Tara Townsend's Story

After previous careers in hospitality and banking, I was looking to add more purpose to life. We spend so much of our lives at work, and I knew there had to be a job out there where I could wake up and enjoy what I did every day, and I was determined to find it.

I began working at ALPA in 2013 as a finance officer. I remember my first day so vividly and being so excited at the world I had was able to make a difference and I was absolutely blown away by the passion of my colleagues. It was such a change from the corporate competitive world I had just stepped out of.

ALPA has supported me through further education, assisting with my undergraduate degree in Business, and now in my journey to become a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA). The safe space allows for continuous improvement and growth and this is such an asset to all team members.

In the last nine years, I have moved across most roles in finance including the finance team leader, accountant, and finance manager of Enterprise, into my current role of Finance Manager ALPA.

For me, knowing the work I do in the finance space is contributing to better outcomes, and the empowerment of First Nations people is the important part. Knowing that everyone in the ALPA story is working towards a common goal, but actually being led by our members and what they believe empowerment looks like is amazing. The passion that comes through from all of our team is to make a difference every day.

Some of my biggest challenges in ALPA have also been my greatest success. I was a key team member of the ERP system implementation. This pushed me beyond my wildest technology capabilities and well out of my comfort zone, however going ‘live’ with the latest technology and seeing the growth opportunities this created for ALPA as a whole was worth the effort. We can now harness the data coming from the system to make smarter, in-time business decisions, and support further funding opportunities, which in turn leads back to greater outcomes for our members.

My focus for now and the next two years is to continue to generate efficiencies in my team so we can add value where it's better needed. To allow more analysis and modeling with our operational partners to be able to deliver better services to them.