Making a difference

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Twenty-two years is a long time to remain in the one job, and no doubt many of us would welcome a slap up farewell party as we prepared to leave. But not Pauline Gibbs, the retiring Operations Manager of UCA Funds Management, who enjoyed an intimate luncheon farewell as she departed 130 Little Collins Street last month.

Ms Gibbs is a no fuss, get-on-with-the-job type of woman. When she came to the synod office in 1992 she vowed she would stay no longer than a decade, as she had been in her previous job for 14 years. However, as she said, “if you are enjoying what you are doing, why change?”

And Ms Gibbs is definitely someone who enjoys life. She has loved her time with Funds Management, and she has also enjoyed her many trips overseas, her theatre, museum and gallery subscriptions, her outings to the latest musicals and her long term commitment to the Preston Uniting Church.

Ms Gibbs has been the parish treasurer for the past 10 years and she envisages many opportunities for volunteering into the future.

When asked about what have been some of the highlights of those 22 years with Funds Management, Ms Gibbs commented on watching the organisation move into a really professionally run operation.

“..and I couldn’t not mention Sue Norman’s leadership of Funds Management, leading the team through enormous changes,” Ms Gibbs added.

A qualified accountant and CPA, Ms Gibbs previously worked in insurance and banking.

“Here at Funds Management you feel like you are making a difference in some way as the profits are going to a greater purpose than lining someone’s pockets.”

Ms Gibbs has an enormous passion for wildlife and wild untouched country. Earlier this year she made her second visit to Antarctica. In 2009 she undertook an Arctic cruise, including Iceland, Vienna, Switzerland, Prague and Venice. In 2011 she travelled to South America, Peru and the Galapagos Islands. In 2013, the fan of the baggy green became a cricket groupie, participating in a Melbourne Cricket Club tour to a different kind of wildlife – the Ashes Test in Lords.

“Antarctica is like no other place in the world, it is just phenomenal,” Ms Gibbs said. “I love Psalms Now, and I can’t help but think of the Psalms. The wonder of God on full display, it makes me burst into tears.”

This year as Ms Gibbs and her tour group crossed Iceberg Alley close to the Antarctic Circle in their zodiacs at night, a snowball fight erupted. It is little wonder Pauline’s thoughts wander to Psalm 8 (from Psalms Now):

O God,

how full of wonder and splendour You are!

I see the reflections of Your beauty

and hear the sounds of Your majesty

wherever I turn.

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