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This blog was written by Heather Noblett, Food Pillar Implementation Lead at Metcash.

As I am packing my bags this week to head off to Ireland for the opportunity of a lifetime, I’ve found myself reflecting on the many conversations I’ve had about ‘flexibility’ in the past couple of years. Flexibility to me means I’m able to achieve what I need to at work while also being able to achieve what I need to as a person, and that might be for myself or my family, kids, and husband.

I’m incredibly grateful for the flexibility I’ve experienced at Metcash. The support of my amazing leaders, Grant Ramage , Estella Young and Anthony George MBA, MAICD , has been particularly evident as I take on my latest ‘outside of work’ endeavour.

Firstly, a bit about my career so far –

I’ve been at Metcash for just over two years. Six months ago, I started in a new role in a matrix structure as the food pillar implementation lead for Project Horizon. Project Horizon is our business transformation program, which is migrating us off our existing ERP system onto a new platform. I’ve been in this role six months, and before that, I was the program manager for merchandise and commercial.

I may be a relative rookie inside Metcash, where some of my colleagues have been in the business upwards of 5, 10, sometimes even 15 years, but I’m actually an industry veteran. Before joining the business, I worked for a beer manufacturer that supplied to Metcash for over 20 years.

Now the exciting news…

I’m delighted to share that I have been selected in the Australian Team for the upcoming Masters International Rules Series in Ireland! Rewinding back about 8 years, the Australian Football Masters (over 35s) carnivals were a male-only event. As an AFL player who was no longer playing competitively, I was so excited when the opportunity for women to partake in the carnival became available, and the introduction of female teams started to flood into the event. The International Rules series specifically is a crossover between AFL and Gaelic football where we play with a round ball and hybrid rules, and this is the first-ever event that is featuring both the men’s and women’s teams. My team is a touring squad of 22 women from all over Australia, from as far West as Busselton and Perth to Alice Springs, and from Sydney up to Queensland and down to Tasmania.

The preparation for game day

Since October, my team has had three training sessions, either individually or as a team, per week. On top of that, I’ve been battling a few niggling injuries that have required numerous physio appointments to get my body ready for the competition. It’s been quite a large commitment to balance between my role at Metcash and my family time.

No matter the requirement, whether it was for shifting my hours on a particular day, taking a day off where I’ve needed it, or popping out to an appointment for an hour, my leaders have been tirelessly in my corner helping me balance this insane opportunity with my career.

As I zip up my suitcase, nervously anticipating my flight, it’s become very clear that THIS is flexibility. When it’s all done I’ll be excited to return to Australia, hopefully not too bruised and battered from the games, and dive straight back into Project Horizon and all the goals I have to kick (yes, pun intended) in my Metcash career.