Bernadine's strength of character runs through everything she does. Through her life, there are countless examples of where she has seen things through and never given up. COO Irina Cherkasova wholeheartedly agrees. Having worked with Bernadine for 5 years, she's constantly impressed by Bernadine's work ethic and describes her as both proactive and indispensable!


Bernadine Phillips is Brevity’s fabulous Senior Accounts Officer but she also has a very full life outside of work. When she’s not organising the ticketing or stage management for events, or working out at the gym, she’s probably planning her next international travel adventure. You might be wondering how Bernadine fits all this in around a full time job! Thanks to some pretty finely turned organisation skills, a commitment to leave no job unfinished and high expectations of herself – she’s someone that always gets things done.


Building resilience and respect

Bernadine’s first full time job was as a collection officer for Baycorp Ltd. It doesn’t come much tougher than this! As a young school leaver, phoning people about their debt requires the highest degree of professionalism, composure through the toughest conversations and equal measures of compassion and directness. “You certainly get a thick skin – and quickly” recalls Bernadine as she explains the abuse that was dealt to her on a daily basis. She persevered through it and became a well respected member of the team.


Bernadine believes the 2-3 years spent in this role has set her up well for her working career. It taught her to keep going when things were tough, and that regardless of the task, she was able to apply an ethic of hard work for job satisfaction. Gaining confidence through this role, she applied for further roles and worked her way up in the organisation over a period of almost ten years.


Feeling it was time to move on from her first company and expand her experience, Bernadine started looking around. “It turns out you’re very employable when you’ve been with one company for almost a decade,” she laughs.


Welcome to the world of start ups

Bernadine was quickly snatched up as credit controller and remained in that role for another long stint, until a friend approached her about helping with a start-up. With a few Xero and bookkeeping courses under her belt, Bernadine became the accounts administrator for an exciting new company. She says “It was a great chance to see how a company is built from the ground up, it was such a different experience than the large corporate environments I had been in.”


It turned out to be the perfect training ground for a new role at Brevity. Bernadine explains how she applied for two jobs, and was interviewed for each. “They were both fantastic opportunities, but when I was interviewed by Brevity I thought I really want to work for this organisation! Luckily the then-CEO was equally impressed by Bernadine and fought to ensure the role went to her. 

Bernadine loves working at Brevity for its energy, diversity, and the way the organisation is so progressive. She says “The team is really young, and everyone works so hard. All the work within the team is really transparent and we’re all aiming towards the same goal. There are lots of cool people. I love the leadership team are inspirational, but they are also just one of the team.”


4 Day Week Provides an Opportunity

Bernadine goes on to explain “The company really encourages professional development, and we can each take the lead on what we want to learn. During our 4 Day Work Week Trial I used my gift day to study and recently I completed a Certificate in Personal Management and Human Resources. It was challenging but I’m very proud of myself for not only completing the paper in 5 months but passing with flying colours.”

Speaking volumes about her character, Bernadine is quick to recognise the contribution everyone around her makes, singing the praises of those new to the organisation through to the leadership team.


The appreciation is reciprocated too. Bernadine’s enthusiasm for her work and the loyalty and trust she has developed amongst those she works with have made her a rock within the Brevity team. Irina describes her as “an invaluable asset to our team at Brevity.” Irina describes Bernadine’s commitment to excellence as being “ evident in everything she does.” The fact that Bernadine consistently goes above and beyond, and is always ready to help anyone in need, does not go unnoticed. Irina says “Her positive attitude and work ethic are exceptional and we are so lucky to have her!”.