Dominic Brettell – Head of Client Service, Newcastle/Hunter
A quote capturing your approach to your role
Deliver on your promises.
Tell us about yourself
Growing up in country NSW, I moved to Sydney when I was 15 and I now live in Newcastle, which is the perfect mix of regional, coastal, and urban settings. I’m a family man with a wife and a 2 ½-year-old son with another on the way. I love sport, especially basketball (despite the two torn ACLs I experienced while pursuing this passion!)
Prior to insurance, while completing my Business degree I worked in child welfare, caring for at-risk youth in residential care settings. It was a challenging, eye-opening experience working with marginalised kids and their families and it gave me perspective on life. I left welfare, motivated to gain expertise in the corporate world and to bring these experiences back to the welfare/NFP sectors later in life.
Since joining Honan in 2011, I have worked in Real Estate, Strata, and Corporate insurance. I’ve also overseen our Claims and Workers’ Compensation teams and helped develop our partnerships capabilities. Now, I provide Honan services to the Newcastle/Hunter and Central Coast region, expanding our presence in regional Australia.
What does the Head of Client Service do?
My current role in Newcastle is less than 12 months old so it is like starting a business, albeit with the support of an international brand and a blueprint from previous expansions into capital cities.
Initially, my role focused on developing a business plan and strategy for Honan’s expansion into the region, which has now progressed to the implementation stage. This involves new business and partnership development, building Honan’s brand presence in the region, servicing existing clients, and providing insurance learning and development opportunities to the business community.
What are 3 things you find most motivating about your role?
- I have a great passion for meeting people and learning about different businesses. Many business people don’t have time to properly address their risks and/or do not fully understand the advisory role of an insurance broker. I find it very motivating to play my part in the success (and protection) of businesses through the work Honan does.
- Growing up in a country town, I witnessed firsthand the importance of community. In my new regional role, I am driven to support the local, school, and business communities which are very much intertwined in regional Australia.
- Being part of Honan as it has evolved over the last decade is a source of pride. We have a fantastic team and working remotely with my colleagues motivates me every day.
Prior to 2020, vast numbers of Sydneysiders were relocating to regional and coastal towns for the lifestyle, and COVID-19 expedited this trend. Simultaneously, the sophistication and size of businesses in regional Australia, coupled with population growth has driven demand for products and services that were previously only available in the capital cities. Much of this change has been enabled by technology and I expect this trend will continue. Honan saw the opportunities in Newcastle/Hunter, the largest regional economy in Australia.
The biggest learning from your time at Honan?
The value of persistence and the importance of good people. We spend more time with our colleagues than our families (at least we used to), so having people around you who share the company values and contribute to its culture is essential. The right people make persisting through challenges, achieving high standards (and enjoying yourself along the way) that much easier.
Your core focus for the year ahead?
To connect with as many people in the region as possible, to learn about their businesses, and find opportunities to add value.
Recommended further reading / a great online resource /a podcast?
I always recommend spending more time with your family and friends. That’s what is most important.