Interview with Mary Vernicos


We chat with the winner of the AHRI HR Student of the Year Award.

Tell us about your current role. What is the biggest challenge and the most rewarding aspect?

I am the regional people and culture manager at Pickles Auctions in Melbourne. In my current role, I develop and implement people and culture policies and programs that support business objectives.

This includes providing advice and guidance to managers on people management strategies, issues and policies, and overseeing internal communications, recruitment, mentoring programs, recognition and reward programs, and workplace giving and community initiatives.

The biggest challenge is measuring the impact of HR practices on business results. The most rewarding aspect of my role is impacting workplace culture and employee engagement through initiatives such as internal communications, the recognition and reward program, mentoring program and community initiatives.

I love that I have the opportunity to make a difference in what I do, not only within Pickles Auctions but also the local community.

Why did you choose to study the AHRI professional diploma of HR?

I was eager to continue my learning and to build upon my arts degree and over 10 years experience in HR.

I was also keen to develop my knowledge and skills to ensure that the people and culture initiatives
I implement not only improve organisational effectiveness and employee engagement, but help achieve business objectives.

Can you share the most important insights the diploma brought to your career?

I attended workshops for two of the units and enjoyed discussing with peers in other organisations the current challenges and opportunities we faced in our roles.

The impact that HR management can have on organisational culture and business competitiveness was constantly reinforced.

It highlighted to me that as HR professionals we need to remain flexible and that it is important to tailor HR solutions and programs to align with business goals.

What does winning this award mean to you and your company?

Winning this award makes all the late nights and hours of study worth it! It confirms my choice of career and I am encouraged that my efforts were recognised. I had the opportunity to implement HR initiatives as a result of the course.

Pickles Auctions provides a range of learning and development opportunities to enable people to realise their individual potential.

The AHRI award confirms Pickles Auctions’ support of employees through learning initiatives, such as the educational assistance program, and is a reflection of its commitment to promoting an environment of learning and fostering innovative and enterprising employees.

It also highlights that medium-sized privately owned businesses such as Pickles Auctions are in line with HR practices nationally.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I would love to use my current HR expertise and experience – both practical and through what I’ve learned in doing the professional diploma – in a senior HR management role where I’m really able to influence the culture of the organisation in the pursuit of its values and goals.

I want to be an integral part of the management team pursuing operational excellence in all parts of what we do.

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Interview with Mary Vernicos


We chat with the winner of the AHRI HR Student of the Year Award.

Tell us about your current role. What is the biggest challenge and the most rewarding aspect?

I am the regional people and culture manager at Pickles Auctions in Melbourne. In my current role, I develop and implement people and culture policies and programs that support business objectives.

This includes providing advice and guidance to managers on people management strategies, issues and policies, and overseeing internal communications, recruitment, mentoring programs, recognition and reward programs, and workplace giving and community initiatives.

The biggest challenge is measuring the impact of HR practices on business results. The most rewarding aspect of my role is impacting workplace culture and employee engagement through initiatives such as internal communications, the recognition and reward program, mentoring program and community initiatives.

I love that I have the opportunity to make a difference in what I do, not only within Pickles Auctions but also the local community.

Why did you choose to study the AHRI professional diploma of HR?

I was eager to continue my learning and to build upon my arts degree and over 10 years experience in HR.

I was also keen to develop my knowledge and skills to ensure that the people and culture initiatives
I implement not only improve organisational effectiveness and employee engagement, but help achieve business objectives.

Can you share the most important insights the diploma brought to your career?

I attended workshops for two of the units and enjoyed discussing with peers in other organisations the current challenges and opportunities we faced in our roles.

The impact that HR management can have on organisational culture and business competitiveness was constantly reinforced.

It highlighted to me that as HR professionals we need to remain flexible and that it is important to tailor HR solutions and programs to align with business goals.

What does winning this award mean to you and your company?

Winning this award makes all the late nights and hours of study worth it! It confirms my choice of career and I am encouraged that my efforts were recognised. I had the opportunity to implement HR initiatives as a result of the course.

Pickles Auctions provides a range of learning and development opportunities to enable people to realise their individual potential.

The AHRI award confirms Pickles Auctions’ support of employees through learning initiatives, such as the educational assistance program, and is a reflection of its commitment to promoting an environment of learning and fostering innovative and enterprising employees.

It also highlights that medium-sized privately owned businesses such as Pickles Auctions are in line with HR practices nationally.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I would love to use my current HR expertise and experience – both practical and through what I’ve learned in doing the professional diploma – in a senior HR management role where I’m really able to influence the culture of the organisation in the pursuit of its values and goals.

I want to be an integral part of the management team pursuing operational excellence in all parts of what we do.

Leave a reply

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