People’s Choice Treasurer Heather Gale has been recognised as one of South Australia’s outstanding young business leaders.
Ms Gale was named as part of InDaily’s “40 Under 40”, a new initiative aimed at recognising the diversity of leaders responsible for creating a prosperous future for South Australia.
People’s Choice Managing Director Steve Laidlaw said it was pleasing to see Ms Gale’s achievements recognised publicly.
“Heather is responsible for the direction of our $1.8 billion wholesale funding portfolio and has taken the lead on negotiating with international investors for our $1.5 billion securitization process – in short, she has been selling South Australia and the mutual sector to the world. It is a remarkable achievement for someone aged under 40,” he said.
“She has also taken the lead on the establishment of a key joint venture that brings millions of dollars of savings to our members every year, and is one of the few people in South Australia to hold such a significant banking treasury position. She is a credit to our State, and we are lucky to have her as a leader at People’s Choice.”
Ms Gale thanked InDaily for taking the time to recognise the State’s young business leaders.
“These awards celebrate South Australia’s future and recognise our commitment to the State,” she said.
“I’ve always come back to the fact that the opportunities I’ve received in South Australia – specifically at People’s Choice – wouldn’t have been afforded elsewhere. I think that there’s so much opportunity in South Australia to grow, learn and be involved in really interesting work. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
“Businesses need to actively invest in their young leaders to take advantage of the next generation of leaders and the diversity those minds can bring to our future.”
Five minutes with… Heather Gale
What are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?
“I believe that South Australia is strong for being smaller than the eastern states. It allows a greater level of agility, and allows us to adapt, change and take advantage of opportunities.
“There’s a lot of pride in our State and a common desire to see South Australia and its businesses succeed. Doing business in SA makes you part of an interconnected community that will support your business as it grows and expands. We should promote this interconnection as a key advantage of the State.
“We have world class universities providing access to research and highly skilled graduates. This, combined with the State Government’s focus on fostering innovation, makes SA an ideal place for high tech businesses and start-ups.”
Where can South Australia improve?
“Our biggest hurdle is how we’re perceived by the rest of the country. We need to sell the South Australian story more! If we’re going to encourage more businesses to make South Australia their home or to invest in the State we need to work hard to promote our strengths.”
Do you see your future in South Australia?
“Absolutely. I made the decision very early in my career that I didn’t need to move away to be successful. Financial services are very much centred in the eastern states, and so I have at times challenged myself on that decision. However, I have always come back to the fact that the opportunities I’ve received in South Australia – specifically at People’s Choice – wouldn’t have been afforded elsewhere.
“I think that there’s so much opportunity in South Australia to grow, learn and be involved in really interesting work. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”
How can the State encourage its young leaders to stay?
“There’s a lot of focus on keeping graduates in the State, which is vitally important, however I think there’s an equal challenge in keeping leaders looking to move into a senior or executive role. I think SA businesses need to actively invest in their young leaders and look for opportunities to promote internally rather than hiring interstate candidates.
“We should value the diversity that young leaders bring to the table at a senior level. I think that the State Government is on the right path in keeping young leaders here as they work to draw innovation investment to the State, but it’s up to individual businesses to make the tangible change in how they value and grow their leaders.”
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