Wayne Godfrey is one of AGL’s longest serving employees, having joined our North Sydney office in 1976 as a Junior Clerk.
Wayne recently announced he will be retiring at the end of September. As we approach the end of his AGL era, we caught up with Wayne to reflect on his career highlights, and how AGL has evolved over the years.
I joined AGL in 1976 as a Junior Clerk, assisting the Cost Clerk in General Accounting.
When I started with AGL, we were focussed on expanding the business by acquiring new gas companies – including North Shore Gas Company, Newcastle Gas Company and establishing AGL Canberra. If you had told me that 40 years later, we would have more electricity customers than gas customers, I wouldn’t have believed you!
I’ve had 23 different finance roles in total, covering everything from financial accounting, to financial management, to project accounting.
A true highlight for me was moving out of corporate accounting in the late 1990s to support our business customer side of the business at Five Dock. This was when the Scott Mitchell Project was established. Only five people at AGL knew what is was, but we were working on the ring of fire for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. I can’t believe it’s now 20 years since those iconic games.
The many different roles and people I’ve met along the way have also been a highlight – especially being part of different project teams, and having system roles too including on Business Warehouse (BW), SAP and PT3 as well as other upgrade projects. I was also the project accountant for our first two gas peaking power stations at Somerton and Hallett in SA in the early 2000s.
From paper piles to PCs
Technology really has changed so much over the years. When I started my career at AGL, we didn’t have PCs, internet, email or mobile phones. Instead of creating Excel spreadsheets, spreadsheets were ruled A3 pads of paper – with horizontal and vertical red lines.
We employed typists to type up important memos, but everything else was processed and communicated manually.
There was always so much paper to flick through – so many hard copies of invoices and time sheets! I remember using finger stalls – that’s another thing of the past – which help you to move through stacks of paper really quickly. We had punch cards back then as well.
I remember billing our first NSW electricity customer – though a manual process, of course! I’m sure I still have a photocopy of that bill somewhere. AGL also had a library, where we used to spend hours looking through books and journals to support our work. Now we just have an intranet!
Progress for life
I’ve stayed the length of time I have because the business keeps changing and progressing. It’s been like joining a new company all the time, because AGL is always moving with the times. We were established in 1837 to light up Sydney with gas – and now, we continue to move in all sorts of new and exciting directions, including renewable energy, telecommunications and electric vehicles.
I’ve always been open with my leaders and colleagues and made it my mission to share my knowledge, while also encouraging other people to take chances and embrace new opportunities. I hope this is the legacy I’ve left within the Finance team, and beyond.
Retirement will be scary, but also exciting! I’m really looking forward to having more time to work on things at home, getting involved with my local Anglican church as well as travelling more (once the COVID-19 restrictions lift of course). I’ve also been the President of the Australian Disney Fan Club since 1993, which has been a lot of fun. We get together for outings, movies and overseas trips – so it’ll be great to be able to dedicate more time to this over the coming years.
Farewell to Wayne
Damien Nicks, Chief Financial Officer said Wayne has a wealth of knowledge about AGL and he will be missed tremendously by all his colleagues.
“Wayne has worked in over 20 roles, across five offices and seven CEOs,” said Damien.
“Many of you will know Wayne through his tremendous systems knowledge, with Wayne having played a key role in the implementation of PT3, and prior to that BW. Wayne has also worked in many finance and business partner roles during this time across our operations, including Business Customers and New Energy most recently.
“Everyone who has worked with Wayne knows only too well that regardless of how busy he may be, he is always happy to help and provide advice to his colleagues. I’d like to thank Wayne for his incredible commitment to AGL over the past 44 years, and I wish him the very best in his retirement.”