With experience across a broad array of sectors and skills, Kirsty Moore is well equipped to lead the organisation into the next steps of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve their goals of home ownership, starting or growing a business, and investment opportunities.
Kirsty joined IBA in 2018 as head of Products and Markets. In July 2021 she was appointed IBA's new CEO after a competitive recruitment process.
We caught up with Kirsty to find out more about why she loves working for IBA, how she got here, and how a broken hand changed the course of her life!
What made you initially chose to work at IBA?
In my previous role with the WA State Government, I was responsible for asset management of the social housing portfolio. I'd been working with an Aboriginal corporation in the Pilbara that wanted to acquire some vacant state government-owned social housing properties so they could build their own rental portfolio for community use. The corporation had a really strong vision to provide culturally appropriate housing supported by traditional values. IBA came up in conversation as a potential provider of finance for the homes and a source of support. After a bit of research I found out that IBA’s home loans offering was not too dissimilar in product style to the WA Keystart loan of which I was very familiar. I was also impressed by IBA’s ability to support Indigenous Australians where other entities don’t operate, and I thought it would be great to help more groups do what they want to do and feel empowered.
What do you love about working for IBA? What has been the most rewarding achievement so far?
For me it's about the people – my colleagues and those we serve. IBA is the most supportive and collaborative organisation I’ve ever worked in. Our people are amazingly talented and there is a genuine feeling of connection to outcomes and a passion to do the very best we can for Indigenous communities. Such connection and commitment is rare and precious.
In addition, I love connecting with our customers. So many inspiring stories of success and such generosity of time and wisdom. Nothing beats hearing how we've helped someone achieve their dreams. I feel very lucky each day to be able to work somewhere that can have such a positive transformative impact on peoples’ lives.
There have been so many rewarding achievements during my IBA career to date. I have enjoyed seeing individual staff members develop and individual customers achieve their dreams. While I could talk about big strategic successes, the daily interactions and wins are the most rewarding achievements for me. The impacts we have on the people are the impacts that stick in my mind the longest.
What did you want to be at 12 years old and at 21 years old?
At 12 I wanted to be like Tom Cruise in Top Gun and fly fighter jets for the Royal Navy on and off those massive air craft carriers. I actually applied for a Royal Navy university sponsorship when I was 18 but when I saw some of the scary training requirements, I decided it might not be for me after all!
At 21, I was at university in London reading Economics and I had a part-time weekend job in a shoe shop on Oxford Street. My boss in the shoe shop wanted me to join the graduate program to become a store manager and I think that was what I would most probably have done. In a strange twist of fate, I broke my hand and wasn’t able to work in the shoe shop for a few weeks.
While I was on leave, a friend convinced me to go to a graduate careers fair and, on account of my broken hand, I happened to drop all the promotional materials the different stalls give you in front of the Chartered Accountants’ stall. The lovely accountants offered to help me pick up my things, that turned into a chat about careers in finance, and the next thing I knew I had signed up to commence the Chartered Accountant training program.
I often reflect back how that one moment of the broken hand completely changed my future – different career, different country!
What are you most looking forward to as new CEO of IBA?
While I most certainly feel the weight of responsibility, the CEO role is so exciting!
I can see so many opportunities for IBA to be responsive to customer needs and seize external opportunities. As an organisation we have excellent resources and a great track record of good delivery. We have a supportive and knowledgeable Board, so many positive relationships with stakeholders, and have a strong mandate to deliver for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
At this particular time there are huge opportunities for us to collaborate with others to do more, champion innovation, and do more of what we already do well for our customers.
In the next few months, I'm very much looking forward to being able to travel again. I miss connecting with customers, staff and stakeholders in person. I’m excited for us all at IBA to get out and about again.
Do you have any advice for maintaining wellbeing?
I walk 10,000 steps every day and have done every day since 2 January this year. It’s a simple way to stay active and create some thinking space.