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Interview

A conversation with Rowena Lamb, Associate Director, Oceania

Rowena Lamb has joined HKA as an Associate Director in our Melbourne office. She brings extensive infrastructure sector experience in project assurance, project and business case management and development, strategy, and infrastructure policy. She is currently a member of the Office of Projects Victoria Advisory Board.

We sat down with her to find out how she’s settling in and to get her first impressions.

What are your reflections so far?

Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and genuine, which is wonderful.

The onboarding process with IT and HR has been very organised and efficient, which has made it easy for me to connect with the team and get started on client work.

What attracted you to HKA?

I was introduced to HKA’s Nicolette Cumbo during lockdown through another friend. She remembered me from an event many years earlier and we found we had many things in common.  During several conversations, she gave me an excellent overview of HKA. I was curious about the combination of expert and advisory where you have experts dealing with project claims and disputes and advisors delivering better project outcomes. This is a unique combination that has meaningful synergies.   

You have other professional roles; tell me more about them.

I have two other professional roles – I am on the Advisory Board of the Office of Projects Victoria, and I’m also President of my local Scout Group Support Committee.

The Office of Projects Victoria has a role in promoting project delivery excellence and improving the success of Victorian major infrastructure projects. The Advisory Board is independent and made up of a diverse range of infrastructure experts from the private sector or other states. As a group, we provide non-binding strategic advice through monthly meetings and a resource to help review some of the strategic work of OPV when the opportunity arises. 

Members of the Advisory Board also assist with Project Assurance Reviews.  Project Assurance Reviews are similar to Gateway Reviews, although they have bespoke terms of reference and can occur between Gateways. 

All Advisory board members declare their conflicts of interest through well-managed registers, including conflicts related to their other work. We are always transparent and remove ourselves from any particular topics of discussion if required.

I’ve been involved with Scouts for more than five years and President of my local Scout Group Support Committee for three years. Scouts is a great organisation, and it’s a wonderful way to give back to the community and meet people from many different backgrounds.

What made you choose this career path?

I chose a career theme rather than a career path. 

I’ve always been interested in infrastructure. It started when my mother, an economist who studied the history of economics, explained to me how the sewerage system in London and the railways in India made the biggest impact on people’s health and quality of life.

I studied civil engineering as I was good at maths and science and loved the idea of design.  But after a few years, I realised that design seemed a bit narrow – I was more interested in the bigger picture.

I’ve also always loved exploring, so my winding career path may reflect me trying different roles as opportunities arose while other options became less feasible.

What do you love about what you do?

I love that we are all part of something bigger. Infrastructure requires so many people to provide input to make it a success, so getting the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people as part of a bigger process makes every day enjoyable. I also love working on Infrastructure projects that improve our community.

How do you manage balance in your life?

I believe in life balance. There is plenty of responsibilities besides jobs which are work. Our careers are also an enjoyable part of life. 

There is no one answer to managing life balance. We all have different responsibilities and interests, so we all need customised solutions that help us adapt to these changes—a bit like infrastructure projects. It is a challenge that evolves throughout our lives and is unique for each of us.

To keep on track, I try to visualise what I want from life, the problems preventing this from happening, and the options. I try what seems to be the best solution.

I’ve learned not to compare my journey to others and not leave things to the last minute. You never know what’s around the corner, so time equals options!

This publication presents the views, thoughts or opinions of the author and not necessarily those of HKA. Whilst we take every care to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of publication, the content is not intended to deal with all aspects of the subject referred to, should not be relied upon and does not constitute advice of any kind. This publication is protected by copyright © 2021 HKA Global Ltd.