Spotlight on

Catherine Lam, BEL SET receptionist and administrator

Growing up in Brisbane after fleeing Vietnam with her family in the '70s, Catherine Lam was embarrassed by her fragrant school lunches; so different from the vegemite sandwiches around her.  These days her lunches are the envy of the BEL SET team.

When asked why she thought two colleagues had nominated her for BEL staff member of the month, Catherine joked it was probably because of her delicious Vietnamese lunches.

"At 12 o'clock we stop and have lunch together every day," Catherine said.

"It's a great opportunity to chat and find out about each other.

"I have not worked with such a big team before; such varied personalities and from such different multicultural backgrounds.  Everyone is lovely and has an interesting story."

Catherine has been the BEL SET receptionist and administrator for the past 18 months and is known as the voice of calm who can trouble-shoot and get things sorted: like when a link on the BEL SET Facebook page was inexplicably translating into Spanish…

Perhaps it harks back to her early days as an engineering student at UQ, or the fact she has an IT degree and the ability to solve the mysterious workings of office programs and systems.

Catherine says trouble-shooting is what she enjoys the most about her job. 

"There is always an answer; there is always a way through," she said.

Her challenge is keeping up with the punishing schedule of BEL SET events and the busy calendars of her colleagues.

When not at work, Catherine is kept busy with three children, two ducks, a dog and her husband.

She loves travelling and is recently returned from a US road trip that took her from the West Coast to the East, where she met her American relatives for the first time: "it was weird, they were like us but, um, very American… like the Simpsons!"

She is planning a trip to Japan at the end of the year.

Before arriving at BEL SET, Catherine was working as a high school administrator and exploring her creative side through a couple of arts courses.  She has also worked as an IT trainer.

She said the beautiful St Lucia campus and happy memories studying here attracted her to the position.

What her colleagues said:

Catherine is the backbone of BEL SET hands down!! Going above and beyond the call of duty!!

I 100% second that nomination. ​