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IWD 2023 | Sylvia Andersons | Chairperson, Lutheran Care Board

Image of Sylvia Andersons. The Lutheran Care logo appears in the bottom right hand corner.

IWD 2023 | Sylvia Andersons | Chairperson, Lutheran Care Board

1. What motivates you to volunteer with Lutheran Care? 

We all have spiritual gifts and God-given talents enabling each of us to do something to help others and so I want to use my skills and experience to assist Lutheran Care to help our clients.     

2. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to reach this point in your career? 

After completing an Honours degree in Immunology, I worked in research for a short time before realising I much preferred to deal with people rather than rodents! I changed direction and began a sales career in the pharmaceutical industry. Working for a number of companies over the next few years, I climbed the ladder from sales representative into management. My motto was to never go backwards; always keep learning and look for opportunities to improve oneself. I therefore decided to undertake an MBA (Master of Business Administration) when my children were young which was only possible due to the support I received from my husband. I continued my management career in a few industries including wine and fast-moving consumer goods, the latter for five years at Coca Cola Amatil. I then became CEO of a children’s charity and began to see the level of demand in our community, and the importance of proper and responsible governance. Since then I have sat on a number of Boards, a couple as Chair. I have been working in the medical industry for the last 10 years, most recently as CEO of a large group of medical specialists.   

3. How do you demonstrate this year’s theme “Embrace Equity”? 

The world around us is rich in diversity and when we acknowledge this we not only embrace people’s differences but celebrate them. As a Christian, I always strive to reflect Jesus’ command to love one another. He did not tell us to love only those like us and in fact he met with those forgotten and shunned by society. This is the epitome of ‘embracing equity’ and a wonderful life lesson for us all to follow.   

4. What is the best piece of advice you have received? 

Always stay true to yourself and your values. Be honest and kind to each other. And never give up.   

5. Any other information you would like to share?

Growing up in an extended family environment I was fortunate to live with three strong female role models – my mum, auntie and grandma. They instilled in me the belief that men and women are equals, and therefore have the same potential to succeed. I was encouraged to set high expectations for myself and others, and not be afraid of forging my own way in traditionally male-dominated areas, whatever they may be. Recognising and respecting each other’s strengths is the basis for collaboration which results in better outcomes than those which can be achieved alone. I believe that God empowers us to be the best we can be in whatever we do, and encourage all women to look for the opportunity and stay strong even when the odds seem against you.