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Reflections from Alison’s year with Sustineo

Alison May (photo)

Our Principal Consultant (Evaluation), Alison May, has been with us for a year now, on secondment from her Department of Defence position. While we knew her time with us wouldn’t last forever, it’s still with mixed feelings we say farewell! We’ve loved having Alison’s humble and cheery nature at the other end of Teams calls and her evaluation expertise has certainly been an asset to the team. But we’re also pleased that she is looking forward to the next stage of her career and we wish her all the very best. Here’s what Alison had to say in reflecting on her time with Sustineo:

The last twelve months with Sustineo have flown by! But what a valuable experience it has been. After more than 20 years in the public service, I am so grateful to Sustineo for allowing me the opportunity of an industry placement to experience working in the international development and program evaluation field from the private sector.

I could not have asked for a more welcoming and impressive team to join and have been humbled by their demonstration of creative professionalism and commitment to positive social impact.

One of the most valuable aspects of my experience has been the chance to collaborate with a diverse range of technical expert sub-contractors and university networks both in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region in remote project delivery. Benefitting from their local knowledge and experience and just getting to chat with such lovely people, has been a highlight.

I finish at the end of June with the hope that the learning and benefit from my placement has flowed both ways. I have relished the challenge of stepping outside the Defence domain to provide high quality analysis for Director of National Parks, UN Women, Home Affairs, and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. I also welcomed the chance to contribute to the Sustineo team through reviewing internal processes and leading group examination of ways of working.

The experience has expanded my personal and professional insights and has given me a new appreciation for the commercial client-focused domain. Along with the joys of working in an unclassified context and the dynamic of a small team come the relentless demands of rapid business development and deliverables. It was a privilege to be brought into the highly interactive flow that Sustineo has created to rapidly achieve huge amounts of quality work through support amongst specialised diverse team members. Similarly, I have learnt each day for an entire year that working from home is equally challenging and rewarding. Above all, what I will take away from the experience is the knowledge that there is such interesting and important work going on everywhere, at different levels of both the public and private sector.