Meet the Interchangers: Eve Brennan
Interchange’s organisational powerhouse, Eve Brennan, is the personification of order and harmony.
As Finance and Operations Director, Eve juggles many responsibilities flawlessly. Whether it be budget creation, resource management, recruitment, legal matters or supplier management, you name it – she has it covered.
Eve keeps her finger on the pulse, constantly developing new strategies, processes and workflows to maintain Interchange’s effective and creative operating rhythm.
We had the opportunity to spend some time with Eve to discuss how fate brought her to Interchange, her childhood dream of becoming an electrician, and her irrational fear of cascading plants.
What is your background/ past working experience?
I’ve had a really varied work experience actually! I started in events management when I was 14 years old, running kids parties and managing a team of other teenagers. I used to direct the team and ensure that they were organised and had everything they needed to run their parties effectively. So, I suppose you could say I had a natural inclination and talent for organisation and managing a team.
Then when I was 19, I worked as a production assistant for a production company that produced the live to air coverage of the Spring Racing Carnival. I assisted the producers with the pre-packaged content, like the interviews, stories and whatnot that went to air during the coverage. Then during the live-to-air broadcast, I worked predominantly with Sandra Sully, making sure her guests were ready for their interviews, that she knew where she needed to be and had what she needed. The following year, I became a producer on the show.
I then got a job offer in London as a runner at a brand promo agency. I worked there for a year. When I came back to Australia, I worked in theatre and did a bit more TV work. Then I worked in learning and development at Maura Fay, doing event management, and then eventually got into sports licencing, selling the rights of certain brands.
Where the (very organised) magic happens.
What lead you to work at Interchange
This is a pretty crazy story actually. Years ago, I worked with Gabe (Interchange Founder and Managing Director) for a few years at Maura Fay. I moved onto other jobs, but we stayed in touch every now and then.
One day (6 years after I had last seen her), I was boarding a flight from Sydney. When I took my seat, I realised I had been seated right next to Gabe! She was still working at her previous company and we had a huge catch-up, which was really nice.
6 months later, I was on a plane again… and when I sat down, once again I was seated next to Gabe! I couldn’t believe it. By this point, I was really unhappy in my job and she had just started Interchange, so she asked me to come and work with her on a safety culture project. If that’s not fate, I don’t know what is.
What does Interchange’s flexible working environment
mean to you?
Interchange’s flexible working environment gives me a sense of freedom and ownership over my work. I am able to plan my schedule around the priorities in my life, and I don’t have to miss out on anything that’s important to me. If I want to spend time with my niece in the afternoon, I know that I can do that.
We want to empower people to have complete accountability and control over their own workload. No one will be looking over your shoulder or watching the clock, taking note of what time you leave. As long as you are delivering on what you’re supposed to be delivering on, I think people feel a lot more at ease and have a sense of pride in what they’re doing.
A daily reminder of her favourite people.
What do people normally come to you for help with?
I think people come to me for anything and everything. I am very logical and practical, but am also empathetic, which I think are qualities that work nicely together. It’s not uncommon for people to come to me for help with things like finance, or how to fix the table, or even personal problems.
I think people just know that no matter what the problem is, I will always try to help them solve it. I also don’t sugar coat things, so I think people ask me for advice because they know they will get a truthful answer.
What TV shows do you most enjoy binging?
I really love series’ that are set in the past. So things like Downton Abbey, Peaky Blinders, The Tudors…The Crown. Things like that. I’ve definitely watched more of those kinds of shows than modern-day ones. I just find it so interesting, how people used to live and what was important to people in those times compared to what we think is important now.
What irrational fear do you have?
It’s so irrational! But I hate those creeper plants… the plants that hang down! It’s only been since we got them in the office, but they make me feel like something is going to crawl on me. They’re so awful!
Eve bonding with her favourite plant <3
What/ who has helped shape you?
I have some very strong women in my life who have helped shape who I am. Not to discount my Dad who taught me how to fix things, but my Mum worked really hard and has always been a very career-driven person. She worked in an industry that was heavily dominated by men, who treated women quite badly back then. She set out to prove that she was smart, strong and powerful and could do the job better than anyone else could. And that’s exactly what she did.
Seeing my Mum be so strong and ferocious when it came to business, but still maintain her loving and generous nature, most definitely helped to form my goals and values.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, first I wanted to be a sound engineer because that’s what my Dad does and I was always so amazed by the work he did. He really is a genius. But then I did a sound engineering course, and I realised that I wasn’t very good at it haha.
But I did also really want to be an electrician. I still would love to be one! I think it stemmed from a fascination with cables maybe because my Dad was always using cables for his work.
A valuable portrait of Eve, painted with love by Interchange’s Program Manager, Sandra.
What are your hidden talents and how did you discover you had it?
I can yodel…. No I’m just kidding, I can’t yodel. I am a really excellent baker. I know it’s not a hidden talent because I do love baking for people and I bring things into the office. But yes, I love baking because it’s so measured. If you put in too much baking soda, it’s not going to work, if you put too much sugar in it, it’s not going to work. It’s so precise and I love that.