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Connexus : Issue 39
50 Connexus EMERGING LEADERS how did you get involved in the mutuals sector? I was studying accounting, business law and histor y at the University of Wollongong when CACU adver tised for a cadet accountant. That program has given me the foundation for developing the technical skills and competencies for working in the mutual sector. The greatest attraction of mutuals is the people-centric ethos. Whether that’s putting members at the centre of ever ything we do, or the organisation and industr y commitment to developing and nur turing excellence amongst our staff, it creates a unique and inspiring work environment. What’s your current role? Working as part of the finance department at CACU, my days typically involve preparing monthly management repor ts; bank and general ledger reconciliations; cash flow forecasting and treasury processing; APR A returns; annual budgets and quarterly forecasts; prepar ing FBT, GST or income tax returns; fixed asset register maintenance; and annual financial statements. What do you enjoy most about it? Being part of a social movement that I truly believe in. The International Year of the Co-operatives is also exciting. UN Secretar y General Ban K i-moon’s statement that “co -operatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility” is something all mutual employees can be proud of. any challenges ahead? The biggest will be representing Australia in the Young Credit Union People Program at the 2012 WOCCU conference in Poland in July. I’m looking forward to meeting delegates from around the world, and hopef ully bringing back ideas for CACU and the Emerging Leader programs. What makes a good leader? Someone with a strong vision who can translate that into a strategy or action plan, and then take that journey with their staff, motivating and inspiring them along the way. have you had any good mentors? I’ve been exceptionally lucky to have some wonder ful mentors at CACU. The finance department and executive team has been incredibly supportive. My parents raised me to believe anything was possible if you set your mind to it. Dad’s favourite saying is Peter Brock’s “Bite off more than you can chew and chew like hell”, which has influenced my approach to work and study. Describe your approach to leadership I hope that my jour ney motivates people in CACU and other mutuals to back themselves. If you don’t believe in and invest in yourself, it’s unrealistic to expect others to do so. So I encourage all young mutual staff to ask their managers about training opportunities. The worst they can say is no, but you’ve impressed them with your initiative! What have been some major successes for you and CaCu? It was an honour to be recognised as the winner of the 2011 Bridges Emerging Leader award. Within CACU, I’ve been involved in successful initiatives around cost reduction and consolidation. By considering transactional charges, member behav iour patter ns and inter nal processes, all Illawarra Credit Union fees and char ges were revised and a new structure will soon offer a better value proposition for our members. What are your goals? I’m focused on completing my CPA studies, and have also star ted Honour s in Histor y at University of Wollongong. away from work, how do you relax? Spending time w ith family and friends, and travelling. The full interview with Belinda Hogan is available on our iPad edition. invest in yourself I encourage all young mutual staff to ask their managers about training opportunities. Name Belinda Hogan Position Assistant accountant, Community Alliance Credit Union BIO