Career Stories

Stories from GMHBA people

Learn about how a job with GMHBA doesn't mean the same work forever. You can move departments and as your career ambitions grow, GMHBA opportunities grow with you.

Career progressions:

What interested you about studying the Health Science degree?

In VCE my two main interests were Legal studies and Health, but a Bachelor of Health Sciences was a great degree to further my interests. I majored in Public Health and ran many health programs whilst at Uni. I then completed further studies at Deakin University in Health Promotion and Nutrition. Both Universities provided wonderful courses, with incredible staff that encouraged me to continue in the health industry.

Why did you apply for your first role at GMHBA?

Whilst completing my studies I worked in many different health practices, including Physiotherapy and General Practice and became a group exercise instructor teaching Body attack classes at local gyms. I also completed work experience at Women’s Health magazine and loved every minute of it! After a few years of working in small health practices, I was ready to see what working in a larger organisation was like. A role was advertised for a Customer Service role at GMHBA and despite the role not being directly related to my degrees, I was keen to try something new and understand the organisation. After my initial interview, I received a call saying a different role was available and more suited to my qualifications, an administration role within the Diversification team. The role was part of a newly formed team at GMHBA, with the aim of diversifying the business to become a health services provider. The team lead GMHBA to successfully provide Dental, Eye Care, General Practice and Physiotherapy. It was an exciting time for GMHBA and I loved being part of such an innovative and diverse team.  My experience and degree were frequently used in this role and I loved learning about the acquisition of health practices.

What were your next roles?

After being in the diversification team, I spent time in the Facilities team further understanding the project management side of the business. I then moved into the Strategy and Risk department as a Business Analyst where I was able to learn an incredible amount through working with so many departments in the business. I loved understanding how an organisation builds their strategy and the many different ways an organisation can operate to deliver an outcome. It was in this position that I was able to start exploring Value Based Health Care for GMHBA. I loved looking at all the different ways GMHBA provides Health value and created an ongoing paper for the Health Services Committee, highlighting the health value GMHBA delivers to its’ members and the community. I then moved into the role of Project Manager, leading a team of subject matter experts to deliver specific pieces of work.

Each role I have been in at GMHBA has allowed me to understand different parts of the business, build relationships, learn from incredible mentors and to be able to develop different skills needed for my current role as Project Manager.

You do you do in your current role? 

For GMHBA to deliver on its’ strategy, certain pieces of work need to be delivered.  When the work requires specific subject matter experts and will take a certain amount of time, a project manager is needed to ensure the project runs smoothly and delivers the expected outcome(s). As a project manager, I ensure project documentation is completed, including a project timeline and tracking of resources. I lead project meetings to ensure each project resource is clear on the work that needs to be done, understand if there are any risks or issues that could impact the project and to track how the project is progressing. Project management is incredibly important at GMHBA. There are many subject matter experts that are amazing at what they do, the project manager ensures the work being done is in line with the intended aim of the project and to help minimise any blockers or hurdles.

What do you enjoy about your current role?

I love working with different people from around the organisation and learning each and every day.

We are so lucky to have an incredible private health system in Australia and to have options when navigating our health journeys. When a member or customer calls GMHBA, sometimes they need to navigate the health system that they may not be familiar with. When I hear that GMHBA have been able to guide that person to manage or improve their health, I know I am working in the right company. GMHBA cares for our staff and our customers, and that makes me a loyal staff member.

How has your degree been useful in the various roles that you’ve undertaken at GMHBA? 

The role of business analyst has always allowed me to use my health sciences degrees. Articulating the different populations that require health services based on their demographics was very useful when looking at potential locations for health practices. Measuring health value and documenting the health outcomes from the many programs and services GMHBA offer was possible due to my University learnings.

3 pieces of advice for Graduates?

  • Be open to any role within an organisation like GMHBA. There is so much to learn and you will never regret having the experience.
  • Ask questions and put your hand up for things that interest you. It’s up to you how much you get out of your experience.
  • If successful, have lunch or coffee with your new colleagues, the more people you can meet the better.

GMHBA worker Jess.jpg

Where did you grow up and study?

I grew up in Geelong and had no idea what I wanted to do at the end of year 12, other than continuing to study.  I did the tours of the local universities and decided to enrol in a Bachelor of Business at Victoria University following a really positive interaction with one of their Lecturers! 

Tell us about your career journey so far.

While at Uni, I worked part time at Target in Westfield.  I was offered a part time Trainee Operations Manager role, which I jumped at.  There was a large HR component to this role, that I really enjoyed.  When I finished my degree, I was offered a full time Operations Manager role, and stayed in this role for a few years before joining GMHBA as an HR Officer – and the rest, as they say, is history!

I have been lucky enough to have a lot of variety in roles during my time at GMHBA, such as HR Officer, Change Manager, Business Partnering, Talent Acquisition, Project Management and an OD specialist. 

My first role as HR Officer was a great way to learn the ropes, and I got to experience a little bit of everything!  At the time, GMHBA had less than 100 employees, and my role included things like training new starters, end to end recruitment (back then, people still physically sent in hard copies of their resumes via mail!) and Occupational Health and Safety.  I got to learn from some amazing mentors, while I learnt about the business, and the HR processes and procedures.

I recently became Head of Organisational Development (OD).  Our team purpose is ‘Creating a remarkable workplace that attracts, develops and engages people to thrive.’   Some of the things that the OD team work on are: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Early Careers, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Performance Lifecyle, and Leadership Development.

A really big part of my role as Head of OD is leadership – which means helping others to achieve their goals.  A typical day might involve catching up with my team of five specialists to understand what they are working on, and what barriers they might be experiencing.  I might also meet with the Senior Leaders from across the business, to understand how the Organisational Development team might support them to achieve their goals.  Data is also a big component, things like budgets, and report writing are really important.  

What is great about your role?

I have stayed so long at GMHBA because of the people – we have an incredible talented, supportive, and fun group of people here!  I also connect with the Values, and align with our purpose statement ‘to support and empower our communities to live healthier lives.’   

Advice for Graduates:

  • Ask questions. A really important part of learning and growth!  It is completely natural to feel unsure when you start a new role, asking questions will get you answers, and it will help to build relationships with others.  Everyone has been the ‘new person’ and will be more than willing to help!
  • Start with ‘yes’. Basically, this means that instead of immediately saying ‘no’ or being negative, you try to approach situations with a more positive attitude.  For example, if someone asks you to take on a project that you’re not sure you can handle, instead of saying ‘no way, that’s too hard’, you could say’ yes, I’ll give it a go, and see how it turns out.’  By starting with ‘yes’ you’re more open to new experiences and opportunities, and you’re less likely to limit yourself with negative thinking.
  • Invest time in relationships! It will make your work environment so much more enjoyable.  When you get on well with your colleagues, work becomes less of a chore, more of a laugh, stress is reduced and job satisfaction improves.  So go ahead and invest in relationships!

What’s your background?

I grew up in China and moved to Australia in 2015. I attended Monash University and was initially interested in Finance and Economics and so majored in those areas in my undergraduate degree and then went on to complete Masters in Business Law and Accounting. 

What were your first roles after Uni?

When I finished my Masters, I decided that I didn’t want to work as an accountant.  I thought that a marketing/social media/events type job might be interesting, and took a position as a Marketing Assistant for a plastic surgeon. 

It was in this role that I started to appreciate the power of data and the importance of this for making sound business decisions.  However, there was limited scope for me to use or gain any data analytic skills.  I decided I wanted to build my data analytic skills and so enrolled in the Monash Data Analytics Boot camp where, over 6 months, I learned everything about data analysis, both the soft skills and the hard skills. 

Why did you apply to GMHBA?

When I graduated from BootCamp, I was really keen to use my new knowledge and skills. When I saw the Provider Insights Analyst job advertised at GMHBA, I thought that the job description fitted me really well and I also thought that if I can deal with private health, then I can deal with anything as it’s a really complex industry!  I felt that GMHBA was a good fit with the experience that I had gained in the medical field. 

Tell us about your role as a Provider Insight Analyst?

As a Provider Insight Analyst, I worked with the data related to health care providers – like optometrists, hospitals, specialists etc.  

The most important thing that I analysed is the provider’s behaviour – I looked at the providers fees for the services that they provided to their patients, and what the patients out of pocket expenses were for those services.   This is then correlated with other data – so that we can figure out the roadmap of provider’s behaviour.  We also analysed how their claims were submitted to us, and checked for the way to improve business decisions etc.  This was all done using tools such as MS SQL, QlikView and Python. 

Tell us about your next role in the Business Intelligence (Finance) team

After about a year in the Provider Insight Analyst role, I was promoted to Business Intelligence Analyst in the Business Intelligence (Finance) team.

This role is very different.  As a Provider Insight Analyst, it was more ‘on the ground’ level work and the data was all related to ‘providers & claims’. 

In the Business Intelligence Analyst role, I’m looking at data from across the whole organisation – data that is related to our members, data related to the different private health insurance products that we offer, and even financial data about how the business is performing. 

In the Business Intelligence team, I still do data extraction and analysis and coding is still a large part of my role, but with a broader focus.  Also, in this team, a really important part of our role is to create dashboards and reports for other teams, so I get to interact with a wide range of people from across different teams at GMHBA.  The BI team are going to be moving from QlikView to PowerBI soon, so I’m looking forward to learning more about this migration progress.  

What do you think are the top skills needed for a business intelligence analyst?

The technical skills are obviously really important – I am coding every day, so you need to have an enjoyment of that.

Stakeholder engagement is also a critical part of this job as you need to understand the needs of different people from different teams at GMHBA to enable you to deliver the right thing.

Problem solving skills are also essential  so that you can get under the data and understand what the different users across GMHBA are looking for.

Why is this work important to GMHBA? 

The work that we do can be likened to being a Chef – a Chef takes unappetising raw ingredients and adds the magic that turns the dish into something delicious!  In the same way, we take raw data that is undigestible, listen carefully to your requirements, and add the magic that will turn your data into something valuable to you.  Not a lot of people know how to do the data stuff – we save our colleagues a lot of time by automating data extraction process and creating a dashboard that will help with their decision making. 

What do you enjoy about your job and working at GMHBA?

I really like the culture here – GMHBA is very people focussed and I was so impressed by that when I first joined. 

Before I started here, I had never been to a CEO Town Hall before – these are held each quarter at GMHBA.   I really like the opportunity to hear the CEO speak about the company, it’s history, how we are going, and what are the plans for the future.  Hearing this in person and directly from the CEO is great.

I also like GMHBA’s inclusiveness – there is great gender balance across the organisation and at management levels, and there is a lot of respect for women.  We also have a diverse culture,  a great mix of different people from different countries and religions.  I am the ‘minority’ in Australia, but I feel really comfortable here! 

What is interesting about this industry/PHI – what is keeping you here?

Private Health Insurance and Health Care is a growing industry and it will keep growing – I’ve seen first hand how the health industry is growing and changing constantly and I like that – the constant change keeps things interesting.  I also like that every piece of data that I analyse is from a live human being - I like working with data that will help impact someone’s health journey.

Three pieces of advice for a new graduate?

Never stop exploring because you never know what you might like to do.  If you stop trying and exploring, you’ll never find out!

Be patient – the working world is so big and there are so many things that you don’t know….yet!

Be humble –you are a graduate and have lots of knowledge and skills but you still have a long way to go and a lot to learn.  You’ll never stop learning in a data/tech based role so be ready and open to that! 


Day in the life:


5:30 AM

Tuesday morning force myself out of bed to quickly shower, get ready and jump in my car and head off at around 6am into the office. I work in the office on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

7:30 AM

I usually give myself an hour and a half to drive, find a park and walk to the office.  The moment I walk into the office I go to my locker, grab my keyboard, mouse and mug and find a desk, I have a couple of favourite hot desks that I prefer to sit at, each have their own positives like having a wall next to me or at the end of a row.  I go and prepare my breakfast in the office kitchen and sit down to have breakfast.

While having breakfast I will log online to check any emails or MS teams messages that have come through after I had finished the previous day, GMHBA has great flexibility in allowing employees to start and finish at different times depending on our needs. 

This is usually the perfect time for me to get my bearings on if there are any urgent requests that need to be added to my days' plans or if they can be added to my to-do list. In my role requests can be anything from basic clarification on models that I have been working on, outputs/charts that are needed for certain meetings, to long term requests such as updating models based on the most up to date data available.

8:00 AM

Early mornings are where I like to get some of my more technical work done, many of the other employees coming into the office are just starting to arrive and I don’t usually have meetings set for the morning. 

Currently I am working on the forecasting model to compare the previous forecasts to the current forecast which includes more up to date data. The results from this will be directly distributed to the Head of Finance and the CFO as the basis for discussion in future meetings.

Most of the modelling work is done using the programming software R, using machine learning models and previous data located in the data warehouse to give the most accurate predictions. I also use R to create reports from past data and forecasts output in slide decks or spreadsheets which get distributed to many different teams within the business.

9:00 AM

The finance crew usually goes out to grab a coffee for whoever wants one, can be a large or small group but it’s a great way to connect with colleagues early in the morning.

Tuesdays are great days for collaboration, it’s one of the days where you get the most people in the office at the same time and can collaborate in person, as opposed to over MS teams, which I certainly prefer. The mood is always upbeat here - someone is always up for a chat and the open layout of the office doesn’t restrict any communication between staff.

10:00 AM

I presented some lapse analysis I had recently completed with colleagues from the retention team, having these open discussions/meetings have been great for me to gain different points of view from within the business to further improve my work.

12:00 PM

Lunch time, time to get out and stretch the legs and go and grab a bite to eat, I’m usually not that well organised to have brought my lunch along with me so will often head across the road to the local Westfield and grab something from in there, certainly not short of options! 

2:00 PM

Weekly catch-up with my manager Brian, it’s a great opportunity to catch up on the work we’ve been doing, bounce ideas off each other, and generally check-in on how everything is going. I often like to use this as a chance to get feedback on any presentations that I am doing to improve the quality of work.

3:00 PM

I now have time in my day to extract and provide some data for a couple of different people using SQL and R. These outputs, in the form of spreadsheets, are used by retention and ARC staff as part of their retention strategies.

Following this I have been asked to prepare some extra outputs on the comparison between the previous forecasts and the new updated forecast. All the code for these tables is computed in R and saved as an excel spreadsheet and sent out to colleagues. 

4:30 PM

Time to head home, clean up the desk, pack my bag and place any things I don’t need to take to WFH in my locker ready for the next time I come in. The long drive home is nice way to de-stress from the day’s work before getting home. 


On my day in the office,  I usually get up at 5:30am and get ready to leave home just after 6am to catch the tram to the city to get the train to work. Usually, I head into the office on a Wednesday for meetings and team catch ups. On the other days I work from home – I get up a bit later and have time to do a workout and go for a run before I start my workday.


The first thing I do when I log on is check my emails and go through the cases that have been assigned to me from HAMBS – our membership software that holds all the member data. 

When reviewing these cases I look to see why the case was sent to audit for review.  Today, I reviewed a case where there was a mismatch between what the hospital had billed us for a pace maker procedure, and the procedure’s coding that was on the invoice/HCP data.  I then reviewed the contract between GMHBA and the hospital, and adjusted the claim by changing the amount that we are paying the hospital.  I then emailed the hospital to suggest what the correct payment should be and made sure to include a copy to our Claims team so that they can make the adjustment on the claim line.

In a typical day, I might also check claims to ensure that

  • Intensive care unit and Critical care unit accommodation claims meet the criteria set up by the AHSA (Australian Health Services Alliance).
  • Medicare Benefits Schedule items reflect the International Classification of Diseases/Australian Classification of Health Interventions coding
  • Medical devices billed for are reflective of the actual procedures performed by the hospital

This work is extremely important to GMHBA because any claims ‘leakages’ that we identify are given back to our members – last year our team identified around $10 million of this type of ‘leakage’!


This Wednesday, our whole Payments Integrity team meets with our internal ancillary auditors who look after our ‘Extras’ policies (dental, physio etc) – altogether, there’s about 12 of us so it’s a lot of fun.  On alternate Wednesday’s, our team meets with the hospital and medical auditor team. In these meetings we provide team updates, discuss any industry changes and new updates, and any interesting finds in our work.


Usually at this time I will have a quick catch up with another Health Information Manager to discuss approvals – for example,  mental health approvals that fall outside of the usual rate.  I will check to make sure the information submitted is complete and that it is meeting any contractual criteria.   Part of my role is to review extended intensive care, cardiac care, and mental health notification requests –  these are all very expensive claims!  With mental health, we will pay up to 3 hospital admissions claims, so any more than these need to be checked with the provider.


Lunch - if I’m in the office I will have dumplings with the team and then head across the road to Westfield to make my weekly Mecca purchase. If I’m working from home, I will go for a walk along the creek near my house.


After lunch I take the opportunity to review my emails and go through any ‘post’ cases – these are claims that have already been paid.  When we have capacity, we review these claims to ensure that they have been accurately paid, in case we need to go back and recover funds. 


CEO Town Hall time!  Every quarter, the whole company is invited to join our CEO and the Executive team to connect, ask questions, and find out how the business is going.  It’s great to hear the Executive talk about the business.  It helps me feel included and I like that we get an overview of how GMHBA is tracking financially.  It’s important to me that the rest of the business gets the opportunity to hear about what my team does too -  it highlights our work and shows what an essential part of the business we are.  Today we also watched a fun “People Wrap” video that showcased what different staff are working on and what their highlights have been this quarter.


Afternoon tea is provided after the Town Halls so I grab a pastry.  On other weeks, our team usually has a quick Chocolate break around this time to keep the energy levels up!


Today I have my health check – GMHBA pays for free health checks for staff, we can have a basic health screen or a comprehensive assessment, and the exercise physiologist today provides me with some personalised guidance and support.  It’s a good way for me to stay healthy – but I’m also doing it to earn points for my AIA Vitality reward – I’m going for Platinum status which means I will get 50% off my next visit to the Endota Spa!   


After an action packed day I log off and relax on the train ride home to Melbourne. If I’m working from home, I will usually wind down by going for a walk to soak up the last bit of daylight before it gets dark outside.