Interview: Connie Taylor, Simoco
Connie Taylor is the winner of ARCIA’s 2019 Jonathan Livingston Seagull Award.
A number of awards were presented to many worthy recipients during ARCIA’s annual Gala Industry Dinner, but none was more of a crowd-pleaser than the presentation of the prestigious Jonathan Livingston Seagull Award to Connie Taylor. The award — which takes its name from the character in Richard Bach’s book — recognises those who have ‘risen above the flock’ and selflessly given back to the community.
Connie has become the first female recipient. Here, we ask her about her career and what the award means to her.
How did you get into the comms industry?
A friend working at Motorola in Melbourne suggested I apply for a job that was internally advertised; in those days over 300 people worked in the factory at Mulgrave manufacturing radios. I joined the company as an admin support in both the Service Department and National Parts Department.
How has your career developed since then?
Fortunately Motorola was in growth mode and expanding, with many opportunities available to advance in the company as the culture was to always try and promote/train and give existing employees the best opportunity. From Service/NPD I moved to admin roles in sales, then marketing and eventually to executive admin, where I worked on major tender submissions whilst supporting the executive team. Working at Vertel after Motorola also played a big role in my career. My current role is with Simoco Wireless Solutions as Business Administrator, also helping with bid submissions!
What do you like most about your work?
The key aspects of my work that I enjoy the most are working with a professional group of people who deliver meaningful projects. Radiocommunications is of great value and makes a difference to those who use the systems. The people I work with make the role enjoyable and there is always something new happening that keeps the work interesting.
Who has helped you along the way?
Along the way I have been helped and supported by many people; each has given me opportunity to work in interesting and rewarding roles. Although there are too many to name, I would like to thank Craig Ross; the life-long friends I made at Motorola and Vertel; and especially those at Simoco — Mike Norfield and Garry Mettner — who have been so supportive.
Tell us about your charitable work
The Ricky Taylor Foundation I am involved with supports teenagers who are undergoing cancer treatment. This is the in-between age, where the patients are not kids but are certainly not adults yet and require extra care and attention. Helping these young people is a passion I share with many friends and family. The RTF raises funds to provide extra support for the Monash Hospital AYA clinic. Hope to see you at one of our trivia nights soon!
What does it mean to you to receive the award?
Having attended many ARCIA Gala dinners and seeing past deserving recipients of the Jonathan Livingston Seagull Award, I am so honoured and privileged to be part of an elite group who contribute to and who have passion for our great industry.
Do you have any advice for others thinking of getting into the comms industry?
The radiocommunications industry has a unique, more family type culture. As the industry changes and evolves, perhaps the only advice would be to always support your team and treat everyone in your organisation with respect and dignity. From my experience, successful companies have a strong team culture that focuses on customers and meeting their needs. I have been fortunate to have worked with many teams and had fun, and together we have achieved some amazing outcomes.
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