in the library here in the Melbourne office for about three years. Off the back of that I was offered a role as a Graduate in the firm (they were then called Articled Clerkships) and I undertook that in 1998. From there I worked my way through the ranks and became a Partner in 2007; I now head the Victorian Government relationship, lead a number of other key client relationships and in more recent times have the great honour of chairing the Clayton Utz Foundation, which is an independent philanthropic foundation that supports charities and not-for-profits in our community.
The common thread through my various roles is that I lead teams of people, whether that's as head of the Major Projects and Construction group in Melbourne, leading a client team on a project, or indeed as Chair of the Foundation. I suppose my motivation comes from working with clever, interesting, like-minded people all working to a common goal, whether that goal's exceptional client outcomes, or building deeper relationships with our community partners).
Some of the more rewarding highlights or things that have occurred in my time here at Clayton Utz would be mentoring and supporting team members as they move up through the ranks as senior associates, special counsel and partners, getting the same opportunities I had. Obviously winning roles on major projects is always a highlight.
For me, participating in the firm's corporate and social responsibility programs, which really are first-class, has always been a real highlight. In more recent times, being on the Board, and now acting as Chair, has been very special. A highlight in the last few weeks has been the launch of Health Justice Australia, which is an organisation that the Foundation has supported for some time.
As I've said, the firm is a real leader in corporate and social responsibility, and it's something that's important to me and dear to my heart. In my view, we have a very privileged position as members of the legal profession, and it's important to me, and indeed to this firm, that we take those responsibilities seriously and do what we can to improve the community that we are a part of.
Of course in any career there are a few challenges one encounters over the years, a few bumps in the road. For me, being able to turn to a strong network of family and friends (inside and outside work) is important, as is a good network of peers and trusted mentors as a support.
So what's ahead? Wearing my Foundation hat, there really are so many exciting things happening in the context of the ways in which our firm meets its social responsibilities and that's something I'm really excited about.