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Family Friendly Testimonials

Tara Pukala, Associate Professor, Chemistry

I commenced my academic role at the University in Nov 2008 and in Dec 2012 I started maternity leave. Since my return to work in July 2013 I have accessed voluntary flexible work arrangements (0.6 FTE July 2013 – Jan 2014, and 0.8 FTE Jan 2014 – present). The voluntary flexible arrangements enabled me to return to work following maternity leave so that I could best continue to progress my academic career while still enjoying motherhood. A reduced workload fraction has given me the capacity to manage the demands of a young child, and has allowed me to spend additional time with my daughter in her precious early years. In addition, having flexibility in working hours means I can juggle the demands of teaching, research, childcare and other commitments. Despite being part time, the flexibility has helped me to remain productive in my role, and I was even promoted during this period!

Tracy Wright, Student Administration Assistant, Student Administrative Services

I have worked at The University of Adelaide for the past 20 years, and for 10 of those years, I have worked reduced hours utilising the ‘Voluntary Flexible Work Arrangement’ policy in order to care for my child. The work/life balance is very important to me, as not only do I get to be there for my son for things such as school drop off and pick up, but I get to spend more time with him overall while he is still at a young age. It also helps with the management of the household. I am very fortunate that I work for an organisation that allows this kind of flexibility, along with the support of management and my colleagues, which then allows me to remain in the work force, whilst also caring for my child.

Deb Coulls, Manager, HSW Policy and Injury Management, Human Resources

I have been at the University for 10 years. I access a Voluntary Flexible Work Arrangement (VFWA) - Compressed weeks. My 36.75 hours per week are divided over 4 days. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with Wednesdays off. The main reason for initially requesting a VFWA was to look after my 2.5 year old grand-daughter and to also provide some options to assist my aging mother. I love my job and didn’t want to decrease my hours, so this have given me the opportunity to do both. I am now able to build a close bond with my gorgeous grand-daughter and actively participate in all those fun things like teaching her to cook, going for walks, introducing her to all sorts of new experiences and watching her grow. The one thing I didn’t expect was the positive impact it has had on me. Spending Wednesday off work gives me the opportunity to re-charge my batteries. I’m also more active as I’m not sitting at my computer all day. So there are many benefits from a wellbeing perspective. I have been able to manage my diary and work commitments over 4 days and have been very well supported by my Manager and my team.

Stuart Matthews, School Manager, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

I have worked at the University for just over 20 Years. As parents of a 12 year old disabled child who attends a Special Needs School, my wife and I have always needed to juggle our start and finishing times. Until recently, my wife was employed on a casual basis so she was the one who inevitably did the school drop offs and pick-ups, however, she recently got a permanent part time (0.5) position which requires her to work two full days one week and the three the following. With the support of my supervisor, I’ve altered my work pattern so I start at 7am every day and leave early on the days she is working to pick up our boy from School which means we don’t have to use Carers at those times.

Jessica Douglas, Corporate Marketing Co-ordinator, Marketing and Communications

I joined the University in 2012 and worked full-time until I took maternity leave to have my first son in 2014. Upon my return to work, I applied for a flexible work arrangement to enable me to continue to care for and spend time with my son, while continuing my role at the University.  Initially I returned at 0.6 capacity, but once things settled down and I became more comfortable combining motherhood and career, I increased to 0.8 capacity. My flexible work arrangement allows me to balance my work and home life. My manager and team are highly supportive of my arrangement and we work together to ensure that my working part-time doesn’t impact the rest of the team. I appreciate the support from the wider branch and university. It’s one aspect that makes the University of Adelaide a great place to work.

Sonia Wood, Marketing Services Co-ordinator, Marketing and Communications

I have been employed at the University since April 2010 and I have been on flexible work arrangements whereby I work from 1 FTE to a 0.6 FTE for the care of my children since April 2012. I have two girls – one 4.5 and the other nearly 3. Since March 2016, I have not been on a flexible work arrangement as I have secured a permanent part-time arrangement of 0.6 FTE. Children are only little for a short ‘season’ before they begin their many years of school. The FWA, has been an integral part of supporting my children in their early years.It has been important for me to still enjoy the challenges of work and parenting together in a way that hasn’t dramatically impacted my career. I appreciate that childcare has been minimised and I can be with them for more days of the week. I am thankful for my workplace and team who have supported me with workflow management and backup on the days I am not in.


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Sandstone building at the University of Adelaide's North Terrace Campus