Resume of Karen Lessels




Personal Details


Born in Mudgee, I moved to Lake Macquarie with  my parents when I was five years old. I have enjoyed the last 25 years maintaining a rural property at Teralba.  My two daughters, Rose aged 14 and Hayley aged 13, fully support my decision to operate a home-business encompassing my penchant for helping people improve reading and writing skills.



Relevant Certificates

Justice of the Peace for NSW, Reg No 170909

Small Business Management Certificate IV

Certificate IV Training and Assessment

NSW TAFE Adult Literacy Tutor Training Program

Address Adult Language, Numeracy & Literacy Skills

WorkCover OH&S Construction Induction, CG10135764SEQ01

Australian Hospitality Review Panel Statements of Attainment INT, BKA & BFB



Career Overview


2013 – 2014  Business Owner

I have recently started my own business, “Do It, Write”, providing literacy assistance to adults in the Lower Hunter area of New South Wales.  


2012 – 2013    RSL Care

RSL Care is a not-for-profit Queensland-based Corporation operating approximately 30 aged care facilities.

While rostering shifts for HomeCare (approximately 35 Personal Care Workers and 5 Nurses) I supplemented hours with the Residential sector and was then asked to assist the Manager of the Retirement Village. Following four days’ intensive training I continued the operation of the Village, including passing Accreditation, while the Manager was on leave for three months.  As Acting Manager of the 54 unit self-care Village, I liaised compassionately and pro-actively with Residents and families, maintenance staff and contractors for a positive resolution to day-to-day and long-term projects including processing quotes, purchase orders and tax invoices while coding to four budgets.  I attended monthly safety and financial meetings which required budget forecasting, auditing and reporting.  I also met with both the Residents and the Residents’ Committee each month.  I created a monthly Newsletter which was distributed to each Resident advising of weekly activities and ongoing projects within the Village. I processed monthly statements and all recurrent charges.  During this time I was also solely responsible for sales, marketing, promotions and auditing of the property.  These duties involved dealing with incoming and outgoing residents and their representatives including enquiries, arranging inspections, processing of deposits, contracting re-instatements, progress reporting, preparing Sales Contracts and organising settlement to the point of welcoming the new resident and processing all details into the Corporate data-base.  I also drove the bus to take the residents shopping once per week.


2009 – 2011    Clearwater Asset Services

Clearwater was a Sydney-based operation consisting of 6 intra-state depots.  The Newcastle Depot provided services including 60 Traffic Control personnel; 3 Ground Vegetation Maintenance Crews and Builders’ Cleaning.

My role included direct support for the National Operations and Development Manager.  As Office Administrator, while performing Reception duties and supervising the Cleaning Department, it was my responsibility to train the Supervisors to reconcile all documentation pertaining to their own department. This included maintaining employee (approx 75), client (approx 100), supplier (approx 25) and fleet (approx 30) registers; rostering; reconciling timesheets with site dockets; invoicing site dockets and expediting payment; arranging accommodation and allowances; correlating fuel receipts; sourcing and purchasing stock; and managing petty cash, credit card and accounts payable and receivable.  Having achieved this outcome, I accepted an offer to be retrained as Project Manager of an extensive asset maintenance Contract if it was awarded.  Due to circumstances outside of the Newcastle Depot’s control, the Company went into liquidation.


2008 – 2009    Lake Macquarie Landcare Inc.

Landcare incorporated volunteer groups working at specific sites, community workers and a team of co-ordinators. 

I originally accepted a position to write grant applications, however the position did not become available.  I telephone-canvassed Landcarers; recorded details of groups’ status, including members’ information, site location, workload and specific challenges onto a database which I created for inclusion in the Year Book.  During this time I attended promotional activities and attended to daily administration duties.


2000 – 2008   Voluntary work

During this time I found great enjoyment in volunteer work revolving around the schooling of my two daughters.

I was the Secretary of the Parents and Citizens Association for two years, encompassing the management of the canteen and uniform shop.  I improved the home-reading and library systems and was integral in introducing the speech pathology program.  I provided support in the classroom and with supervision during excursions.


1995 – 2000    Rankin & Nathan Solicitors & Notary

As a Paralegal for Partners and Senior Associates I provided support by preparing Briefs for Counsel and Senior Counsel; attending Mentions; research; arranging investigations; maintaining large corporate litigation files; attending to payment of accounts; and various administrative duties.


1994  Training

I achieved an Australian Hospitality Review Panel Statement of Attainment in areas such as front office reception; interpersonal skills; customer relations; hygiene; Mis-En-Place; receiving, storing, preparation and presentation of food and beverage including wine service; cleaning; ohs; rsa; and related Industrial Relations and government laws and legislations.  I did not complete the gambling section of the course due to accepting a position of employment with Rankin & Nathan.


1992 – 1993    Queensland

The Brisbane employment agency I registered with employed me directly to manage the six serviced offices attached to the business.  I also wrote resumes for applicants and attended to reception and other administrative duties.

I moved from Mount Tambourine after six months to Burleigh Waters and obtained a position with Intellectual Property & Patent Law Investment Consultants, Charter Pacific, on the Gold Coast.  This position involved front office reception, continuous monitoring and reporting of the share market, assisting the intellectual property solicitor, maintaining property investment files and general administration duties.


1991   Government Insurance Office

I spent six months as a Temporary Legal Secretary in the Workers’ Compensation and in the Contracts Department before moving to Queensland for a year.  During this time I trained a hearing-impaired co-worker.


1988 – 1991    Hunter Area Health Service

Located in Newcastle as Wordprocessing Supervisor I trained and assisted staff in word processing as well as producing internal directories, menus, newsletters, reports, rosters and other administrative material.  I later alternated between this position and that of Medical Records Supervisor at the Headquarters site at New Lambton, supervising two clerks and entering data.  I also assisted with research and introduced a scanning process for medical records.  I then took on a third position with Logistics at Gateshead.  Cataloguing to Auslang standards led to involvement with the Contracts department and I resigned from the previous two positions.  This allowed more time to assist with the development of the new electronic requisitioning system for use between suppliers, warehouse and sites.


1986 – 1988    England

I spent about 16 months working in England: 6 months as Manager of a Commercial Office Complex in Essex; 6 months as Music Information Secretary BBC1 London, arranging the Proms Concert; 3 months as Personal Secretary to the Director General of the Union Bank of Switzerland; and the remainder in various temporary positions.  During this time I took advantage of the changes in the taxation system and bought a house in Peterborough, on the York line to London.  I sold it six months later, making a profit of over 300%.  I then traveled for four months and returned home to Australia to assist with the Lake Macquarie                 Bi-Centenial celebrations.


1984 – 1986    Sparke Helmore & Withycombe

I spent two years in the typing pool honing my word-processing skills.  I always accepted opportunities to work any over-time shifts and took on additional duties when appropriate.

I was also a volunteer member of the State Emergency Service at this time.

I left Sparke Helmore & Withycombe to travel overseas.


1982 – 1984    Baker Love & Geddes

After receiving my driver’s licence I obtained employment as a Junior Law Clerk.  The position included serving Summonses and Subpoenae; Court filing; attending to mail, incoming, outgoing and between three offices; filing and archiving; reception relief and general administration duties.  I received my appointment as a Justice of the Peace to assist in this role.


1982    Lake Macquarie High School

Completed Higher School Certificate.