Born and raised in the Northern Territory, it's safe to say Natasha Buckley is a proud Territorian and loves working in a role that allows her to support, develop and give opportunities to a team of passionate people. 

Natasha is the Operational Services Manager at RAAF Darwin, a role she has held since May which saw her move across from a safety role into operations. 

Natasha says she really loves her role and the opportunity it gives her to build on her SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) experience and bring that into her new role.

I feel like I am contributing to the bigger picture here.


A changing career path 

Natasha's career has been very diverse, proving that a path to leadership need not be straight.

Following school, she wanted to use her drama skills she'd honed throughout her high school years, so took a role at Imparja TV as Yamba the Honey Ant on kid's tv show 'Yamba's Playtime', graduating to the host of the show a year later. 

She also worked at the Central Land Council in Alice Springs, where she had the opportunity to step up and help the director with projects, including in employment of Indigenous people in the mining industry. As an Indigenous Arabana woman, with mixed heritage, Natasha says she feels she can look at issues from both sides and provide her insights to help find pathways forward for all involved. 

From working in Sentence Management at a Correctional Centre, Patient Travel Scheme within NT Health, to youth unemployment with Anglicare, and eventually into a safety role in South Australia, Natasha has gradually built her skills into a very impressive resume. 

This was recognised in 2021 by the Land Management Supervisor at RAAF Darwin, Jason Raftopoulos, who nominated her for one of Ventia's sector awards in the Safety category. His nomination noted that Natasha, "Has encouraged and exemplified the virtue of good citizenship, touched or enriched the lives of others, particularly those who are vulnerable or less able to help themselves, and shown ongoing initiative, leadership and dedication to the business." 

Natasha Buckley pictured in black and white

Supporting the career journey of others

To Natasha, it's all about building strong relationships, and respecting others. 

"I want my job to have meaning, whether it's helping one person or 100," she says.

It's important for me to work collaboratively with others, and that means those in my direct team but also others across Ventia. We're all 'one Ventia' after all!

With approximately 50 employees working in her team at RAAF Darwin, Natasha has the opportunity to influence and shape a lot of careers. She says she hopes to be able to provide her supervisors and team leaders a pipeline for their careers.

"When I move on, I want to know there is someone in my team ready and willing to step into my role, and then someone to step into theirs." 

She acknowledges there are some employees who are more than happy doing what they do, but also there are some who are shy about speaking up for what they want. 

"I don't want anyone thinking they are 'just' a kitchen hand, or 'just' a cleaner. If there's a course or training or other upskilling we can offer to help them progress and reach their career goals, I am all in to support that." 

Although she's only been in her current role for a few months, it's clear that Natasha is going places, and we are proud she's chosen to do that with Ventia.