Leader in the Limelight: Bev Voigt

Heritage South Australia Manager Bev Voigt was born and bred in South Australia, where she grew up on a farm on the Yorke Peninsula and spent her summer school holidays 20 minutes down the road at the Stansbury Caravan Park.

Heritage South Australia Manager Bev Voigt

The summer holiday tradition has lived on into adulthood, and her family has been water skiing, diving for scallops and fishing together for 45 years – though Bev does a little less skiing and diving these days.

Bev studied a bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture and also completed an Executive Masters of Public Administration with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.

Bev has worked in government for 25 years. She made her start in Primary Industries and Resources as a graduate and worked for nearly 10 years as part of the PIRSA revegetation program, working closely with organisations such as Greening Australia, Conservation Volunteers, Trees for Life and Urban Forests.

Bev went on to work in PIRSA’s Rural Solutions area for 10 years, where she managed three teams of environmental consultants in revegetation and environment, water and salinity, and animal and plant control. It was a lot of fun, however Bev put a lot of her heart and soul into it and struggled to maintain work/life balance.

In 2011, she moved to DEW to lead the Boards and Committees team, and was reassigned into the role of Heritage South Australia Manager nearly 4 years ago.

Read on to learn more about Bev in her own words.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

I enjoy the amazing team I work with and the diversity of projects I get involved with from heritage tourism to dealing with resolving a heritage planning issue through the Environment, Resources and Development Court.

I value the people that work in DEW, the passion everyone has for the work they do and ethical values that drive their behaviours.

It is great working in an organisation that is solutions-focussed, works extremely well with the community and stakeholders and is collaborative. And DEW still finds the balance to care for staff, leading government in developing a strong culture of support through initiatives such as White Ribbon, Reconciliation (internal access only), the 50/50 Pledge (internal access only) and flexible work arrangements (internal access only).

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always knew from a young age I wanted to go to Roseworthy (Agricultural College) and study agricultural science. It wasn’t until I was employed by PIRSA as part of the revegetation program that I gained a true appreciation of the environment. Ironically, many of us ‘aggies’ ended up in natural resources roles whilst the ‘nat rats’ got jobs in the agricultural sector.

Whilst I work in heritage now, my background enables me to still feel I can contribute meaningfully to the broader departmental agenda.

How would you describe your leadership style?

My leadership style is consultative. I am not good at blowing my own bags but am happy to fly the flag for the team. They are a truly wonderful team of experts who are extremely committed and passionate about what they do and for me it is a privilege to be part of their successes.

Do you play any sports? If so, which ones and how did you get into them?

I have never been a real sporty person but I have recently fallen in love with Pilates. I am not sure exactly why but think it is partly because it is around the corner, only goes for 40 minutes and is a bit like a Clayton’s workout (that is, it is a workout but doesn’t feel like it). The next day however is a different story.  

What do you do in your time off?

My step-son does competitive gymnastics and tumbling, and in his spare time does performance with Cirkids, so a fair amount of my time is going to training at Blackwood for tumbling once a week, Elizabeth for gymnastics three times a week and Brompton for Cirkids. Then there are the competitions themselves: recently we went to Melbourne for the National Gymnastics Competition and Tom won silver for U15 Tumbling. Pretty amazing given he only gets to train 1.5 hours a week for this sport and there were boys 1 or 2 years older than him competing.  Proud mum moment.