Sally O’Brien joins the United Way New Zealand team

At the Catalystic Foundation we are partnering with an increasing number of New Zealand businesses looking to maximise the impact of their community engagement. So, we are excited to announce that Sally O’Brien will be joining the team as National Partnership Manager.

Sally brings a wealth of experience working in both large private sector organisations and the not-for-profit sector. She began her career in the public sector, moving to roles in managed funds in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Following time out to grow her family, Sally was appointed as Volunteering Auckland’s employee volunteer coordinator where she assisted organisations with their corporate volunteering projects.

To help you get to know Sally we did this fun Q&A:

How do you like to start your day?

With tea and a good morning cuddle from my kids. 

What is the best thing about living in New Zealand?

The freedom to roam around different landscapes and the understated kiwi sense of humour.  

What attracted you to the Catalystic Foundation ?

I was fortunate to spend time with Teresa at a couple of workshops and cross business meetings and was impressed with her enthusiasm for partnerships with business and the not-for-profit sector. I like how the Catalystic Foundation (formerly United Way NZ) has an all-encompassing approach to CSR and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

What is your favourite place in New Zealand?

Garston, Northern Southland 

How do you think organisations can best help New Zealand community charities?

Partnership is a great way to help not-for-profits and charities. Mainly because the benefits gained by both sides, leveraging skills and resources, and impact are best gained through this unique arrangement. It's also the best kind of business where doing good and doing well can work in harmony. 

What is the best advice you ever received?

“Always leave the party when you are having the best time”. My late Mum told me that years ago and, as usual, she was right. Thanks Mum

What was your best day at work ever?

Helping a group of volunteers run a Special Olympics Basketball competition. A lot of the corporate volunteers didn't know the first thing about the rules of basketball and were asked to referee. Once they got over their fear they just jumped in and made sure the kids got their competition day up and running. I think the volunteers actually got more out the day than the kids. It made me realise just how important the helping of others does so much to lift spirits. Something that resonates in the world right now I reckon.  

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am learning how to garden having no real success in the past so starting with apparently ‘no brainers’ like succulents.  This is from someone who can’t grow mint so wish me luck!!

Tea or coffee?

Both! Tea first thing in the morning and coffee before lunchtime. I love Coffee meetings!