Receptionist Debbie MacRae is the first point of call when you visit or phone Brent Kelly Law. Having joined the team as Receptionist in early 2022, we catch up with Debbie on her career journey and what’s brought her to Te Awamutu after many years living in Papamoa.
Growing up and attending school in nearby Otorohanga, Brent Kelly Law Receptionist Debbie MacRae was familiar with Te Awamutu but never actually lived here until 2020.
Her career started in Te Kuiti, working for a clerk for at the Waitomo Electric Power Board.
“This is where my fascination for computers started – I worked on one of the first computers in the region which is hard to believe now,” she laughs.
Leaving to start a family and relocating to Papamoa, Debbie later enrolled in the local polytechnic, graduating with a Computer & Business Administration qualification.
“I was then fortunate enough to be employed by the polytechnic as an academic staff member,” she says.
“This started an amazing teaching career and tertiary study pathway where I continued to upskill gaining a Master of Education degree, a Bachelor of Social Science degree, Graduate Diploma in Information Technology and Diploma in Teaching and Learning.”
“Helping people to overcome barriers to tertiary learning, succeed and gain the necessary qualifications and skills to start their reception and administration careers was very rewarding.”
In 2020 after many years teaching, Debbie decided to leave the tertiary sector. She and her husband relocated from Papamoa, settling in Te Awamutu.
“Te Awamutu is an ideal place for us to live, it is a thriving and friendly community,” she says.
“The central location is fantastic, while I am close to my adult children and family in Papamoa, and my husband can continue working for the Te Kuiti based company he is employed by.”
Wanting to bring together her passions for people and technology, while utilising her administration skills, Debbie applied to work at Brent Kelly Law.
“It is the perfect place to be able to help people, work with technology and use transferable skills from my previous career,” she says.
“Being a smaller, boutique law firm means I get to help people on a personal level which I love.”
“The administration part of the position is so interesting and using computers on a daily basis encompasses all my passions.”
But above all, Debbie says she enjoys the people the most.
“I really enjoy the interaction with the clients both face-to-face and electronically,” she says.
“Law has always fascinated me with the accuracy, attention to detail and how important it is to have legal documents in place to protect people, especially when they are most vulnerable.”
“I love being able to keep learning while I work, it’s been wonderful so far.”