Customer services officer Bronwyn Hurst and Fair Trading assistant commissioner Andrew Gavrielatos.
Customer services officer Bronwyn Hurst and Fair Trading assistant commissioner Andrew Gavrielatos.

Fair attitude wins an award

For 16 years, Bronwyn Hurst has been helping people in the Lismore Department of Fair Trading and has now won a NSW Fair Trading award for outstanding service to the local community.

Bronwyn said she loved working at Fair Trading as it gave her the opportunity to support people through difficult times.

“The customers are very grateful and my mission is to make the world a better place for them,” Bronwyn said. “They are often distressed if they lose their house or car and it’s rewarding if I can help them get through a problem.”

Bronwyn has an identical twin, Megan Gray, who also works at the Lismore Fair Trading Centre, and this is often the cause of confusion and humour for clients.

“We don’t think we look exactly alike, but people often confuse us and don’t realise we are different unless we are standing next to each other,” Bronwyn said. “Megan might be at the front counter serving somebody while I’m out the back. If I come out the front and ask if anyone needs help, people look at me strangely like I’m a bit mad. We try to make sure people know.”

Bronwyn suffers from Multiple Sclerosis but says the disease does not define her.

“You have to have a positive attitude and don’t let it get you down,” Bronwyn said. “I don’t let it affect my work, but when I am unwell, I am lucky to be well supported by everyone in the department.”

Bronwyn said, if she becomes unwell at work, she has a rest room there where she can lie down and recover for a while until she feels better.

Bronwyn’s manager, Paul Murphy, said, despite some days being faced with immense discomfort, Bronwyn always maintained a positive attitude.

“I concentrate on what I can do rather than what I can’t,” Bronwyn said. “I didn’t know I had MS when I first started, but now I am recognised as a person with a disability it shows me how supporting the department is in employing, supporting and accommodating people with disabilities.”

Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge said that Bronwyn had received many customer testimonials over the years applauding her ‘can do’ attitude, quality of service and information and general professionalism.

“Her home building and residential tenancy dispute resolution skills are renowned and her commitment in helping the public and serving her local community is exemplary,” Ms Judge said.

“It came as a complete surprise that I won an award,” Bronwyn said. “I’ll be here for a long time to come. I love the job.”


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