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16 May 2023

Talia and Andy share their parenting journey

In celebration of Families Week we spoke to Talia Champagne, Brand Marketing Manager - BrandSpace and Andy Vegter, Project Architectural Manager - Design about how they are creating the right work life and family life balance for their family.

Both Talia and Andy have worked with Scentre Group for over 10 years and started a relationship in 2019. Fast forward to today and they are busy parents of 15-month-old August and 12-year-old Leo.

Talia Champagne Andy Vegter

Talia said: “Scentre Group offers up to 18 weeks paid parental leave as part of up to 18 months unpaid parental leave. Being with August continuously in her first 12+ months was really important to both of us, and I was able to take approximately 14 months away from work and flexibly use a mix parental leave and long service leave. The timing of my leave worked out well, as I was also able to support Leo as he transitioned to high school.

“Now that I’ve returned to work in the last month, it’s great that Andy is able to seamlessly step in to extend this time by using his primary carers parental leave as well.”

Andy said: “I agree the level of support we have received from Scentre Group has been great.

“It was a fantastic benefit to have an initial four-week period of secondary carers' leave when August was born because it enabled me to support both Talia and August. To have access to another 14 weeks as a primary carer on top of that is an amazing opportunity.

“In talking to family and friends it’s not something that all companies are doing. We have a lot of friends that have taken annual leave or tried to maintain the juggle of work and it’s not been easy.”

Talia said: “Scentre Group’s parental leave is really inclusive and it allowed us to plan how we wanted to support each other in the last few weeks of pregnancy through to my coming back to work and Andy stepping in. It can be a really stressful time but it’s stress we didn’t have to navigate.”

Andy said: “For us, the main thing we want to achieve as a couple is a better family balance. When I was working, August’s reliance on her Mum, even when we were both at home, was still at around 95%. The opportunity for August and I to spend more one-on-one time together has strengthened our relationship so Talia and I now play a more equal primary parenting role ongoing.”

Talia concluded: “It was a bit of tricky transition to start, August would be crying as I was leaving, and cried when I got home. Now, really quickly, we are at a point where she waves and says goodbye and it’s been a really great shift for her to know that she can rely on both of us. For us as a couple, it’s also a great opportunity to experience and appreciate the differing roles of full-time parenting versus balancing parenting and work.”

Our parental leave policy

Our parental leave policy is 18 weeks gender neutral paid leave with no qualifying period, with up to 18 months unpaid leave. It also includes four weeks secondary carers' leave. We provide continuous leave accrual and super contributions throughout parental leave. Our policy includes leave for team members who experience loss through stillbirth and support for team members who experience loss through miscarriage.

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12 July 2024
5:27 PM AEST

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