Wesfarmers PA ranked WA best

WESFARMERS’ Susan Ardagh won the Best PA in WA Award at the recent Variety Club Secretaries’ Day Breakfast.

As personal assistant to CEO Michael Chaney, Ms Ardagh was chosen from five finalists over tough competition.

Ms Ardagh said her experience in the diplomatic service had been an advantage in her role with Wesfarmers.

“I used to work in Foreign Affairs as assistant to the Ambassador to Mexico and, when you’re working overseas, you have to keep on your feet,” she said.

“There are new surroundings, you have to learn the language and you’re expected to hit the ground running.

“You learn to read situations quickly and be decisive. It’s certainly good training in teaching you to be resourceful.”

Ms Ardagh said working for a CEO requires performing at an outstanding level.

“Working for a Top 40, diversified industrial company can be quite demanding,” she said.

“Mr Chaney is always travelling and I’ve got to keep things going while he’s gone. You’ve got to be pro-active in this role.

“He’s a very supportive boss — you do have to have a good match of personalities for a successful relationship between executive and assistant. I consider myself very lucky to work for him.”

Ms Ardagh’s prize was two return tickets to Los Angeles from Air New Zealand.

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