Safety Manager Chief Customer Office, Australia Post
Maria attended Adelaide University between 1983 and 1987 undertaking a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology. She completed a post graduate diploma in Group Work. This has served to provide her with the foundation to work with a diverse range of people and manage complex work issues.
She commenced her professional career as a Rehabilitation Coordinator for a small private rehabilitation provider. This involved facilitating return to work and rehabilitation programs for injured workers from a range of different occupations and industries. Her passion for the job and the creative outcomes that she achieved were recognised with an article in the SA WorkCover annual report. She then moved to a large health unit providing in house rehabilitation and return to work programs for injured health professionals. This was a new role and Maria was responsible for shaping the role and developing processes and systems.
In 1994 Maria joined Australia Post as a Rehabilitation Counsellor for SANT across wide range of business units including Mails, Delivery, Transport, Parcels and Retail. This role allowed her to develop strong relationships with major stakeholders and began her capacity for networking with a variety of different managers, leaders and a broad range of staff.
Recognised for her case management skills, she was approached to undertake a role in Workplace Relations for Mails, Transport and Parcels. This involved providing support to Managers and staff on a range of HR/Industrial issues and further consolidated her relationships with the local union. Maria was instrumental in driving a number of initiatives including job sharing arrangement in the Linehaul area. She was a key contributor in developing the process for waiting lists for preferred shifts in the Adelaide Mail Centre.
In 2007, seeking a totally new challenge Maria was successful in obtaining a Shift Production Management position at the Adelaide Mail Centre working shifts across a 24 hour production window. Maria quickly developed strong working relationships with staff and frontline leadership group as well as meeting the challenge of learning the operational side of the role. She did this whilst overcoming the challenge of working with colleagues who had many years of experience in the operational roles. Maria gained respect and trust from the staff by being approachable and leading by example. In 2009 she was the Christmas Coordinator for peak period including during industrial action which required agility and adaptability given the challenges of the ‘strike’.
In 2011 wanting a change from shift work Maria was successful in obtaining the position of HR Business Partner for SANTWA. She drove a number of change transformation programs across the region, providing leadership and support to her HR Business Advisor who was based in Perth and was involved in a number of projects aimed at streamlining processes.
In 2015 she returned to Mail Network as the HR Business Partner for SANT and is driving a number of local reform initiatives. She has supported one of her major customers reintroduce a workshop for his frontline leadership group which has been very successful. She was also instrumental in facilitating focus groups to address say2action results and drive engagement. The work that she has facilitated has contributed to an uplift in the engagement score, the manager effectiveness results and safety.
In 2015 Maria was a finalist in the Wes Gibson and Walter Winkler HR award for her outstanding contribution to HR through respect, development, professionalism, commitment and perspective.
In 2016 Maria moved to a national Safety role supporting the retail business and the customer contact centres within Australia Post. She has 5 Safety Partners who report to her and are managed remotely. She has been instrumental in driving a number of initiatives including the Managing Customer Aggression program of work, Safety Leadership Journals, Blackspot Program and Mental Health. She also completed her Cert IV in WHS from National Safety Council of Australia.
When Maria has spare time she enjoys reading and sharing her books with friends and work colleagues. She has been referred to as the local library. Maria loves going to the movies and has a varied interest ranging from action to foreign films. She enjoys cooking and dabbles in a number of Greek dishes reminiscent of her childhood. Maria loves spending time with family and friends especially going out for breakfasts and coffees. She has 2 beautiful daughters who she absolutely adores and a gorgeous and supportive partner.