Jonathon Pettigrew joins CHESS Connect as NDIS General Manager

Bringing a wealth of management experience, Jonathon Pettigrew, is looking forward to making an impact as CHESS Connect’s new NDIS General Manager.

A keen volunteer in the disability sector; a Bachelor of Psychology and with a background in business and operations, Jonathon was drawn to the General Manager role within CHESS Connect due to his first-hand recognition of the importance of effective support networks and services.

As Jonathon embarks on his first day with his team, we were fortunate to ask him a couple of questions about how he is enjoying his new home on the Coffs Coast and his motivations to start a new role at CHESS Connect.

Jonathon Pettigrew

Why did you make the decision to move to Australia?

My partner and I share an 11-year-old son. We enjoy the outdoors and being based in Christchurch NZ, we spent a lot of time in the mountains and at the beach. On the back of COVID-19 and over the Christmas period we had conversations as a family about our future plans and agreed that it was time for change and a new adventure. 6 months later we find ourselves based at Emerald Beach enjoying the local beaches and friendly community.

What appeals to you about Coffs Coast life?

Our family enjoy the ocean. Fishing, snorkelling and surfing. Surfing through winter in the South Island of NZ is something else. Being from the city we were keen to experience a smaller community. We had good friends move to Coffs Harbour earlier in the year which made the move a lot easier. The local community have been impressive with their welcoming and friendly nature. We have made good friends quickly and we’re enjoying our new beachside lifestyle.

How would you describe your career before CHESS Connect? What’s your elevator pitch?

I have been fortunate to lead quite different and unique business units through my career. I have enjoyed the demands of supporting dynamic teams to meet the challenges of an ever-changing workplace and to realise the opportunities that this creates. As Business Manager for a biosecurity business unit I led a team who simultaneously responded to three of NZ’s largest biosecurity outbreaks. This was an extremely challenging but ultimately rewarding period. Following this I lead a Training Academy as we expanded our international footprint followed by a quick pivot in response to COVID 19 travel disruptions.

What motivated you to apply for this role at CHESS Connect?

Throughout my upbringing I was fortunate to have impactful individuals in my life who experienced a range of disabilities. I have seen first-hand the importance of effective support networks and services. I have always tried to contribute in this area in a voluntary capacity. In applying for a role with CHESS Connect I was looking to increase the contribution I can make. In working with CHESS Connect I hope to contribute the skills and experience I have gained and developed over my career to make a positive impact in this industry.