Member in Focus: Joanna Taskas

Jo TaskasJoanne (Jo) Taskas is a proud Larrakia women, who is purpose driven to serve Aboriginal people and the wider community, through her work in the Public Sector. Jo is a Luminaries Behind Closed Doors (BCD) member. 

The Luminaries Membership offers female executives of the future, the opportunity to further expand their leadership and management skills. The membership is best suited for women in a management position, either managing employees and/or stakeholders.

Jo’s Career Journey: 

I have always been attracted to roles that align with my values of transparency, honesty, fairness and integrity. Early in my career I made a conscious decision to serve the public. I have worked for the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) for 16 years in various roles including Finance, HR, Policy and Program Delivery. As a proud Larrakia women with my roots in the Northern Territory, I feel purpose bound to get the best outcomes for Aboriginal people.

My current role is Operations Manager for our Central Division in Program Delivery (SA, NT, VIC, and TAS) where we develop grant funding projects with Indigenous groups. Our function is to address the dispossession of Land to Aboriginal people and to assist Indigenous Australians to acquire land, by facilitating landownership through the acquiring and granting of land to Indigenous Corporations.   

The work of this organisation is incredibly varied, yet always focused on benefits to Aboriginal people. Throughout my career, I have worked in Telstra, National Crime Authority (NCA), Australian Bureau of Statistics and other Commonwealth Agencies. 

Jo’s Advice for Women in Business: 

The best advice I received was to remember: if you have the education, skills and experience, then you need to back yourself! Self doubt can sometimes be hard to ignore but when aiming to succeed, it’s so incredibly important to trust in your own capability. So my advice to other women in business, is to be the person you want to be and trust in yourself. 

Jo’s Role Models:

My first boss in the Public Service, Jacqui Nelson. She showed me that Public Servants are bound by Australian Government to serve the Public with transparency, integrity and honesty. These are values I have tried to maintain in my career. 

Other role models for me include Julia Gillard, Penny Wong, Tanya Plibersek and Julie Bishop – for obvious reasons, they are resilient, classy and respectful women (do you see a theme here!). 

Jo’s Top Three Business Book Recommendations: 

  1. The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, Stephen Covey “To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, you need to start doing things you have never done before.‘’
  2. Leaders Eat Last: Why some teams pull together and others don’t, Simon Sinek. It delves into why the role of a leader is primarily to care for others. 
  3. Work hard and focus on your best days, so that you can deal with the worst days. It’s not a book, it’s a quote from my husband, Mick Taskas, that I remind myself of frequently. 

Jo’s BCD Experience: 

What I really loved about BCD was the opportunity it gave me to rediscover myself and to have the confidence to be who I want to be. Through the tools and support network, participation in BCD has improved my confidence, resilience, accountability and output.

I recommend BCD because it provides a safe environment to discuss your individual work challenges. Each month you have access to great speakers who address your needs in a holistic manner from personal finances, well-being, leadership, communication, self-promotion and innovation. I feel empowered not only as a leader, but also as a women. I am proud to be part of BCD.  Also the networking opportunities are outstanding because you are encouraged and positively supported. 

To learn more about the Behind Closed Doors membership options, view the details via this link or for any specific questions, email info@behindcloseddoors.com

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