30 January 2020

Making magic happen: Belconnen Community Service adapts in a changing sector

| Karyn Starmer
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‘We have some amazing and impressive individuals at BCS. They are the ones who make the magic happen.’ – Belconnen Community Service CEO Mandy Green. Photo: Daniella Jukic/We Are Found.

To say that Mandy Green is a people person is an understatement of grand proportions. Green, an enthusiastic HR professional, leads a diverse team of 200 people in a business that manages community programs and services. As the Chief Executive Officer of Belconnen Community Service (BCS), she is all about people.

BCS provides a wide range of high quality and inclusive programs and services to individuals, families, children, and young people in the Belconnen region. Green was promoted to the role of CEO in March 2019.

Born and raised in Goulburn, Green headed to university in Canberra after finishing school. She still lives in Goulburn with her husband and two teenage sons, and says she enjoys the commute to work.

“I have driven to Canberra every day for the past 11 years. Some people think that it might be a hassle but I find the drive gives me time to think and get organised. I can make calls using the hands-free and on the way home it gives me some time to decompress before walking in the door to my busy family.”

Green has spent over 15 years working in the HR field in senior roles with community organisations and local government.

“I really enjoyed working with people in HR and a number of opportunities led me to focus on working in the community sector.

“When I started out it took me a while to find what I liked. Working for an organisation that makes a real difference to people’s lives gives me great personal satisfaction. It is lovely to see people reach their potential. Working in the community sector is very rewarding.”

Green joined BCS as the Executive Manager of People and Culture in 2008, and having invested more than a decade into developing the people and culture at BCS she felt ready to take on the role of CEO.

“Culture change was a significant challenge at BCS. It took ten years, we made a lot of mistakes, but people are definitely our most valuable resource. We have some amazing and impressive individuals at BCS. They are the ones who make the magic happen. We have found that we get the best results if everyone is focused on developing an inclusive, connected community, if we believe in the same values, and if we know where we are headed,” Green says.

“Trust and a sense of humour are two requirements for working at BCS and I try to be open and honest all the way through the organisation. My aim is for everyone to feel comfortable about talking to me, their CEO. I want to be approachable: I have a very big lolly jar in my office.”

Green says her greatest challenge to date was with BCS’s education and childcare services.

“We had to sit down and work out who we are and what we believe in and how we can contribute to the community of Belconnen while maintaining a financially viable service. I respect the educators within the education and care sector. Educators are and should be viewed as professionals and it is important to read the research and know the evidence in order to deliver good outcomes for children.

“The Australian Early Development Census shows that the ACT needs to respond to gaps in school readiness through an integrated early education and early intervention service. We are now making headway on delivering this for the community but there is so much work still to be done in this sector.”

Green says she is looking forward to growth and change within the community sector as a result of the many reforms that have commenced and will continue to evolve.

“The NDIS is the biggest change in this sector in many years. We have recognised that we cannot do everything and that we need to work more collaboratively and to collectively stop hoarding our turf.

“Our job is to care for the community and the change in government funding means community service providers can make real progress by forming partnerships.”

Find more on Belconnen Community Service.

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.

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