inspiring women series : helen

featuring .. helen

Name :          Helen

Role :              Manager – NT Court & Tribunal Services, Federal Court of Australia

Location :      Darwin 🇦🇺

Brief role description/main responsibilities :

I manage all administrative functions related registry services for the Federal courts in NT and I am the delegated Admiralty Marshall for NT.

What do you most enjoy about your role?  What is the favourite part of your role? :

Diversity of managing a registry with duties across IT, maintenance, administrative, customer service and clients in a changing environment. The favourite part of my role is developing and implementing change, and mentoring staff to gain skills and confidence in different aspects of their role and managing clients.

How did you get into your role/industry?

At 18 years of age I wanted to join the police service however the physical restrictions at the time meant I could not apply – my eye sight wasn’t 20/20, I was too light weight and too short. I could put weight on and get my eyes fixed, but I couldn’t grow any higher! After stints as a jillaroo and working at ski resort I worked full time in retail management. I completed a business degree whilst raising my young children and at this time joined the QLD Police Service at 32 years of age. After about 11 years I left the Police service, however missed working in the legal / community service environment as it was my passion. I ended up in Darwin NT and love working in the legal / justice sector again. Part of my role as the Manager with the Federal Court is to perform Admiralty Marshal duties, which involves arresting ships, where my she wear boots come in handy to keep me sturdy.

Have you won any awards or earned any special recognition or been involved in something “out of the box”? :

I received three Superintendents awards in the Queensland Police Service for outstanding results of investigations as an intelligence analyst.

I publicly speak about PTSD open and honestly as a person who has successfully recovered from PTSD about what it’s like walking this journey. I presented to 750 people at the 2020 international women’s day event in Brisbane / QLD for Public safety agencies, the theme was “Be Brave, Be True, Be You” on mental health resilience, and raising much needed funds for the Drought Angels.

Do you have a favourite saying or quote? :

“If it’s going to be, it’s up to me”……

No matter what, keep putting one step in front of the other, it may take more steps some days, but you will reach the destination.

Tell us a funny story about your role or an amusing experience at work :

Being 5’3” or 163cm at best, assertively arresting a ship from a police dinghy that is 2metres below the stern of the ship about 1km off shore ….. standing in the dinghy looking up (mini me lol) to inform six strong looking men looking down at me that the ship is under arrest and I’m providing instructions on what’s happening next, was amusing on reflection.

What advice would you give to women? :

Be true to yourself and never give up on a dream, no matter what barriers may present to you. “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me”.

Always find the positives in everything you do, or around you… it doesn’t matter how hard or negative a day or situation may be, there will always be a positive aspect somewhere, find it and focus on it.

Have you ever encountered any negative experiences that, although difficult at the time, may have helped shape who you are today? :

The infliction of violence on others, one person to another, whilst policing was difficult at times/ some days. The more serious crimes of murders or people attempting to or taking their own lives and the impact this has to those left behind is heart breaking. Delivering a message to family that someone they love is not coming home is something you never forget. Some of my spare time I dedicate to those struggling with a mental health injury and encouraging others to ‘make the choice to stay’ by talking honestly about what people experience with PTSD. It’s amazing the difference one person can make to have a little of time to listen, gain some understanding and acknowledgment and provide encouragement to work through their own struggles.

Any feedback or comments about your she wears :

I also wear these boots hiking, exploring the outback and waterfalls in the NT on my weekends or wherever I travel and I love the fact that as women or girls we can have those amazing colours and styles to the footwear and attire and enjoy doing the outdoor work or activities in this style. What’s more it’s a company of Aussie women looking after Aussie women.

Any other comments, stories or anecdotes you’d like to share :

I recently did a road trip on my own from Darwin to Adelaide exploring the desert and the peninsular area of SA. It was an amazing experience, meeting people, hearing their stories and this amazing country of ours. How in the middle of a desert, something so sparse and seemingly nothing, has so much to offer, the quiet of space, the amount of birds and varying landscape and all those people along the way at the roadhouses etc that have done it tough but smile all the same. Getting off the grid and not having all the “noise” of what’s going on at the moment I could recommend to anyone.

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