Irene has been with Belgravia Leisure for nearly six years. Irene started as a National Swimming and Water Safety Manager and then took on her current role as Venue Manager at Mt Albert Aquatic Centre alongside her role as Auckland Area Manager.
What are some of your highlights/magic moments working with Belgravia Leisure?
“During my time at Belgravia Leisure, there have been so many things big and small that have collectively made my time with Belgravia Leisure memorable. Winning the Tribal Challenge at Belgravia Leisure College, New Zealand Facility of the Year, introducing school water safety lessons to low decile schools and my standout, seeing children with a disability find freedom and joy in the water,” Irene explained.
How have you, your team & venue been impacted by COVID-19 & what have you learnt?
“We certainly haven’t had to face what Australia has been through but Auckland has had five lockdowns since March last year, with the current one being our longest of nearly three months. I’m super proud of my team and the way they have engaged and supported our community during this time.”
“Our venue is a melting pot of cultures and to have some of our staff members reach out in a familiar language has seen fantastic feedback from our community. Keeping our customers regularly updated via email and social media on potential changes to operations means our customers can adapt as necessary to have a seamless reopening when that time comes. What I have learned through the COVID-19 pandemic is to make sure that we have robust processes and policies in place. Don’t leave anything to chance and expect the unexpected. Above all though, be kind and listen,” Irene says.
Watch the video of the team at Mt Albert Aquatic Centre connecting with their community in their own languages below.
What is your favourite thing about your career?
“Engaging with our community and building relationships with people, our customers do become our friends. Finding new challenges, what barriers there are and how to overcome them,” Irene explained.
Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?
“Definitely with Belgravia Leisure! I would like to see myself moving into a more senior role within the New Zealand team.”
What are 3 things you’re most passionate about in life and why?
- My family. I have a fabulous blended family of 6 children and 1 grandchild. When everyone gets together it’s pretty noisy but family is everything to me.
- Disability & Inclusion. I grew up around family members with disabilities and saw how they were often marginalised in the community. Because of this I am very passionate about ensuring we provide a safe, welcoming environment where anyone with a disability can be included and participate in activities or simply have fun.
- The outdoors. Getting out into the fresh air, exploring nature and the beach.