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Cleanaway’s women in waste at NSW’s State Solids Conference

Our NSW State Solids Conference brought together the leadership team with staff that play a key role in the business across NSW.

Our People

September 16, 2019


"Sustainability means more than just being environmentally friendly. It’s about living so that what we consume does not exceed what we contribute."


"Sustainability means more than just being environmentally friendly. It’s about living so that what we consume does not exceed what we contribute."

Cleanaway’s NSW State Solids Conference brings together the state leadership team, branch managers and key staff at the end of every financial year. This year’s theme was “Stronger Together,” and focused on state performance and goal setting for the year ahead.

Cleanaway’s women in waste were strongly represented by the 18 team members who attended the conference, each bringing their unique expertise across a wide variety of roles.

Photo of women

Pictured above from left to right: Loan anh Huynh, Amanda Tawail, (Back) Nicole Hayes, (Front) Kassandra Goddard, Sue Mather, (Front) Lisa Lawson, Ingrid Cardona, Donna Reilly, Jade Maric, Pam Kinaln, Alana Arnold, Kathryn Houlahan, Rachel McKenna, Rebecca Evered, (Back) Fiona Stuckey, Marion Chapman, (Back) Susan Polak, (Front) Lisa Zappia

We caught up with three of our Cleanaway women to find out more about their roles and what it’s like to work in the waste management industry.

Loan Anh Huynh, Financial Manager

Photo of Loan Anh HuynhRole: Loan is responsible for the integrity of financial information and administration of accounting activities. She supports management with timely and accurate financial reports, statistics and enforces a system of internal controls and accounting principles.

Motto: “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” — Dolly Parton

What does a sustainable future mean to you?
Sustainability means more than just being environmentally friendly. It’s about living so that what we consume does not exceed what we contribute. By taking care of our planet, it will continue to take care of us and for future generations.”

Loan’s desire to expand her experience in waste management was the reason she decided to join Cleanaway. “Waste is the new black and it’s sexy! I was keen to learn how accounting is done in the waste industry.” said Loan.

“I soon found out that there is more to waste than one would think. We even have separate accounts for each location and by truck!”

For Loan, no two days are the same for her at Cleanaway and this is one of the reasons why she has been in her job for almost 12 years.

“There is no typical day here. Every day is interesting, some days are more challenging than others. I leave the office everyday with sense of achievement and could not do this alone without the support and help from my team.”

“My kids are the biggest motivators in my life. They are the main reason why I get up every morning to go to work and to keep growing in my career, so one day I can take on a more senior leadership role and provide my family with the absolute best life possible.”

When asked about her key takeaway from the conference, Loan summed up her learnings in two words – “Ownership” and “Teamwork”.

“The Amazing Race team activity at the conference was fun and competitive and it showed me that strong teamwork results in efficient and quality outputs. Another takeaway sent to everyone was around ownership – each of us are empowered to own our respective tasks and should see to them until the best possible outcome is achieved.”

Loan says the waste industry has come a long way since she started, “There are opportunities in all functions of the business, gone are the days where you would not see a female driving a truck or operate a yellow gear equipment.”

“The waste industry is stereotyped as being male dominated, especially in the leadership roles. Over the 12 years I have been here, I have seen the number of females being recognised and rewarded and placed in the leadership roles. This is pleasing and it’s noted that if we want more woman in the workforce and commit to high demanding jobs, we need to offer flexibility, development courses and support.”

Rebecca Evered – Sustainability Manager

Photo of Rebecca EveredRole: Rebecca is the Sustainability Manager for NSW/ACT. She runs the team that assists our customers with diversion and resource recovery and delivers our great community education programs like kNOw waste.

Motto: It’s possible to do it all, just not necessarily all at the same time! Strive for balance but also be flexible.

What does a sustainable future mean to you?
Enough for all, forever.

With a background in environmental education, Rebecca has been with Cleanaway for nine years in a variety of roles centred around community education and resource recovery.

“My days vary a lot! I could be attending a customer meeting or training, working with my team on their projects, or networking with key waste stakeholders and potential new customers. My proudest moment recently was attending the Sustainability Advantage recognition ceremony at the Sydney Opera House, where Cleanaway received Silver recognition.” said Rebecca.

Rebecca lives and breathes Cleanaway’s mission to make a sustainable future possible and it motivates her to get out of bed every morning.

“I love my team, and the fact that I get to make a positive contribution to the world each day. There are so many opportunities in the waste industry in general at the moment for everyone! It is an exciting time to be in the industry, with the focus on sustainability and best practice. I’d love to see more women in the industry across the board as diversity is key to success.”

“I think that it can be intimidating for women entering a male dominated industry, though sometimes the challenges may be perceived as more of a barrier than they really are. Cleanaway is a great company for women (and men) to work for, and I have always felt very supported.”

The best advice for anyone looking to join the industry? “Get the right qualifications and not all waste management companies are created equal, so do your homework.” said Rebecca.

Fiona Stuckey – Administration Manager

Role: Fiona is responsible for three departments across three hubs in NSW comprising of Billing, Procurement (Accounts Payable) and Account Maintenance.

Motto: Allow yourself to reflect on the day and mentally close out to be present and, in the moment, when at home with family

What does a sustainable future mean to you?
To do what I can to reduce the impact of Global Warming. To avoid landfill and provide alternative solutions that allow recycling and reuse of the products that are currently being sent to landfill. To ensure that myself, family members and friends are aware of the impacts of waste and what we can do differently to make a difference.

Fiona (pictured above with her daughter Abbey) joined Cleanaway five months ago and is already making her mark managing escalations, documenting and reviewing process for improvements, and attending meetings to confirm adherence to process and systems. Within three months in her current role, Fiona has reduced account disputes by 50%!

What motivates her about the waste industry? “It’s such an exciting industry that truly makes you feel proud about our contribution to a sustainable future. The opportunities to make a difference, making life better for my staff and our customers through simplification of process and managing for performance are the key things that motivate me every day.” said Fiona.

Outside of work, Fiona loves spending quality time catching up with family and friends and participating in weekend sports with her family.

“I also try and spend time looking after myself through daily exercise, yoga, reading and healthy cooking. I use several techniques to ensure that I can perform at my best – daily meditation, robust planning and time management which allows me to be present and, in the moment, when away from work.” said Fiona about how she maintains a good balance between life and work.

Join the many incredible men and women who make up our talented and diverse workforce making a sustainable future across Australia.