An Interview Preview – with more to come!
Roberts & Morrow are delighted to welcome Bernadette Garratt to our ‘Inspiring Women’ series. Bernadette is located at the Armidale branch and has worked her way from a Junior PA to a Partner. She has been with the business for 18 years.
What has been your career journey so far?
I did a week of work experience at an accountancy firm when I was at school and remembered not liking it. I think it was because I had to grab coffees and that sort of thing rather than the actual work. After school, though, I went and studied bookkeeping and a business administration course at TAFE. Soon after, I began working at Roberts & Morrow as a Junior PA assisting the PA’s, reception and generally anywhere in the firm that needed my help. A now retired Partner, Mike Muldoon, recognised my potential and encouraged me to go to university to study Accountancy. I did this study over 6 years – sometimes full-time or part-time, depending on work and family commitments. I also traveled around Europe and America, got married, and had my first baby before returning to the Accountant position. I worked with Jason Simmonds, Karen Tromp and Sam Notley, where I started to get involved in leadership and learning about the ins and outs of the business.
Who is your role model as a leader?
There have been plenty of people whose leadership skills I have learnt from during my career. In particular, I have always admired Karen Tromp, a former female Partner of Roberts & Morrow, for her enthusiasm and ability to manage a work/life balance throughout her career. Jason and Sam have also been significant mentors to me on my journey. They have provided encouragement, guidance and support with decisions within the team, client level and personally.
What changes have you seen in the industry?
Throughout my career, I have seen many advances in technology. Many client records used to be on paper with manual cashbooks, which would take hours to reconcile arduously, but most of it is now electronic. The ATO’s data matching & up to date reporting requirements have also changed a lot making our job easier in that we are not looking at data that is 12 months old all the time. These changes have allowed Accountancy to open up into other business areas and to support clients differently.
If you had advice for someone starting out, what would it be?
I would say to live your own path and take your time. You can have a family. Travel. Work. We can manage both life and work.
What have you created that you are most proud of?
From a career perspective, I am proud of being a leader in a team that encourages supportive growth for all, and I like to think that I have remained approachable as I’ve moved from employee to Partner.
Outside of my professional career, I am most proud of creating my two daughters.
What job would you be terrible at?
After the lockdown last year, I would definitely be a terrible teacher!
What gets you fired up?
Stupidity and a lack of caring.
What is unique about the place you grew up?
I grew up on a farm in Warialda, NSW, with my parents and three siblings. It was unique because we could roam, go for walks, drive cars, and chase sheep. My Mum and Dad still live there, and it is my place of comfort as it has always been there.
Thank you Bernadette!