Information Technology (IT) in the workplace is not everyone’s cup of tea and if we are honest, it is generally associated with frazzled looks, moments of frustration and sometimes, rocking back and forth in the foetal position hoping for an IT miracle. When systems go down, office floorplans can often resemble an episode of the satirical show, the IT Crowd, with instructions flying to “turn it off and turn it on”. Sound familiar?

At McConachie Stedman, we are lucky to have an expert on hand who is highly skilled in IT chaos management. In fact, when you get her talking about gadgets and software her eyes light up with excitement and you find yourself reeled into a foreign land of tech abbreviations like, CPU, BYOD, and SaaS. To some team members, she is known as the computer whisperer; however, Melissa’s official role with the firm is ICT Manager.

Melissa has been a valued member of the McConachie Stedman family for almost 15 years. It was December 2003 when she stepped into the cosy matrix of 21 Duggan Street and faced her first big challenge of making heads and tails of the firms IT operations. They had been running unsupervised for some time and Melissa undertook the mammoth task of assessing, reviewing and implementing effective and streamlined IT processes and procedures.

Around six months later, Melissa remembers the excitement of relocating to our office at 619 Ruthven Street which was equipped with superior IT facilities. Melissa highlights that before the move, the firm worked off only one server that was inconveniently located with the filing storage in a hidden back room. Today, there is a dedicated server room, with all network infrastructure held in a custom rack, staff numbers have more than doubled and the IT team has grown to a dynamic duo.

Throughout her time at the firm, Melissa has worked in a flexible capacity and she is open and candid about how this has been crucial to maintaining the right work/life/family balance for her family. A busy mum, Melissa is dedicated to her family and acknowledges that her biggest achievement in life is her boys.

Outside of her professional role, Melissa doesn’t spend her time on the usual, stereotypical IT hobbies but instead describes herself as a keen runner with an interest in keeping fit and healthy. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, and loves to relax at the movies.

When it comes to workplace culture, Melissa fondly remembers the countless staff events and celebrations she has attended over the past decade and a half. From Christmas parties to team challenges to infamous, 30 June parties, she places a high value on the memories, which have helped shape the close-knit culture she has grown to love.