July 2019 Member Spotlight | Kathryn Fowler
The July member spotlight is on Kathryn Fowler, former AUA Chair and Vice-Chair.
Why did you get involved?
I had been working for my University for a few years, and had just been promoted to a new job. I was feeling nervous – as we all do, wondering if I’d “bigged up” my ability to do the job. A colleague told me “Join the AUA, it’s the best source of training and advice you’ll ever have.” He was right and I did. Later, I tried to repay that debt by sharing my experience and knowledge. I’ve never forgotten how open and generous people were – sharing how to and how not to!
What was the best bit?
Always the people I interacted with – from folk who shared how they did a similar job to those doing different things and giving support and encouragement. The networking opportunities are brilliant – conference, one-day events, local networks, special interest forums – so much talent, so readily shared, so many people to admire and emulate. I’m still in awe of those I’ve worked with, especially on the Board. I knew almost nothing about Governance when I joined, and learned so much from so many who were giving their time freely.
Would you recommend the role?
Yes I’d recommend it and I’d encourage everyone to consider applying, it’s a great honour and gave me countless memories I’ll treasure. The two years whizzed past and I enjoyed it enormously.
Being Chair was a terrifying responsibility but was made so much easier by the support from the Board members and from our Office, led by Kathy Murray. It’s a great way to give back and very rewarding – I had fantastic predecessors to live up to – Chris Hallas, Matthew Andrews and Tessa Harrison were Chairs in my time on the Board. They all had a unique style and approach and I was truly humbled to follow them.
The AUA has grown and developed while I’ve been involved. I know it will continue to thrive because the membership is vigorous, energetic and as generous as ever, full of initiative and resilience. As I come to the end of my career, I know it’s in good hands with the Board, the current Chair, Chris Ince, and the incoming Chair/Vice-Chair, Amanda Oliver, the fantastic team in the Office, the local coordinators volunteering their time and energy supported by the brilliant members.