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Photo of Sally and Lynda from ACH Group Finance Team

Team effort that counts

Over the course of two weeks, we celebrated the retirements of two valued members of the ACH Group Finance Team. Lynda Ezis, Payroll Project Lead, who has been with ACH Group since October 1998, and Sally Whitelaw, Financial Analyst, who joined the organisation in 2006.

With over 40 years of combined knowledge and experience between them, their impact and value have been immense.

On behalf of all of us at ACH Group, we would like to express our gratitude for their contributions in supporting the staff and, inevitably, making an impact on the customers and residents of ACH Group.

Both Lynda and Sally have reflected on their career paths at ACH Group and who guided them through the changes and challenges in the aged care industry.

What inspired both of you to embark on careers in finance and payroll, and how did your journey in this field begin?

Lynda: Well, it all comes down to my love for numbers! My first taste of the payroll world was with a manufacturing company in Hobart.

Sally: Numbers have always been my thing – just ask anyone! I started as a bookkeeper in the UK and then continued my studies with a TAFE diploma when I moved to Australia. Interestingly, I didn’t obtain my commerce degree until I was in my fifties.

Could you share with us your early experiences at ACH Group and how your roles have evolved over the years?

Lynda: My journey at ACH Group began in October 1998 when I was interviewed by the Payroll Manager and CFO and subsequently accepted the role of Payroll Officer / Creditors. It was a hands-on experience from the get-go. Over the years, payroll transformed from paper-based manual calculations to sophisticated payroll systems. The organisation also experienced substantial growth, going from around 800 staff members to 1800. The finance team had to adapt accordingly.

I always took my job very seriously because, in the end, everyone relies on their pay hitting their bank account, regardless of circumstances like power outages on payday. I fulfilled my duties as Payroll Manager until September 2022 and accepted the role of Payroll Project Lead, which is my current role.

Sally: I joined ACH Group in November 2006, and I remember receiving the job offer over the phone on my way home from the interview! The first few weeks were quite the learning experience, especially concerning the complexities of aged care funding.

I started as a Corporate Accountant and, as ACH Group expanded, my focus shifted more towards residential finances, eventually becoming a Financial Business Partner until 2020. Following that, I took on the role of Head of Accounting Services from early 2020 until June 2022. With retirement on the horizon, I decided to transition into a part-time analytical support role as a Financial Analyst in 2022.

Lynda & Sally: We must mention Selina Carmody as a fantastic mentor for both of us during our early days. Without the support of our hardworking team, we wouldn’t have reached where we are today.

Sally: There are so many people that I am grateful to who provided inspiration and encouragement over the last 17 years, but I have to make special mention of Linda Feldt who supported me through some challenging times, encouraging me to believe in myself.

In 2019, Lynda was inducted to the ACH Group Hall of Fame
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming professionals looking to establish successful careers in the field of aged care?

Sally: Working in aged care is incredibly rewarding. The main reason I applied for a position back in 2006 was because I believed that organizations like ACH Group make a difference in the lives of older people.

How does it feel to be on the brink of retirement, and what are your plans and aspirations for the future?

Lynda: It doesn’t feel like it! Improving my fitness and  spending time with my family will take priority, and I’m looking forward to some holiday time. There’s nothing more soothing than a tranquil beach – my favourite spots are Brighton for its crystal-clear waters and Semaphore for the best walks. I also plan to explore more of South Australia’s beautiful beaches. And if I find spare time, I’ve always wanted to revisit crocheting and tap into my creative side.

Sally: I share Lynda’s sentiments – I’m looking forward to retirement, but I’ll miss my ACH Group family. I have numerous holiday plans, and now I’ll have time to work on more quilting projects. I love the mathematics behind creating interesting quilt patterns.

Sally and Lynda reflecting on their career at ACH Group
Sally Whitelaw and Lynda Ezis reflecting on their career at ACH Group

Looking for a career in aged care?

If you’re inspired by Lynda and Sally’s story and are looking for a career in aged care, we would like to hear from you.

Our workforce is made up of passionate individuals who work in a wide range of roles in residential care, retirement living, home and community care, health and wellness, social experiences, and corporate teams. See the list of current opportunities at ACH Group and apply today.

About ACH Group