Why Roberto Venturini went back to school to aid Ambulance Victoria
Roberto Venturini is improving ambulance services for an increasingly diverse Victorian population – using leadership skills he learned at Melbourne Business School.
"At Ambulance Victoria, we've been talking about the fact that the community sees us as a bit of a closed shop," says Roberto, who is Director, Strategic Engagement at Ambulance Victoria.
"The doors roll up at an ambulance branch, the ambulance rolls out, does a very good job at the emergency site, comes back in and then the door closes again.
"We want to change that. We want to really understand the diverse needs of our community and how they can work with us to deliver better health outcomes."
After two decades working in marketing and communications, Roberto enrolled in the five-day Leadership Development Program, which bolsters the skills and personal touch needed to drive valuable change.
"It's important to be clear on what leadership is, otherwise, you can't understand staff expectations or what best practice is in the eyes of your customers," he says.
"The program helped me to find what I'm calling my 'inner leader’, which is about having the confidence and competency to bring people along on your leadership journey.
"This opens up ways to connect with more people, to understand their worlds and their expectations. It was critical for me to take that back into the workplace."
What the program did for Roberto was cement the self-confidence and leadership traits he needed to lead from the front and meet his personal goals.
"The program was structured very well," he says. "We left the jargon and all the theory at the door and worked through experiential and peer-to-peer learning.
“The facilitators were terrific, as were the other participants. While we were on own leadership journey, we really came together to forge a strong bond that meant we learnt from one another. This made the experience all the richer.
"I liked how the program emphasised mental health and wellbeing to maintain your very best self, every day, for productivity."
Something that resonated with Roberto during the program was the saying 'feedback is a gift, regardless of the wrapping it comes in'.
"That clicked with me and the feedback I'm getting since coming back from the program is that people have seen a positive change," he says.
"The key challenge I'm working through in my role is a big change agenda – so I see myself as very much a change agent. Positive change is exactly what I'm after, not just for myself, but for myself to work more cohesively with my team and the community."
Through the program, Roberto gained a greater understanding of people's views and their needs from the organisation.
"We're facing a growth in the demand for ambulance services in Victoria," he says.
"We've got an aging population that's growing more diverse each day, and while we're working to better attend to their health and emergencies, without their input there will be different stresses put on our ambulance service.
"I believe I'm now in a much stronger position to lead the charge to meet those demands moving forward – to be a better agent of change."