Cate Bennett is a commercial lawyer who manages a team of six, heading up contracts and commercial at Beyond Blue.
Commercial lawyer Cate Bennett shares her experience working for leading mental health charity Beyond Blue, where she manages a team of six in the contracts and commercial department. She explains her management style, career path, and why she loves her job.
1. ON THE JOB
We give contractual and legal advice to the rest of the business and look after procurement, purchasing and government grant writing, all of which keeps me out of trouble. I do a lot of paperwork and I do love it.
2. MANAGEMENT STYLE
It’s about making sure that we are consistent in the way we service the organisation – that we add value not just process. I think of people as people, work is not the only thing that they do. They’ve got other
priorities to juggle as well.
3. EARLY AMBITION
I wanted to be a “rock star”. I play cello, guitar and drums. My Dad, being very clever, said, ‘That’s great but get a practical degree behind you’. So I studied business and law. But before I told my parents that I didn’t want to be a lawyer I thought I’d better give it a shot. Unfortunately I loved it.
4. FIRST JOB
I joined a graduate program with the Victorian Government and my first placement was as a commercial lawyer working on public transport franchises. I did rotations in the departments of health and justice but I enjoyed commercial law so it was lucky I got to go back to transport.
5. CAREER TRAJECTORY
The thing I liked about working in the public sector, and now for a not-for-profit, is you can see the impact of the work that you do quite quickly. I’m not Mother Teresa, it’s not altruism, but I like to do things that are contributing to the community.