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Meet our team: Bruce


Whether hiking with his family, trail running or hitting mountain bike tracks with friends, Edstart's Regional Manager for Queensland Bruce Whittington is happiest when he’s in nature.

As well as the great outdoors, Bruce holds the issue of increasing inclusivity in education close to his heart. Having put his two children through private schooling, Bruce understands the challenges parents can run into with the education system, and is passionate when it comes to broadening access to education.

His knowledge of how schools work has grown further over the past three years at Edstart, working closely with schools and developing an understanding of their challenges, objectives and needs.

We sat down and had a chat with Bruce about what he does at Edstart, what parts of our mission resonate with him the most, and what he likes to do outside of work.

Firstly, tell us about what you like to do in your spare time?

There's probably one common denominator across my interests and that is they're outdoor oriented and nature based. I love getting into the outdoors and I'm a regular mountain bike rider and trail runner. If my family says to me, hey, what do you want to do for your birthday? Almost every time the thing that comes to mind is to head somewhere inland and do some sort of outdoor walk or adventure to a waterfall or a lookout or something like that.

Tell us about your family.

My wife and I have two kids, an 18 year old son who recently graduated from school, and a 20 year old daughter. There’s a good connection to education here, my daughter is studying to be a teacher and she's currently working at a private school on the Gold Coast as part of her training.

With both of your kids recently graduating, do you have any advice for other parents putting their kids through school?

One thing that worked well for us was being actively involved in the school. So we would join the swim squad doing swimming training, volunteer for camps and sausage sizzles. We involved ourselves quite a bit in the school community and I think we benefited a lot from that.

What do you do at Edstart and can you take us through what that means on a day-to-day basis?

I’m the Regional Manager for Queensland. My role is to create awareness and to educate. I’m working with schools to develop an understanding of their challenges and objectives and then finding opportunities to provide clarity on what Edstart does, but more importantly how we do it. Secondly, through events and interaction, I’m building relationships with schools and the people who work there.

If I'm doing my job well in educating and building relationships with schools, then we're attracting the right partners who benefit the most from our service, which then takes care of partner-retention at the same time.


What do you think makes you successful in your role as a Regional Manager?

I would say my personal attribute of curiosity. I have a natural inclination to lead with questions and spend quite a bit of time trying to understand a situation before suggesting a solution. I’m a bit like that in my personal life too, I often get told that I’m a good listener. So I think curiosity and being a good listener puts me in a better position to come up with useful solutions for schools, or anything else really.

What part of Edstart’s mission and values do you connect with?

Edstart’s commitment to broadening access to education is something that I am deeply passionate about, and it comes from a personal place. One thing I would like to see is a more inclusive approach to education. I've seen the challenges of an education system where there's room for improvement with inclusivity, and any way that we can work to improve this is something that I will get behind.

Are there any achievements you are particularly proud of since working at Edstart?

Being instrumental in bringing on a broad spectrum of new partners. So it’s getting back to that idea of increasing access to education. Having a spectrum of schools from small regional schools to large city schools and everything in between has been particularly satisfying as you are helping a wide range of families' to access their education or school of choice.

Are there any moments where you've received feedback from a school you’ve onboarded with Edstart that have made you particularly proud?

There was one school that we partnered with that got hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and then followed shortly after by serious flooding. The Business Manager said to me that bringing on Edstart just before those events proved to be one of the smartest decisions she's ever made. There was a significant benefit to both the families and the school - in the midst of significant disruption and change, the school was able to redeploy resources and focus on responding, whilst Edstart provided continuity and certainty in a crucial area of school operations.

Do you think there is anything unique or different about schools in Queensland compared to other states?

Other than producing higher quality State of Origin players, not really.

On a more serious note, I think that interstate and international interest in Queensland has led to a lot of population growth in the state. As a result schools have the positive challenge of dealing with enrolment growth and the bigger your parent cohort, the more fees you have to manage and that’s where Edstart can help to ease some of the workload for these schools.


One last question, over your time working at Edstart, how do you think your knowledge about schools has changed over that time?

One initial assumption was that the Business Manager's role at a school was all about business, numbers and the bottom line. Learning just how much more of a broader role they play strategically and how involved they are in all aspects of teaching and learning was an eye-opener.

About Edstart
Edstart is a leading technology and financial services company providing funding and payment services for education. We offer fee management solutions to schools and flexible payment plans to parents to help make school fees easier to manage.

To see how we can help you, visit our main website.

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