Kat Fairlie is Anchor Excellence’s in-house graphic designer. She discussed what it was like working for a company with a conscience and starting your dream job.



Hello, Kat! How did you get involved with Anchor Excellence?  

Like many people trying to enter this industry, I struggled to find a job after I graduated. Ingrid Fairlie, my mum, was working at Anchor Excellence and heard there was a position available for a graphic designer. I was 21 and fresh out of uni, so I saw the role as a great opportunity to use my skills and passion to start my dream career.


Why did you choose to join Anchor Excellence?  

I think it’s important to work for a company that has the same values as you. At Anchor Excellence, I saw everyone striving to achieve the same goal. I saw an opportunity to contribute to a forward-thinking and fast-moving company that has been excelling in the aged care sector. I was happy to take it. Working at Anchor Excellence allows me to expand my knowledge while doing what I love.  


How is Anchor Excellence facilitating and developing your leadership potential?  

Without the brilliant team behind me, I would not be where I am today. They have pushed me to new limits and supported me every step of the way. Cynthia Payne has shown me what a great leader looks like, and how I can be a leader in my own way. 


What does this opportunity mean to you?  

This is the beginning of my career as a Graphic Designer, and I have been given the highest starting point I can think of.

Beginning my career at Anchor Excellence has helped me evolve my graphic design capabilities. I’ve been given the opportunity to challenge myself every day, and push my design further. It’s exciting to discover what I can create. I am also learning to be myself. I see Cynthia and the team as mentors; it’s great to see how leaders like Cynthia have gotten to where they are. In addition to this, I am also learning about the aged care sector and how we can better support it.


Anchor Excellence has a very clear social mission. What is the most exciting thing you’re working on at the moment?

For the past year, I have been working alongside Carla Beheram, Ingrid Fairlie, and Alexandra Brockhurst to create a new aged care risk assessment platform, the High Impact Risk Assessment – Elders (HiRA-E). HiRA-E is a tool that will set a new benchmark for assessing risk in aged care. Performing a risk assessment in under 10 minutes will change the way that risk is viewed across the sector, and make a difference wherever it is implemented.


What has your biggest hurdle been so far, and how did you overcome it?  

The biggest hurdle for me has been adapting to such a fast-paced environment. It has taken some time to get used to multiple deadlines, priority work, and making sure that everything gets done on time. Learning how to curate my own strategy in this environment and understanding how important saying no can be have been important steps.


What has been your biggest achievement at Anchor Excellence to date?  

My first published work. At last year’s leaders’ summit, Anchor Excellence had a booklet placed on each table seating for over 500 people. Seeing something I had spent months on in people’s hands was amazing. I remember feeling so proud of myself after I saw my own work out in public. I don’t think I’ll be able to replicate that feeling. To this day, I still find it strange to see things that I have designed in publications, on websites and in aged care homes.  


What do you feel is the company’s greatest strength as a business?  

Each member of the team has their own strengths, and we all support each other to ensure we do our best. I am lucky to be a part of such an amazing, supportive team. 


It’s 2022. If we’re celebrating your successful 2021, what would we be talking about? 

We would be talking about how far I have come since I started. We’d be talking about how much I have developed, not only as a graphic designer, but also as a person.





Established in 2018, Anchor Excellence has a commitment to excellence in aged care delivery, business transformation, leadership, mentoring, and training. Anchor Excellence works to empower aged care leaders to create an aged care system that is framed by the lived experience of older Australians.






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