An experienced Chief Customer Officer/Chief Marketing Officer in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors (St George Bank, BT Financial Group, TAL Australia, ANZ and QBE Insurance) Bettina is on the Board of Piano+ (formerly Sydney International Piano Competition), a board member of Tattersall's Club Committee and Central Coast Conservatorium of Music. She was formerly Chair of QBE Foundation and member of NSW Regional Council and FINSIA. Bettina most recently stepped into the role of Interim CEO of Central Coast Conservatorium of Music before relocating to Hobart, Tasmania.
When did you first get involved with Women on Boards?
I got involved with WOB when I started joining multiple boards in 2018. Meeting Claire helped of course - such a powerful advocate for the organisation and the importance of connection and staying across board-relevant topics. It's great to be a part of a community where the role of women on boards is valued, nurtured and encouraged.
How has WOB helped you in your own board journey?
Attending various events has been key - this is where you hear about other women's experiences and careers, which is both motivating and inspiring. Being with WOB has also ensured that I keep my credentials up to date and really think about what skills and experiences I have to offer a board. The personalised coaching and Claire reviewing my CV were also very helpful.
Can you tell us a little about your own board experience?
My board experience began with a privately held company board with predominantly regional operations. Up until then, I had worked in large publicly listed companies and could bring some of the breadth of experience I had to a much smaller organisation.
Equally, I learned a lot about the challenges facing regional Australia, so it was very much a two-way street. I helped lift their level of professionalism, they helped me understand what it's like to operate in areas that don't have the infrastructure of large cities and companies.
I was the first female board/committee member of the Tattersall's Club and that was a fascinating experience - opening the eyes of other members to their unintended lack of inclusivity.
Joining two NFP Boards (Central Coast Conservatorium of Music and Sydney International Piano Competition) was driven by a passion for music and all that it brings to us as humans. The NFP challenge is different again - there are occasions where it's helpful to the organisation to be a bit more hands on as resources are scarce. You always have to be mindful of crossing the line from board member to employee, ensuring that the leadership is feeling empowered, supported and given direction, but not usurped in their management role.
As a marketing professional do you feel marketing should be given more focus in the boardroom?
I've always approached marketing as a customer and market-centred discipline and all organisations benefit from thinking about business challenges through these lenses. At a board level, a lot of value can be added to conversations and actions by bringing the marketing perspective to the table.
In so many organisations, the digital transformation agenda is led by marketing because digital channels and social media are communication and product/service delivery channels, so my experience in that area has contributed to the board shaping its thinking and decision-making by bringing in additional dimensions to financial considerations. Digital and social media platforms warrant more focus in most boardrooms, I believe.
What drew you to the Piano+ board?
The Sydney International Piano Competition ("The Sydney" as it is known) is one of leading competitions in the world for aspiring pianists. As a board, we recently broadened the scope and ambition of the organisation and renamed it Piano+ to stand for The Sydney ‘and all things piano’. This year's competition has just concluded and the standard was incredible (you can still watch it online). Bringing talent of that calibre from around the globe to Sydney and being able to support Australian audiences' access to performance art spanning an incredible array of works is something I was magnetically drawn to. The board of this organisation has so many skilled and experienced people on it, it is a privilege to be a board member. WIth its new charter, we're looking to bring the piano to many more regional audiences.
What are your plans for WOB in Tasmania?
My plan is to continue the mission of WOB in connecting members and people who want to be members. What was so terrific at the last WOBmeet in Hobart was the incredible diversity of attendees - women with extensive experience across business and government, women who are interested in starting their board careers and women with experience across science, engineering, hospitality, healthcare, start-ups, consulting and more. It was an incredibly inspiring evening for those who attended and a great chance to network. I'd love to facilitate more of that, as well as introduce attendees to the services WOB offers to help them with their board careers.
What do you love to do in your spare time?
An obvious passion of mine is the arts, in all its forms and moving to Tasmania is wonderful for that - there's MONA, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, dark MOFO and so many festivals that celebrate the creativity of Tasmanians! I'm enjoying the hiking trails near Hobart and preparing for the Overland Track in October.
We have raised Guide Dog puppies previously in Sydney and Freddy, our Labrador is loving it here. Although we don't have a Guide Dog in the family at the moment, we may raise another... And of course, to seduce family and friends to visit, we're checking out the incredible wine and food scene down here - just fabulous!
Find Bettina on LinkedIn HERE