Get to know the Payroll Operations Manager of activpayroll's new Perth, Australia office

What is your name?

Melanie Gaensler

What is your role title?

Payroll Operations Manager –Australia

What do you do at activpayroll?

I manage our new Australian office, where we also process New Zealand payrolls.

What key skills do you bring to activpayroll?

I’ve worked with payrolls for more than twenty years now. Over that time I have gained a vast knowledge of employment legislation and payroll requirements in Australia and dealt with customers across many different industries. From small businesses, to not-for-profits and large global companies.

What gives you the most satisfaction about your job?

Building relationships with customers. It’s not always easy navigating Australian and New Zealand payroll legislation from a global company perspective so it’s vital to have a good customer relationship with all our customers.

How did you get into the Payroll industry and why?

It wasn’t ever really in my plans to work in payroll. I started work in my family business processing a weekly payroll after school. My grand plan was to be a Flight Attendant, for this I studied hospitality and started work in a hotel, however I soon then joined their finance department. Eventually I returned to work in the family business as a contract bookkeeper and this led back to payroll processing. Within a short period of time, I was purely processing payrolls which saw me join one of activpayroll’s local partners and I haven’t looked back since.

What has been the most challenging project you’ve worked on at activpayroll and why?

Without a doubt, it would be getting the Australian office off the ground. In between finding an office, sourcing staff and everything else that comes with setting up a new company, I was still processing all of the existing customer payrolls and implementing four new ones in one month. We’ve been setup for four months now and I can say, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience!

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement outside of activpayroll?

My family. My husband and I have two boys who are suddenly 12 and 9 and our eldest started high school this year. I still find it hard to believe how quickly they’ve grown up and I’m not looking forward to the teenage years at all.

What company value means the most to you and why?

I really value the emphasis that activ puts onto customer service and their customer retention rate is more than admirable. There is also a real behind the scenes level of support. Despite being thousands of kilometres away from head office, from the first moment the Australian office was given the go ahead, I quickly lost track of the number of colleagues who contacted me to offer their support and assistance or purely to welcome me to the activ family.

Do you have any hobbies/ what do you like to do in your free time?

My hobby seems to have become running my boys around to their hobbies lately. Outside of that, we love taking our dogs for a walk to the beach and in summer sitting around our pool with the kids and friends.

Who is your professional role model and why?

That’s a really difficult thing to narrow down but if I had to choose one I’d say Michelle Obama. She always portrays herself in such a professional manner and with such a strong family dynamic.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?

At this point in my life it would have to be Maggie Dent. Most Australian parents know who she is and what valuable knowledge and insight she has into raising boys. I’ve attended one of her seminars and know I could easily spend hours listening to every word of advice that she has. Obviously, if someone offered me dinner with Ryan Gosling though, then I wouldn’t say no to that either!

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