As another month goes by, we’re thrilled to showcase the lovely Esther Hunter – Executive Assistant to Chris Moraitis PSM, Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD). We continue to interview EAs from our own home town, Canberra. Our goal is to raise the profile of EAs with a view to build awareness of the Executive Assistant role by sharing the diversity that the role entails, after all, it’s not about the destination as you know, it’s all about the journey!
Enjoy and please share, share and share in support of your peers!
If you know an EA or would like to contribute and share a little about yourself, please get in touch as we’d love to hear from you.
Name your current role?
Executive Assistant to Chris Moraitis PSM, Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD).
How long have you been an EA?
I have been an EA for over 28 years to senior executives for the private sector in a Law Firm and a number of Departments in the Australian Public Service such as the Department of Human Services, AusAid, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney-General’s Department.
What would you consider to be the most rewarding part of your position as an EA?
I enjoy being an EA and have found it to be such a rewarding career. I’ve tried different roles but found myself always returning to the EA role. It is dynamic and set in a fast‑paced environment with lots of variety – very rarely are any two days the same. I love seeing the big picture and how all the pieces fit together and appreciate being in a great position to learn from my executive.
I also find it very rewarding being able to contribute to the development of other EAs. I have taken the initiative to be actively involved with EAs and chair the AGD EA network while also participating on the EA Series as a committee member for the Institute of Public Administration of Australia.
What was a role that you have owned or an experience you have had, that helped shaped your success in your current position?
All my previous roles have contributed in some way or other to building a strong foundation and I’ve developed many skills and experiences that equip me in my current role.
During my time in the APS I have supported senior executives through 3 Machinery of Government changes where the departments have undergone significant change. This has taught me to welcome change and see it as an opportunity to be resilient, flexible and it has also shown me the importance of building strong relationships.
What skill do you possess that you believe is crucial to your role?
I believe that I possess strong organisational skills. Being organised creates a platform for me to manage shifting priorities and tackle the issues at hand without having concern with the daily running of the office. I have acquired many skills as an EA that I have found to be valuable and transferable to any role I perform.
What are three items you can’t work without?
The three things that I can’t work without are my laptop, diary and mobile phone.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love spending time with family and travelling. My husband and I have quite a large family and there’s always a celebration to go to where we get to create lots of memories and share good times together. I’ve even started to garden which I find quite enjoyable.
Any tips you’d like to share with your fellow EAs?
Be the CEO in every area of your life (career, family, financial, health and spiritual) – by doing this it will help you to see the big picture, take ownership, find solutions and collaborate with work colleagues to get the job done.
Never underestimate your value and know that what you do as an EA is a valuable asset to the executive team.
Always try and go the extra mile and follow through on your word – this will show you are reliable, help you build trust and strengthen relationships.
Sometimes as an EA you see the good, the bad and the ugly so handle your position with responsibility and integrity.
Never stop learning and look for ways to continually improve yourself. You can do this by attending EA forums, listening to podcasts, finding a good mentor, reading articles to keep you relevant and on the cutting edge and learn to adjust with new innovation in technology.
Remember – you are valuable, and investing time in developing yourself is important! EAs are really good at taking care of their executives, colleagues and fellow EAs but many don’t give themselves the same level of attention.
Be resilient– it’s how you bounce back that counts.
Persevere– success will always be hidden behind the last corner.
Life is short, love your job and enjoy what you do, have fun and support each other.
Last but certainly not least always have an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude can transform any situation and it’s the quickest, easiest most powerful way to impact change in your life.