The ATDC welcomes new Tasmanian Council on Aids, Hepatitis and Related Diseases (TasCAHRD) CEO Cameron Brown. Cameron, who started at TasCAHRD in August, sat down with the ATDC’s Member Relations Officer Tamara McDonald for a chat.
TM: Can you give me some background on your career before TasCAHRD?
CB: For the last 10 years, pretty much to the day, I’ve worked for the Department of Human Services. While I was at DHS I worked across all agencies, so Medicare, Centrelink, [and the] Child Support agency. I did, at least for the last few years, a lot of change management activity. Across DHS we sort of deal with about 300 large-scale changes a year so I managed all of those changes at a high level, so in terms of [the] calendar of events and worked out what was a good fit for what period in time. I also did workforce and workload management, so I was a national workload manager, national distribution centre manager for Medicare Australia, so [I] ran all the mail rooms around the country for a period in time.
And prior to that, I worked in the motor vehicle industry, 12 years with Motors [Hobart], I was a dealer principal there, looking after a couple of different franchises.
TM: You’ve had a very diverse career – what attracted you to the role with TasCAHRD?
CB: I guess I started to look a little while ago to get into the not-for-profit sector, my wife works for Relationships Australia and she’s really enjoyed her time there. It got to that point in life where it was either sit where I was or move out and the not-for-profit sector sort of appealed. The job at TasCAHRD came up, I’ve always I supposed kept an eye on TasCAHRD. I’d never been a member or anything like that, but it’s just interesting me. So it came up and I thought well, I’ll have a go at it.
What they were looking for met my experience I guess, in terms of people management, which I think was a particular focus this time around – it was structure and people management and change, and that’s a lot of what I’ve done in the past so it sort of made sense to me, and thankfully it made sense to the people who employed me.
TM: Going forward, what are your main goals or priorities?
CB: I guess initially, it’s a bit of a reset and a rethink. It’s maybe [to] add some innovation to what we’re trying to achieve. I think a lot of what I did, particularly of late, at Human Services was innovation. I created a lot of products, database style products that did things slightly differently and achieved things without spending a lot of money. That’s, I guess, what works really well here. We don’t have a big budget, and so we need to do things in a way that supports that, but at the same time gets the best value out of that small budget and provide the best service to our clients.
TM: In terms of what TasCAHRD’s got happening at the moment … you’re branching out rurally?
CB: There’s a couple of focuses at the moment, and one of those is rural. I think rural is quite important because it’s not something we’re at least doing particularly well at the moment, and I think that’s historical, and it’s also broader across the not-for-profit sector. Anything based out of a head office finds it a challenge to engage more broadly across the regional/rural centres and so I think that’s something that I want to do better. Again, through innovation, because we don’t have a lot of resources to be able to employ someone who is situated in the North or North-West Coast all the time. So, have a think about how we can really support our clients the best way possible but without situating someone up there, at least in the short-term. The vision for me is that we get somewhere up there full time, but that’s not going to happen at the moment, and full-time would be [in] Launceston.