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Celebrating 100 Years: Michelle's Story

Michelle’s career started in 1996, and has spanned a number of business areas. She is now the APS Statements Lead, in Statements, Data and Manual Calculations.

03 May 2022

When Michelle Ralph and her colleagues walked out of the Belconnen CSC Offices for the final time in 2018, her prevailing thought was, 'if these walls could talk, the stories they would have.'

In Michelle’s case, those walls would have seen a career that started at ComSuper in 1996, and traversed a number of business areas, including pensions, the contact centre, benefits and statements - she is currently the APS Statements Lead, in Statements, Data and Manual Calculations. While the work has always been fulfilling for Michelle, it is the camaraderie and friendships that hold a special place in her heart. She has fond memories of the staff lolly shop at the Belconnen office, which she assisted her dear friend and colleague, Maria Sharp, in the running of.

"Back at that time, ComSuper had a ute and we used to book out the ute and then go over to Mitchell to the lolly shop," she recalls.

"One time we did this massive shop, but we couldn’t fit everything into the back of the ute. So I got Maria to sit in passenger seat, and I jammed everything in around her to the point where I could hardly see her.

"People would go and put IOUs into the shop, and every pay day Maria would go around and hound and chase them up for the money owing. That was one of my favourite memories, because Maria passed away last year."

While operating in a world that was characterised by snail mail and paper-based member communications, there were numerous close shaves. Michelle recalls a Christmas-Eve effort to ensure member statements were sent out by the December 31 deadline.

"We were all joking about who was going to be cooking the roast dinner for Christmas if we didn’t get them out," she says.

"I remember we had them all packed up in the Australia Post white boxes, and Steve (her then-manager) put them all into his four wheel drive and took them to a post box, and was stuffing them into the letterbox so we could say, 'yes, we got them all out by the deadline'".

Much has changed in those 26 years since Michelle first walked in the doors of the Belconnen offices, but one thing that has remained is her embodiment of the values, with unity being a clear theme of her time spent with the company.

"The teamwork and the camaraderie – that’s something I will always look back very fondly on," she says.

And it seems that if those walls at the Belconnen offices could talk, four years later they would still be telling stories of a united, engaged, and happy workplace.

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