Lynette Corcoran-Sugars – Engagement Officer, The Australian Red Cross

Posted October 24, 2017, by Jenny Sakr
Lynette Corcoran-Sugars – Engagement Officer, The Australian Red Cross

Lyn is a born humanitarian, spending much of her waking hours looking for ways to encourage and support others in their own self-development, and enjoys making and hearing people laugh.

After volunteering with the Red Cross in Adelaide for two years, Lyn joined their full-time team in 2015 recruiting volunteers. 

What did you study and what are the steps you took to be where you are today?

Human resources, professional counselling and volunteer management. I began as a volunteer myself in 2013 with Red Cross and although I am now a staff member I still volunteer here in three programs. This has given me a wider range of work experiences and opportunities to grow my career options.

What inspired this career path?

I was a professional counsellor, followed by a court security/ custodial officer,  and in later years, have always found myself in humanitarian, advocacy or caring roles, alongside these.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A veterinary surgeon, police officer or art teacher.

What was your first job?

A window dresser for Witchery fashion stores, Adelaide South Australia.

Tell us a little more about your role and explain a typical day at work…

This role is about advertising, interviewing, inducting and training volunteers for Red Cross programs.
A typical day is reviewing applicants and selecting those suitable for interviewing (both one-on-one and group interviews). I set up and conduct those interviews, arrange inductions and train applicants across the many programs utilised here in South Australia.

What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you in your career?

This would have to be the meeting of applicants from all over the world who have travelled to Australia for work. We are often utilised as a stepping stone for work experience. 

Name the best and worst parts of your job

Seeing the smile on peoples' faces who are successful in their applications and recruitment who felt they were no longer a valuable member of the workforce. This has included those from CALD, ATSI and disability sectors.
There is no worst in a Humanitarian organisation like Red Cross.

What’s the most important career tip someone has given you?

Do what you love, find your passion and follow it and never forget your work doesn’t define you, but your attitude does. 

What do you wish someone had told you before starting in this role?

The uncertainty of ongoing employment in not for profit organisations. 

Where do people have to start to get into this field and what is the standard salary?

Having a qualification in HR helps, as does any certification in recruitment practices. Salary is dependant upon the organisation and hours worked.

Name a career highlight

For me that would be, being included on the state government initiated, South Australian Volunteer Reference Group that helped shape the policies and procedures for engaging volunteers in S.A. 

What’s next for you?

I am always looking ahead and studying for the future and for me that currently includes the world of digital advertising in all its forms. I can see my work roles moving into the area of supporting others in their endeavours as perhaps a team leader or program manager.

Inspired to make a difference just like Lyn? Start with a course in Arts & Humanities or Human Resources. 

Jenny Sakr
Jenny Sakr

Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.

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