A day in the life of… Adam Byrne

Adam ByrneAdam Byrne is the Director of Campus Safety & Security. Adam’s Directorate is part of the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Students & International (PVC, S&I) portfolio. Adam commenced employment at UWS in early 2007, taking up the role of Manager, Security & Campus Services within Capital Works & Facilities.

His title was changed in 2008 to Senior Manager, Campus Security and in 2010 the entire unit was transferred to the Academic Registrar’s portfolio and was set up as its own Directorate.

Adam is the 2009 winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award (Excellence in Professional Service) and the 2010 Spirit of UWS Award.

In 2013, Campus Safety & Security updated the CCTV system, installed the emergency contact points and alarm systems, and started the Campus Safety & Security Bike Program.

The Campus Safety & Security Bike Program won the 2013 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in University Sustainability.

Before Work

What do you have for breakfast and is there anything you do before you come to work?
I am available to the University community 24/7, so mornings for me are dependent on what that particular day holds. Breakfast is usually a protein shake and a strong cup of coffee, often thrown down between phone calls and emails.

What do you do usually do when you first arrive at UWS?
The first thing I do when I arrive is check emails for outstanding matters, our online internal reporting database for incidents over the 24 hours previous, and the online news that may require some type of response.

We often hear about things anecdotally – via the press, for instance – that can have a huge impact on an individual staff member or student, so close relationships with our media and marketing team, along with local police and emergency services, are critical.

At Work

Who do you work with?
I work with an outstanding group of people. It is often said that a smart leader surrounds themselves with quality people, and my team is no different. We remain the only team on campus 24/7 and work shifts in the rain, cold and on holidays when family and friends are enjoying time off, which requires a great deal of dedication. I am fortunate to work with such a fantastic team.

I am also part of the larger PVC, S&I. Led by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) Angelo Kourtis, we are a team of senior staff focused on delivering services to our most important asset – our students – and in doing so creating the most positive student experience for them as possible.

What are the two or three most important things you are currently working on?
We are presently working on improving the Campus Safety & Security online presence. As part of the University’s corporate website, we are working on delivering highly relevant information to support Campus Safety & Security activities across the University community. This includes safety advice, information on how to contact us, what to do in an emergency and what services we offer.

The other important thing we are presently working on is the way we ensure the safety of our staff after hours. Recent changes in technology have brought about improvements in the monitoring of staff engaged in remote access. We have recently finished trialling GPS emergency devices that allow a researcher in the field, for instance at our EucFACE site, to seek immediate assistance in the event of an emergency.

These devices track globally and allow Campus Safety & Security to protect the safety and wellbeing of staff and students 24/7 in a manner not available until now.

What regular meetings do you attend, who are they with and what are they about?
The most regular meetings I have are with my own staff. I meet with my Associate Director weekly to review the previous week and set goals for the weeks ahead.

I also meet regularly with my Operations Managers to discuss and support the operational aspects of Campus Safety & Security operations.

At a PVC, S&I level, I meet regularly with my PVC and other senior staff within the portfolio to identify concerns relevant to our individual portfolios, discuss opportunities to enhance what we do and work through issues common to us all in the PVC, S&I portfolio.

What is something that can make a positive difference to your day?
My advice is to start really listening to the people around you. My work colleagues, for example, know my door is (almost always) open and they are always welcome to stop by. I take an active interest in their welfare and their lives and will put myself out to ensure their wellbeing as I genuinely do care about what happens to them. I find that such engagement pays me back tenfold each day.

After Work

What might we find you doing outside of work?
After hours and as the father of two small children, my time outside of work is wrapped up in them and all they do. They really are the light of my life and are terribly over-indulged as a result. Other than that, my 2014 New Year’s resolution is to get back into the gym and lose some of the kilos I put on in 2013.