Heidi Walker

Managing Director - Walker Seafoods Australia

Heidi was recently awarded the 2019 Corporate Business Woman of the Year on the Sunshine Coast.

Roles in life and work:

I am Managing Director and Owner of Walker Seafoods Australia (WSA). WSA is Australia’s largest wild caught tuna company based in Mooloolaba. My day is extremely busy selling our fresh fish into international and domestic markets, grading fish, overseeing all day to day operations of the business and fifty staff. I also have two beautiful girls who are six and four.
 

What are you juggling right now in your life? 

I juggle a lot as any mother would know. I enjoy doing F45 early at 5.30am and that has to fit into my schedule. I speak to a lot of my international buyers from around 3am in the morning and we are quite often packing for export at around 6am.

In between all of that I ensure I’m spending some quality time with my family and managing a few school drops off.

I have some wonderful help with our nanny Elisha and I couldn’t do my job and all of the children’s drops offs and homework  without that help.

I also travel domestically a bit so it really helps having someone who knows the whole kids routine like I do, as my husband Pavo is extremely busy managing our five vessels.

How do you value your time?

I am very conscious of valuing my time. I have learnt over the years to not waste time on external meetings that add little or no value to my business or personal life.

My iCloud Calendar is my life and everything I do is meticulously scheduled. I also diary block time with my family and time for the gym, this is really important to me and if it’s in the diary then it’s locked in!

I also am conscious of why I need to travel and not staying any longer than is required. 
 

How do you manage your time effectively?

As I mentioned my iCloud calendar is critically important to me and everything is scheduled in there.

Running your own business also gives you the advantage to work at different times rather than being so structured around a 9-5 time frame.

Although I do a lot of work in the early hours of the morning and on weekends quite often I’ll finish at midday on a Friday so I can have some time to myself and pick the girls up from school and kindy.

However it’s impossible to escape your work calls which come through at all hours and the constant emails! I’ve learnt to park emails that aren’t so important and deal with them when I’m back in the office.

I also have social media free time on the weekend so I’m not staring at my phone, it can be such a time waster!
 

How do you separate work and personal time?

That can be difficult but when I’m spending time with the family.  I’m conscious of not looking at my phone and having quality time with them.

Some weekends with work we are super busy but when I’m not at work we plan some quality time even if it’s just going to the local markets, beach or hanging out at home together.

And on the flip side when I’m at work or working from home my family are aware that my work is important and I need space to answer emails and talk to customers and staff.
 

What does your support network look like?
My husband Pavo is very busy with the business too but he always has time to help with our girls, cook dinner or do a grocery shop. We tag team a bit with family jobs.

I also have an amazing nanny called Elisha and she also helps around the house, cooking the girls dinner and doing drop off and pick ups – I couldn’t live without her.

My brother and family have recently moved up from Sydney so it’s great having them around as their kids are the same age so we share some babysitting on the weekend and we also hang out together.


What kind of conversations do you have with your inner voice?

With age comes confidence in yourself and knowing you are doing the best you can do!

However there is always the mummy guilt whether that be because I don’t spend enough time with them or haven’t been to enough school events or if I have to travel for work.

Of course kids know how to make you feel guilty so sometimes you have to accept that you can’t be there for everything.

Exercise is really important for my sanity and wellness so I’m really strict about making time for my early morning workouts, I’m a much better person to be around when I’m exercising on a regular basis.


Do you have any time saving tips for the One P community?

Being super organised which can be as simple as putting all appointments, school holidays, family time, exercise time in an electronic calendar.

Making lists is also crucial and constantly reviewing those lists, don’t feel bad about crossing things off that really aren’t necessary!

Also learn to say no, if you really don’t have time to help the teachers with reading to students at your child’s school then accept that and say no.

I also outsource jobs (as much as I can afford) that suck up my time and keep me away from my family time.

And finally limit your social media usage as it is such a time waster! I was horrified when my iPhone told me how much time a week I spend looking at my phone.

Walker Seafoods Australia is a Queensland based tuna company that operates on the entire east coast of Australia. 

Walker Seafoods own five vessels that unload through their processing facility in Mooloolaba. They employ 6 skippers, thirty three crew, a shore based management team including a Fishing Master and a permanent processing / export team.
 
Walker Seafoods Australia has been awarded 

  • 2019 National Gold Medallist Delicious Produce Awards
  • 2018 State Winner Delicious Produce Awards
  • 2018 Finalist Premier of QLD’s Export Awards
  • 2017 Highly Commended Best Supplier Seafood Excellence Awards SFM
  • 2017 Sunshine Coast Agribusiness

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