Tracie Deegan flies high as an AIB Industry Guest Lecturer
With over 20 years of hands-on experience in human resources, our newest Industry Guest Lecturer – Tracie Deegan – will bring a great deal of practical knowledge to our MBA HR curriculum. Tracie is the General Manager of HR & Development at Alliance Airlines, where she is the go-to for all aspects of human resources, training and development across Australia and New Zealand.
Tracie is known for her down-to-earth and straightforward approach to HR, which is perhaps influenced by her 11 years with the Queensland Police Service. Her HR experience spans across the automotive industry, retail and aviation, giving her a broad, cross-functional perspective. Her strengths include managing leadership development, strategy and business planning, and driving innovative learning and development outcomes within budget.
Tracie left the police in 2001 after obtaining her degree in human resources. On the transition, she explains, “There’s a lot of synergy between police work and HR. It’s about a connection with people and creating relationships in order to get certain outcomes.”
After a few years of consulting, Tracie joined Brisbane’s Motorama where she worked for four years, before joining Alliance Airlines.
Alliance is an airline services company providing charter aircraft operations for the resources sector, sporting teams, Government, inbound and domestic tourism, corporate and business group travel and services for the major domestic airlines. Alliance operates across Australia and New Zealand, with maintenance operations in Europe and Australia.
Tracie has been with the company for over 10 years now, throughout much of its rapid expansion: The airline began in 2002 and was publicly listed in 2011. Alliance Airlines now boasts over 550 staff, almost double the number from when Tracie first started working with them.
Consequently, her role is a busy one. Tracie’s accountabilities include hiring the right talent, planning and scaling her workforce, training of all staff and managing remuneration strategies.
Working in aviation also means that industrial relations play a huge part, Tracie explains, “The landscape of our industrial relations framework is very complex. We have 13 different industrial agreements driven by industrial relation strategy, which is a lot for the number of staff we have.”
The training aspect, too, is complex. “In aviation, safety is a major focus. It’s driven by CASA, our aviation regulator, who has a huge influence on our business practices and how we operate on a day to day basis, including from an HR perspective,” she says.
As the world of work is changing fast, so too is the role of HR. Tracie champions lifelong learning for all Alliance Airlines employees. With operational staff making up around 70% of the workforce, there’s a strong emphasis on safety and technical training. However, training goes beyond the day-to-day needs of the business to focus on strategic planning and succession.
“Our management training focuses on building relationships and trust with employees. We direct it at current supervisors but also high performing individuals who are aspiring to move up in the company,” shares Tracie.
And those aspirations don’t stop before they reach leadership positions: Alliance’s succession planning is as comprehensive as it is robust.
“We have a lot of people that have been with us since day one, since the company was Flight West, which is what Alliance was actually born out of. They come with a lot of experience. So, our succession planning includes identifying those people and implementing mentorship arrangements across the business,” Tracie explains.
It’s innovative thinking like this that has seen Tracie build a strong and loyal culture within Alliance Airlines. Her passion for her job is evident, and we look forward to sharing her human resources insights with our students.