We are excited to share that Emily Hunt, National Risk & Security Operations Manager, was announced Most Outstanding Woman in Protective Security at Australian Women in Security Network’s Women in Security Awards.
Emily’s award recognises a strong female leader with a range of skills, delivering successful and highly valued services, and demonstrating a high level of commitment to excellence in all their business activities.
When Emily shared her career journey, it became clear why she won this award.
I was interested in joining the police force and decided to work for private security company to see if I liked the industry. I became a trained dog handler specialising in explosives and drug detection and never looked back.
For two years in that role I contracted to Westfield which led to the opportunity to work directly for our organisation and our Executives in the Corporate Security team.
I spent the next 10 years managing private executive security in Australia and around the world at events such as the opening of Westfield London. It was a 24/7 job that let me explore some incredible places.
When John Yates joined the business as Director of Security, he brought the retail and corporate security teams together. That gave me exposure to the retail side of the business, opening up career avenues I hadn’t considered.
While continuing to manage the executive security team, I became the Head of Risk & Security for the Westfield Sydney Precinct. It was a great opportunity to expand my security expertise and when the opportunity to move into my current role as National Risk & Security Operations Manager came up, it was one I knew I had to take. But it was also the scariest career move I’ve ever made.
It was daunting because of the increased scale and scope of my responsibility. Our 42 Westfield Living Centres see millions of customer visits every year and to know I play an integral role in keeping all of those people safe was a lot.
I also had a young family, so it was a challenge to balance my priorities at home with a new team and a role that is 24/7 in nature. I was lucky to be supported by great leaders and mentors who helped me find that balance, which was key to my success. Importantly, I’ve had the privilege of working with some incredible leaders, particularly Lillian Fadel, Karen Skinner and Alison Pearson. They are a source of guidance and fantastic mentors who have supported my development.
Now I absolutely love my role because I love how people focused it is.
Safety and security is everyone’s responsibility; I can’t do it alone. A big part of my team’s role is to set the strategy, policies and procedures, but they come to life through our operational teams in our centres – that’s where the magic happens. So, building relationships and investing in our people’s development, their capability and making sure they have the rights tools and resources to do a great job is the part that I enjoy the most.
A highlight to date has been partnering with our Community Experience team to create and launch bespoke Mental Health First Aid Training for our front line team members during the pandemic.
It was created to equip team members with the confidence and skills to engage and support people in our Westfield Living Centres who may be in crisis. Given how the pandemic impacted people, this capability was more important than ever, and while it was designed to support our customers and business partners, it’s been equally as valuable helping our people who may have been affected.
There’s always more we can do to support the Westfield communities we serve and I look forward to continuing to work with the Scentre Group team into the future.