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Administrative Professionals Breakfast 2014

It was a cloudy, cold morning outside but inside colour, warmth, good food, great speakers, pampering and thanks abounded.

This year’s Administrative Professionals Breakfast was a chance for those amazing people who keep the wheels of the businesses across our region turning, to be treated to breakfast in the lovely surrounds of the Ballarat Golf Club.

Opening the morning, Andrew Byrne from BJT Legal, lightheartedly spoke about the legalities surrounding the provision of morning tea for employees.  He told us that the legal requirement is to allow sufficient time for the employee to finish their cup of tea or coffee.  The gift of a large coffee mug from BJT Legal was to provide those in attendance the ‘legal excuse’ to be allowed a little longer for morning tea.

We had two guest speakers this year:

Victorian Minister for the Arts, Women’s affairs and Consumer Affairs Hon. Heidi Victoria MP spoke about how impressed she was about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library being rolled out by United Way Ballarat.  Heidi then went on to talk about her passion for volunteering, community and the arts and shared her experience of balancing the demands of her job and the joys of motherhood.

Lee Squire from Fernwood Fitness Ballarat bravely shared her personal experience of dealing with an alcohol addiction and her road to recovery, leading the room in a time of meditation as a means to relaxation.

Both speakers left the crowd inspired and challenged.

A bit of pampering was the order of the day with many guests taking  the opportunity to have their hair and nails done.  Others took the opportunity of a sample of some lovely perfume as they left for work.  Thanks goes to Angel Hair and Beauty Institute, Yellow Rose, and Myer for providing these services.

The morning was also a chance to recognise one special administrative professional.



Helen Bennetts
Finance Manager/Payroll officer/HR Manager – North Ballarat Sports Club

The judging panel were faced with a considerable task of choosing a winner with the nominees from across the BallaDSC_8072 copyrat Region’s business community. The judges were looking for the person who exemplified both dedication to their role but also to the community they live and work in.  All 13 Finalists this year were women who fit these criteria, however Helen stood out as the person who lives and breathes making a difference in the lives of others.

Helen Bennetts has worked at the North Ballarat Sports Club for 21 years.
Helen is an integral part of the organisation as the Finance Coordinator, Payroll Officer and H.R. Coordinator. She plays an important role in the structure that keeps the organisation running smoothly and efficiently and creating a harmonious environment where the entire staff feel valued and appreciated.
Helen has an open door policy, where at any time staff can contact her day or night.  As a hospitality venue it is nothing out the ordinary for Helen to receive a call during the evening and without a fuss she will listen and try and defuse the situation.

At no point does Helen show any sign of discouragement during her daily routine.  No matter how busy she is meeting daily deadlines, if other departments are struggling, then Helen simply appears helps where she can and then returns back to her office and continues on with her daily deadlines.
Helen encourages growth and further development amongst the staff, bringing out the best in them. She is aware of staff’s needs outside the organisation and encourages staff to spend time with family by taking leave where necessary. Only when everyone else has had leave will Helen then consider taking some time of her own. This would only occur in quieter times within the organisation so no added pressure is placed on the person attempting to do her job while she is away.

At no point would you know if Helen was having a bad day. It is left at the door a warm smile appears on the face and away she goes.

Helen’s beautiful caring nature is shown outside the organisation where she volunteers at the Soup Bus on behalf of the North Ballarat Sports Club and other charitable organisations. Helen was instrumental in encouraging staff to donate to the United Way Reading Program.  With only 6 staff donating Helen has managed to increase that number to 23 with all staff feeling good about themselves by helping others.
The organisation is a better place by having Helen Bennetts as a valued employee.

Helen’s prize included:

  • A warm Harmony package from Peace & Quiet
  • A 12-month gym membership from Fernwood Women’s Health Club

Congratulations Helen and all the finalists on your amazing contribution to your community.

More photos of the morning can be viewed here

The Administrative Professionals Breakfast wouldn’t happen without the support of many different organisations and supporters and to them we say THANK YOU.





United Way Ballarat is working to advance the common good of our community by focusing on Education, Income and Health.  These are the building blocks for a good life—a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.  United Way Ballarat asks all the citizens of Ballarat and surrounding areas to do three things: GIVE – money and goods; ADVOCATE – on behalf of those who cannot; and VOLUNTEER – to invest time in our community More about United Way Ballarat


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