Celebrating Queensland Women's Week: A Q&A series

Last updated: 02/03/2021

Celebrating Queensland Women's Week: A Q&A series

Welcome to Queensland Women’s Week at IMPACT! 

To celebrate the event, which runs over 11 days from today, March 3 to 14, we will be sharing a series of Q&A stories with some of our exceptional female staff from across the organisation. 

And what better way to begin the week than with a woman who needs no introduction; IMPACT's Managing Director Tanya O’Shea. 

Celebrating Queensland Women's Week: A Q&A series

What is your role at IMPACT, why do you enjoy the work you do, and what drives you to be the best you can at your role?

I am the Managing Director of IMPACT Community Services.  I am inspired by people. People who turn up each day leaving their own issues at the door to support others. People who choose to improve their life or the lives of their family. People who stop engaging in behaviours that are harmful to themselves or others. People who recognise that they need support to make a change. This job has been a gift, inspiring me to push boundaries, challenge myself and contribute – give back to something way bigger than me.

Who is the woman who has inspired you most in your life?

Professor Helen Huntly, OAM. Helen was my teacher in high school, my boss when I started working as a part-time aerobics instructor and is one of my current bosses (as a Director on the IMPACT Board). Her commitment to the education sector and dedication to community capacity-building is an inspiration.

What are their exceptional qualities?

It feels like Helen has been my informal mentor, cheering me on from the sidelines my entire working life! She never sweats the small stuff, is genuine, responsive and not afraid to tell me what I need to hear. Most important of all, she believes in me, reminding me that I have got everything that I need already within myself to do what needs to be done. She empowers in a way that leaves me feeling like 'I have got this.'

Do you have a personal anecdote about them?

Helen comes from a health and fitness background, having been a secondary school PE teacher and part-time aerobics instructor before commencing at CQUniversity over 20 years ago. Even though her job is incredibly demanding, she still runs 5km daily, nowadays referring to her exercise routine as more of slow shuffle than an energetic dash!

What is your message to young women today who are trying to make their mark?

In the words of Judy Garland, ‘Always aim to be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else’. Having role models and mentors is important, however to build trust and strong relationships, you need to be comfortable enough in yourself to be yourself. You cannot do that if you are always trying to be like someone else. Remember, you have got this.

Visit the Queensland Women's Week website

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