Talking Tasmanian Leaders with Kate Beven, General Manager People & Culture, The Hobart Clinic
Dan Vautin, Sector Development Manager
Sometimes you meet someone who makes you stop and think “how do you do it?”.
I can say that Kate Beven, General Manager People & Culture at The Hobart Clinic is one of those people. Mother of three with number four arriving imminently, business owner, board member, sheep and crop farmer, and working full-time at The Hobart Clinic in a senior management role, Kate is that person.
Kate is also the recipient of the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council (ATDC) scholarship to attend the 2021 Tasmanian Leaders Program (TLP).
For the uninitiated, TLP is a deeply reflective and intense leadership journey designed to push participants to really understand themselves as leaders. It is not for the faint hearted, and there are stories of participants being so moved by the experience that they change careers, and even change their personal relationships.
Kate was very pragmatic when it came to deciding to apply for TLP.
“I never go into things lightly, and nothing half baked,” Kate said.
It also helps to have the right support. With her husband working 7 days a week to complete the drawn out cropping season this year, Kate has had has had to lean on extended family to look after the kids while she has travelled the state to attend ‘residentials’, which are where the really intense theory-based work happens and ‘linking sessions’, which connects participants to people in business, community, and politics.
“The people who do TLP, they make you feel like you’re a real speck in the ocean…they’re just so super smart and amazing…the pure interaction with those kinds of people is pretty special,” she said.
One of the benefits of the program for Kate is that the people she has met through TLP have already helped her in her own life and work providing her with a network of highly motivated and capable individuals from diverse backgrounds to tap into when she needs a different perspective.
ATDC chief executive Alison Lai said that the TLP scholarship was an important aspect of their commitment to investing into the future leaders of the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector.
“This is the third year that we have sponsored an emerging leader from the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drug services sector to attend the TLP because we know how successful the program is at transforms those who participate,” Alison said.
“As the peak body for the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector, our focus is on nurturing great leaders, increasing linkages to other sectors and industries, and encouraging a culture of courageous and strategic decision-making.”
Because the program is challenging, there is a rigorous application process.
“When you go into a program like TLP you are opening yourself up to the whole TLP community, and the experience is quite profound,” Kate said.
“That’s why they are very careful in selecting people who are motivated to really give back and put their minds to whatever the key concern or focus in the community might be.”
To achieve a place in the TLP applicants must not only provide a very detailed initial expression of interest, but they must also undergo an intense interview process. TLP is highly competitive, and places are always oversubscribed, so many people do not succeed the first time. But even in the process of applying, many have grown from that experience. And for many, persistence pays off, with success in the second or third application.
Which brings us back to Kate.
When asked about her own journey of discovery, Kate found that she is ‘unique’ to many people in her cohort, which saw her in great demand for much of the group work within the program. She discovered that she worked really well under pressure, able to switch into professional work mode, which in HR and working in mental health, is a very useful skill.
And this clearly shines through in terms of Kate’s ability to switch on and off from work. For many people, working in an environment with clients who may be very unwell, and managing staff in such a challenging space, exacts a personal toll, so it is a great skill to be able to switch to Mum mode when Kate gets home and focus on family, and leaving work at work.
Kate is already starting to integrate her TLP learnings into her work practice. The Hobart Clinic is in a period of extraordinary growth and change. With a multi-million dollar site redevelopment that, when completed, will see capacity increase from 27 beds to 48 beds and a state-of-the-art treatment facility, her focus is to help support the organisation to meet the resourcing challenge that comes with such growth.
“The biggest challenge for me is to find the right people, with the right skills, to fill all the roles that are anticipated for the new facility,” she said.
“This is not easy, as like most organisations, finding experienced and skilled mental health nurses, psychiatrists, allied health clinicians and AOD workers in Tasmania is increasingly difficult.”
Kate has found a home and a mission at The Hobart Clinic.
“The service is significantly needed for the Tasmanian community, there is such high demand, with huge waiting lists to access private services,” she said.
Kate is wholly focused on building the capacity of The Hobart Clinic to meet some of these needs.
TLP is helping Kate not only become a better leader, but also to connect with other leaders around Tasmania. The timing of TLP is perfect for Kate, as she leverages this network and her learnings to apply to her organisation.
Her advice for those aspiring to participate in the TLP is all about timing.
“Make sure it is the right time for you in your life and your career, and if it is, don’t hesitate to put your hat in the ring.”
If you are an employee of an ATDC member organisation, and are interested in the TLP or seeing how the ATDC can help support you to develop and grow your professional career in the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector – email ATDC Sector Development Manager, Dan Vautin at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in attending some of the career development opportunities supported by the ATDC.
ATDC Sector Development Manager