Noleen Harper | HR and Payroll Assistant Manager

From Ponies to Payroll

Don’t regret the things you do in life; regret the things you didn’t do. 

What is your Menzies story so far?

I started my office career in a small 20-person business. Without realising it, my prior travels had taught me many skills which I was able to apply in my work environment. Arranging travel in countries where I did not speak the language had made me adept at organising and, as the business grew, I found myself arranging office moves and budgets, processing payroll and collaborating with international Directors on acquisitions. After 13 years and several acquisitions, I was an Office Manager of an international software company of 1500 employees, working mainly in the Finance department. This gave me an appetite for working with numbers and, of course, payroll is about numbers so the position at Menzies seemed a good fit. 

How did travelling the world impact your life?

I grew up in South Africa and when I graduated from school, I decided I wanted to expand my knowledge on diverse cultures and what better way to do this than travel. I spent 7 years backpacking around the world, working where possible to fund the next part of my journey. My travels took me to many countries and many varied jobs. From Horseback Safari guide in Zimbabwe, Jillaroo in Australia, Sanitation Engineer in Hawaii to a cook on a dive yacht in the Red Sea to name a few. Sometimes the best jobs were the ones where I worked for board and keep, they were often the most rewarding. My travels shaped me into the person I am today and taught me many varied skills and traits such as resilience, adaptability, and flexibility. The biggest lesson was not to regret the things I do in life and to go with the flow; you never know where you may land up. 

What do you love about Menzies?

When joining Menzies, I was in the fortunate position of having a choice. I chose Menzies for its core values and Brighter Thinking. The Menzies culture is supportive and empathetic, and this was obvious when my horse was critically ill and in an equine hospital. My team were always there for me and when he (Dax) eventually returned home, I was able to flex my hours to accommodate caring responsibilities to help nurse him back to health. I have a good work life balance working for Menzies as the flexible hours allow me to enjoy my passion for horses and to put family first without my work suffering. Flexibility during the winter months is key to positive mental health and getting out during the daylight hours (via our extended lunchbreak benefit) has certainly made for a happier lifestyle. I even combine work with my daily activities by riding to the local post box to post work letters when working from home!