A Day in the Life of Hemaxi (Maxi) Ghelani

Leader. Mother. Change Maker.

Since I arrived in Sydney from the UK some 20 years ago, I have worked for UNSW. I first joined the University as an Administrative Officer and since 2001, I have worked off campus at St George Hospital as the School Manager of the St George and Sutherland Clinical School for UNSW Medicine. I manage the administrative, financial and compliance operations of the School.

My motivator is my family, continuously endeavouring to do my best with a strong desire to make a difference. I have been fortunate to be able to capitalise on my strengths such as leadership, integrity and resilience throughout my career at UNSW.

I am married and a proud mum of two children, who are little dynamos. Between family life and the breadth of activity which encompasses my role, I need to be adept at multitasking and juggling the balance between my work and home life.

Learn more about Maxi

  • Alarm goes off at 6:00 am – I wake up, catch up with the news and weather, eat breakfast, and get myself ready.
  • 7:00 am – It’s my day to get the kids ready and take them to school before work. Sort out breakfast for the kids, make and pack the school lunches.
  • 7:45am – Put on a load of washing; leave a note for my husband to hang out washing when he comes home from work. Get the kids to brush their teeth and get ready for school. Make beds, quick tidy up, put dishes in dishwasher. Already feel like I’ve covered a day’s work!
  • 8:25 am – Head out of the door, drop the kids to school and drive to work. Upon arrival in the office, I organise myself, take a couple of minutes to focus myself on the present. Start checking my emails and catching up on pressing administrative tasks, including finance reporting.
  • 9:30 am – Follow up with hospital engineering and corporate services teams regarding the absence of air-conditioning in the research laboratories. This has been a major issue over the last two months. Dealing with hospital administration and governance is a normal part of my responsibility working on the hospital premises. Have an unplanned meeting with two members of my team who have excellent suggestions regarding the conjoint appointment workflow. Jot this down to put forward to the next Conjoint Working Committee.
  • 10:30 am – First scheduled meeting of the day with Senior Technical Officer relating to renovation of a PC2 facility and management of access to the labs. Continue working at my desk till about 12.15, and then drive to the Kensington campus and eat a sandwich in the car on the way.
  • 1:00 pm – Arrive on campus just in time for scheduled meeting. Whilst on campus, follow up with the Development Officer, HR and Finance, resulting in a list of tasks to follow up.
  • 4:00 pm – Head back to the office, catch up with colleagues before sitting back at my desk and following up on phone messages. Make a cup of tea (long day to go without a cuppa). Review emails and reply to the priority ones. Send out requests for meetings to follow up on matters raised. Address outstanding matters and review several documents and drafts against pending projects.
  • 6:30 pm – Today’s another late one at work. Attend to higher degree administration, including progress reviews, outstanding examiners’ reports, thesis corrections and nomination of examiners. (I wouldn’t normally perform these activities but I am currently under-staffed).
  • 7:00 pm – Leave the office to drive home. Ask family all about their day. No need to follow up on kids’ homework tonight, as thankfully my husband did this when he picked up kids from after school care.
  • 8:15 pm – Eat dinner, put kids to bed, then snuggle and story time with my kids.
  • At the end of the evening I plan for tomorrow’s work day, prioritising my list of things to do. Reflect on the day, what worked well, what didn’t and how I can make tomorrow better. Focus on the positives no matter how busy or difficult things get.