1. How long have you been working at Campus Living Villages?
I arrived at CLVau Sydney in September 2015 to assist the General Manager, Facilities Australia and New Zealand prepare documentation for the CLFS project.
2. Tell me about your start in AU and transition to NZ.
After a month or so working on the CLFS project at various locations around Sydney, my manager wondered if I might be interested in another opportunity as there were a couple of vacancies in his team. After several discussions, I agreed to visit the CLV village in Christchurch, New Zealand – UC Accommodation. I was advised it would be a challenge… and my manager was not wrong by any means. Accepting the challenge, an agreement was reached to work on secondment to UC Accommodation for an initial period of 18 months commencing in January 2016.
I recall having to organize for removalists to pack and ship the contents of my Sydney home to my new Christchurch home over the Christmas holiday period when I had a series of international visitors. It was quite a hectic period entertaining visitors keen to experience the attractions and delights of Sydney, pack up the contents of my house and prepare for a new role in a new country.
3. What have you enjoyed the most working in NZ?
Without any doubt my new colleagues were incredibly welcoming and keen to show me UC Accommodation; comprising of five separate villages, from fully catered halls of residence to self-catered flats constructed between the late 1960s and 2007 and home to around 1,700 residents.
The scale of the operation and complexities of the asset maintenance at UC Accommodation have been a challenge but with a great team and a can-do spirit we are moving forwards… and this makes my role so rewarding.
For those living outside of New Zealand and having watched any of The Lord of the Rings movies… the scenery doesn’t have to be digitally enhanced, this stunning landscape is on our doorstep, every day and I’ve greatly enjoyed exploring the country at weekends and holiday periods.
4. What advice would you give a fellow employee, who was looking to work in NZ?
The people are incredibly friendly, the pace of life amiable and the scenery stunning but this is not just another variation of Australia, UK or US although English is certainly the primary language – it has its own way of life and culture. Do your research thoroughly – cost of living, employment laws, tax arrangements, schooling amongst other aspects of life – will vary to your home country; if you’re willing to accept and embrace change, you’ll receive a warm welcome.
5. Have you got a story to share about the CREATE values and how you build such great connection and rapport with people?
The CREATE values are more than just a collection of words and to me they represent personal integrity; treat others as you wish to be treated, be open and honest, put up your hand if you need help or make a mistake. Encourage others to do their best, remember to thank people for helping and above all, smile when you’re on stage!
Thank you for sharing your journey with us Johnathon!