LiveBetter Conversations

LiveBetter Conversations - getting to know our people!
5th September 2023

We recently caught up with Kelly McLeay, LiveBetter’s General Manager, People and Culture. Although Kelly is new to the role, she’s not new to LiveBetter, having spent the past four years as Head of Payroll  – no doubt the most crucial role in the whole organisation!

A bit of background…

Kelly lives in Eglington, a small suburb in the Central Western town of Bathurst and each day she commutes to LiveBetter’s Head Office in Orange.

She is married, with three grown children ( two boys and a girl) and two grandchildren. With only one child still at home – and only then on occasion – she is almost an ‘empty nester’. Spending more time alone is something she is still getting used to. Family is important to her.

“My family makes me happy. The more time I spend with my kids and my grandchildren, the happier I am.”

Something that might come as a surprise is that Kelly is a bit of a daredevil.

My kids bought me a voucher to do a flight in a glider. That was awesome. I’ve been parasailing with the kids. I’ve been parachuting. Those sorts of things are great!

Early career

Upon finishing school, Kelly did an Administration Traineeship with a legal firm.

“I thought I might head down the legal path. But then I went to work at Big W, and pretty much worked my way through every role available. I was there for fourteen years.”


Kelly applied for an HR Business Partner role at LiveBetter, but in an auspicious twist of fate, ultimately interviewed for, and was offered the position of Head of Payroll, a role she relished and remained in for nearly four years.

“It was awesome. I loved that role. I loved working with the team.”

Kelly takes pride in working for an organisation that does so much for others and was truly surprised when she realised just how much LiveBetter does in the communities it serves.

“One of the most significant things I’ve learned is just how much we do. It’s important work and I want to see our staff thrive. I’m proud to be able to support them to enjoy their work.”

Recently Kelly took on a new opportunity at LiveBetter; that of General Manager, People & Culture.

“I loved the payroll side of my career, but I think this role will be more challenging – I will have to stretch myself further.”


Kelly is grateful for the mentors who have shared their knowledge and experience with her over the years. The first, a Store Manager at Big W, was in her words “absolutely phenomenal”.

“He really helped me grow. I was at a very early stage of my career, and he gave me a lot of support. He shared so much of his knowledge with me.”

Kelly also sees Nerissa Marat, LiveBetter’s Chief Operating Officer, as an important mentor, someone who has supported and guided her during her time at LiveBetter.

“Nerissa has been fantastic. She has been a huge mentor for me here at LiveBetter. I have learnt so much since I’ve been here.”

When asked where to from here, Kelly explains that right now she is exactly where she wants to be. Her hope, her main priority, is to see LiveBetter develop and grow, and continue to provide our communities with the vital supports they need.

 Best Thing (about your work)

“The people”

Hardest thing (about your work?)

“Again – the people.”

Top Work-Life Balance Tip

“Make sure you take time for yourself. It is the most important thing.”

What keeps you going?

“Knowing that we’re making a difference in other people’s lives.”

Where will you be in five years’ time?

“Still here I hope – helping people.”

If there was one piece of advice you could give to others who are starting out in the Community Sector, what would it be?

“Give it time and just take each day as it comes.”

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