CEO, Energy Skills Queensland
Penelope Twemlow has more than 15 years of operational and strategic management experience in national and international high-risk environments, including the oil and gas, construction and energy industries.
In 2015, she became Chief Executive Officer of Energy Skills Queensland.
Penelope is the Founder and Chair of Women in Power and Chair of the Queensland Electrical Safety Education Committee.
CEO, Energy Skills Queensland,
2018 Pride of Australia Medal Nominee
I vividly remember sitting at home one day saying what am I going to do with my life now and lo and behold an advertisement came on TV with warships.
Travel the world, lead a team of people and I thought, yeah I could do that. So, the next year, I was a warfare officer in the Royal Australian Navy. I also knew how to lead a team strategically, but also how to manage one operationally to be successful.
When students leave school there’s probably a couple of vital skills. The first one is leadership. Being able to understand what someone is asking of you and then turn that into an actionable outcome is probably a very big skill that one needs to know.
We need to know how to communicate. The ability to be able to talk, to write and to listen.
The last one for me is to learn how to be flexible and agile. There’s not a day that I wake up, particularly in the industries I work in now, where something new hasn’t come out. It’s now about understanding what’s been provided and how you can make it bigger and better.
And to do that, you have to be creative and think outside the box.
The technology and the disruption within our world today is actually making the need for creativity and the need to be innovative. If you remain situated in the same place, you become complacent and you’re not changing and adapting with the times.
Your drive comes from your love of doing something. So instead of trying to attain a job or a role that you think will pay the bill, go for something that you’re passionate about.
Harness your own voice. Understand that you are an individual and you’re an individual within a collective.
If I had one wish for the future of young people, it would be to understand how important their schooling and education is.
I absolutely took it for granted when I was a young girl. But what I now understand is every single one of those teachers and every single one of those schools and classrooms is teaching you a skill. And one that you use later on in your life.
You don’t know it yet, but it will come back around.