In this issue of Gatherings, we profile Nicole Mathers, IPEd’s Administration and Board Secretariat.
When and why did you join the IPEd team?
I originally joined EdVic as the contracted Administration Officer in March 2013. I first joined the IPEd team as a contractor in September 2016 (a few months after transition) to work on events in the member database. In October 2016 I had the opportunity to take over the Membership Officer role. For several years I continued both roles and finally resigned from the EdVic administration role in December 2018 due to an increasing demand and spread of tasks in the IPEd role.
What does your role with IPEd entail?
My role with IPEd started as the Membership Officer, responsible for managing the membership database, processing memberships, communications with members and member events. It has evolved over time to include administration for branches, standing committees and working parties, managing the Zoom and Google Workspace accounts, Board administration including some governance, Board Secretariat (developing the agenda in conjunction with the CEO, Board Chair and Company Secretary, taking and distributing meeting minutes for Board meetings, Finance and Risk Management committee meetings and branch Presidents’ meetings), managing the Ambassador pilot program, event management and any other tasks or processes that arise for the CEO, other staff and the Board.
What value do you bring to the IPEd membership?
Experience with the MemNet database through my time with EdVic enabled me to easily transfer those skills to the Membership Officer and Events Management roles when IPEd transitioned to using this database in 2016. I also have a range of other skills in community liaison, database management, communications, IT and extensive administration and customer service skills. I’m currently studying for a Graduate Diploma in Business Management with Southern Cross University to increase my leadership skills and have completed two finance subjects so far.
Some background on your career path — what led you to IPEd?
In a distant past life I studied environmental science in the climate-change field in both Queensland and Victoria. I completed a PhD in environmental soil science at Griffith University in 2002 and returned to Victoria in 2007 for personal reasons. In 2012 I joined EdVic as part of my role with the Victoria Department of Primary Industries (DPI) where I was responsible for proofreading and editing my team’s journal papers, conference papers, technical reports and other communications.
In late 2012 I took a voluntary departure package from DPI and began my career in administration and membership with the Geelong Football Club. Not long after starting there I was successful in taking on the Administration Officer position with EdVic. Between 2013 and 2017 I also worked in AFL membership, with Ticketmaster and as a receptionist and then Communications Officer with Bellarine Bayside, a not-for-profit foreshore management committee on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria where I now live.
Do you have another job outside IPEd?
Yes, I currently have two casual jobs outside IPEd. In January 2018 I started with Wyndham City Council (in the west of Melbourne) as a casual Community Liaison Officer working in their numerous community centres in reception, customer service, community development and event management. Due to the pandemic in 2020, this work was no longer available to me as the community centres were closed and I only now work there maybe one day a month. Since August 2020 I have worked as a casual Administration Officer with Barwon Health across various areas including COVID-19 swabbing and surveillance testing, palliative care resource worker, outpatients admissions and cardiology.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love travelling, but obviously have not had the chance to get out and about since the pandemic. The last overseas trip I took was to Hawaii in February 2020, but I did get out of Victoria to Port Douglas in between lockdowns earlier in 2021.
I also like going to the movies, when they are open, reading and catching up with friends and family, which I have not been able to do much of these past two years.
What’s your favourite holiday destination? Why?
Anywhere tropical, beachy or just plain hot — I run on sun! I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot previously and have visited Hawaii twice, the Cook Islands, Vietnam, China, Langkawi Island in Malaysia, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Fiji, western Europe, the Greek Islands, Egypt, and LA. I’ve also travelled extensively around Australia and New Zealand and can’t wait to finally get to Broome in 2022 after rescheduling my trip twice during the pandemic.
What would you never give up?
Living regionally near the beach. I love where I live on the Bellarine Peninsula away from the hectic pace of the city, even though it can get cold in winter. But I would never move north as being based here gives me the incentive to travel to warmer climates when I can and it’s a beautiful place to be in summer.
What are your favourite books/movies?
Kim Stanley Robinson is my favourite author and I’m currently re-reading the Mars Trilogy. I also enjoy reading Australian authors and recently read Honeybee by Craig Silvey, which I highly recommend, and The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke.
I go to the movies as often as I can and don’t have a favourite style or genre. The most recent movies I have seen on the big screen were Nitram about the events leading up to the Port Arthur massacre and Summer of Soul, a documentary about the Harlem Cultural Festival held in 1969.
Your scariest moment?
Tandem skydiving over Tauranga and Mount Maunganui in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2011, but I would definitely do it again.