Family comes first for Project Manager Dipti

The flexibility to work remotely from Queensland with St John of God Health Care, which offers services in three states across Australia but not Queensland, has enabled Project Manager Work Packages Dipti Saakhalkar to balance family life with her career goals.

29 Nov 2022

St John of God Health Care Digital Information and Technology Project Manager Dipti Saakhalkar

“It’s very important to prioritize. I know, for me, my family comes first. That makes every other decision very easy,” Dipti said.

Dipti joined St John of God Health Care in January 2021 and initially was working from the organisation’s Melbourne office (on St Kilda Road) before COVID-19 saw her transition to working from home.

“I think that actually worked to my advantage, because it cut down travel time by almost two and a half hours each day and there was no impact on my day to day work as the majority of the people I was working with were based in Perth. I was already using Webex and Jabber, in addition to phone calls and emails to communicate,” she said.

“So there were no real downsides to me working remotely.”

Dipti’s husband, however, was working interstate on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and with a young daughter the family wanted to be together.

“As we have no family in Australia, it was getting very difficult to manage a full time job, and look after her and manage her day care and other requirements alone,” Dipti said.

“When I asked permission from my leaders here, I was very lucky that they agreed to give me that temporary arrangement from Queensland because it was not impacting my work in any way.

“We are able to use technology to connect and coordinate with hospitals and my colleagues, either via Webex or phone calls or emails. 

“There are things I do miss, like going for coffee, walking to the desk to get a query solved or just chatting about the daily stuff with my colleagues, but everything has got its pros and cons, and at this point my family is my priority so I am really glad that I have been afforded the flexibility to work remotely.”

Dipti has already grown her career with St John of God Health Care, having started as a project support officer and recently been successful in being appointed as project manager work packages. 

“With majority of my work experience in transport and education, I was excited when I got an opportunity to work with St John of God Health Care to develop my expertise and skills within the health care sector, “ she said.  

“It gives me a sense of satisfaction that at the end of the day I'm managing work packages and projects where we are improving the current operations or bringing about more advanced medical facilities, which will help patients. What better than being of help to people in your own little way in their most vulnerable times. 

“It is also a very beautiful feeling to be referred to as a caregiver. In all my years of experience, I have always been referred to as an employee and suddenly, someone calls you a caregiver, it really feels different…a tad bit special.”