Senior Social Responsibility Manager, Lotto New Zealand
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Creative Industries
AUT communications alumna Kelly Bleakley’s diverse pathways early on in her career journey were the perfect foundation for a great role at Lotto New Zealand, where she is using all the skills she has learnt.
After finishing her Bachelor of Communication Studies in 2008, Kelly joined DDB before returning to university for a final year of study, doing a graduate diploma in teaching. With a teaching diploma under her belt, Kelly worked as a dance and drama teacher at Avondale College for two years.
Fonterra then offered Kelly a role as part of new national initiative Fonterra Milk for Schools. The shift into one of New Zealand’s largest companies was eye opening, Kelly says, and so was managing the thousand or so stakeholders who were involved in the project.
She continued to follow her passion for community engagement and in 2015, Kelly joined the Sir Peter Blake Trust, helping inspire the next generation of Kiwi leaders, adventurers and environmentalists through her roles as leadership programme director and, eventually, head of community engagement.
Creating positive social impact
Now working as the senior social responsibility manager for Lotto New Zealand, Kelly is applying her skills to help improve the organisation’s responsible gaming and corporate social responsibility programme.
“My current role involves overseeing Lotto New Zealand's approach to harm minimisation, ensuring that Lotto New Zealand has a world-leading responsible gaming programme. It also involves driving our commitment to broader corporate social responsibility, in relation to our impact from a society and sustainability perspective.”
Being able to make a positive difference is what she enjoys most about her role.
“The work I do helps to keep New Zealanders safe from gambling harm, and I enjoy getting to work with all areas of the business and create positive social impact.”
The path to success
Kelly’s hard work and talents haven’t gone unnoticed, and she has received a number of awards throughout her career including the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and a Silver Tui Award from Scouts New Zealand. Her former high school, Diocesan School for Girls, also honoured her with a Women2Watch Award.
All of her roles have required extensive communication skills and a good understanding of media, technology, and confidence in front of or behind a camera. She says she is grateful to AUT for the depth of knowledge and breadth of skills they provided her with.
Her advice for other students is not to be afraid to try different career paths.
“Don’t be afraid to work a mixture of jobs, and dabble in different career paths. Having a variety of roles early in your career will prepare you well for the future. In the end, all the skills you pick up along the way will make you a more valuable and skilled employee.”