Blue Mountains News
A Record Breaking 50 Years of Service to the Community
1970 was also the year that a fresh-faced, 16-year-old girl named Karen Ives started her first job as a stenographer in the typing pool at Blue Mountains City Council.
Karen says she was a little nervous commencing full time work but after achieving First Place Honours in her Secretarial Course at Katoomba Technical College, Council awarded her the second year wage of $21 per week. She spent it on paying board to her mother and buying herself a new dress and a pair of shoes.
From there, Karen worked her way up to the role of the Mayor’s Secretary, a position she held for 28 years, during which time she worked with eight successive Blue Mountains City Council Mayors.
Jump to 2020 and the third generation Blackheath resident remains an employee of the organisation, however she now works as a Facilities Liaison Officer – Hall bookings.
So why has she stayed all this time?
“I have two families,” Karen says. “My own family and my Council family. What has kept me here are the people. I have many strong friendships and the people I work with are just lovely. There’s never a dull moment. We have fun and they really make my day. I’m happy and when you’re happy where you are, why leave?”
“I also love my community,” Karen says and Blue Mountains City Council has provided a long-standing career that has allowed her to serve that community, in various roles.
Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill says of Karen’s 50 years of service: “It is a rare privilege to have such a long-serving and dedicated employee. I would like to formally acknowledge and thank Karen for her incredible contribution to Blue Mountains City Council and for her many years of invaluable service to our community.”
Blue Mountains City Council CEO Dr Rosemary Dillion echoed this sentiment saying: “I congratulate Karen for reaching such an impressive milestone at Council. I know I speak for many of Karen’s friends and colleagues when I acknowledge what a positive contribution she has made to the organisation.”
Looking back on her career, Karen says: “I feel very grateful to the Council and the community for giving me these opportunities. Growing up, I always wanted to break a record and now I have – I am the longest serving employee of Blue Mountains City Council.”
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