Life is all about balance and our new Associate Director Shelley seems to be doing a pretty good job of it over in WA. We sit down and talk accounting, yoga and sunny Fremantle beaches with our newest West Coast representative.
Give us a brief overview of your education and career to date?
I grew up with a farming family in country New South Wales before moving to Wagga for high school. I was a dancer at the time and very into my drama and English but my mum thought I should pursue something a little more grounded. She worked at a bank and a customer offered me a traineeship in my first semester of university. So I worked there full time while I did my Bachelors degree in Accounting and HR. I’m lucky to enjoy my job and I love seeing people get real results. When you have a relationship with your client you feel a part of the team and you get to celebrate wins with them.
I moved to Sydney in 2004 while I finished my degree and worked for a for a guy who was on the board of taxation where the ad hoc jobs for that was great experience. After that I moved to Melbourne where I did my CA and Diploma of Financial Planning whilst working for a number of great firms. When I decided to move to sunny Perth the agency I was working for offered me the chance to work remotely which I did before working for another firm in West Perth and ultimately before I ended up at RBK.
What industries do you love working with?
After all my years in accounting I think the variety is great but I do love working with industries I really connect with. I’m passionate about the health industry and I will always enjoy working with farming clients.
What is important for small businesses to see success?
I think having a strong community feel in whichever industry you’re in. RBK are great for that, everyone really helps each other which is why it works. Having a strong team creates momentum behind your business.
When you’re not balancing books you’re teaching yoga. Tell us about that.
I started practicing Bikram yoga in 2007 because I was feeling the pressure at work but needed something more hardcore than regular yoga. I bought a 10 day unlimited offer for a studio with a friend in Melbourne and hated my first class! Luckily, she convinced me to see out the pass and I ended up loving it. I started noticing changes, the physical change was there but I felt the mental change more. Yoga gave me the ability to still my mind so that I could let anything coming across my desk or any personal issues just bounce off. It was a stillness I had never experienced.
So, after practicing for 10 years I finally did my teacher training. Now I teach a few times a week and I love being on the other side of it and seeing people experience the same changes I did.
What’s most important to you outside of work?
My little boy, Harrison. He’s 6 so he’s a ratbag but he’s also my little yoga baby. Put him on the cricket pitch and he’ll be off doing cartwheels! I love his free spirit but it does mean he has no urgency whatsoever so running late is inevitable.
Sounds like you’re super busy! Any tips for balance?
I try to have a clear distinction so that when I’m at work, I’m working and when I’m at home with Harrison, I’m fully present with him. Otherwise you have the guilt of not being able to commit so it’s important to dedicate time to both. (She forgot to mention time for herself here but we hope she’s doing that too).
Talk to me about Fremantle in WA – why do you love it more than Melbourne?
Well my time here was only supposed to be temporary but then I just loved it here. The beach vibes are great, Harrison loves doing his Nippers surf life saving training at the beach on weekends and I love the markets. I also really enjoy the flexibility RBK offers me so I’m able to have afternoons to spend with him.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
I would be spending it with my little man at the beach, squeeze in some yoga and make sure there’s plenty of swimming! I love Scarborough beach and the Fremantle markets, they’ve both got to be on the list for anyone visiting WA.