Kerry is a Project Director within our Victorian Residential team. She has been working at Stockland for over a decade.
I started with Stockland in 2007 in marketing and I was in the role for 6 years covering the Victorian region. In 2012, I took charge of where I was at with my career. I spent some time thinking about what it was that I really love about work and found that I could do those things in a property development role. I put together an extensive development plan to help me move forward in the direction that I wanted.
When I returned from maternity leave in 2013, I was only back for a few months before moving into the development function. I progressed through various roles, and I’ve been recently promoted to Project Director in Melbourne. It’s been such an exciting journey and I am very grateful for the opportunity I have had. I’m really pleased I made the decision to move. As much as I love marketing, development was just the perfect choice for me. It was almost like I was starting my career again, and even though it’s been challenging the new skills I learnt were worth it.
What keeps me here and motivates me, is really about my personal development, growth and the opportunity to really push myself each and every day. I enjoy being in a high performing environment that challenges me, because with that comes opportunity. It’s important to me to have a career plan in place to know where I’m headed and I see the opportunity to fulfill that plan at Stockland. The other thing that keeps me at Stockland is no doubt the people and the culture of the team. You need that feeling of belonging to a great team. You spend as much time with the people you work with then your family, so you need to love what you do and enjoy who you do it with.
Our purpose is key to why I work for Stockland. In our role we are really fortunate to be able to influence the way people live, work, shop and play. We can directly influence the things that matter most to people and drive their happiness. It’s our responsibility to live up to our purpose of creating better ways to live.
Flexibility is very important for me because having flexible working arrangements has allowed me to build my career whilst also being a mum. Stockland almost gets 120% of my effort because I feel so fortunate to have the flexibility to do the things I need to do with my family, whether it be something at school, like a morning tea or afternoon reading, I know that I’m able to do that and logon later to finish my work. You don’t have to feel like you need to sacrifice things just because you want to have a career. I work from home one day a week which means I get to walk my son to school and pick him up. I’d say these days seem more productive than days in the office in terms of level of output because you can knuckle down and really focus, which is why I find them so beneficial and important to me.
Our Stockland CARE Foundation and the commitment we make as a business to help the organisations supported by the Foundation is amazing. It just shows you the values and morals of our organisation.
A personal contribution that I’m proud of is something we did on the Selandra Rise project (a residential community in Clyde North, Victoria) where we trialled a series of initiatives to understand how we could support community health and wellbeing and undertook a five year study to test the results. There were some fantastic outcomes from the study and, in terms of community engagement, every single decision we made involved the community and residents that lived there, from when we named the community to designing parks and town centre. It’s definitely a project that will go down in history and a project which has had such a positive impact on the region.
We have grown quite significantly through acquisitions in and around Melbourne over the last few years. I think that is exciting in terms of our opportunity to influence Victoria on a greater scale. The built-form space is also very exciting. The population in Melbourne and surrounds is growing rapidly, driving the need to increase density to address affordability and to embrace urbanisation. How we unlock the possibility of people living 50kms from the CBD while still having the urban lifestyle they desire is an exciting opportunity for us as a business.
For me, diversity and inclusion is way beyond just gender. It’s about how you get a diverse mix of individuals to be able to work in a functional team where all of them feel comfortable enough to raise their voice and share their opinion, regardless of how radical, exciting or different as it might be. It includes people from all walks of life in decision making, allowing them to comfortably share their thoughts for the greater good of the business. I think that is a journey we are continuing along.
We had a community vision workshop last year where we invited not only internal stakeholders but external stakeholders like council and different consulting groups, including radical designers and architects. The day was structured to include everyone’s perspective. That was a great example of when we have had 30 or so people in the same room with different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences, aiming to achieve a similar goal. We landed on some amazing outcomes that day. When it comes to collaboration, it’s so important that we include both internal and external stakeholders.
Working at Stockland puts you in a different league. I speak to people who have left Stockland and there is no doubt they are a talented group of individuals. If you have worked at Stockland, you have really set yourself up for future opportunities. That is due to a number of factors. Stockland attracts really high calibre people and we have quite a robust selection criteria, a strong leadership team, and a culture of high performance. Another factor that sets us apart is some of our policies and practices. When my friends and I talk about work, they are very impressed by our parental leave policy, our approach to flexibility and how we support each other. These are the things that keep me here.