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Helen Shand

Business Solutions Lead

25 May 2023

Meet Helen. She’s passionate about enhancing technology usage and providing our airport stakeholders with great user experiences. Learn more about her here.

What do you love most about your job? The variety! Not just in my own role, but also through the various amazing people I get to work with across our campus. I’m constantly learning how they use technology, what outcomes they want from it, and how we can enable them to make better use of it.

What’s been the most interesting thing you’ve worked on here? The nature of my role means I’m involved in many interesting projects, but I think my favourite one so far was the development of our new staff intranet and the migration of content to it. It involved working with every team in our organisation to find out about their information needs and translating these needs into an intranet that enabled easier communication and collaboration. 

What has led you to this career? Early in my career I realised I enjoyed working with others and helping them to understand how to use a computer system, or how they could perform a task in a more meaningful or efficient way. I quickly realised these experiences gave me the greatest amount of job and personal satisfaction. This led me to pursue a career in adult learning which has led me to roles in both corporate training and tertiary teaching.

Favourite airport initiative? Being part of teams cooking meals for families at Ronald McDonald House and providing Christmas gifts to young tamariki through Shoebox Christmas Aotearoa. Both initiatives are really team focused and I enjoy working with colleagues to figure out how we can create a meaningful experience to make a difference to someone’s life.

Most exciting moment on the job? Going for a ride in the Airport Fire Service Panther truck as the team completed an apron and runway inspection. It’s amazing to be in a fire truck for a start, let alone being driven airside!

Most memorable Christchurch Airport experience? Touring NASA’s SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy). It was such an amazing aircraft and I feel really privileged to have been able to see her up close before she retired in 2022.

What are you happiest doing when you’re not working? Pottering around in my garden or walking the hills and tracks around Canterbury with friends and family.

Biggest life accomplishment so far? That’s an easy one, my two children. Being a parent is definitely a lifelong learning journey! Just when you think you might have the hang of it, your kids reach a new age and stage which represents new joys and challenges.

Where’s your hometown and what’s its best-kept secret? I’m originally from Oxford and I love the great walking tracks there.

Where’s your favourite summer escape? Camping at Duvauchelle on Banks Peninsula. Our family spends lots of time at the beach across the road from the campground.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their career at the airport? The airport is a fun and inclusive place to work. You don’t need a background in aviation because there’s a wide range of employment opportunities across the campus.