Think HBR

LET’S TALK WITH.... Sarah-Jane Dunford

What’s your current role?
My fulltime role is Director of Riskology Pty Ltd, a safety consultancy, where I help small and large business from all industries cut through the minefield of safety legislation to achieve compliance. I work with some of Australia’s most well known brands right down to the mum and dad businesses and everything in between. I am also the founder of Hunter Safety Awards, Chair of Hunter branch of the Safety Institute of Australia, Board Director of Clik Lok Pty Ltd (a needle syringe manufacturer) and an Artist.
What job have you enjoyed most?
Definitely my role as a safety consultant at Riskology, I love seeing what other businesses are doing in this field, being able to help them improve. Safety is my true passion; to me it just makes sense! I have a strong belief that all businesses should have access to great safety advice, not just the ones with big pockets. It’s not just the businesses with deep pockets that injure people and it was a goal when starting Riskology to give back to the community. Since starting the business in 2011 I’ve donated over $80K worth of pro bono consulting to small Hunter charities and businesses.
When you’re not at work, where can we find you?
I’m also a muscle car artist and paint cars, and dogs on canvas through my business called Paint My Ride. A lot of this work is for charity, last year I donated artworks to 16 local charity auctions and painted over 40 works for customers all over the world. Cars are in general a masculine subject, so I add a little bit of pink to all my paintings to give them a little bit of femininity. When I’m not doing that I’m dirt bike riding.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get inspired through marketing and technology. One thing people hate with safety is all the paperwork, but there is so much technology out there now that you don’t need to get buried under piles of paper. I love listening to business podcasts by Timbo Reid and Seth Godin, it gets me pumped and passes the time travelling in the car.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Be yourself. For years I was a librarian type professional and really hid my personality as I thought I’d come across as more mature and respected. Interestingly, the more I was myself, the more my business relationships blossomed.
Tell us something that most people wouldn’t know about you.
I’m studying Social Psychology of Risk - my third masters degree.
How would you like to see our region develop over the next decade?
I’d like to see the Hunter lead the way in safety. We have some great businesses doing amazing things in the safety realms, but it’s hard to get noticed on a national scale. I’m kicking off the inaugural Hunter Safety Awards this year through which local businesses can receive recognition for the great work in safety that they do.
For information about the awards you can go to the website:
Are you reading anything at the moment?
The new mine safety legislation – just kidding! I’m reading ‘Inspiring Ted Talks’ at the moment, 18 minute inspiring public speeches, they are really powerful!