We are building the plane as we fly it. This was an often quoted line by Angela Williams, who was seconded to lead the legacy Broadspectrum's COVID-19 Incident Management Team (IMT) earlier in 2020.

"There was no handbook, and that was okay, because we had the right team in place," Angela said.

'While I have crisis management experience from a previous role, this experience was very different. There was a steep learning curve for an external, uncontained and sustained event which aected the entire company across two countries that was moving at a signicant pace day-on-day," she said.

Group Executive Director, Tom Quinn said, "Angela was chosen to lead the IMT as she shows exemplary leadership in an all-round capacity. She has an ability to show compassion and empathy, while being able to lead and marshal the necessary resources to get the job done. A true asset.'

Angela's career at Ventia 

Angela joined Transfield Services in 2008, initially working in commercial and strategy roles. Her first contract manager role was with NBN Facilities Management, and her current role is General Manager, Community and Housing.

I feel I've had many careers with Ventia, which have all led to my current operational general manager role," she said.

"Managing the NBN FM contract was really rewarding, as it was my first operational role, leading a multidisciplinary team, and with financial responsibility. It was also a turnaround. But it was a big step from there to my current role, although I continue to feel very supported. I've taken the time to get out and learn about our people, clients and our business."

Community and Housing is a national portfolio of contracts including the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, Mornington Peninsula Shire and the national NBN Facilities Maintenance contract. Our team comprises more than 325 employees and 4,000 contractors, providing the full spectrum of technical and nontechnical services, including electrical, mechanical, fire, hydraulics, tree and bushfire management, lawns and grounds, cleaning, project management and essential services.

My role is to lead our team to provide safe, quality, commercial and timely services to our clients, as well as understand our clients and markets to continuously improve our offering and opportunities.

'One challenge is to ensure safety is front of mind for our people, so we can safely deliver work, from bushfire management in Mornington, to high voltage electrical works at midnight in Kalgoorlie, in public housing building maintenance in inner Sydney, and everywhere else we work. I believe we are all safety ambassadors, no matter what role you are in, and this thinking has helped my career.'

Angela added three other things which have helped her career. "I've had good mentors, inside and outside the business, who have provided great advice to work through challenges and opportunities. And I believe in having courageous conversation with your teams, your clients, subcontractors or managers. I've also been curious and said yes to opportunities, which led to living in the Middle East for nearly four years leading business development and finance."

The value of diversity and inclusivity

For Ventia, she believes diversity is key. "There are many aspects to diversity, including age, gender, ethnicity, education, religion and flexible working arrangements, and each person brings a different perspective and insight to the business. This is a huge asset, but you also need to exercise inclusivity, so everyone also has a voice which is heard. Inclusivity combined with diversity yields better problem solving, better safety results, better customer service and better financial results.

The COVID-19 IMT had a wealth of diversity, leading to high performing outcomes. We had to keep our teams safe, keep the company compliant, and maximise essential service delivery to our customers.

'Leading the IMT was a great opportunity and reminded me why I work here. We are great service partners, with a significant resilience and delivery capability, and we genuinely care about our people."

Outside work, Angela likes to travel and run (although she's still hesitant to call herself a runner). While her international travel plans continue to just be plans, there will be some domestic trips once it is safe. She ran her first half marathon in 2019, and has raised $17,000 for cancer research across four events with Can Too. Can Too offers professionally-coached programs for running and swimming events, in exchange for fundraising, and Angela starts her fifth program soon.