Queensland Women’s Week 2022: Bec Holland

Woman with dark hard smiling at camera in selfie

In celebration of Queensland Women’s Week meet Bec Holland, PCYC Queensland Braking the Cycle Operations Manager

Bec has personally seen dozens of young people achieve their dreams and has played an important role in the realisation of the dreams of hundreds more around Queensland as she devotes her life to community development.  

Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey at PCYC Queensland. 

I’m a mum of nine year old girl/boy twins first and foremost. I was an avid traveller in times past, and my heart and soul lies in community development. I began my career in Finance and Operations Management in the corporate sector before consciously making the choice in my late twenties to hit restart and change sectors after some wild travel adventures. I decided to be a conscious participant in my life. 

I began working with PCYC Queensland in March 2018 after a bit of a travel/baby-rearing hiatus. I was actually really struggling to get an interview after 6 years out of the workforce and my ego was taking a battering. I applied for the Braking The Cycle (BTC) Program Coordinator role at PCYC Sunshine Coast and was fortunately successful, I had no idea at the time that the position would come to be pivotal in my life. I’m starting to lean towards the idea that my role in BTC is serendipitous, rather than ironic, given I survived a massive motor vehicle crash in 2002. 

In my time at PCYC Queensland so far I have seen BTC go from strength to strength, as we support young people around the state to achieve their driver’s licence and the opportunities that being on the road opens up to them. I am proud to have adapted a driving school management system that now powers BTC across 43 sites around Queensland. In 2020 I became the BTC Operations Manager and have been working as a part of the broader Youth Programs team to empower young people who need our support.  

What is one of your proudest achievements during your time at PCYC Queensland (personally or professionally)? 

The walls of the BTC Sunshine Coast office are lined with dozens and dozens of photos of my proudest achievements since joining PCYC Queensland- the photos of BTC Graduates who have achieved their driver’s licence. Braking the Cycle is so unique to many other youth programs in that there is a tangible outcome for most participants. We are literally changing the trajectory of our participants’ lives for the better. BTC leads to better mental health, increased employment opportunities and safer drivers! Every successful graduate in BTC is an incredible achievement for the BTC Program Coordinators and the BTC team shares that joy so regularly. I am so proud to be part of this wonderfully diverse and amazing team.  

Who are some of your biggest female inspirations & why? 

I’m lucky enough to work alongside one of my biggest female inspirations, Angela Debnam. I watched that woman in the trenches through COVID. She battled exhaustively for her team and for the program, and I am extraordinarily privileged to have been her wing-woman throughout that very challenging time. Every day she raises the bar and makes me a better person for knowing her.  

Another is my mother. She was a battler, and she was incredibly funny and tough. I pride myself on having a little bit of that genetic makeup in me.  

I’m also a big fan of Julia Gillard. Her devastating misogyny speech in parliament was so gritty, real, eloquent, and authentic. She is many of the things I aspire to be.  

Why do you think it’s important that we recognise QLD Women’s Week? 

Women bring so much to the table of life; at home, in the office, in the arts and on the sporting fields. And sadly, most of us have internalised an unrealistic set of beliefs that women’s roles are of secondary importance to their male counterparts. The emotional labour many women carry out in addition to their regular duties is profound and largely unrewarded. This initiative gives us the opportunity to show women that they are seen and they are celebrated.  

PCYC Queensland is wonderfully unique in that we have several female Executive leaders and our current Board Chairperson is a woman. By sharing our successes, we can lead by example in Queensland and demonstrate that equitable employment opportunities can lead to great organisational successes. How wonderful for young girls in our PCYC activities to see strong women all around, providing them inspiration to grow up believing in themselves! 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

Malcolm Gladwell, Journalist and Author said, “If you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.”  

What is one of your main goals for this year?

I have some post-grad studies that I need to finish this year. And like many I am sure, I’m hoping that once we get through each difficult week of what seems to be an already troubling year, I will rediscover my mojo.