Personal connections drive a career with purpose
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Personal connections drive a career with purpose

Category Our People

Lily Morgan

Despite growing up on a vast station in one of Australia’s most isolated regions, Broken Hill, Lily Morgan is without a doubt a ‘people person’.

Her remote childhood certainly didn’t quell her zest for forming connections, and hearing peoples’ stories.

And while a career in banking wasn’t an obvious choice, it’s proved the perfect fit for this passionate and curious 30-year-old, who is now a Rural Manager based in Kadina, South Australia.

“There is literally nothing better than being on farm, talking with clients about their business and their goals,” she explained. “And personally, I get a lot out of conversations that revolve around their family and interests, the more I know about my clients, the better we can help support them.”

Banking, she has learnt, is not just about numbers, it’s about connections - building trust and ensuring clients are comfortable and confident in a relationship.

“That is the key to what makes my job so rewarding – and fun!”

An affinity with the land, and livestock

Growing up on her family’s sheep and cattle station south west of Broken Hill may not have afforded Lily much in the form of human interaction, but her connection to the stock was just compensation. 

“I loved all the major stock movements, we’d get terribly excited come shearing time or at lamb marking, and to this day I still take annual leave to return home and be a part of it all, it’s such a buzz.”

Feeling extraordinarily grateful for a childhood filled with horses, motorbikes and ‘carefree living’, Lily said a career in agriculture was never in doubt, and after completing boarding school in Adelaide and a gap-year spent working in administration at a gold mine, Lily completed a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Corporate Finance at University of Adelaide.

“It gave me a solid base knowledge to branch into a number of ag pathways, but it wasn’t until a conversation with my parents that the possibility of banking occurred to me.”

As Rabobank clients, her parents’ James and Alex Morgan value their strong relationships with all the staff, and it was the regional manager at the time, James Robinson, out of the Adelaide branch, who suspected a role with Rabobank it would ‘tick all the boxes’ for Lily.  

A commitment to community eases transition

Knowing not a soul in Dubbo, where she gained her first Rabobank role, forced the extrovert in Lily into overdrive, and she laughs that she said ‘yes’ to everything.

“I threw myself into the community – if there was a BBQ, sporting team or event, I was there!” she laughs. “I had to work out how to make connections outside of work, which was a really valuable experience.”

It’s a strategy she’s adopted at an industry level also, with Lily the first to put her hand up to attend crop walks, auctions and knowledge-sharing events.

Lily Morgan

“I genuinely love networking, and taking these opportunities is my way of committing to the community and to agriculture, which is important to my clients.”

Her tenure in Dubbo coincided with the devastating grip of drought, widespread throughout the region, and much of central and eastern Australia at the time.

However, having come from Broken Hill, drought was a familiar cycle, one which her family were experiencing at the same time.

“Fortunately, and unfortunately, I could deeply relate to our clients during this time, I got it, and knew the financial and mental burden of it all to genuinely empathise.”

Not knowing what she was walking into when she moved to Dubbo, Lily said she fell in love with her role and the community, and after almost four years, it was a hard community to leave.

“I really found my feet in Dubbo, it was a great team, I had terrific housemates but I knew that to take on the next level of responsibility, I did need to make a move.”

In 2019 Lily grabbed a chance to move closer to home and progress her career in the Kadina branch, four hours from her family station and two hours from Adelaide.

“The Yorke Peninsula is a great spot, we’re surrounded by ocean, it’s a lovely community to be a part of with a beautiful climate and prosperous agricultural sector – the opportunities here are endless.”

Lily has thrown herself into life in the region, playing hockey and contributing to the Arthurton Women’s Ag Bureau, a newly formed group intended to represent the local agricultural industry.

“It’s a wonderful platform for like-minded women to gather once a month with a guest speaker, discussing anything from mental health, agriculture, business or even decluttering your home,” she explained. “It’s an initiative that’s been very welcomed, particularly for those women who live out on farm with young families, they very much appreciate the chance to catch up.”

FMP provides valuable upskilling opportunity

A commitment to continual learning and self-development is also a priority, and Lily said she actively seeks out initiatives to deepen her agricultural knowledge and network.

In 2022 Lily participated in Rabobank’s Farm Management Program, inspired by her brother who had completed the program prior to her employment.

“From my brother’s feedback I knew it was something I wanted to pursue,” she explained. “The FMP is such a valuable opportunity to continue developing my communication skills and networks within agriculture, which I quickly realised would complement my career with Rabobank perfectly also.”

“Educating myself and upskilling is important to me for personal growth, but ultimately enables me to provide a higher quality of service to our clients and strengthen those relationships, which is the most important part of my role.”

“With my clients, my goal is to help them achieve their goals, whether that’s expanding their business through scale or diversification, succession, consolidating or even winding down to retirement, and I want them to feel supported in their business decisions.”

“A genuine connection goes a long way to building trust and mutual respect.”

She said the fact that Rabobank’s clients are the best in the business – “they’re definitely the best in my mind” – added to the satisfaction, and that it is extremely rewarding to help local farmers achieve their goals.

“More than anything though, when you really get to know people – the way they work, their sense of humour – there are also a lot of laughs, and a lot of good times, and that really is the highlight of my job.”