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NIALL O'ROURKE | INTERVIEW

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WHO IS NIALL O’ROURKE?

Random fact… I get through every day with a half of 1 kidney and have done so since about 3 months old. I am Irish born and raised, with my Mom, Dad and sister.

Dad passed away when I was 20, which meant I had to grow up quickly. When the GFC took hold in early 2011, opportunities in Ireland were limited and so I made the decision to move to Oz. Obviously it was a big decision to leave my family behind, therefore I was determined to make it work in Australia! Luckily, I was picked up by a powerful female leader who trained me well and gave me an opportunity that opened the door to recruitment for me, and the rest is history I guess.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR ROLE AT SHARP & CARTER?

I recruit across Technology, Projects and Emerging Digital Tech. I run the function alongside my business partner Ash Walsh who basically keeps me in line and allows me to be who I am every day with work. The best part about my role is that I get to meet so many people from all walks of life every day. I can safely say that no day in recruitment is the same - while it is a challenging role and sometimes high pressured, at the end of the day it is incredibly rewarding and worthwhile.

WHAT INTERESTS AND HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE OUTSIDE OF WORK?

I am a big fan of sports of any kind - although I still haven’t been to an AFL game!!! I also started reading in the last 6 months as well… previously I would always get distracted and never finish a book, but now I read sport/motivation books which hold my focus.

Running has also been a hobby of mine previously. After my Dad passed away, I decided to run a marathon to raise money for the hospice in which he spent his last days. After a number of years of running I lost the passion, but in the end, it was my knees that called absolute time and said enough is enough - and that was the end of my running!


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WE UNDERSTAND YOU ARE PLANNING TO SWIM THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THIS, AND WHAT YOU ARE HOPING TO ACHIEVE?

Recruitment is a fast-paced environment that can be stressful. I often felt this stress and found myself on-edge, until one day I stumbled across an article about Justin Hanby - a successful criminal lawyer in Sydney who focused on swimming to help him through his mental health issues. After I tried it for myself, I realised the power of swimming on the mental state and how it can be a form of meditation.

This was the start of my meditation in the water!! Following this, I started ocean swimming and after a Summer of ocean races I decided to up the ante and aim for a 10KM marathon swim. Lots of people have hobbies or sport interests and look up to the elite names in that area wondering what it would be like to meet them or be them…. every day I train, I am surrounded by some the world’s greatest endurance oceans swimmers who are seen as the global elite (too many to name but you know who you are) for which I am very grateful. I realise I am lucky which keeps me motivated and more importantly grounded. It is a simple saying but if you surround yourself with people that inspire you, you won’t go too far wrong.

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Given how much swimming had assisted me with my mental health, I thought it would be great to use it as a medium to raise awareness and fundraise for Beyond Blue. After 5 months of training with a legend called Vlad, surrounded by a group of inspirational swimmers, I was ready… then I broke my shoulder and couldn’t swim. I felt I was fine but in actually fact I was having a mental breakdown and didn’t realise it… how could this happen to me? I felt I had let everyone down that had donated to the charity!! It wasn’t until someone called me out for saying I was OK when he knew there was no way in the world that I could be that I realised what state I was in. I think this is what drives me every day as I want to pay back everyone who invested time and effort in me.

The reason I decided to tackle the English Channel is because I wanted to do something that would have people ask, “Why would you do such a thing?” and I was also keen to test myself both mentally and physically over an extended period - in this case, 18 months.

Essentially - why I would do such a thing is to create awareness of mental health, but more importantly to get rid of the shocking stigma associated with it. This stigma stops people from feeling comfortable talking openly about their struggles, as they feel judged. If a mate was sick with a flu or a cold one would simply reach out and ask how they were…. but as soon as mental health comes into the equation everybody shuts down and finds it too awkward to discuss. This results in people suffering in silence with nowhere to turn.

With the long hours I have started to spend in the water, and the ultimate goal of the English Channel, I want to try and understand what it feels like to be alone with only my thoughts - and the water. I will have the option of putting my hand up and stopping - but what must it feel like for someone who is left with only their thoughts, and has no option of putting their hand up for help due to the potential judgement??

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In my career I get to spend lots of time with people… over the last couple of years, I have come across people who were suffering, and I had no idea what was going on beneath the surface. This was an eye opener for me and rather than just sit back and talk about how awful it was, I wanted to act on it and try to increase the awareness. But I didn’t want to just raise money, instead I wanted to donate awareness. Because really, the best donation I can make is to encourage and make it reality for someone to ask another person how they are feeling. I think the message will hit home better this way.

Another motivator is that the city where I am originally from (Limerick) has a really high suicide rate. So much so that there is now a team of volunteers who patrol the river bank every night, helping those in need who are about to try and end their suffering in the river. These volunteers are on Limerick Suicide Watch, and they – along with volunteer groups everywhere else around the world – do not get enough support from governments, and this needs to change. Many leaders talk about the issue but very few take any action!!!


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With an event like swimming the English Channel, you don’t turn up without any preparation. For the last couple of months and over the next 18 months I train a minimum 5 days per week. Midweek I wake at 4.40am, have a snack then make my way to the pool for a session with the man himself Vlad who runs Vladswim in Sydney. As part of the training and to keep focused I am also training towards big events in between.

These events allow me the opportunity to meet new people and tell them about the journey I am on and the goal I am trying to achieve. Lined up so far over the next few months are the following events:

  • Lake Burley Griffin 10KM Dec 2018 (I am actually writing this while I sit in the hotel room in Canberra stuffing my face the night before)

  • Balmoral 10KM Dec 2018

  • Rottnest Channel Cottesloe to Rottnest Island Feb 2019 20KM

  • Palm Beach to Shelly Beach Mar 2019 26KM

  • Melbourne Cold Water Camp Apr 2019 swim 8 hours in cold 13 - 14 degrees water (need to start putting on the kgs. or I haven’t a hope of lasting)

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In between these events which are a little easier because of the numbers, there are numerous other long Saturday sessions on the cards. What gets me through is that I have already had a few people reach out to me to talk and some even tell me of their own battles. If that is not enough motivation to get through the dark places in the water, then I don’t know what is.

Once these events lined up are completed I will then set new goals to help me through the last 12 months of my training plan to get across the English Channel in July 2020. There are so many people attending all of these events which allows me to spread the word – if I even tell only one stranger that is it OK to talk about how they are feeling then that event is worth it!


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IN YOUR MIND, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST WAYS TO REDUCE THE STIGMA OF MENTAL HEALTH?

The best way is to get more people talking about their feelings. The more common/normal this becomes, the less people will suffer in silence. Another way is to read about it - I myself was pretty ignorant to the details of mental health until I was a bit more educated and also had some firsthand experience with people suffering.

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WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST PEOPLE COULD SAY TO SOMEONE WHO IS SUFFERING TO ASSIST IN STARTING A CONVERSATION ABOUT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH?

There are so many ways, but a lot of people feel awkward not knowing what to do if someone says they are not OK. It can be as simple as a coffee catch up to allow for someone to unload their feelings, or even just allowing a safe space for someone to talk. But it is also important to realise when someone may benefit from a trained professional – luckily there are so many around nowadays, an introduction or suggestion could save a life.


DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE OR TIPS ON HOW TO PRACTICE RESILIENCE AND MANAGE MENTAL HEALTH ON AN ONGOING BASIS?

I can’t pass without saying swimming at first. Regardless of your ability it is the best form of meditation. Every day I am in the water I switch off and forget about everything going on with work, life, etc. If you want to know more on where to go then just reach out to me.

Outside of that I think it is important for everyone to take some selfish time for themselves to really switch off and just relax - ideally without the use of social media, TV, etc. Another one would be take a step back and think “Is there someone out there doing it worse than I am?” It is important to be realistic and grateful every day.

NEVER GIVE UP.

HELP SOMEONE ELSE – THIS IS THE BEST FEELING IN WORLD.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE YOU WANT TO BE WITH AND NOT ONES YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO BE WITH.

STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK – IT DOESN’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT COLOUR HAIR YOU HAVE, HOW MUCH YOU WEIGH, WHAT CLOTHES YOU WEAR…. YOU ARE STILL THE SAME PERSON BENEATH IT ALL.


CAN YOU SUGGEST SOME LINKS TO ASSIST PEOPLE IN RESEARCH ON OR TO GET EXTRA SUPPORT?

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FINAL WORD?

I am hoping this will reach a wide audience within my network and beyond. If only 1 person out there decides to take the leap and open up about their feelings, then I will be on the right path.

CONTACT DETAILS

Instagram: @rourkeedo - This has been created purely for this journey to create awareness and to document some events and training. Please follow and spread the word!

Email: norourke@sharpandcarter.com.au

Niall O’Rourke
Director - Technology, Projects & Digital


Sharp & Carter's 2018 end of year celebrations


OUR SYDNEY TEAM


Well done  Nabil Boumoughdab  on your first of many achievements in the business!

Well done Nabil Boumoughdab on your first of many achievements in the business!

Our Sydney Eastern Creek team celebrating all of their hard work!

Our Sydney Eastern Creek team celebrating all of their hard work!

Happy 3 year anniversary to our amazing superstar of a Manager,  Jeff Harvey!

Happy 3 year anniversary to our amazing superstar of a Manager, Jeff Harvey!


Our Sydney and Brisbane team combined their Christmas parties and took a sail around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Taronga Zoo!

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OUR BRISBANE TEAM


Our Brisbane team’s very own Secret Santas (Tim Turner, Daniel Careless and Tim Wallis) took the time to donate blood at the Australian Red Cross as part of their commitment to giving back during Christmas!

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OUR MELBOURNE TEAM


The Admin team lunched at Gazi restaurant in Crown Casino, followed by an afternoon at the Arbory Bar & Eatery!

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Our Business Support team sailed around Mount Martha bay for an afternoon, enjoying lots of laughs and great tunes!

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The Finance team did something a little different from their daily jobs with some real life drawing!

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Melbourne’s Technology, Projects and Digital team celebrated with a delicious lunch at Longrain restaurant, followed by some sunshine at Bomba rooftop!

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Our Sales and Marketing team started their day off enjoying an amazing grand gesture grazing platter put together by our personal trainer at Ashley Faithfull Training Studio, and then finished their night off at Teppanyaki with their partners!

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The Finance and Accounting teams spent an evening watching a great game of Twenty20 Big Bash cricket at Marvel Stadium!

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The Property and Construction team sailed away for the afternoon around Port Phillip Bay, and played a great game of golf at Albert Park!

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And finally, a celebratory Christmas BBQ on the Yarra brought our entire Melbourne team’s 2018 to a close! 

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Thank you to all of our Sharp & Carter family members for a great 2018!
We are so excited of what is to come in 2019!


2018 MARKET WRAP, AND PROJECTIONS FOR 2019

Stephen Carter, Partner at Sharp & Carter

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Happy New

Year 2019

As we enter a new year, I wanted to reflect on the year that was and look forward to what we think this new year – 2019 – may hold.

The 2018 that was.

Broadly speaking, hiring activity in 2018 remained steady without being spectacularly strong. Throughout the year we generally had a full plate of roles to recruit but were never really stretched. But we had no complaints: - Business confidence remains high and there are plenty of opportunities for candidates who are looking in the right places. More candidates have choices on where they move to, including the choice of staying in their current role and we are seeing less of a “grass is greener” mentality in candidates, which means organisations are having to work harder to attract the best candidates – a contrast to how it has been in the previous few years.

To move industries is still a challenging step for candidates, albeit some organisations are becoming more open to it. Unless at junior level, a business is usually paying a candidate for their expertise above all else. As such, if a candidate has no experience in an industry and is up against someone (usually multiple candidates) with years of experience, it becomes a tough ‘sell’ for a business to pay the same salary for the person without the expertise. However, we are noticing organisations with real talent strategies are looking beyond industry experience as their number one priority. Culture fit, team dynamic, longevity, risk of turnover and the potential future ability of a candidate are becoming more relevant in some organisations - not many, but some.

At Sharp & Carter, 2018 saw huge growth as we increased our recruiter headcount by 40%. This was driven mainly by our expansion in Sydney and the opening of our new Brisbane office, but was also supported by a well performing economy and demand for talent.

In terms of each discipline we recruit, each has traveled its own path in 2018, proving once again that each industry is its own moving piece. I asked some of our Partners, Directors and Managers for their snapshot of their markets in 2018, as follows:


FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING


“The executive level ($200k +) remained quiet with far more people looking than roles available in the market. Generally, the more junior the role the more demand we experienced. There was a constant demand for commercial business partners with a combination of outstanding interpersonal and presentation skills, above average Excel skills as well as general business acumen. We saw a definite move towards recruiting roles permanently rather than on a temporary basis which points towards more confidence in the market this coming year.”

Harley Thomas - Partner, Melbourne
Simon Cust - Partner, Sydney


ACCOUNTING SUPPORT

Rima Unver – Manager, Sydney

“Payroll candidates are in very high demand and this was the hardest area to recruit across accounting support in 2018. Thus, payroll salaries continued to rise in 2018 while demand (and salaries) for AP/Credit control candidates remained steady. The market is not buoyant for the senior manager level like Shared Services Manager roles ($120k+).”

Chris Belegrinos – Partner, Melbourne
Rima Unver – Manager, Sydney


SALES AND MARKETING

“In FMCG and Consumer Goods Sales hiring demand for National Account Managers at the $110-$140k level is through the roof. In Industrial, Technical & B2B sales there is strong demand for BDM’s that have got experience and expertise in their related fields. Communication roles and brand marketers are in steady demand without being particularly buoyant. There continues to be a strong demand for Digital Marketing candidates for organisations to drive their customer experience and personalisation to gain the edge over their competitors.”

Sam Arico – Partner, Melbourne
John Corrigan – Director, Sydney
Kian Myers – Director, Sydney
Simon Marks – Partner, Queensland


PROPERTY AND CONSTRUCTION

“2018 was candidate and skills short in the majority of sectors in white-collar roles. If you are a white-collar professional within the property and construction market, we want to speak to you! Whilst the apartment market slowed down in the last six months due to financial funding restrictions, it is likely that the infrastructure projects over the next 5 years will counteract this slow down and demand will remain high in this sector.”

James Wagner - Partner, Melbourne


BUSINESS SUPPORT

“The Executive Assistant role is moving away from standard Administrative duties towards a strategic business partner role. There is a huge demand for legal secretaries and we have had a steady demand for temporary support in these roles.”

Diana Josic – Manager, Sydney
Zoe Raphael – Director, Melbourne

Zoe Raphael – Director, Melbourne


TECHNOLOGY, PROJECTS AND DIGITAL

“The key areas of transformation in this space in 2018 centred around:

* Internet of Things (IOT)
* Artificial Intelligence (AI)
* Cloud
* Security
* Transformation/Agility
* CRM & ERP projects

There were lots of Business Solutions Managers hired into the market and data and analytics is still on the tip of the tongue with an increased focus for businesses to utilise their data more effectively. Demand for PM’s and BA’s not requiring a specific skill set has not been as strong. There is a strong demand for talent generally and we forecast a very busy 2019.”

Niall O’Rourke – Director, Sydney
Ryan Lenton – Director, Melbourne


LEGAL AND COMPLIANCE

“The Legal market has been very buoyant in 2018 across both Private Practice and In House. The most prevalent areas within Private Practice have been M&A, Banking, Construction, Real Estate and we have also seen a pick up in the litigation and Energy & Resources space in the second half of the year. Within this market we have seen the highest level of demand at the 3 years PQE level up to 7 years PQE. Whilst the market remains candidate short there definitely has been an increase in appetite for candidates to consider Private Practice opportunities.
The In House market was strong across most industries and there was a significant pick up at the Senior end of the market 7 years PQE up to 10 years PQE. The reasons for this are varied businesses have realised that their internal Legal function is stretched and they need to add to head count. Outsourcing work to law firms can be very costly and it is more commercial to try and undertake more work internally. Some businesses have also become more appreciative of the Legal function and the strategic and commercial value it brings. Whilst the candidate flow is much stronger in this space the best way to identify the most outstanding talent available is through market mapping and head hunting.”

Adam Kumaraswamy – Partner, Melbourne
Simona Mayer – Partner, Melbourne


EXECUTIVE MARKET - BRISBANE

“2018 saw an increase in demand for Executive level positions in Brisbane. This was primarily caused by two factors. Firstly, there was an improvement in economic conditions across key market segments including Mining & Resources, Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Aged Care (demographic related) and Utilities/Renewables. Secondly, these market conditions led to more senior candidates seeking new career opportunities, thus creating more job vacancies and candidate churn. Skills in the most demand were professionals who possessed expertise in revenue generation, operational excellence, cultural transformation and project and/or change management.

It’s expected 2019 will continue to see more economic growth particularly in the markets mentioned above. This will lead to an increase in scarcity for high quality

Executives, driving demand for these skills from the southern states and lifting overall salary expectations. Skills in demand will vary from industry to industry (e.g. Aged Care & Financial Services – Governance and Compliance; Mining, Energy & Infrastructure – Technical and Project Delivery) however effective leadership, flexibility and change management skills will be essential for most leadership roles.”

Tim Turner – Partner, Brisbane


THE OUTLOOK FOR 2019

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Information is everywhere. It’s no longer about gaining information, it’s what you do with it that matters. Through LinkedIn, SEEK Talent, Facebook and social media, it’s not difficult to ‘connect’ with people these days. However, it’s the level of the relationship with your connections that is most important when it comes to best utilising your ‘network’.

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In 2019, the strengthening of relationships through face-to-face meetings will be more important than ever, given the number of texts, emails, calls, social media messages and LinkedIn notes people will continue to receive daily. As this information competes more and more for people’s attention, the in-person relationship prevails even more as the most impactful way to form and build meaningful relationships, and in turn, hiring outcomes.

As is the case as each new year dawns, there are always certain risks and unknowns. It would be my opinion that the risks of 2019 will include the following:

1) Instability in the political leadership of the USA due to the Mueller investigation.
2) The trade war between the USA and China escalating and impacting the global (and Australian) economy.
3) Interest rates in Australia increasing more quickly than expected dampening the local economy.
4) The decrease of property prices together with the lack of wages growth snowballing to decrease consumer spending dramatically.
5) A “no deal” on Brexit could greatly affect the European market.

Now I am aware these risks may seem grim, and large, however at any point in time there are always risks and on balance, our expectation is for the market to continue to improve, leading to increased demand for talent across all the areas in which we recruit. There is a large suite of infrastructure projects being promised up the eastern seaboard which should add to GDP and the economy, this will mean talented professionals will be harder to find and therefore demand for quality recruitment firms that can access talent will remain strong.

Overall, I think we are in for another exciting year in 2019! Thank you to all of our customers and clients who supported us in 2018, we look forward to working with you all again in 2019 and seeing success across the board for all of you, as well as our team at Sharp & Carter.

Cheers,

Stephen Carter and all the team at Sharp & Carter

SHARP & CARTER THANKS YOU FOR 2018 

The end of 2018 saw many an event hosted by Sharp & Carter, and on behalf of the entire company we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended, as well as to everyone who supported us throughout 2018 – we are so appreciative of your support! 

In addition, we’d like to extend our thanks again to the guest speakers who gave their time to inspire with positive messages and education, including:


OUR END OF YEAR MELBOURNE EVENTS


South East Finance & Accounting Team

FRIDAY 12TH OCTOBER 2018 
Novotel, Glen Waverley 

The South East Sharp & Carter team hosted a Leadership Business Breakfast, featuring former North Melbourne Football player & Founder of Puka Up - Wayne Schwass. It was an incredible morning hearing Wayne share his insights on creating environments where we can have genuine conversations regarding emotional wellbeing & mental health. 

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Wayne Schwass

Founder & CEO at Puka Up

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Technology, Projects & Digital Team

FRIDAY 19TH OCTOBER 2018 
Orchid Room, Melbourne

The Technology, Projects & Digital team had an amazing day in hosting a CIO Networking event with Colin D Ellis, award winning keynote speaker & culture change specialist who works with organisations to help them transform their delivery cultures. 

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Collin D Ellis

Award winning keynote & culture change specialist


Sales & Marketing Team

FRIDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2018
The Clarence, Melbourne

Our Sales & Marketing team hosted an end of year networking drinks for Senior Sales & Marketing contacts as a special thank you - it was a great opportunity to connect with new and existing contacts and thank everyone for their valued support!  

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Senior CFO Networking Lunch

FRIDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2018
Orchid Room, Melbourne

Esteemed economic commentator, Saul Eslake, presented his outlook on the Australian economy to 150 CFO's from around Melbourne at our annual CFO Lunch. 

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Saul Eslake

Economic Commentator

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Business Support Team

THURSDAY 22ND NOVEMBER 2019
White Lane, Melbourne

Our Business Support team put on an amazing event for some of Melbourne’s top Executive Assistants, with a Frosé cart from Party with Lenzo and a business card raffle with prizes galore!

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HR Networking Event

FRIDAY 23RD NOVEMBER 2018
Orchid Room, Melbourne

Paul Taylor from Ritualize entertained and inspired HR Professionals at our annual Sharp & Carter HR Networking Lunch with his 7 habits for peak performance! It is amazing to see that making small changes in our daily routines will create a better and healthier life in the long term. 

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Paul Taylor

Founder & CEO at Ritualize

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OUR END OF YEAR SYDNEY EVENTS


Senior CFO Lunches

FRIDAY 5TH OCTOBER 2018 
El Phoenician, Parramatta 

THURSDAY 11TH OCTOBER 2018 
Courtyard by Marriott Sydney-North Ryde 

FRIDAY 12TH OCTOBER 2018 
Little Bistro, Sydney CBD 

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 Our Sydney teams held networking lunches across Sydney CBD, Parramatta & Macquarie Park to say a huge thank you to all of our contacts! 


Women in Leadership Breakfast Event

OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2018
Sydney

We were incredibly lucky to have Glin Bayley from Simply Glin inspire and share her wisdom of knowledge in running a three course workshop on “Changing Leadership through Self Leadership” for our Women Leaders in Finance breakfast event!  

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Glin Bayley

Founder & CEO at Simply Glin

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Thank you again and we look forward to hosting more amazing speakers in 2019.

For more information or to express interest in attending a Sharp & Carter event in 2019, please email admin@sharpandcarter.com.au