26 Jun Meet Your Executive – Sarah Sutherland
Introducing you to your Chief Financial Officer, Sarah Sutherland.
Tell us about your journey and how you came to be Chief Financial Officer for Dee Why RSL.
I came straight from the corporate world in England with my Australian husband and six-month-old son.
The Club was looking for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to develop and diversify the Club. I committed to staying for two years but I obviously can’t count as I am still here after all this time, and I have to say, I am still loving it!
You have been at the RSL for almost 20 years! How have you seen the RSL evolve in this time?
Dee Why RSL has grown into a truly intergenerational hub that is here for our community.
My first project included the Ten Pin Bowling Centre and Aqua Bar and Dining. Next came the development of the new childcare centre, new carwash, additional member facilities and then the wonderful Oceangrove seniors’ living village next door.
We are now able to provide over 110 community groups with over $2,000,000 of support each year and we are all extremely proud to do so.
What is your fondest memory of your time here at Dee Why RSL?
My fondest memory would have to be when Oceangrove was awarded “The Best Seniors Living Development in Australia” by the Property Council of Australia.
A lot of personal passion and commitment went into making Oceangrove a reality and I am immensely proud of what we achieved.
What do you think is a key factor in the success of Dee Why RSL?
Not losing sight of who we are. We are an RSL, proudly so, and always will be.
The Board are fantastic, ensuring we always stay true to our roots.
How has working in the RSL industry differentiated from other industries you have worked in?
I was previously the Finance Director for an international IT company and business was business in every sense.
Here, the Club is all about people. It’s like a large family where members and colleagues are friends and the passion to deliver great facilities and experiences is at the forefront of everything we do.
Describe yourself in three words.
My husband would say “The Iron Lady” but I would say committed, fun-loving and hardworking.
What qualities do you think make a great role model?
First and foremost – a simple passion for what you believe in.
When you were growing up, what was your dream job?
A hard question – but probably not an accountant…
On the weekend, where would we find you?
On the water, rain or shine, it’s definitely my favourite place. I feel blessed to live in such a wonderful area surrounded by amazing waterways.
What’s something about you that most people don’t know?
I am an avid sailor. I have sailed since I was ten years old – including in a lot of rough weather off the south coast of England.
The RSL is undergoing its largest redevelopment ever, what are you most excited about?
Being responsible for ensuring it is completed on time and on budget, then watching people enjoy themselves in the magnificent new areas. From concept to creation, the design of our new spaces is based on member feedback – it is going to be incredible.