Susan Morgan is the new Telegraph Hill Centre Manager. Here, she tells us a little bit about herself.
Early years and life in London
Born in Australia, I am in fact a half Welsh and half Yorkshire lass. This has meant the UK is like a second home for me and for the past two years I’ve had the wonderful experience of being a South London local.
Professional career and life experiences
Professionally I worked as a daily newspaper journalist for many years in Australia covering all sorts of stories, primarily courts and science, as well as working as an editor and subeditor. This led to a law degree, concentrating on the communications/media area, however I discovered a real love of welfare law. Working with people having difficulties with government social security payments – from youth payments to age pensions – is an extremely rewarding practice area as immediate results mean immediate relief from severe financial hardship. These skills later proved to be very useful in a counselling business established in Sydney in 2010 which helped older people move into second careers or retirement.
Managing buildings and fundraising
Across many years I have project managed the construction of two commercial properties as well as overseen major renovations. I enjoy direct contact with the building trades and the problem solving this entails.
Having raised considerable sums over the years for various community projects, this combined with my practical experience led to an appointment as external liaison manager for one of Sydney’s newest concert halls, a 1500-seat auditorium right in the heart of the city. Used for opera, orchestras and choral concerts, my role was to make sure all ran smoothly and new opportunities were explored with varied cultural bodies and community groups.
Community has always been fundamental to me and voluntary work has been part of my working life for as long as I can remember. It is a privilege to be able to contribute and every time I feel I get out as much as I give by helping in this way – from running the usual school fund-raising activities to advising artist’s on their intellectual property rights to their works; from helping resettle prisoners on release to mentoring homeless people returning to work. For the past 10 months I have been on the committee of Street Trees for Living, the Lewisham-wide street tree campaign run by Brockley Society (shameless plug there!).
Getting stuck in …
I am a very keen gardener and am getting used to the different plants, strong seasons and plentiful water here. Instead of grasses, gums and tough natives I am learning how to have actual plant beds and the thrill of having happy, healthy rose bushes won’t wear off in a hurry.
My secret skill is as a grape-grower, our family being lucky enough to establish two large vineyards in NSW over 24 years ago – one in the Hunter Valley and the other at Mudgee. The grapes we grew were mostly sold to be used in Rosemount wines but the very best we made into our own wines. Unfortunately the properties have since been sold but my two sons have very happy memories of their time growing up on the farm.
Please come and say hello as I look forward to meeting you all and finding out how we can all work together to make this community even stronger than it clearly already is