A natural leader, Amanda Creevey enrolled in the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) at 17 before training to be an officer at the Royal Military College. After more than 11 years in operational leadership roles with the Australian Army, Amanda reintegrated into civilian life to be closer to home. However, after 12 years working for a major transport provider, a mismatch of values left Amanda feeling frustrated and disengaged. It wasn’t until joining Unitywater that she came to fully appreciate how one’s career can impact life at home.
With leadership in her blood, Amanda excelled as a young army cadet. Graduating from ADFA in 1998, Amanda embarked on a 11-year career in military leadership. She led the Psychological Operations function in the Middle East during the 2003 Iraq War, and moved to lead the Army’s Advanced Field Human Intelligence Unit upon returning to Australia in 2004-2005.
After years away from home, Amanda felt it was time to be close to her family again. In 2006, she moved back to South-East Queensland and spent 12 years with a major transport provider. In 2018, she joined Unitywater.
Amanda: a trailblazer
Amanda’s career is unquestionably a story of personal growth through leadership; a challenge that was intensified in a male-dominated sector.
“One of the best things that happened to me as a young officer was working with a warrant officer who took me under his wing. He said to me, ‘I’m going to teach you how to not make the leadership mistakes others make.’ I worked with him to understand how soldiers best interact with officers and how to connect with them. We can’t simply expect trust and respect- we must earn it by providing value to the people we lead.”
At Unitywater, Amanda has had the opportunity to thrive as a leader once again. Within just one year, Amanda has progressed from Branch Manager to her role of Executive Manager of Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions.
“I’m responsible for infrastructure planning and delivery, asset management, water quality and scientific services. No two days are the same - I could be coaching, mentoring or problem solving one moment, and be engaging with people outside Unitywater the next. The opportunities I’ve experienced to progress my career in such a short time is significant. The world is at everyone’s feet here - if you demonstrate commitment, Unitywater will invest in you.”
Day One at Unitywater
A strong alignment with company values is important to Amanda, who has struggled to find this in previous workplaces.
“My last role was challenging and rewarding, but I began to feel that management was losing sight of its vision. I desired to work for an organisation that actually lived its mission and values. After 12 years, I was ready to move on. I was pointed in the direction of Unitywater - and I haven’t looked back since.”
Amanda says her time at Unitywater has changed her perspective on the role of work itself in her life.
“I’m very family-oriented. It was because of my family that I decided to leave the army and return to Queensland. When I came to Unitywater, I realised the significant impact my professional life had on my family. Until then, I didn’t realise I had been bringing my stress and unhappiness home - my husband and kids were riding that rollercoaster with me.”
Amanda truly appreciated the impact her work could have on her family when she returned home after her first day at Unitywater.
“When I walked through the door, my daughters started crying of happiness - it was the first time they had seen me smile after work in a long time. I vowed that I would never allow myself to get into that position again and never bring my stress home. My life has changed substantially over the last 12 months - Unitywater makes work / life balance easy. I have the space to be at home when I need to be. They respect family time and understand that people need to recharge. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt as valued as I do here.”
Connection to community and purpose
Although her life has changed for the better since finding an employer that fits, Amanda says she’s also rediscovered purpose in her career as a leader.
“We’re greatly connected to our communities and what we’re aiming to achieve. We don’t just provide water and sewerage; we’re embedded in the community. I can go home and know that what I did during the day wasn’t just about filing paperwork - my work has tangible outcomes that have a positive impact. That’s what keeps me coming back for more.”
Subscribe to our fortnightly Women at Work email to find out about new stories, events and career building resources
About the author
WORK180 is a jobs board with a difference! We pre-screen employers on paid-parent leave, pay equity, flexible working arrangements and more. Find your dream job here.