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Soaring like a legal eagle: Marie Le Bras

4-minute read

Discover what motivates nbn employee and winner of the 2022 Government Lawyer of the Year Award, Marie Le Bras.

At nbn, there’s meaning in everything we do.

Our people are committed to enabling communities and businesses to reach their full potential through equal opportunities and connections on the nbn® network – the digital backbone of Australia.

Just ask Marie Le Bras, a 12-year veteran of nbn’s Legal team.

“Our purpose to help lift the digital capability of Australia, and make a meaningful difference to people's lives, is really rewarding to be part of.”

People powering our purpose

At nbn, our people are central to delivering the company’s purpose.

General Counsel for nbn’s Regional Development and Engagement group, Marie and her team are helping ensure our focus on the regions is sharper than ever – cutting those vast distances and opening countless opportunities.

“My role involves helping our stakeholders navigate the really complex legal and regulatory environment that we operate in.”

Marie was inspired to become a lawyer thanks to her desire to help others.

“I've always really enjoyed working with people and listening to them and helping them, really trying to understand what it is that they want and need, and then finding a way to use my skills and my experience to help them.”

And a love of problem solving didn’t hurt either.

“I like puzzles. I like finding creative ways to solve a problem. And that's really what being a lawyer is all about.”

Leading the way

After finishing university, Marie took the ‘traditional’ path of working in a law firm before realising she wanted to work in-house.

“I wanted to work inside an organisation, to help them and be closer to the business and strategy side of decision making.”

Today, Marie is also acting General Manager for Legal’s Strategy and Policy team.

With female representation in more than 32 per cent of management roles*, nbn is working towards lifting this to 40 per cent by 2025, aimed at ensuring greater gender equality in our company’s leadership.

With female representation in more than 32 per cent of management roles*, nbn is working towards lifting this to 40 per cent by 2025, aimed at ensuring greater gender equality in our company’s leadership.

“One of the things that I really love about working at nbn is that we have a big focus on diversity and inclusion,” says Marie.

“I've always felt really supported as a person growing in the organisation to try my hand at leadership, have a go, work with lots of different types of teams and really try to find my personal leadership style – and I've really appreciated that support.”

An award-winning role

If it wasn’t already clear that Marie is in her element, her recent nomination – and win – for 2022 Government Lawyer of the Year confirms it.

Part of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Australian Corporate Lawyer Awards, Marie was nominated for support given to the Regional Development and Engagement team on nbn’s Fixed Wireless and Satellite Upgrade Program.

Gavin Williams, Chief Regional Development Officer at nbn, describes Marie as a key contributor to nbn securing a $480 million grant from the Commonwealth Government for the upgrade program, which is supported by an additional $270 million from nbn.

“This program will significantly transform the digital landscape for hundreds of thousands of premises across Australia,” says Gavin.

Marie is humble yet happy with her latest achievement.

“It's a project that I'm really proud of and have been really honoured to be a part of. For me, the award really is a celebration of all of the amazing work that nbn and, in particular, the Regional Development and Engagement team, and the Legal and Regulatory group, do to support our regional customers.”

Environment, Social and Governance Excellence Recognition

In great company, Marie was joined by colleague Nicole Parker who was also nominated for the awards.

General Counsel for Finance at nbn, Nicole was shortlisted for the Environmental, Social and Governance Excellence Award for her instrumental role in advising on the company’s raising of over $7 billion from bank facilities and debt capital markets.

This included nbn’s first Green Bond – the largest AUD-denominated corporate green bond transaction at the time.

Life at nbn

With 87 per cent of employees saying the work they do is meaningful to them^, Marie is one of many advocates for a fulfilling career at nbn.

“It's just always been such a fantastic place to be. I've always felt really supported, been given a lot of opportunities, and lots of variety of work, which I've really loved.”

As for staying passionate in her field, for Marie, it’s about ongoing professional development and continued learning – something the business is equally invested in.

“I think it's from learning as much as I can, and just getting to know people and learning from them. Putting my hand up for different opportunities to grow my skills and expand the things that I am able to be involved with.

“And I think that keeps everything really fresh and exciting.”

Marie’s tips for success

1. Put your hand up

“Just put your hand up for as many opportunities as you can, even if it feels outside your comfort zone because that's where you're going to learn and grow.”

2. Listen

“Ask a lot of questions and really listen to the answers. Try to understand what your colleagues and your stakeholders need, and then use your skills to find a way to help them.”

3. Pay it forward

“Anything that you've learned, find a way to teach somebody else so that they can learn and grow as well."

* As of 3 June 2022

^ 2021 nbn Employee Engagement survey results


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