Everyone Meet Lucinda!

When Hollie left for Sydney in July this year she left us in extremely capable hands. Everyone meet Lucinda, our Milaana QLD Engagement Manager and all-round incredible person!

Impact 5If there is ever something that can be fixed or improved, Lucinda is the first person on it. She transforms our processes and documents into works of art and inspires the team to always reach for higher heights. For example, a few weeks ago we were in a meeting talking about our transformation when Lucinda shared this incredible quote:

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, get on, don’t ask what seat!”

I could talk all day about our wonderful Heroes but why not hear it straight from their own mouth? This is Lucinda…

IMG_0095Tell us all about yourself. What is your story?

To give a brief snapshot, my name is Lucinda O’Brien and I am a third year Business Management & Journalism Student from the University of Queensland.

I’ve grown up in Brisbane my whole life but I love travelling to new places – to discover the nuances and complexities of other cultures.

When I am in Brisbane I work with Milaana, TEDxSouthBank and YWCA, as I’m truly passionate about equal access to education and gender equality. I also spend a lot of time on the Internet as you can see here!

How did you first hear about Milaana?

I first heard about Milaana through a Facebook post when I was studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Despite being more than 15,000 km away I knew I wanted to get involved!

So I had my first Skype interview with Hollie a few days later.

What made you want to get involved Milaana?

I connected with Milaana’s message straight away. I know from personal experience how hard it can be to find the right internship and I really think that what Milaana does is important. Too often interns are underestimated, neglected or just glorified baristas. So it makes a lot of sense to complete an internship, which not only increases job readiness but also community engagement.


IMG_8720What is your role and what does it involve? What is your favourite part of the role?

I am the Queensland Engagement Coordinator, which means that I manage the Queensland team. I’d have to say my favourite part would be recruiting new Milaana team members from a wide range of backgrounds.

Each team member offers a new perspective and skill set – so it’s interesting to see how they grow within Milaana.

What skills and abilities are you improving?

The core skills I’m developing are my management, communication and business development capabilities and I’m definitely developing these skills in a big way with a lot of support from Hollie and the team.

Milaana is still so new (I mean this was our first operational semester), so we have a really strong culture of innovation and efficiency. If there’s a better way of doing something – we can change it. It’s that simple. I think being able to constantly improve and think “how can we make this easier for ourselves” is a really important skill to develop.

What have been the highlights of working with Milaana & what has really challenged you & made you grow?

The key highlight and the main challenge would be the Milaana team. But let me explain…



To put it simply, our team is amazing! We have such an eclectic group of multi-talented people; from Legal to HR to Finance to Marketing. Whenever there’s something I can’t figure out or need help – there was always someone to jump in, which is really empowering as a Manager.

In saying that, my biggest challenge as a Manager is how quickly Milaana is growing. With each new Queensland Milaana Hero we recruit my role expands that little bit more. So I have to be quite strategic in how I spend my time. The last thing I would want to do is micro-manage people. So as we expand my main challenge has been how does Milaana continue to evolve? Do we need to redefine our organisational structure? Our internal reporting? How do we ensure our heroes get the most of their Milaana experience?

But ultimately, that’s what has led to me to grow the most.

Hollie & Lulu experience process zen after a solid strategy morning!

What has been your biggest aha! moment? When did you start feeling like part of the Milaana family?

A few weeks after I joined the team we ran a Communication Workshop to share Milaana’s vision and overarching goals. We sat around a long boardroom table and announced our name, our degree and moment in which we were inspired.

To put it simply – the compassion, depth of experience and determination of my peers amazed me. I was so inspired to hear their brilliant stories about volunteer work, travelling and growing up. In that moment I was able to see them beyond the labels they prescribed to – to the person they were.

That’s what Milaana does. We know that young people are so much more than what degree they study. They are passionate, motivated and ready to engage with their community in a meaningful way. So Milaana is here to facilitate that.

What is next for you? Where do you see yourself in five years?

That’s a really hard question. Five years feels like a long time. All I know for now is that I plan to graduate at the end of next year. Then I’d love to travel more – live in a new city again. Maybe start my own business – that’s the plan for now at least.

If you like what you just read then why not head on over and meet the rest of our team? And if you’ve done all that already, then hold on to the edge of your seat and eagerly await the next few Heroes to be unveiled! Next week you will be meeting Sydney team member Ruby and be introduced to QUT ambassador Chelsea!

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