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Client journey: Will Barton, CEO of Gundagai Lamb.

This month marks three years since I started supporting Will, who is an engaging, motivated and inclusive leader, and CEO of one of Australia's most innovative, progressive and trusted lamb processors. After a short break in support, he was looking for someone to be the professional face and voice of the executive office. He wanted to lead his team and focus on the critical elements of his demanding role, with limited distractions, while balancing work and personal life better. It appeared I was the critical chess piece missing from the board.

My first focus was creating impact. Taking simple tasks off Will's plate, changing his mindset about delegation and building trust. I focussed on connecting with his team and key stakeholders, and understanding the company ethos, values and goals. I ensured that his time was protected through strategic schedule management and changing the way his team made basic requests - if I could do it, it came to me.

While some working styles naturally compliment one another, we spent the initial contract term committed to building a solid, professional, trusting and relaxed foundation. During this time, he shared the exciting news of the launch of their new brand, Gundagai Lamb. With it having launched in 2020, it was a busy time and I ensured Will's time was balanced between growing that arm of the business and being available for 'on the ground' day to day stuff. I lead when I needed to; sharing insights, feedback and thoughts based on my experience supporting senior leaders.

In 2022, I took on my own project of arranging and managing Gundagai Lamb's first Annual Producer Event. I created a project timeline, liaised with suppliers, managed invitations and rsvps, supported the team to pull together an engaging run sheet, and worked with them to execute it seamlessly on the night - even breaking a sweat attempting to build my first media wall. It was a great success and this year I'll support Will to host their third annual event.

As an EA, it's easy to build relationships and produce high quality results when you believe in the subject matter and are brought up the ladder. I am genuinely inspired by the way Will and his team have conquered building a new brand and forging new, key relationships along the way. I am motivated to support Will and the team with tasks, book endless amounts of travel, update websites, book haircuts, complete claims, conduct research, organise Christmas parties and staff gifts and book yet another meeting. Really, every day is different. However, each task, while varying in seniority, all contribute to my main goal: to support my client's success each and every day.

I couldn't count on two hands how many times I've actually met Will and his team in person, despite only being an hour up the road. But it hardly shows. We've been able to create a solid partnership based on discipline, open communication, trust and reliability. There are also the bad jokes and swear words (I really should start a 'swear jar'!).

I am personally proud of the partnership we have created, and I look forward to supporting Will, his team and the company through many more successes.


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