As one half of the leadership team at Wightons Lawyers, Justine Finlay and Susan Fridey share a passion for mentoring young team members and providing an example they can look up to.
With more than fifty years combined experience in the legal field, Justine and Sue are leaders in the Geelong legal community as well as within Wightons. Justine is Managing Director of the firm and an accredited specialist in Commercial Law and Wills and Estates while Sue heads the Family Law team. They both take a caring and supportive approach to offering advice and assistance to clients and their team.
Having recently celebrated 30 years at Wightons Lawyers, Justine is keen to continue mentoring and help others achieve their goals.
“I started my working life at Wightons thirty years ago and I understand the importance of good mentoring and leadership” says Justine. “I enjoy spending time with our younger team members, hoping that I can share some of the knowledge I have gained in that time”.
Sue reflects that “one of the greatest areas of satisfaction in our line of work, is not only supporting our clients through difficult times, but in providing opportunity to our team members to develop skills and guide them along a career path which we hope will provide great satisfaction to them.”
It has not been without its challenges. For both mums, getting the right balance between work and family has been a priority. As Justine reflects, “I have been so fortunate to have the flexibility to work and raise my family. It can be really challenging juggling life as a business owner and as a mum but the rewards outweigh the difficulties.”
“As parents ourselves, we want to ensure our workplace provides flexibility and recognises the reality and importance of family” says Sue. “We appreciate the commitments of parents to our team as well as their families.”
Both appreciate the pressures of running a business that employs over 20 people, and with offices in Geelong, Corio, Ocean Grove and Winchelsea, team connection across the offices is top-of-mind.
“It is important to ensure that we support all of our team members, whether they are in our main office, or at one of our branch offices, which is why we have our leadership team spending time at all of the offices” Sue adds “I also love getting down to our Ocean Grove office and getting some of that ocean air!”
They both still find time to be involved in the community. Justine is currently involved with the Social Enterprise Group, a newly formed non-profit aimed at assisting young people into the workforce, and Sue is involved with the local beekeeping club, having previously been secretary. They see their support of local organisations as a small way to show appreciation for the Geelong community and give back.
Leading by example in their teams and community, Justine and Sue’s supportive approach and commitment to mentoring are reflective of living the Wightons motto – “We’ll be there”.