Scholar Profile - Laureen Floyd PDF Print E-mail
Laureen Floyd


Human Resources & Training Manager, Gumala Aboriginal Corporation

Awarded a Bankwest Foundation / Edith Cowan University scholarship for a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management, 2017

What sort of work does your organisation do?

Gumala Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) represents the collective interests of the Bunjima, Yinhawangka and Nyiyaparli people of Western Australia who entered a land use agreement with Hammersley Iron in 1996. GAC delivers benefits to its members through a range of programs aimed at promoting sustainable and positive outcomes for them. This is with a focus on health, community development and education.

Describe a typical day's work.

My work is varied and always interesting. I deal with all things HR - from recruitment to performance management, employee engagement, learning and development, and policy reviews. I absolutely love the work I do and when my work day begins, the focus can be changed across any or all of those areas I’ve mentioned. I also enjoy being a sounding board and that my office serves as a safe space for people to just come in and have a chat if they need to get something off their chest.

Integral to having an engaged workforce, I believe, is ensuring good mental health and physical well-being. In support of this I have set up a “quiet space” where people can take time out to “recharge” in peace. I have also secured recognition for GAC as a Healthy Workplace as a result of the promotion of good nutrition and physical fitness.

What were some of the key learnings from the Graduate Certificate in HR Management?

Collaboration, open-mindedness and sharing of knowledge. These were always integral to my work but are now being more effectively applied in my dealings with others. This is a consequence of the knowledge and understanding I have acquired from the various units of study and the exchange of ideas with my fellow students. I have a greater understanding about adult learning and consequently how to be more effective at delivering training. In the Employee Relations unit I was able to develop a better understanding and knowledge of how the Fair Work Commission operates and makes decisions. I also take a more holistic view of the workplace in the context of the broader national and international economy.

How has it impacted / changed / benefited your role and your organisation as a whole?

As a not-for-profit organisation, we have a fairly limited budget and are mindful of this when identifying learning and development opportunities. However, as a result of my training, I have the knowledge and the confidence to design and deliver in-house training programs. And, once a program has been designed, it is something we can update and roll out to new employees as and when they join the organisation or need the training. This has allowed me to provide training that is targeted to our organisation and also serves as a cost-effective method of delivering training to as many staff as possible – including those of our staff who are based in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Overall, my studies have given me a great deal more confidence in my ability to make an effective and valued contribution to the organisation. It has broadened my perspective in a number of areas of HR, and made me aware of more alternatives that can be considered across a range of issues.

How did you come to be working in the not-for-profit sector?

My first role in the NFP sector was with St John of God Pathology in 2009. What I really enjoy about working in this sector is the commitment and passion that people bring to the workplace. For me, it provides an environment where values such as compassion, hospitality and respect are at the fore – and people in this sector understand and embrace these values. After working at St John of God for just over two years, I was approached and accepted appointment to my current role (which has evolved somewhat over the years) as HR Manager at GAC.

What do you feel is most needed to sustain and build the impact of the not-for-profit sector?

What’s needed are people with commitment and confidence to promote the value of the work being performed within the NFP sector and its contribution to the overall well being of society and the economy. This can be achieved, in part, by building the capacity of people through programs such as the scholarships offered by ASF and its sponsors. Recognition of people's achievements even in a small way will go a long way toward rewarding those in the NFP sector and building their resilience.

What is something interesting / unique / unusual about you?

I worked in Radio Broadcasting both in Australia and abroad, including in former Yugoslavia during the 1990s Balkans War, before I began my career in HR. That was soon after migrating to Australia with my young family in 2004. I am very proud to have completed this graduate program, with distinction, at the age of 58! I would encourage everyone to pursue their dream - if you want to advance yourself, be it through further study or a change of career, then do it. Don’t let age or anyone hold you back.

Click here to read about other ASF scholars.

"If you want to advance yourself, be it through further study or a change of career, then do it. Don’t let age or anyone hold you back."


Laureen has experienced two very distinct careers in her time, having begun her working life as a radio journalist working in South Africa, Australia and for the United Nations before moving into Human Resources. Since 2012, she has worked at the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation as HR Manager.

In 2017, Laureen was awarded a scholarship to complete a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management at Edith Cowan University (ECU) as part of the Bankwest Foundation Community Leader Scholarship Program. She excelled in her studies and has since graduated in September 2018.


Annual revenue / size:

Large - $5m - $25m pa

Segment of NFP sector:

Social Services

Operating in: