1. What motivates you to work at Lutheran Care?
My passion has always been social justice, and I am motivated by the team of people that I work with at Lutheran Care who share my values and beliefs to make our community a more equitable place to live.
2. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to reaching this point in your career?
I worked for John Martin’s retail chain for 25 + years as a buyer. In that time, I bought for many different departments and was exposed to many industries, and the finer points of retailing. I wanted to use my experience and knowledge for the good of the community, to make op shopping a good experience for everyone. In my previous role, I transformed all of Vinnie’s Op Shops to make them more modern and improve their business practices. Then, I was tempted by this new opportunity at Lutheran Care and the challenge of creating a new style of Op Shop, Elcies – our higher end boutique style stores which raise important funds for Lutheran Care’s work. I also love working with the teams at our Lutheran Care Op Shops which offer a more traditional op shopping experience for people on both lower incomes and bargain hunters who love finding thrifted treasures.
3. How do you demonstrate this year’s theme “Embrace Equity”?
Demonstrating equity has always been my goal to achieve in our Elcies and Lutheran Care Op Shops. No matter what your circumstances, pay packet, or address, I want everyone to feel welcome, respected and comfortable shopping in our stores. It’s why we go to great effort to make our donations look new. So, no matter if you HAVE to or CHOOSE to shop in op shops, you can feel good.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
A very wise older lady, who had suffered great loss, once said to me, “Never cry for anything that can’t cry for you. It’s people that matter, not things.”