We’d like to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March by celebrating the fact we’ve got three fabulous and capable women leading Avivo. Read on to learn more about CEO Rosie Lawn, Executive Officer (People & Culture) Kate Fulton, and CFO Lynsey McDonnell.

What do you love most about working at Avivo?
Rosie: “The people and the passion we all have for making a difference in the world. I love the friendships and community we are developing.”

Kate: “I love the teams who work so hard to design and deliver support to the many people and families we support. Supporting people well is not always an easy thing to do and I see so many people thinking creatively to help people have meaningful lives. I also love the diversity of our colleagues – such interesting people who are committed to changing the world in their own way.”

Lynsey: “I love that our community is filled with incredible people, who are compassionate, creative and brave. I love that our support workers make a big difference in the lives of our customers, and our customers make a big difference in the lives of our support workers.”

What’s the most challenging part about your role?
Rosie: “Developing an organisation that supports people to develop and work really well. This means having an excellent culture as well as processes, systems and structures that support people to do their best work. It also involves noticing and challenging old ways of thinking and working.”

Kate: “Leading and supporting people in change. Change can be tough and it can be tiring. Avivo has had so much change over the last few years – new funders, new processes, new teams, new roles, new systems and uncertain roles. This is challenging for people and it’s challenging for me.”

Lynsey: “This part right now! We are all feeling the significant challenges, but not yet seeing all the benefits of the big things like Alayacare, the new EA, and the transition to Neighbourhood Teams. I wish that we could protect everyone from the pain of that, and I wish we could fast forward to the positive outcomes that we’re working towards.”

What do you love to do in your free time?
Rosie: “I love being outdoors – going to the beach, trekking and exploring the world. I also love cooking, particularly learning about and sharing food with family and friends.”

Kate: “I love going out on my electric scooter, pottering about, listening to Buddha radio (it’s a chillout radio) and eating great food (although my Weight Watchers’ leader doesn’t know that – or on second thought, she probably does)!”

Lynsey: “It’s all about family time for me – watching my kids play sports (preferably when they’re not breaking limbs!), Saturday breakfasts, and Sunday runs by the river.”

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Rosie: “Women have so much knowledge and experience with love, caring and supporting others’ development. I think this is really important work that is undervalued by our society – being seen as women’s work! This needs to change.”

Kate: “It is a chance to pause and celebrate the unique contribution women make to the world. When I think about women at Avivo, I’m in awe of the women who hold multiple roles – Mum, Daughter, Friend, Worker, and I also see the many beautiful qualities that women bring such as Carer, Warrior, Advocate, Protector and Leader.”

Lynsey: “Not much to be honest – I’m not much of a feminist! I wonder how much of the so-called glass ceiling is in our own heads, as women. I’ve seen far more examples of women holding themselves back than society holding them back. If you want something, work for it and go for it, and surround yourself with people who lift you up (and sometimes shake you up!).”

From left: Lynsey McDonnell, Rosie Lawn and Kate Fulton

Photos: NDS, WA Disability Support Awards 2019