Interview with Rebecca Lorains conducted by Michelle Luscombe - July 2017
When you started Fairley, what were you doing in terms of employment?
Director of Families and Counselling and Deputy CEO at Primary Care Connect
What are you doing now, in terms of employment?
CEO at Primary Care Connect
Was the promotion attributable to participation in the program?
When you started Fairley, what were you doing in terms of community involvement? (formal and informal)
Coaching netball for Rumbalara Football and Netball Club
What are you doing now, in terms of community? (formal and informal)
St Mary’s Primary School (Mooroopna) – Board Member
Rumbalara Football and Netball Club – A Grade and U17’s coach
Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association – Board Member
Completed AICD Company Director’s Course - 2016
If any change in community involvement, was it attributable to participation in the program? Yes
What are you leadership aspirations, looking into the future?
Looking at commencing an MBA Course
In the medium to long term, it is my goal to work in the Health and Community Sector in a rural/remote aboriginal community for a 3 year period.
Are you currently facing any leadership challenges? If yes, how do you work through these challenges?
I’m learning to pace myself, accepting that my time is limited and there is only so much I can do each day i.e. I can’t go to every meeting or event I am invited to.
I’m concerned that there at too few leaders for the number of leadership positions in our community and that there is evidence of leadership fatigue.
Many organisations I talk to have issues around sourcing new board members.
Is there a main point you took from Fairley that has helped you in your employment/community involvement?
Fairley taught me to be more measured – more practical in my approach, and I really understand the importance of listening well.
I learnt how important it is for a successful team (in anything) to have different types of people – the 5D’s – dreamers, designers, decsion-makers, doers and developers. I’ve learnt how they can all successfully work together. Our work meetings at Primary Care Connect are fluid – if we’re discussing new ideas and you are a doer, for example, you are welcome to remove yourself from that part of the meeting.
My ability to influence a group of people and be an advocate for issues ie: family violence, has been significantly developed since completing the program.
Have/would you recommend the project to anyone? I would encourage anyone who has a passion for their community to do it, and it is a big time commitment but definitely worthwhile. I would stress that it is not a professional development course, but that it is for people who are genuinely interested in giving back to their community.
What was the number one thing you took away from the program?
After being exposed to such a broad range of issues and organisations, the Fairley Leadership Program allowed me to see how Primary Care Connect fitted into the overall ‘eco-system’ of the community. It also made it clear to me how important it is to connect in a meaningful way with organisations outside the Health and Community sector.
How would you describe yourself as a leader?
I have been a natural leader since I was young. I understood from a young age, that if I wanted to change things, I’d have to step up and influence people and then lead.
I am also a dreamer, I like to imagine how things could be and then work towards that vision of the future.
Any leaders you admire or aspire to be like?
I admire any leader that is willing to state their position, and then stand by their convictions and lead through tough times. An example would be John Howard and the gun law reform he introduced in 1996 following the Port Arthur shootings.
The best leaders are the ones who understand how to influence situations, rather than relying on power and position.