Profile - Finance (Olga)
Name and qualifications
Olga. BA Community Education and Cert IV Accrual Accounting.
Current position at IP Australia & commencement of employment
Assistant Director, Management Reporting, Financial Management (Commenced Oct 2011).
How did you find out about IP Australia?
Funnily enough I used to work across the road, and have to confess to not knowing what IP Australia was involved with, until a friend of mine moved to IP Australia and began to sing its praises.
What made you choose to work at IP Australia? Was there anything specific about the Agency that stood out to you?
I find that working in a smaller organisation exposes me to a greater range of tasks and activities as well as providing more variety in my daily job. Previously working for a big organisation, I found staff were pigeon holed to a certain task that limited their experience and knowledge and proved hard to break out of.
Working in IP finance, I am a part of a friendly, supportive and proactive team. I provide face to face advice to staff and delegates, prepare and manage internal budget, and compile and monitor monthly reports for the groups I manage.
Is there anything unique about working in the finance area at IP Australia that you wouldn't find at other agencies?
What makes IP Australia really interesting to me is that it is a cost recovery agency. This introduces a revenue perspective, which is quite rare for a Government Agency. This also makes budgeting and reporting quite different to some bigger organisations.
What is the most interesting thing about (a) your job and (b) working at IP Australia?
Being an account manager for Trade Marks, Patents and Plant Breeder's Rights I come across a lot of interesting issues specific to those Groups. I have learnt a lot about IP Australia's involvement in iconic Australian and international branding and designs.
As a Corporate Services account manager I get an insight into dealings with Human Resources, Property & Services and Financial Services.
I provide support and advice to variety of staff on a great many issues, which keeps my job interesting. I am supported by my team and Director. This gives me a great sense of achievement and belonging. I feel like a valued team member that can offer a significant contribution to IP Australia.
Is there a particular project you have been involved with at IP Australia that you especially enjoyed? Why?
I have recently been involved in preparation and negotiations of the IP Australia budget for the 2012-13 financial year. I've been involved in the budget preparation of other Agency's before, but this year I was exposed to a more detailed approach that included negotiations with Directors, General Managers and the Director General. Building the budget from the ground up gave me a better understanding of projects in each area and pressures the agency faces to work out a precise budget based on costing calculations.
This was a great learning curve for me. I developed good working relationships with all staff involved and had exposure to higher level delegates by presenting the budget to the Director General, in the presence of the Chief Financial Officer, General Manager and Deputy Director General.
How do you find the training and professional development offered by IP Australia?
I particularly value IP Australia's range of online learning courses. They are ideal for me as I can gain knowledge of everything offered in a training course without taking time off or leaving my desk, which can often prove difficult in peak times such as end of financial year. This way I can also choose when I would like to do the course, without being confined to a set date.
How do you find the general culture of the IP Australia workplace?
In general the workplace culture varies between Groups, however as a whole I found that IP Australia is a fantastic place to work. As a fairly small organisation, each staff member is known and valued for their achievements. All staff are treated fairly and equally without that sense of hierarchy sometimes evident in bigger organisations.
I must mention too the very active Social Club, which coordinates events such as pay week happy hours, end of year parties, trivia nights and game nights (not to mention the delicious Friday morning cake stall!). These events give everyone a chance to mingle on a social level, expand their knowledge of other areas of IP Australia and get personal exposure to “movers and shakers” such as the General Managers and Director Generals.
I have found IP Australia to be a benevolent organisation that supports staff in need as well as supporting and promoting charities such as Lifeline, Anglicare, RSPCA and Red Cross through fundraisers, market days and raffles. I feel that being a part of this agency has helped me explore my altruism.
What would you highlight to potential applicants considering a career with IP Australia?
IP Australia is unique in that it combines the benefits and privileges of private enterprise with the protection of a Government Agency. There is a great emphasis on work/life balance. Employees are offered an extensive range of health and wellbeing benefits such as flu immunisations, skin checks, lunchtime fitness programs, working from home arrangements, and contributions towards health and wellbeing purchases such as gym memberships or fitness equipment/attire.
There is a fair ballot system for the onsite car park, which allocates access to parking for rounds of eight weeks at a time.
Salary sacrifice is also available to all permanent staff. More so, as part of the Enterprise Agreement, IP Australia staff are rewarded for their good work and efforts through a Staff Award system, in the form of individual gift vouchers or team rewards.
Last Updated: 13/12/2012