Sharon Rutherford Head of Risk Consulting

Office: Brisbane

Joined Honan: December 2017


A quote capturing your approach to your role

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another”  Helen Keller


Tell us about yourself

I was hired by the infamous Kieran Drum (Honan’s Head of Workplace Risk at the time).  I had been supporting the Honan relationship within my role at an Insurer and Kieran eventually convinced me to join when I was at a career crossroad.  I was hesitant to move to a Brokerage firm, but Kieran and the team had established a relationship built on trust and respect, which resonated with me and my values.  I moved across to Honan and I have not looked back since.

I am a working Mum and I value my time at home with my family.  We love to socialise and have an open-door policy, so you’ll find the Rutherford home always ready for an impromptu party or social drink.  As my creative outlet I enjoy re-upholstering and upcycling furniture …I’m also not too bad at it.


What does the Head of Risk Consulting do?

My role is to design and deliver the Workplace Risk team’s strategy, while working to provide end-to-end solutions for our clients’ workers’ compensation programs. As a unit, we provide solutions that allow clients to manage their workers’ compensation risk exposures. Central to this service is our claims management support, which is focused on achieving optimal premium outcomes for clients.

I’m fortunate to be supported by a team of exceptional Workplace Risk Consultants and Claims experts. I contribute to their development and coaching so we can continue to provide excellent client service solutions as a team.


What are 3 things you find most motivating about your role?

  • Building strong, trusting, and collaborative relationships with our clients.
  • Providing solutions that have tangible outcomes.
  • The opportunities that have been made available to me have allowed me to continually challenge myself. Honan is a great organisation that truly encourages employee growth and development.


Noteworthy trends?

I would not necessarily say it’s a trend, more a new a reality that the Pandemic has brought about in the workers’ compensation space.  The definition of sustaining an injury while “in the course of employment” is being stretched beyond what we traditionally understood it to mean.  For many, working environments have changed significantly over the last year, impacting employees’ work life balance and mental health, and in turn, the control Employers have over these settings. Employers need to continue to respond to these changes, and we expect more exposures will emerge where gap analyses have not been implemented.


Your biggest learning from your time at Honan?

Some of the best advice I’ve received at Honan is to stop being self-deprecating, to own what I know and to back myself.

It certainly helps when you also have a supportive work environment and Leadership Team! This is a journey I am still on and I have my moments with those old self-deprecating comments, but they have become few and far between.


Your core focus for the year ahead?

While the environment around us changes, our clients’ risk exposures are also evolving.  Therefore, working with our clients to understand and manage their changing risk exposures will be key.

Continuing to challenge ourselves on what best practice looks like for our clients’ processes and systems will allow us to mitigate their risks.  Our WPR team are certainly up for the challenge in supporting our clients on this journey.


Recommended further reading / a great online resource /a podcast?

Formula 1: Drive to Survive – this is a fascinating watch, bringing viewers inside the elite world of Formula 1 drivers. The dedication and hard work displayed by these people is unbelievable. I was never a car person, but this has given me a new appreciation for the sport.


Meet our Operations Manager, Underwriting Facilities & Strata – Matthew Henderson



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