PCYC Queensland Women in Profile: Lisa Ellis

In celebration of Queensland Women’s Week, meet Lisa Ellis, PCYC Queensland General Manager People. Beginning her journey with the organisation in November 2011, this year marks Lisa’s 10th anniversary leading the People team.

How did your journey with PCYC Queensland start?

Coming from a corporate background in the United Kingdom, I made the shift to the charitable sector when I moved to Australia.

In the 10 years that I have been with PCYC Queensland, the one thing that has remained consistent is the passion and enthusiasm of our workforce, who genuinely want to make a difference in the lives of the young people that we support.

I love that we are inclusive and create that spirit of family, especially in our more regional and remote locations.

What are some of your career highlights?

During my time with PCYC Queensland, I have seen so many positive changes.

I have witnessed the transition from a Queensland Police Service (QPS) CEO to a civilian CEO, I have worked alongside four QPS Inspectors who fulfil the role of PCYC State Coordinators, and I have seen our Executive Leadership Team double in size, of which half are now women.

I feel privileged to lead a dedicated team and some of my career highlights include:

  • Leading a team of 12 (predominantly female) passionate HR professionals
  • Successfully organising six State Conferences
  • Being part of the project team to migrate all our employee data to a new software platform
  • Implementing an online recruitment and onboarding system
  • Recruiting a dedicated State Volunteer Coordinator and implementing a state-wide Volunteer Management System
  • Managing and implementing employee surveys across the organisation
  • Negotiating and implementing our Enterprise Agreements
What do you think makes a good leader?

For me, a good leader is authentic and self-aware and doesn’t shy away from receiving feedback from others.

A good leader should take the time to listen and check in with their team, encourage collaboration, and create opportunities for personal growth and skill development.

I think it’s also important for leaders to have a sense of fun, because we all need to have fun at work!

What opportunities does PCYC Queensland provide to staff and volunteers?

With over 1,600 employees and more than 3,500 volunteers across the state, PCYC Queensland provides numerous opportunities for people involved in the organisation to grow their skills and knowledge – whether through face-to-face learning, online training modules or on the job training.

Our clubs, programs and activities provide so many valuable opportunities for staff and volunteers to learn from mentors and community leaders, including our serving police sergeants, and be engaged with their local communities.

At PCYC Queensland we promote and encourage all our staff to take ownership of their own personal and professional growth. We also actively seek to promote from within where we can.

This often involves our young people moving from being active volunteers to becoming paid employees, based on their volunteering experiences!

What are you excited about for the future?

I am extremely excited about the future of the organisation, and especially the positive outcomes we can create for young girls and women through sports, activities and programs.

The 2021 Queensland Women’s Week theme of celebrating our present and owning our future especially resonates this year. If PCYC Queensland can get through the year that was 2020, we can get through anything!

I am proud of everything that we have achieved as an organisation, particularly over the last 12 months. More than ever it highlights that PCYC Queensland provides essential programs and services across the state that support vulnerable people at risk, Indigenous communities and victims of domestic violence – as well as offering programs that target crime prevention, improve employment skills, increase community connection and focus on youth development.

It is wonderful to see all the blood, sweat and tears from last year coming to fruition, and I am incredibly proud to work for such a committed organisation where our staff truly want to, and do, make a difference.