How this Rocky businesswoman is shaping Northern Australia
ROCKHAMPTON woman Kathy Holmes' passion to help others has launched her finance career towards shaping Northern Australia.
Throughout her three decades in the industry, the local businesswoman has climbed the ranks to become both the senior partner at Morgans Financial Limited, and the community's go-to finance guru.
Now with a wealth of knowledge behind her, Ms Holmes was approached to fill a key position as a Northern Australia Advisory Council (NAAC) member,which helps the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) identify community priorities.
After working in real estate, health and rural services and then moving to London, Ms Holmes returned to Rockhampton to become the first woman to be appointed as a manager of a Morgans Financial Limited business office in Australia.
"It wasn't planned," she said.
"I was working for someone in the industry and it evolved from there."
While working, Ms Holmes undertook her financial studies and discovered a love for "helping people with their finances".
"I was teaching them budgeting and there's a real education process with clients," she said.
"I've had lots of long-term clients, with three generations of clients in some families."
Ms Holmes been involved in the local Business Women's Network and the Division Women's Network and was president of the Rockhampton Rotary Club 15 years ago.
She was also involved with Rockhampton and Capricornia Coast Outrigging and is currently on the Salvation Army Red Shield Committee.
Ms Holmes' key position in Rockhampton finance sector has now taken her across the country to Kununurra, Western Australia, where she attended her first advisory council face-to-face meeting this month.
There she saw first-hand the positive affects of a newly-introduced water system.
The project itself reflected the proposed affects of the Rookwood Weir, a project that Ms Holmes is throwing her support behind.
"It only means great things for our infrastructure," Ms Holmes said.
"Once the weir is built and the dam is there, there will be an unlimited supply of water which will help agriculture to grow and will attract agriculture to the region.
"I will be on the ground talking to a lot of people with what they feel are requirements to improve the region and then I will take it back to the Minister."
Minister for Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan congratulated Ms Holmes on her new appointment on the NAAC, and welcomed her guidance in the council which he heads.
He said she was a "real asset to the council" and will provide extensive knowledge of management, finance and investment advice.
"She knows exactly what business conditions northern industries require to allow them to further develop, and is a strong advocate for regional communities and business interests," Senator Canavan said.
After she was approached for the role, Ms Holmes said it was "quite an honour to be asked to represent Rockhampton and the Central Queensland region".
"It was based on my experience in the financial services industry and also being a long-term resident," Ms Holmes said.
"I have a grasp from different people what is required in the region, what they're looking for and how to build it.
"I get feedback from everyone in the area in regard to what's required, infrastructure and tourism-wise.
"It's about giving back to the community... being out there on the ground, talking to different people and businesses and getting a feel of their wants and needs."
Tourism and employment are also areas Ms Holmes said will be a priority for her in her new role.
"The Rockhampton Regional Council spent a lot of money beautifying the riverbank, parks and gardens, and we need to make good use of them and attract more tourism," Ms Holmes said.
"On the Capricorn Coast there have been a lot of closures of tourist attractions and we need to rectify them and get them up and running again to attract more employment and tourism."