Juliette Wright Interview – From Nutritionist To Charity CEO
In this episode, Catherine chats to Juliette Wright, a long-term Mind Matters client and the founder and director of GIVIT, a not-for-profit with the aim of helping alleviate the effects of poverty across Australia.
She shares her secrets to success and the challenges she’s had to overcome in order to get there.
An experienced director and CEO, Juliette started the free online donation platform in 2009 with the hope of connecting those who have with those who need. The website has grown from just 15 charities onboard to more than 2,600 charities, government agencies and schools in just under 10 years. The website has seen more than 1.2 million items donated to people in need.
GIVIT also provides an award-winning Disaster Recovery Service to help manage donation flow after disasters like the Brisbane and Bundaberg Floods, Tropical Cyclones Marcia, Ita and Debbie, and the Gladstone and Tasmanian fires.
GIVIT is the only non-profit funded by the NSW Government’s Department of Primary Industry for drought recovery in New South Wales, because GIVIT buys locally in disaster and drought recovery, ensuring the right people, get the right things in the right way.
Juliette has won numerous awards for disaster recovery, business and innovation, and was awarded Australia’s Local Hero in 2015. More recently, she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal.
Listen to the podcast here or continue reading below.
- Why Juliette started the company in 2009 - realised charities don’t need clothes donated
- Juliette’s realisation that simple things can pull people out of poverty
- Her first challenge - articulating what she was trying to achieve
- A bit of background on how Juliette went from nutritionist to CEO
- Why the procurement website failed twice and how Juliette got past it
- What she would do differently - get a legal company because regulations change a lot
- Choosing to ignore everything and deciding never to give up
- The driving force - wanting to help people by giving the impoverished what they actually need
- Hitting the 10 year anniversary of GIVIT and 2.5 million donations (donations have since reached 3,3000,000 million)
- Black Saturday fires - killed 173 people in Victoria and gave Juliette the idea for GIVIT disaster recovery
- Rolling out disaster recovery throughout Australia and the problems along the way
- Juliette’s biggest issues - she doesn’t fit the charity mould
- Assessing her core values - love, trust and connection
- Prioritising her values and realising what was right and not-so-right for her
- How Juliette manages her emotional state
- Remaining true to her values and expecting others to respect them
- Being honest and transparent so she can acknowledge her mistakes
- Ensuring her core values complement her husband’s
- Hitting a milestone with the Townsville floods - delivered over 220,000 donations in three months
- How Mind Matters helped Juliette - every problem is an opportunity
- Being in denial as a manager and not listening to the problem
- Embracing the richness of life
- Focusing on what her family needs and juggling a business
- The importance of planning downtimes - letting go of GIVIT when on holiday
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“I started out with a really clear idea of having the biggest donation portal in Australia. I wanted a risk-free national rollout.” - Juliette Wright #MindMatters #Charity #Business