People Stories

Discovering a Sense of Space and Place

Author: Careers at Council

Introducing Wendy Reichelt, Riverina Water Governance and Records Officer

COMMUNITY RESPECT AND UNDERSTANDING

When Riverina Water’s Governance and Records Officer, Wendy Reichelt returned to the Riverina Region after 11 years of working in Melbourne and Queensland, she took up a role with Riverina Water and was immediately struck by the sense of community.

Wendy explains, “I lived in the city and enjoyed it, but it’s a different vibe here. Working in Customer Services, I’d have people ringing up and I’d be able to visualize the street – I’d understand what was going on for them. It gives you a great sense of community ownership, a sense of respect and understanding of the people that you’re delivering services to”, She adds, “So many young people are discovering that you can move away to the city, but you cannot beat the sense of space and place you get working and living in this community.”

A CAREER PATH THAT LED TO WATER

Armed with a Communications Degree, Wendy began her career in Radio, before taking up an opportunity to be a TAFE Teacher and gaining her Cert 4 in Teaching. Wendy taught across Communications, Business and English. It was here in 1998 that the opportunity arose to begin her local government career.

Wendy explains, “I was running a TAFE course, and one of the guest teachers worked at Wagga Wagga City Council. One day, she rang me and said I don’t suppose you’d be interested in picking up a piece of work at council? So, I took the semester off to give it a go and to my delight, I discovered I really enjoyed it. When a permanent role was offered, I jumped at the chance!”

Since then, Wendy has worked in a diverse range of roles and worked on many different projects in Melbourne’s Knox City Council, Queensland’s UnityWater, Wagga Wagga City Council and currently for Riverina Water. Across Wendy’s career in local government, there’s a common theme – an adaptability and willingness to take on new opportunities and gain new experiences.

Wendy says, “If there’s a job that needs doing and I think I can do it, then I come up to speed and pick up that skill set. I didn’t have formal records experience, but because of my experience and adaptability I was able to pick it up here at Riverina Water. Because of this, I’ve developed a very transferable skillset and it’s enormously helpful. I’ve been able to move into areas of interest because I’ve shown that I want to gain new expertise”. 

A DIVERSE SKILLSET FOR A DIVERSE ROLE

It is these transferable skills that saw Wendy move into her current role of Governance and Records Officer and Enterprise Risk. Wendy comments, “I bring a fairly diverse skill set and when people realize that, I get amazing opportunities to put my finger in a number of pies.”

Right now, Wendy is responsible for making sure Riverina Water’s policies and procedures are in place and are fit for purpose by meeting legislative requirements. She writes regular reports and provides support to the Audit, Risk and Improvement committee. Wendy is currently reviewing every one of Riverina Water’s internal and external policies as a part of a the four-yearly cycle.

In her Records role Wendy has been able to use her experience implementing an electronic records system. She comments, “I had previously launched an electronics document records management system, so my role has been to pick up that project and understand how that works. That’s been really interesting.”

Wendy is also a member of the Continuity Management team in place to manage COVID-19 related procedures and is currently implementing reporting software PULSE for audit and risk reporting. This will further Wendy’s previous experience in integrated planning and reporting, which she’s hoping will open the door for her next challenge.

It is a role that is wide-reaching and incredibly varied. And Wendy would not have it any other way, commenting, “I often wonder if it would be better to just focus on one task, but everyone just tells me how bored I’d be, and I think I agree!”.

If you’re looking for a rewarding, meaningful career that offers the ultimate in work/life balance, why not consider a career in the Riverina region? Explore the great local government careers on offer and register for job alerts here jobs.careersatcouncil.com.au

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