Introducing: Stephen Joyce, Finance Manager at St John Ambulance Australia SA, and nfphub Finance Professionals Member.
Tell us a bit about your professional career?
I’ve had a long and varied career within the accounting profession which has seen me hold numerous positions within a range of businesses across the government, commercial and of late, the NFP sectors. After gaining valuable hand- on experience in accounts payable, bookkeeping, costing, project accounting and budgeting functions within SA Water over a period of 12 years, I was then appointed to the role of Systems Accountant within what was then known as SAGASCO Limited. With a passion for management accounting, my career focus over the next 21 years was in senior management accounting, compliance and risk accounting, financial systems and financial reporting and decision support related roles. During this time, the business underwent significant change from what was a heavily regulated government utility through to its sale to Boral Ltd and to its eventual divestment into Origin Energy Limited (exciting but busy times!). Following a brief stint with BAE Systems Australia as its Senior Management Accountant within Corporate, I then moved into the NFP sector through my appointment at St John SA, and have been with them for nearly 3 years. My current role is Finance Manager, looking after a small finance team of 4 staff who are responsible for all transactional, financial control, budgeting, forecasting, financial modelling and financial reporting related functions within the business.
Tell us a bit about St John Ambulance?
St John Ambulance Australia is part of the global humanitarian organisation The Order of St John which works to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the world. Within SA, St John SA forms part of the Australia wide federated structure and today’s organisation was founded on a long and proud heritage which can be traced back to the days of the first crusades when the knights of St John cared for sick and injured pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem some 900 years ago.
St John SA have been a long serving and respected resident of the South Australian community for over 125 years. We are a self-funded nfp charitable organisation whereby commercial proceeds are used to fund our charitable and volunteer services work within our community. We are Australia’s leading provider of first aid training, patient care services at public events, first aid kits and equipment, and social inclusion programs. Our vision is to “be indispensable to the health of every household, workplace and public gathering in SA”, and our mission is “to empower and support the SA community through the provision of first aid response and social care”.
I love working in the nfp Sector because…?
From a personal perspective, I have enjoyed the change in work culture between the for-profit and nfp sectors. Rather than profits and shareholder value being the driving forces, staff are driven to a major extent by their desire to “contribute” or “give back” to the community and to help others who are less fortunate and in need of assistance. Accordingly, their personal values are more aligned to those within their organisation which in turn, leads to a higher level of work satisfaction and enjoyment for staff. From a work perspective, I love the variety of work that I am involved in. Given the smaller scale of business and the limited staff resources available, I have responsibilities covering every aspect of finance. It does present many challenges and adhering to workload plans is very difficult, but the variety of work, the exposure to all facets of business, the ongoing involvement in business critical decisions and the close working relationships developed with key decision makers far outweighs these challenges.
The most valuable thing about my nfphub membership is…?
It provides the opportunity to informally network and develop relationships with other like-minded professionals within our industry sector. I’m able to hear first-hand of the specific issues facing other nfp organisations, the approaches taken to resolve them and where appropriate, can interact and contribute to these discussions. It also enables me to keep abreast of existing and potential developments within our industry in general. Overall, I find it to be a valuable tool in my ongoing learning and professional development.
When I’m not working, you can find me…?
With friends at the footy cheering passionately for the Adelaide CROWS (a bit too passionately at times according to my wife), and enjoying my days at the cricket in support of the Aussies during the summer months. My wife and I also love hiking and we’ve completed the first year of 6 years hiking the 1,200 km long Heysen Trail. We also treasure the times when catching up with our son who now resides in Perth, we love visiting the huge variety of wineries located throughout our great state, we enjoy travelling and in general, relish spending quality time with our family and friends.
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