If there’s one thing my career has been so far, it’s unexpected. I look back on the past 8 plus years at Metcash so positively – I could have never predicted the career path that I’ve ventured, but I am so grateful it has led me to where I am today.
Way back in 2014, I packed my bags and set off home for Western Australia. I was originally a WA girl, but I had spent the last year studying my degree in Tourism and Events in Melbourne (which felt like I had moved to the other side of the world). After transferring back, the plan was to continue my study near home and so I needed a job that could flexibly fit around my university schedule. As it so happened, I walked into the doors of Campbells as a Christmas casual.
It’s funny now that a temp role over Christmas turned into six years in the store. I had the opportunity to experience it all, from early days on the checkout, to picking and packing out back and testing my hand in some admin roles in dispatch and receivables.
My mentality was always the same: no matter how big or small the job, take pride in it. Even as a pick and packer I remember being laser focused on accuracy, knowing that the customer expected the right products down to the flavour, and I took that super seriously.
Tackling New Challenges
My leaders having always had a huge impact on my growth and development. To be honest, I was feeling really unsure of how to move my career forward. My boss in the branch was so supportive, he went above and beyond to recognise what I was achieving and even put me forward for a wholesale administrator role in the regional operations team.
This time the move wasn’t quite as far as Melbourne to Perth – I was moving a whole 500 metres to the office on the other side of the site
My new boss was a guy named Matt. He was a Metcash long-timer with so much knowledge about the business, but more than that, he had become an incredible mentor and friend to me along my journey. I learned a lot from him about being the conduit between the many stakeholders. We were partnering with freight providers, our warehouse teams, merchandise, inventory, and even the distribution centres that supply our suppliers to make sure everything ran smoothly. I did this for a little over a year before Matt moved to a sales role, and I took the plunge to backfill his role as Operational Excellence Manager.
What ‘Making a Difference’ Means to Me
My role as Operations Excellence Manager has redefined what meaningful means to me. I’d always hoped to find a career where I can make a difference, and I’m living and breathing that here at Metcash today.
A big part of my role is getting stock in and out of the WASANT region. We’ve faced train derailments, flooding, material shortages, supply chain constraints – you name it. But on the other end of these challenges are the far remote Indigenous communities that wholly rely on their local grocery stores.
One of customers I’m supporting at the moment is Outback Stores in the Northern Territory, they support those Indigenous communities. We usually would supply them out of our Independent Grocers branch in Darwin, but mother nature has had other plans, and we’re now supplying them out of WA. It’s taken innovation and teamwork to a whole new level. They’re sending purchase orders and we’re matching them out, finding substitutes, ordering, and stocking for them to make it all happen.
It’s incredibly rewarding doing this work. Even when I’m servicing remote fuel sites up to Broome and getting them the most basic stock, like water, it’s all making a difference to people’s lives.
Following in My Leaders’ Footsteps to Champion Others
The biggest piece of advice I have for others looking grow their career is don’t be afraid to take risks, and lean into the support of the people around you. I’ve been lucky to be in an organisation that fiercely champions mentorship, progression, and equality. My leaders along the way have coached me and cheered me on as I jumped into roles that I was scared at first to even consider.
Now I am in a role I love and have the ability to pass the encouragement I was given onto others. I have two direct reports who are incredibly talented up-and-comers in the operations team. Every day I make a conscious effort to tell them where they’re doing a great job and am in their corner 100% when it comes to growing their career.