Joanne Daly

Honorary (emeritus) Fellow / Freelance consultant
CSIRO and Datalytics P/L
Relocated for university

About Joanne

I never really knew what I wanted to be when ‘I grew up’.  I just knew I wanted a job that was challenging, stimulating and required me to think. My career has been great, even with the setbacks, such as periods of unemployment or very short termcontracts. I ended up on the CSIRO Executive, which was perhaps one of my best jobs ever.  It was a roller coaster ride at the top, but you could really make a difference on how an organisation worked and create real opportunities for other people to grow and develop.

I love theatre, particularly drama and modern dance. My husband and I are theatre junkies and have regular weekends where we see 2-3 productions. 

Area of study

I developed a love of history and of art history. Most of our travels involve this and we do pre-reading and have lectures in the area. I also did quite a lot of training over the years upskilling in management training, finances, career development and people management. All this was necessary to grow and develop my career. 

Epic fail

When I was young, I had a part-time job at the TAB when all betting on horse races was closed off manually in each branch 20 minutes before the race. I once closed the wrong race so people were still able to register bets on a horse race as it was being run. My boss was very unimpressed, particularly as we had to pay out on some large winnings!

Proudest moment

It was actually becoming a mum, and then seeing my daughters grow to lovely adults and graduate from the ANU. Career-wise it was about 10 years ago when I had to drive through a very unpopular decision to close down a high-profile collaboration. It was the right thing to do, but I had to stick to my guns against a lot of opposition.

Top tip

Know that you have to change your job periodically.  Even if you remain in the same organisation for a long time (I was with CSIRO 32 years), you have to change the job that you do. Otherwise you become inflexible and lose the capacity to face challenges in a positive way.  You continue to grow as an adult throughout your life, so you can’t stand still.