Meet our new Partner – Annalisa Amiradakis
Annalisa, you’ve been in Australia and with Deloitte since 2015. Tell us a bit about your professional background and how you ended up here?
I’m originally from South Africa, and I was a partner with a mid-tier professional services firm there. Then I suppose you could say I took a step backwards to move forward. My family decided we wanted to move to Australia, and so I took a role as director in the Global Middle Market assurance and advisory practice within Deloitte to establish myself in an unknown market and to get to learn a culture that I wasn’t familiar with. I started off life in university doing a law degree, and then realised that all my favourite subjects were commerce related! Ultimately, my passion is for people, and specifically helping our clients by giving them the best advice I have available to me from my years of experience.
So having settled in Australia, you now both work and live in Western Sydney – an area that receives a lot of hype and focus as the ‘next big growth area for Sydney’. Do you believe that hype?!
I absolutely love Western Sydney. A lot of that love is probably because it reminds me of South Africa. There are so many different cultures here – even within our office, you can really see the whole world represented. Because so many people in Western Sydney have come from different and in many cases, developing countries, many of us have gone through the experience of trying to integrate into this new environment. So there’s a lot of support available in that respect.
You’ve been described as a sought-after mentor and as someone who has built a great team around her. Why is it that you value mentoring so highly and what approach do you take?
I think mentoring is so important, especially for young women and especially in an area like Assurance and Advisory. Because the work can be so demanding, I know at a certain point a lot of women, particularly those with families, have felt they have had to tap out. I have intentionally taken advantage of the agility and flexibility that a company like Deloitte provides to work differently. This has meant changing how I work, but also being conscious and mindful of educating people about that difference. Being an effective leader means showing your human side – there are times when people need to understand the struggles, how to overcome them, how to be challenged and be successful. In the context of my own successes and being a mentor, I might not be able to stay late in the office every night, but I will make myself available to my team as they need me, in other ways. I want to be able to pass on this knowledge and this confidence to other women – it’s not always going to be easy but it’s definitely possible to find a way to combine what we do with the time needed for family commitments too.
Can you give us some examples of how you tend to work differently to manage your time and your team?
I have a husband, John and two gorgeous boys Luca and Mattia. So sometimes, if it works, I’ll combine family and work activities such as our end of season function at the beach. I don’t believe in being shy about the aspects of my life outside of work. My other passion is food. It is a very important part of me! And it couldn’t be any other way with two Italian parents and a Greek husband! So many times I’ll combine client engagements or team events with food-focused activities – like holding a cupcake bake off with the client.
What are your hopes for the future, both professionally and in your personal life?
Professionally, as partner, I’m looking forward to continuing to build our business in Western Sydney. I plan to spend some time growing my network outside of Deloitte. My internal network has been so helpful to me and now I want to replicate this network outside of the firm and within the Western Sydney community, so we can work together to make great things happen for our region. I hope to continue my growth as a mentor in the firm to young aspiring individuals, particularly to my female colleagues in Western Sydney.
From a personal point of view, I’m going to continue to spend time with the family enjoying this beautiful new country we live in. At the weekends we like to make sure we’re at the beach or exploring some new place on a little family road trip. We’re immersing ourselves in our new country and loving it. And the kids will continue to cook with me, so we’ll keep baking or making pizzas or whatever comes to mind!
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given
To prioritise life into bouncy balls and glass balls. Don’t ever let the glass ones drop. Family will always be a glass ball but at different points in life various aspects such as work, health, friendships can be either a glass ball or a bouncy ball – the key is to knowing when to throw some higher in the air so you can catch the glass one that needs the attention!
What TV show are you currently binging on?
House Rules and This Is Us
Your favourite thing to do if you have an unexpected free hour to yourself?
Something artistic and creative