With our other EA extraordinaire Ruth Perry at Optus Stadium

by Emma Rothfield, Media & Communications Coordinator, VenuesLive NSW

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT . . . BECAUSE FREAKIN’ MIRACLE WORKER WASN’T A JOB TITLE AT VENUESLIVE

She is the boss’ EA whose incredible organisational skills and calm nature has helped so many of us keep our lives on track in the hurly-burly of the venue management business.

Frances Jamieson – FJ to most of us – is calling it a day at VenuesLive after a stellar 12-year stint in one of the busiest jobs of all.

Emma Rothfield caught up with FJ to look back on her time with VenuesLive and to discover what lies ahead.

It’s been said that a good Executive Assistant is like an air-traffic controller for your life. How on earth will VenuesLive manage the intricacies of the office without you?

Haha, that is quite a good analogy, hopefully without the implied loss of life if things go pear-shaped! Our business is about to enter a new and exciting era and I am confident that it will go from strength to strength as long as Daryl’s calendar stays neat and tidy . . . 

How long have you been with the company? When did you start and where were you previously?

I started at the Stadium in September 2007. Prior to working here I was EA to the General Manager of a medical company and prior to that my husband and I worked together in our own event hire company that we founded in 1995 and which Bruce still runs today. 

Have you always been the EA for our CEO, Daryl Kerry?

Daryl was the Deputy CEO when I started working for him. In 2009, after the departure of our former CEO Ken Edwards, Daryl was appointed to the CEO role and I was lucky enough to move into the big office with him!

Was the decision to move on after so long a tough decision?

I don’t think that anyone leaving VenuesLive does so lightly. The people that I work with every day are now such a big part of my life that leaving them will be very hard. However, after a lovely long break in the middle of this year, Bruce and I realised that our priorities had shifted a little. We would now like to focus more on family and life away from the workplace. So whilst I will still be taking contract roles, we will also be taking lots more time for holidays and time with family and friends.

What has made working at VenuesLive, and Stadium Australia Group, so special?

As clichéd as it may sound, it’s the people. We have an amazing group of people that work here along with those who have moved on over the years. My work mates have been with me through many of life’s ups and downs and have probably looked at way too many photos of my great little niece! 

Do you have personal highlights along the journey? Special events or occasions?

It’s no secret that I am a huge Cold Chisel fan so my special event highlight is the show that they played at ANZ Stadium as part of the 2009 V8 Supercar event! Daryl actually told me to leave the Suite and head down to the arena. I have been fortunate enough to witness a huge number of major events. I don’t think I will ever understand the appeal of Eminem, but then I never thought I would find a Taylor Swift concert entertaining so you never know. Grand Final day is always a wonderful day along with Origin. It is amazing to walk into the stadium on Origin day knowing that come 8pm there will be 83,000 other people in the building.

What is your secret to managing all the deadlines, appointments, meetings, presentations and calls every day?

As the coffee cup says “Keep calm and carry on”. It is a very good motto to live by in this line of work.

How do you manage the boss’ calendar? 

Daryl is indefatigable and can manage the most complex and full calendar with ease. There has been the occasional time when the guests at back-to-back meetings couldn’t know about each other, requiring a certain amount of stealth, but between the two of us we make it work.

Everyone who knows you comments about your kind and friendly nature. With so much noise and busyness going on around you, how do you manage to stay so calm all the time?

That’s lovely of you to say. I endeavour to keep things in perspective and not to sweat the small stuff. Sometimes the calm is just an illusion, but I’m glad to see it has been effective! 

What is the plan now? 

Well as of quite recently . . .  a wedding! Our eldest son has just announced his engagement so happy times ahead. Aside from that, I plan to take some contract EA roles allowing us the flexibility to take a few more trips away.

Your last event is going to be, appropriately, the first concert at Bankwest Stadium with the mighty Cold Chisel playing possibly their last ever gig as a touring band. Can we anticipate an FJ dance or two on the balcony?

That, my friends, is absolutely guaranteed.