Deb wears many hats at Peter Jones Special Events – General Manager, Finance Manager, Event Manager, Mum. Having worked at PJSE for 18 years, she is a very handy resource to have in the office and given she ensures everyone gets paid, she is also very popular. Peter sat down with Deb to find out what some of her highlights have been over the years in this next instalment of “White with one” – PJSE staff edition.
Peter: How do you take your coffee?
Chai latte. I’d only have one occasionally. I’m not a big coffee drinker and tend to have tea – lemon and ginger is my favourite at the moment.
Peter: How long have you worked at PJSE and what is your background?
18 years, which makes me the longest serving employee – besides you of course Pete. I started as the bookkeeper and worked part time from home. I can remember being given a big green book which had all the income and payments hand written in pencil by you Pete.
Peter: That was a job I used to do Deb because there was no one else to do it. My accountant said do it in pencil so if you make a mistake you can rub it out! The business has certainly come a long way since those days…..
Before PJSE and in the early days of PJSE I worked in our family panel beating business; as well as raising 3 children.
Peter: What are some of your proudest moments/highlights while working at PJSE?
Certainly paying all the bills and making sure all the invoices go out on time! But I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to be part of some of the best events we have done as a company; in particular, the Prime Minister’s Olympic Dinners, the VRC Melbourne Cup and AFL Grand Final Parades and of course AFL Grand Final Day itself. To say you are one of the elite few to be on the ground on Grand Final Day is a real honour. The MCC 175th Anniversary was also an amazing event, as was the Amway China events. However, running my own event this year is something that I am extremely proud of – Australia Day in Kings Domain Gardens. Over 20,000 people turned up and everyone had a great time.
Peter: And Deb you did a fantastic job – it was a great event! Who are some of your most admired Melburnians?
I have always been someone who has really admired people who don’t get the recognition they deserve for what they do. Organisations such as the Police, Fire, Ambulance who do their job to help protect the community. I also think someone like Rosie Batty who has publicly gone out to try and make a difference after going through something so tragic deserves special recognition.
Peter: What is your favourite event to attend in Melbourne?
Probably the AFL Grand Final, as I’m able to stand on the ground as part of the pre match. I also really enjoy being part of the AFL Grand Final Parade and to see all the people turn up to cheer their team on.
Peter: What is your favourite PJSE Christmas card?
They have all been great but I’d have to say Rocky Horror, closely followed by Priscilla. We even had the real makeup artist from Rocky Horror when we did the photoshoot. Although Pete, you as Frank-N-Furter was pretty scary! I’ve been in all of our Christmas cards, except for the first two and I’m looking forward to this year’s card.
Peter: What is the best thing about living in Melbourne?
Our four seasons, particularly now in autumn. I also love being able to live where I have kangaroos and horses in my backyard.
Peter: Finally, what’s one thing a lot of people would not know about you?
I have a motorbike, Suzuki GSXF 750, and have ridden to all parts of Australia as a member of the Ulysses Club.
Peter: Deb thank you for your time today and everything you have done over the last 18 years!